Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu Ghost City

A popular stop on Yangtze River cruises has been the Fengdu "Ghost City." It used to be a burial area with scores of temples and shrines and a small ancient town. Due to the construction of the 3 Gorges Dam, the ghostly city is underwater. However, a hill and dozens of temples remain in the big artificial lake behind the dam. So that part can still be visited. It is a large burial and temple area. The area above the "Door of Hell" remains. It is interesting that Chinese have traditional conceptions of hell that are somewhat similar to Western ideas. At the site, people can see statues and frescoes about hell with brightly painted images of demons and etcetera.

Detailed Description

Fengdu is where the devil lives, according to Chinese legend. They say that spirits go to heaven, and evil goes to Fengdu. The town was overlooked by Ming Shan Hill that was said to be the home of Tianzi, the King of the Dead. A temple on the top of the hill is dedicated to Tianzi. The whole place had an eerie feel to it with deserted streets, tower blocks, and empty shops before the lake rose. Now the city is underwater.

However, Ming Shan Hill is now an island. There are a lot of tombs and grave sites there because Fengdu was a large burial ground. It was and may still be one of the major Taoist burial grounds, where the people who don't achieve immortality are buried. There are also scores of temples and shrines. There is a temple on top. To get to the temple, there is path that takes about 15 minutes to climb. There is also a cable car. Around the temple are brightly painted statues that depict visions of hell: demons eating people, people suffering. The demons have interesting characteristics and colors. There are three toed demons and blue demons, etc.

One of the fun activities at the temple is physical tests such as running up stairs while holding your breath or crossing a bridge in the fewest steps. These physical tests, though they might be considered fun now, actually stem from a Taoist tradition about how to enter the area in peculiar physical ways that would make people have good Taoist fortune.

Location: Fengdu Ghost Temple is about 160 kilometers or 100 miles east of Chongqing in the Three Gorges Lake. It is usually the first location that a cruise ship going east from Chongqing will come to unless it stops at the ancient city of Fuling that is about 25 kilometers west on the river.

Like other old cities in the area along the bank of the Yangtze, the history of Fengdu goes back thousands of years. It is said that the city got its reputation as a place for dead people and the king of hell during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It is said that two men named Yin and Wang arrived at the place in the time of the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 BC). They became Taoist recluses, and it is said that they became immortals. "YinWang" means "King of Hell" or "King of Darkness." Somehow, during the Tang Dynasty, people started to say that the king of hell lived there. It became one of the famous Taoist burial grounds in China. There is a temple complex on the summit and below. It contains some construction or carvings dating back to the Tang Dynasty.

There was a town on the shore of the river before the dam was built with 50,000 people. The construction of the dam has made the site an even more popular tourist site than it was before, perhaps because travel to the site is now easier.

  • A temple at top and sculptures of demons torturing people.
  • Pathway to the top of the hill.
  • Physical tests at the temple.

Touring Activities:

  • See a Chinese view of hell.
  • Photography.
  • It is a 15 minute walk up the hill, and this might be a good way to stretch your legs during a cruise.

Nearby Attractions:

Close to Fengdu are Shibaozhai and the Wulong Karst area. Traveling west on the Yangtze about 130 kilometers, one arrives at Shibaozhai Temple that looks like a pyramidal-shaped pagoda. About 60 kilometers directly south of Fengdu is the Wulong Karst area with good hiking among spectacular natural karst scenery, natural bridges and big caves and pits. The Wulong Karst area is a natural preserve area with many endangered animals and plants. You can travel to Wulong Karst overland or take a boat on the Wu River that is another tributary of the Yangtze. You can hire boats at Fuling that is an ancient town at the spot where the Yangtze and the Wu River merge.

To the east of Fengdu are the Lesser Three Gorges and to the east of the Lesser Three Gorges is the Three Gorges Dam. The Lesser Three Gorges are north of Wu Gorge that is the middle gorge of the Three Gorges. The Three Gorges are quite big compared to the Lesser Three Gorges and are probably the main scenic highlight that can be seen on a cruise trip between the Three Gorges Dam and Chongqing. The dam itself is interesting, but not scenic. To the east of the Wu Gorge is the Xiling Gorge and to the west is the Qutang Gorge. The Qutang, Wu, and Xiling Gorges are the Three Gorges.

