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Where can you find the 10 Courts of Hell in Singapore?

By on May 23, 2015 in Singapore

Well the answer is, of course, the 10 Courts of Hell can be found in Haw Par Villa (虎豹别墅), 262 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore, and you even get free entry to experience them!

I really don’t know what to say about the Courts other than they are extremely weird as they show scenes depicting bizarre violence and torture as punishments for the crimes.

At the entrance are ‘Ox-Head’ and ‘Horse-Face’, which are the guardians of the Underworld in Chinese mythology.

Entrance to the 10 Courts of Hell, Haw Par Villa, Singapore

Entrance to the 10 Courts of Hell, Haw Par Villa, Singapore

In the First Court of hell King Qinguang judges each person against the deeds in their life. If the person was ‘good’ then they leave the court, via the golden bridge, to enter paradise. If the person has done more ‘good’ than ‘evil’ then they leave the court by the silver bridge, and enter paradise. However, those who have done more ‘evil’ than ‘good’ are sent to repent in front the ‘Mirror of Retribution’ and then taken to the appropriate ‘Court of Hell’, as a prisoner, for their punishment.

First Court of Hell - have you been good or bad?

First Court of Hell – have you been good or bad?

Mirror of Retribution and Sentencing - First Court of Hell

Mirror of Retribution and Sentencing – First Court of Hell

Now each of the 10 Court of Hell is for a specific set of crimes, and each Court within hell is presided over by a King, or Yama, who is responsible for judging and carrying out the punishments. For each of the following Courts I will give the King (Yama), the crimes, and then the associated punishments in brackets.

The Second Court (King Chujiang) is for inflicting physical injury (Punishment: Thrown into a volcanic pit); conmen, robbers, corruption, stealing and gambling (Frozen in to a block of ice); and prostitution (Thrown in to a pool of blood and drowned).

Second Court of Hell - being thrown into a volcanic pit

Second Court of Hell – being thrown into a volcanic pit

Second Court of Hell - Frozen in to a block of ice

Second Court of Hell – Frozen in to a block of ice

The Third Court (King Songdi) is for: ungratefulness, disrespect to elders, escape from prison (Punishment: Heart cut out); drug addicts and traffickers, tomb robbers, and urging people into crime or social unrest (Tied to a red hot copper pillar and grilled).

Third Court of Hell - Heart cut out and being tied to a red hot copper pillar and grilled

Third Court of Hell – Heart cut out and being tied to a red hot copper pillar and grilled

Third Court of Hell - Having you heart cut out

Third Court of Hell – Having you heart cut out

The Fourth Court (King Wuguan) is reserved for prisoners who were tax dodgers, had committed business fraud or who had refused to pay their rent (Punishment: Pounded with a stone mallet); and for disobedience to one’s siblings, or lack of filial piety (Ground with a large stone).

The Fourth Court also contains the ‘Wang-Si’ Town, which is where people who were wronged or who had been driven to take their own life, would stay so that they could watch their enemies receive punishment. These people, once they had watched their enemies being punished, would then be judged themselves and sent to the appropriate Court for their punishment.

Fourth Court of Hell - Pounded with a stone mallet and ground with a large stone

Fourth Court of Hell – Pounded with a stone mallet and ground with a large stone

Fourth Court of Hell - Ground with a large stone

Fourth Court of Hell – Ground with a large stone

The Fifth Court (King Yanluo) is for prisoners who had plotted another persons death so as to gain his property or money, and for money lenders with exorbitant interest rates (Punishment: Thrown onto a hill of knives). The court also has a viewing tower so that the sentenced can watch their relatives and family suffer as a result of their crimes.

Fifth Court of Hell - Thrown onto a hill of knives

Fifth Court of Hell – Thrown onto a hill of knives

The Sixth Court of hell (King Piencheng) is for prisoners who have cheated, cursed or abducted others (Punishment: Thrown on to a tree of knives); and for the misuse of books, the possession of pornographic material, breaking written rules and regulations, and wasting food (Body sawn in two).

Sixth Court of Hell – Body sawn in two

Sixth Court of Hell – Thrown on to a tree of knives

The Seventh Court (King Taishan) is the court to which rumour-mongers and sowers of discord among family members (Punishment: Tongue pulled out) are sent; and for rapists, and people who drive another person to their death (Thrown in to boiling oil).

Seventh Court of Hell - Tongue pulled out

Seventh Court of Hell – Tongue pulled out

The Eighth Court is reserved for people who lack filial obedience, who caused trouble for their parents and family members, or who cheated during examinations (Punishment: Intestines and organs pulled out). The court was also for prisoners who had harmed others to the benefits of themselves (Punishment: Body dismemberment).

Eighth Court of Hell - Intestines and organs pulled out

Eighth Court of Hell – Intestines and organs pulled out

Eighth Court of Hell - Body dismemberment

Eighth Court of Hell – Body dismemberment

The Ninth Court (King Pingdeng) – robbery, murder, rape and any other unlawful offence (Punishment: Head and arms chopped off); and for neglect of the old and the young (Crushed under boulders).

Ninth Court of Hell - Head and arms chopped off

Ninth Court of Hell – Head and arms chopped off

Ninth Court of Hell - Head and arms chopped off

Ninth Court of Hell – Head and arms chopped off

Ninth Court of Hell - Crushed under boulders

Ninth Court of Hell – Crushed under boulders

The Tenth Court (King Zhuanlun) contains the ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’ and the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ (‘Men-Po’ Pavilion).

In the Court, at which the prisoners of the Circles of Hell finally arrive after they have been punished, King Zhuanlun passes final judgement. Next, the prisoners move on to the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ where ‘Men Po’ (an old lady) hands them a magic cup of tea, which when drunk makes them forget their past lives.

Once the tea has been drunk, and their crimes forgotten, the next stop is the ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’, which, depending on the person’s past life, determines whether they are reborn as an animal or a human, and if reborn as a human if it is in to a life of hardship and sorrow, or ease and comfort.

Tenth Court of Hell contains the ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’ and the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ (‘Men-Po’ Pavilion)

Tenth Court of Hell contains the ‘Wheel of Reincarnation’ and the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ (‘Men-Po’ Pavilion)

Tenth Court of Hell - the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ (‘Men-Po’ Pavilion)

Tenth Court of Hell – the ‘Pavilion of Forgetfulness’ (‘Men-Po’ Pavilion)

So, the ten courts of hell are an interesting and bizarre place, and I am not sure as to what to make of them. The groupings of crimes is strange, and the punishments are inventive and decidedly weird. At the end you get to forget it all (so have you learnt anything?), and then you are reincarnated as either an animal, or a human to a life of comfort or hardship.

FourSquare: Haw Par Villa (虎豹别墅) – 262 Pasir Panjang Rd

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