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

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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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WSE Travel - Court of hell 01

Court of hell 01

2017-03-15T07:42:38+00:00 By |Categories: Asia, Singapore|Tags: , , , , |24 Comments

About the Author:

From a young age, Ian was always a wanderer. He's since travelled to all 7 continents, and has spent the majority of his life pursuing this passion. Follow him in his off-the-beaten-path adventures and discoveries!


  1. […] felt the main attraction of Haw Par Villa is the enclosed tunnel which takes you through the 10 courts of Hell. I felt it was as highlight because it was fascinating to see what was considered a punishable and […]

  2. Haw Par Villa « Expat Bostonians February 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    […] is.  I won’t go through each court and what the punishments are (if you want to see that, this post by Where Sidewalks End does so) but a few of the […]

  3. Chris Backe March 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Interesting – there’s a similar sort of place in Korea, though it’s well off the beaten path and you’d only find it if you were really looking for it. It’s called Bugok Hawaii, and while they’re stone and not colored, they’re totally worth visiting.

    • Ian Ord - Where Sidewalks End March 22, 2013 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Very cool Chris! Thanks for sharing your story – I have yet to get over to Korea, but I’ll be sure to ask you for all your tips when I finally make it there!! 🙂

  4. What happens when your dad asks you to marry a ghost. (A review of Yangsze Choo’s THE GHOST BRIDE) » Shanghai Shiok! July 30, 2013 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    […] (Even bloodier scenes can be found here.) […]

  5. What happens when your dad suggests you marry a ghost? (A review of Yangsze Choo’s THE GHOST BRIDE) » Shanghai Shiok! July 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    […] (Even bloodier scenes can be found here.) […]

  6. ycy October 1, 2013 at 8:46 am - Reply

    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.

  7. ycy October 1, 2013 at 8:46 am - Reply

    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.

  8. […] in half and killed on a bed of nails (just to name a few!). If you really wish to see photos then take a look here as this website documents it well. It was actually a fascinating place! Soon the heat became too much for us, and after exploring as […]

  9. […] most chilling part of Haw Par Villa is the Ten Courts of Hell exhibit. It’s a series of dioramas that depict, in graphic detail, the various after-death […]

  10. At Haw Par Villa In Singapore, You Just Might See A Breastfeeding Granny | Political Ration November 27, 2013 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    […] most chilling part of Haw Par Villa is the Ten Courts of Hell exhibit. It’s a series of dioramas that depict, in graphic detail, the various after-death […]

  11. Eugene tan March 26, 2014 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    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.

  12. deepscene July 18, 2014 at 6:47 am - Reply

    For those who are interested, there are some 3D images of Haw Par Willa at the link below:-


    • Ian Ord July 18, 2014 at 10:51 am - Reply

      very cool, deepscene! Thanks for sharing this cool perspective on Haw Par Villa! How does one see it in 3D?

      • Deepscene July 20, 2014 at 2:04 pm - Reply

        It’s easy Ian.

        Read the viewing instructions at the lower portion of this page:- http://www.singaporegallery.com
        No viewing aid or glasses are required.

        This simple kill is worth acquiring and it stays with you for life. 🙂

        • Deepscene July 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm - Reply

          Oops the typo above… should read “this simple skill…”. sorry.

  13. BollingerBabe April 14, 2015 at 2:30 am - Reply

    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. 🙂

    • Ian Ord April 14, 2015 at 3:20 pm - Reply

      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 🙂

      • BollingerBabe March 24, 2016 at 10:26 pm - Reply

        Hi Ian,

        Sorry for the delay in my reply (tempus fugit). Yes, I’ve been back to “Singers” twice since then, in 1997 and in 2010. I agree – it has changed (sadly) beyond recognition. I did manage to find the house where we used to live (!!) in Sembawang and spoke to the current owner (via his next door neighbour, who acted as interpreter) and told him the story. He was fascinated and invited me inside! Amazing. The house was still quite recognisable, so it was a nice (and quite emotional) trip down Memory Lane.
        As we left, I dredged my mind for the last of the few Hokkien words I could remember before saying to him “Kum xia” – thank you.

  14. Trevor October 9, 2015 at 1:57 am - Reply

    Is this place actually haunted like many people say?

    • Ian Ord October 9, 2015 at 11:12 am - Reply

      Hi Trevor, that’s a good question! I suppose it really comes down to your own beliefs – the entire theme park (Haw Par Villa) seems a little haunted, but the 10 courts of hell definitely has a feeling of freight! 🙂 Are you planning on going?

  15. Gurcharan Singh September 19, 2016 at 10:44 pm - Reply

    Last week we have been to Haw Par Villa theme park Singapore. Its must visit wonderful place

  16. Fiona November 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Excellent post. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..

  17. Dewayne O'Connor December 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Great post. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..

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