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Fengdu Ghost City Facts

The Fengdu Ghost City is located on the Ming Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River in Fengdu County, Chongqing municipality, China. It is situated about 170 kilometers downstream from Chongqing on the north bank of the Yangtze River. It is considered to be the best place for people to learn about Chinese ghost culture, as Fengdu County has its own unique culture concerned with ghosts and the afterlife, also it is an attraction of a cruise tour along the Yangtze River.

The Shopping Street of the Nether World in Fengdu Ghost City

It got its reputation as the "Ghost City" in the Eastern Han Dynasty . Two officials from the imperial court: Wang Fangping and Yin Changsheng, got bored with the political life in the court and came to Mt. Minshan outside Fengdu City to practice Taoist teachings. Both of them later became immortals by carrying out self-cultivation. This story widely spread and Mt. Minshan became famous. When combined together, their surnames Yin and Wang sound very much like 'King of Hell' in Chinese. Hence the people began to call Fengdu the "Ghost City". Later, during the Tang Dynasty , a temple was built on Ming Mountain depicting life in hell. It displays hellish images and torture devices and reflects the belief that good people will be treated well in the afterlife and bad people will be dispatched to hell. 

Fengdu Ghost City in China

Nowadays, Fengdu Ghost City has emerged as an integral piece of scenery for those taking the Yangtze River cruises. Visitors can enjoy both the natural scenery and historic relics during their unforgettable Yangtze River Cruise.  

Fengdu Ghost City

Some Attractions in Fengdu Ghost City

1. The Bridge of Helplessness 

The Bridge of Helplessness, which every soul has to cross before entering the underworld. It is built during the Ming Dynasty ; the bridge connects the nether world with the real world and is a testing point for good and evil. 

2. The Home Viewing Pavilion

The Home Viewing Pavilion that every soul passes by on the journey to the underworld. From the pavilion, they can see their families and loved ones in the world of the living.

3. Hall of the Son of Heaven

Having over three hundred years' history, the palace covers an area of nearly 2,908 square yards. It is composed of a temple gate (paifang) and the palace itself. 

4. The Ghost King Stone Carvings

It is awarded "The Largest Cliff Carving and Sculpture" in the world by the Headquarter of Shanghai Guinness World Record. This giant sculpture is 138 meters high and 217 meters wide. Its mouth is 20 meters wide and its tongue is 81 meters long. Therefore, it is called "The Largest Ghost in the World".

Fengdu Ghost City History

Transportation

There are two main methods of the traffic of Fengdu Ghost City, by expressway or by ship.

1. Traffic of Fengdu Ghost City – Expressway

There is one bus each half an hour heading to Fengdu at Chongqing Chaotianmen Bus Station. Ticket is 60RMB per person; Chenjiaping Bus Station also provides the shuttle bus from Chongqing to Fengdu. The bus drive takes more than 3 hours and will pass through Changshou and Fuling.

2. Traffic of Fengdu Ghost City – Ship

Special Cruise Line

There is a special cruise line between Chongqing and Fengdu. Visitors who like to travel on ship can choose this speicial cruise line to go to Fengdu. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful riverview on ship, but it takes more time than by bus.

Travel Cruise Ship

Beside special cruise line between Chongqing and Fengdu, there are several travel cruise lines from Chongqing to Yichang, Shanghai, Nanjing or Hankou. They all will dock at Fengdu. It takes about six hours from Chongqing to Yichang.

* Chongqing to Yichang Sailing Time: 06:00pm

* Chongqing to Shanghai Sailing Time: 09:00am

* Chongqing to Nanjing Sailing Time: 08:00pm

* Chongqing to Hankou Sailing Time: 07:00pm to 10:00pm

Tips: The sailing time depends on the water level of Yangtze River.

