10 stages in the Court of Hell *Viewer Discretion Advised*

10 stages in the Court of Hell at Haw Par Villa

*Please be forewarned, some of the photos in this post are graphic, and not for the faint of heart (or stomach). 

Entrance to the Courts of Hell

This was a fascinating part of the Haw Par Villa theme park, in Singapore. It describes, in detail, the torture and punishment for each sin one commits in a lifetime.

As you enter the tunnel, you are greeted by the first court’s king. The following descriptions of each Court are excerpts taken from inside the cave:

First Court of Hell – Yama: King Qinguang

In the First Court of Hell, King Qinguang conducts priliminary trials and each prisoner is judged according to his deeds in his past life. The ‘good’ are distinguished from the ‘evil’ and the King recommends appropriate reward or punishment. Punishment is then carrid out in the various Courts.

Those with virtuous conduct in their past life will be lead over the ‘Golden Bridge’ to reach paradise.

Those whose past good deeds outweigh crimes committed will be sent to the ‘Silver Bridge’ to reach paradise.

Those who were evil doers in their past life will be sent to repent before the ‘Mirror of Retribution’ and then taken to a subsequent Court of Hell to be punished.



Second Court of Hell – Yama: King Chujiang

Crime Punishment
Inflicting physical Injury Thrown into a volcanic pit
Corruption Frozen into blocks of ice
Stealing and Gambling
Prostitutes Thrown into a pool of blood and drowned

Third Court of Hell – Yama: King Songdi

Crime Punishment
Ungratefulness Heart cut out
Disrespect Elders
Escape from Prison
Drug addicts and traffickers Tied to red hot copper pillar and grilled
Tomb Raiders
Urging People into crime

Fourth Court of Hell – Yama: King Wuguan

Crime Punishment
Tax dodger Pounded by a stone mallet
Business Fraud
Disobedience to one’s siblings Grounded by a large stone

“Wang-Si” Town

This accommodates those who were wronged and driven to their death. They would be asked to view how their enemies receive retribution. They would then be judged on their past deeds and given an appropriate punishment.

Fifth Court of Hell – Yama: King Yanluo 

Crime Punishment
Plotted another’s death for his property or money Thrown onto a hill of knives
Money lenders with exorbitant interest rates (ha!)

The Viewing Home Tower is for the evildoers to see how their relatives and family are suffering as a result of their wrong-doings.

Sixth Court of Hell – Yama: King Piencheng

Crime Punishment
Cheating Thrown onto a tree of knives
Abducting Others
Misuse of books Body sawn into two
Possession of pornographic material
Breaking written rules and regulations
Wasting Food

Seventh Court of Hell – Yama: King Taishan

Crime Punishment
Rumours-mongers Tongue pulled out
Sowing discord among family members
Rapists Thrown into a wok of boiling oil
Driving someone to their death

Eighth Court of Hell – Yama: King Dushi

Crime Punishment
Causing trouble for parents or family members Intestines and organs pulled out
Cheating during examinations
Harming others to benefit oneself Body dismemberment

Ninth Court of Hell – Yama: King Pingdeng

Crime Punishment
Robbery Head and arms chopped off
Any other unlawful conduct
Neglect of the old and young Crushed under boulders

Tenth Court of Hell – Yama: King Zhuanlun

In the Tenth Court, there is a ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’ and the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ (Men-Po Pavilion).

After serving their sentences, prisoners arrive at the Tenth Court where King Zhuanlun passes final judgement. The prisoners are then brought to the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ where an old lady “Men Po” hands them a a cup of magic tea which on drinking makes them forget their past lives.

They will then go through the ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’ – Samsara.  Depending on the prisoner’s past life, they would be reborn either as a human or an animal. Some would be reborn into a life of ease and comfort while others into sorrow and suffering.

With the morbid side of it aside, I found this exceptionally interesting! My lesson has been learned – I will not be misusing books, or cheating during examinations any time soon!

Have you ever been to a cultural centre which depicted such graphic figures to get a message across? Have you been a good citizen and not ‘misused books’? When faced with the mirror of truth – will you appear pure or evil in your reflection?

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  5. I think that all this is just try to scare people they re not such thing. Elderly people like to scare other especially during ancient time.

  6. I think that all this is just try to scare people there re not such thing. Elderly people like to scare other especially during ancient time.

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  10. mine is already learned. when i was young.i have a lot of bad habits of cheating And cursing my own parents with such foul language. But i also neglected my youngest brother when i was young. but with the lesson from the ten hell courts image display.
    I’ve finally learn that i should not abuse my own brother and i shall not misuse the books,I’m free of possession of pronographic Materials and i shall not curse ah ma with such language anymore. And i will always be respectful and i will always be grateful and obedient man for my parents.

    I hope it’s not too late to do good deeds.
    because i’m still doing the dharmma class.
    so i shall do even more better deeds. without doing the crimes for hell. i shall do good deeds for the heaven.

    And whenever i shall do deeds,one thing is certainly. I’M FREE!! From crimes and i’m free from pornographic material possession. never rob anyone’s cash and belonings again forever.

  11. I lived in Singapore as an armed forces brat from 1968-70, between the ages of 7 and 9. I remember going to Haw Par Villa as a kid, and seeing the 10 Courts of Hell (or torture chamber as we called it) frightened the living daylights out of me! I had to sleep with the light on for days afterwards. Even seeing those pictures now, as an adult, is fairly scary, so imagine what it was like for a little kid.

    Nonetheless, thanks for the memories. :-)

    • Hi BollingerBabe! That’s incredible that you got to see the park in its hay-day, though it sounds like you weren’t quite ready for what it had in store for you. Now it’s a slightly run down relic of a time nearly forgotten. Have you been back to Singapore since? You might not recognize it!

      Glad to have stirred up some old memories – though I apologize if they weren’t your fondest! haha. Thanks for sharing your story with us :)