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Singapore’s Hell-Themed Theme Park Featuring Chinese Folklore Takes the Afterlife Deadly Seriously

Bloody caves where demons impale sinners and people drown in pools of blood are not part of your typical amusement park.

But in the Museum of Hell in SingaporeHaw Par Villa park’s main attraction, visitors are greeted with a kitschy, air-conditioned hell on Earth.

The vast park complex, which houses more than 1,000 statues and dioramas depicting Asian culture, faiths and philosophy, is home to the Hell Museum, which presents different religious views on the afterlife.

Visitors are encouraged to learn about the 10 Courts of Hell through detailed descriptions of the punishments for earthly sins.

For example, in court number two a man is frozen in ice for corruption, and rapists in court number seven are thrown into boiling oil.

10 Manors of Hell is the result of combining four different religions and philosophies: Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism,” said Eisen Teo, chief curator of the Hell Museum in the multicultural city-state.

One person’s heaven may be another person’s hell

Gin Goldberg, American Tourist

“The sculptures and dioramas are a visual exploration of many classics, histories and moral values ​​that are familiar and respected by many Singaporeans,” Teo said.

Gin Goldberg, a tourist, said she was not surprised that many religions have divergent views on the afterlife.

“One person’s heaven may be another person’s hell,” the American said.

This quaint park stands out from other popular Singapore tourist attractions, such as the luxury shops at Marina Bay Sands and the majestic “supertrees” at Gardens by the Bay.

Haw Par Villa was built in 1937 by entrepreneur Aw Boon Haw, known for co-creating the beloved Asian pain reliever Tiger Balm.

While the park is fondly remembered by older generations, it has struggled to attract Gen Z and younger millennials, according to Journeys, the company that manages the park.

Those who have done enough good deeds can cross these bridges to become deities or be reborn as humans blessed with good lives. Photo: SCMP

To drum up interest, several raves and other private events were organised there – but these were not closely related to the religious exhibitions.

“After coming here (for the events), they fell in love with this quirky, eccentric park, with these cool sculptures. They fell in love with it and keep coming back,” said Savita Kashyap, executive director of Journeys.

While Haw Par Villa isn’t just about the afterlife and its delights, with scenes from Chinese folklore such as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms also on display, its hellish appeal remains its biggest draw.

But not for everyone.

One guy from Philippines She said as she left that she wouldn’t be back anytime soon.

“It’s very scary,” she said.