The Statue of the Ghosts in Fengdu Ghost City

Opening Hours

09:00-17:00

Entrance Fee

Cable Car Fee

CNY 20 (round-trip); CNY 15 (one-way)

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Fengdu Ghost City

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Located on the Ming Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, Fengdu County is known to most Chinese as the 'Ghost City'. Having nearly two thousand years' history, the Ghost City combines the cultures of Confucianism , Taoism and Buddhism with the mystique of ghosts. Many famous literary works like Journey to the West , Apotheosis of Heroes and Strange Tales of a Lonely Studio contain vivid references to Fengdu. Fengdu got its name as the Ghost City in the Eastern Han Dynasty . Two officials from the imperial court Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping decided to come to Ming Mountain to practice Taoist teachings. Through self-cultivation they became immortals. Combining their surnames produces the term "Yinwang" meaning the "king of hell." Later, during the Tang Dynasty , a stupendous temple was erected on Ming Mountain depicting life in hell. It displays demonic images and torture devices and reflects the notion that good people will be treated well in the afterlife and that bad people will be punished by going to hell. In the Chinese vision of the afterlife, the dead must undergo three major tests to enter the netherworld. These tests are taken at three locations - Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge ; Ghost Torturing Pass and the Tianzi (son of heaven) Palace . These three locations are among many attractions in this scenic area.  

Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge

Ghost torturing pass, tianzi palace.

The third test to evade hell takes place at a large stone in front of the gate. The ghost must stand on the stone on one foot for three minutes. A good person will be able to do this while an evil one can not and will be sent to hell. One other ghostly attraction in Fengdu worth mentioning is the Last-Glance at Home Tower. This structure was built in 1985 and commemorates the site where spirits consigned to hell could take one last look at their families. Visitors coming here will marvel at the artisanship of ancient craftsman, the unique styles of architecture and the culture of the ghost. Whatever your beliefs, you are constantly reminded the "Good will be rewarded with good, and evil with evil." A major highlight here is the annual temple fair every March 3 - 5 featuring all kinds of folk activities and performances.  

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Fengdu - Top 3 Attractions in Fengdu County

Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu County

Fengdu county is a vital part of Three Gorges Reservoir Region, located in the upstream of the Yangtze River. It’s 172km north of Chongqing and 476km south from Yichang, Hubei. Fengdu county has a unique natural landscape and cultural landscape, many places of interest, there are three main scenic spots in Fengdu county which visited by most Yangtze Cruise tourists are Fengdu Ghost City , Shuanggui Mountain and Jade Emperor Scenic Area .

The best way to get to Fengdu County for sightseeing is by taking a Yangtze River cruise . Different cruise companies arrange different shore excursion to one of the three sites. Please have a basic learning about the attraction highlights and then decide which spot you are going to visit.

Fengdu Ghost City

Type: Cultural Attraction, Religious Site, Historical Site, National AAAA Tourist Attraction

Recommended Visiting Hours: 2-4 hours

Open Hours: 07:00-17:20 (stop selling after 16:00)

Tickets: 100¥/person

Address: Mingshan Mountain, Fengdu County, Chongqing, China

Fengdu Ghost City (丰都鬼城) is among the most popular attractions for Yangtze River cruise visitors to China with its famous constructions and displays of culture of “ghost” and the hell and the important function of spreading the traditional values in Confucians, Taoist, and Buddhist believes , and the value of “good people will be treated well, and bad people will be punished after death”. Located on Mingshan Mountain (名山), at the north bank of Yangtze River at Fengdu County in Chongqing, Fengdu Ghost Town is nearly a must-go place for Chongqing visitors and serves as the first shore excursion site for Yangtze cruises. Besides, it is not only “National AAAA Tourist Attraction”, but also a “Famous Cultural & Historical City” originated from the Han dynasty in ancient China, for almost 2,000 years old.

Fengdu Ghost City has no ghosts at all. Among all the versions about the formation of Fengdu Ghost City, the most told is the story about immortalization of Yin and Wang. According to the legend, two people called Yin Changsheng (阴长生) and Wang Fangping (王方平) came to Fengdu to try to cultivate vital energy and later became immortals. People later in Tang Dynasty misnamed them “Yinwang” by combining their family names of “Yin” and “Wang” together into “Yinwang”, which means the “King of Hell”. Therefore, Fengdu Ghost City got its name. Afterwards, with the non-stopping renders in the literary works for long time, the reasonable combination of Chinese culture about ghost with the Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, the mix of local Ba-Yu culture and others from the external regions, the collision of multiple art styles of architectures, sculptures and paintings, the well-known “Culture of Ghost City” finally came into shape, and Fengdu Ghost City is treated as the “ destination for the soul of deceased people ”. Therefore, if you are interested in the so excellent combining work, you can take some time to enjoy in Fengdu Ghost City.

