All  

Hell

Heavens Gates Opening. Source: Alswart / Adobe.

What and Where is Heaven? The Answers Are at the Heart of the Easter Story

My pious Baptist grandmother once shockingly confessed, at the ripe old age of 93, that she didn’t want to go to heaven. “Why,” we asked? “Well, I think it will be rather boring just sitting around...
Tartarus

The Hell of Tartarus, Ancient Greek Prison of the Damned

Tartarus is infernal abyss of Greek mythology, which is used as a pit of suffering for the wicked and as a dungeon for the Titans.IT is also the name of a deity, a primordial being that existed...
An Angel leading a soul into heaven

Why the Christian Idea of Hell no Longer Persuades People to Care for the Poor

Although many of us now associate hell with Christianity, the idea of an afterlife existed much earlier. Greeks and Romans, for example, used the concept of Hades, an underworld where the dead lived...
Hell - Unknown Master - Portugal - 1st third of 16th century. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

Where on Earth is Hell, Or Is It in Our Minds?

One of the most common fears shared by most humans at some time in their lives, is what will happen to them after they die? Many parents freeze when their children ask this question and avoiding the...
Angel entering heaven

Stairway to Heaven: Ancient Concepts About Heaven and the Afterlife

We recognize heaven as a place to which we will go after our deaths if we have led a good or virtuous life. It is a paradise accessible by earthly beings depending on their standards of faith or...
 Illustration of Dante’s Paradise by Giovanni de Paulo.

What is Heaven?

Joanne M. Pierce / The Conversation When a family member or a friend passes away, we often find ourselves reflecting on the question “Where are they now?” As mortal beings, it is a question of...
The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Botticelli, 1480s

What is hell?

The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell in an interview attracted wide attention . This isn’t surprising, since the belief in an afterlife, where the virtuous are...
Illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy: The Inscription over Hell-Gate

Toxicity at Gateway to Hell Explains ‘Miracle’ in Ancient City of Hierapolis

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here,” said William Shakespeare, and now, new scientific findings tells us how the devils got here! And it was through a “gateway to the underworld” located in...
A modern depiction of the hellhound Cerberus.

Gate to Hell Guardians Were Used to Ward People Off Deadly Cave

The Gate to Hell, also known as Pluto’s Gate, was the Greco-Roman entrance to the Underworld. When archaeologists found an example of this sacred site in Turkey they also discovered two guardians who...
Naughty ghost statue, in the ghost city Fengdu

Fengdu Ghost City: Testing Your Soul in the Domain of the Chinese King of Hell

Numerous shrines, temples and monasteries pepper Fengdu Ghost City. But all of them are dedicated to the afterlife. Legends link the site to the King of the Underworld. Would you dare to enter his...
Detail of two ancient Egyptian 'gate spells'. On the top register, Ani and his wife face the ‘gates of the House of Osiris'. Below, they encounter the 'mysterious portals of the House of Osiris in the Field of Reeds'. All are guarded by unpleasant underworld protectors.

Through the Twelve Chambers of Hell: The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Death, the ancient Egyptians believed, was not the end of our struggles. They believed in an afterlife and that the worthy would go on to paradise, but their dead didn’t simply pass over to the other...
Figurines representing three of the ten judges of Diyu and Red Maw

Journey to Hell, Featuring Torture and Never-ending Bureaucracy: Understanding the Underworld in Chinese Mythology

“Each of the criminals is bound to an iron pillar and the ox-headed demon is in the process of administering punishment—using iron or copper blades he peels the skin of the person's face, just as a...
How Were They Made? Unlocking the 500-Year-Old Secret to Gothic Miniature Boxwood Carvings

How Were They Made? Unlocking the 500-Year-Old Secret to Gothic Miniature Boxwood Carvings

A mystery that lasted for nearly five centuries was finally solved with the assistance of modern technology. The magnificent 16th century miniature boxwood carvings that had been puzzling viewers and...
Hell Fire Club, Dublin (CC by SA 3.0 / Joe King). Inset: The newly discovered megalithic stone with symbol.

Ancient Passage Tomb Discovered Beneath “Haunted” Hellfire Club of Dublin

Sitting almost exposed in the hollow of the curious hill behind the Hellfire Club in Dublin, a dark chunk of blazing rock served as a convenient border to many bonfires over the centuries. Ironically...
A 19th-century interpretation of Charon's crossing by Alexander Litovchenko.

Charon, Son of Night and Shadow, Ferrier of the Dead

In days of old, the dead were buried with a silver coin (the shiner the better) so that the souls of the faithful departed could pay the toll to the deathless demon ferryman of the underworld: Charon...
"Loki's Brood" (1905) by Emil Doepler.

Going to Hel and Back: The Travel to Helheim Where a Goddess of Darkness Reigned

By far, Loki’s most well-known children are the ones he had with the giantess Angurboda. These include the wolf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent Jormugandr, and the goddess Hel. Legends say that the...

Pages