Fengdu Ghost City - Fengdu Mingshan

Highlights of Fengdu Ghost City

In Fengdu Ghost City , you could visit dozens of interesting places and constructions, among which don’t miss the highlighting Bridge of Troubled Water, Emperor’s Palace, and Gate of Hell to know more about the culture of ghost in China.

Bridge of Troubled Water (Naihe Bridge)

The Bridge of Troubled Water or Naihe Bridge (奈何桥) is situated at the half way on Mingshan Mountain. It is regarded as a bridge connecting the past and present, the hell and the real world. the left bridge is for health symbolizing being healthy each year, while the left one is for wealth standing for being rich every year. For couples, you could walk together with hand in hand in even steps, and for single visitors, odd steps, so that you can live happily and peacefully. It is legendarily said the Naihe Bridge is the first test among all the “Three Tests” for people after death, and the dead people would drink the Mengpo soup, walk through that bridge, and then forget all the things happened in the previous life and get the next new life. According to the folk tales, after death, while walking through the bridge, virtual people will have God and Buddha to protect, while the evils will be punished to fall in the “pool of blood” and be tortured by the snakes and dogs in the muddy wave. So every year on the pilgrimage occasion, many pilgrims would through copper coins, ghost money, and stirred rice into the pool for the hungry ghosts.

Emperor’s Palace (Tianzi Palace)

Emperor’s Palace (天子殿) facing the east was firstly built in West Jin Dynasty, about over 1600 years, and the present standing construction was built in 1663, over 300 years old. This palace covering a whole size of 2,431 s. q. m., is the key part of Fengdy Ghost City, and also the most historical, largest, and best preserved temple construction on the Mingshan Mountain. That is the place of the “Maya” who is the “King of Hell”. It consists of an archway, gate, and the palace on an axis. And here in front of the gate, people would do the second test. Dead people are required to stand on the stone there on one foot. And good people can stand for 3 minutes, however, bad people can’t do that and will be punished to the hell.

Apart from that, in the palace, there imitates the scene in the hell with the thick atmosphere of dark and gloom. You could see the statues of the king of hell, officials of different appearances, and many torture scenes displayed there. And that also expresses the opinion of praising virtue and punishing vice.

Gate of Hell (Guimen Gate)

It is legendarily said that the Gate of Hell (鬼门关) is the only way to the hell. Whoever coming here would have to get the check of the road pass which is the evidence to register in the hell after death. With that pass, dead people can go to the hell and go up to the heaven for the upcoming of the next life without any obstacles.

Noting-to-be-done Bridge

Shuanggui Mountain

Type: National Forest Park

Open Hours: 07:30-18:00 (stop selling after 16:00)

Address: Shuanggui Mountain, Fengdu County, Chongqing, China

Recently, there is another popular attraction located in Fengdu county, called Shuanggui Mountain (双桂山) , also known as “Luming Mountain”(鹿鸣山) , visited by quantity of tourists of Yangtze River cruise. Shuanggui Mountain stands facing Ming Mountain, with a total area of 100 hectares. Shuanggui Mountain is rich in natural resources, there are over 500,000 trees covered the mountain and rich in varieties. Birds chirp in the forest, countless crystal clear stream flow through ravines, the beautiful sunset varnishing the sky makes you feel you are in a landscape painting.

Legendary lantern shows are held at Shuanggui Mountain each year in the third day of the third lunar month and major festivals. On that day, pilgrims from all directions will gathered here to appreciate all kinds of beautiful lanterns.

There are more than 20 sites in Shuanggui Mountain, such as Luming Temple, Enlai Pavilion, Huguo Pavilion, Helong Pavilion, Sugong Memorial Temple, Confucian Temple in Fengdu etc. Luming Temple is located in the east of the hillside, built in memory of Su Shi, one of the greatest poet in Song dynasty. Confucian Temple in Fengdu, one of the main sites on the mountain, has a carved stone tablet created by Wu Daozi on the left side and Zhenxie tour on the right side. Visiting Shuanggui Mountain can satisfy all your needs for culture and nature.

Fengdu Shuanggui Mountain - Luming Temple

Jade Emperor Scenic Area

Type: Cultural Attraction, Religious Site

Address: Wuyu Mountain, Fengdu County, Chongqing, China

Fengdu Jade Emperor Scenic Spot , also known as the paradise of ghost city, is located in Ming Mountain Street, Fengdu County, closely linked to Ming Mountain Scenic Spot, and Shuanggui Mountain National Forest Park. The scenic spot has been appraised by China religious tourism commission as the " World Taoism Cultural Sightseeing Resort ", and it is one of the important scenic spots to learn the “uphold for goodness” culture in Taoism.

The scenic spot is built along the mountains and river, use the Jade Emperor image as the overall shape. The construction of 30 traditional architectures here are based on four-image , five-element and eight-diagram , contained more than 200 elaborately sculpted statues of gods, revealing the traditional immortal culture and creating a solemn atmosphere of religious culture. Famous scenic spots are including Jade Emperor Hall, the Great Buddhist’s Hall, Land’s Hall, Domu Hall, Wealth Hall and Prayer Hall etc.

If you are interested in Taoism , it’s a must go shore excursion during Yangtze River cruise tour. Furthermore it’s also a good place to appreciate the scenery of Yangtze River and enjoy the panoramic view of Ghost City.

Jade Emperor Scenic Area

How to Go to Fengdu from Chongqing

Fengdu County is about 172km from downtown Chongqing. Visitors taking a Yangtze River cruise can visit Fengdu Ghost City, Shuanggui Mountain or Jade Emperor Scenic Area, and with the local guide, you don’t need to worry about the transportation.

Check which Yangtze Cruise ships visit Fengdu Ghost City.

And for other travelers, you could take a special cruise ship from Chongqing Chaotianmen Port to Fendu Port for about 6 hours. And the ship stops in front of the scenic spot.

Also, you could take a coach from Chongqing Chaotianmen Coach Station to Fengdu new county, which departs nearly every one hour and needs, then, you could transfer to the local bus No.109 or directly get on a taxi to arrive at the site.

Fengdu Yangtze Map

Click to Enlarge Fengdu Yangtze Map and See Details

Visit Fengdu Attractions with Yangtze River Cruises

The best way to visit Fengdu is to take a Yangtze River ship to explore the beauty of the place. However different cruises may arrange different Fengdu attractions. As we already knew the basic information about each attractions in Fengdu, there must be a place you want to visit the most. Now, let check out the shore excursions arrangement of each ship company , and choose the one suits your needs.

( Note: 1. The ARRANGED shore excursions are included in your quotation, so you could visit the sites without extra charge. The  OPTIONAL shore excursion  needs extra charge. The optional sites will be visited depending on the number of travelers who want to go. You can visit if there are 30 or more people interested (the number of visitors may be adjusted based on the real situation. 2.Please note that all arrival and departure times, shore excursions and lectures are subject to change due to weather, river conditions and permission from the navigational authorities. The cruise company will arrange the same fabulous sightseeing if the prearranged sites cannot be visited in a particular case.)

Useful Tips for Visiting Fengdu Ghost City

1. Attractions in Fengdu County are built on mountain areas, there would be many steps need to walk yo to the top place. For people who have weak legs or of advanced age, it is suggested visit Fengdu attractions according to the real condition of your body. If Yangtze River cruise visitors don’t want to visit this place, you can also spend leisure and wonderful onboard with the multiple activities and lectures.

2. Temple Fair: during March 3rd-5th every year, there is the annual temple fair held at Fengdu Ghost City, when many different kinds of performances and activities would be prepared for visitors from all places in the world.

Fengdu Ghost City - Temple Fair

How to Plan China Yangtze Cruise Tour

The best way to travel Fengdu is taking a cruise ship, and in this way, you don't need to carry the heavy luggage around and keep transferring from one hotel to another. At present, the most popular two routes are: 4 days & 3 nights downstream cruise from Chongqing to Yichang and 5 days & 4 nights upstream cruise from Yichang to Chongqing. In these two routes, when passing through the Three Gorges, tourists can make shore excursions to Shibaozhai Pagoda , Fengdu Ghost City , White Emperor City , Shennv Stream and Three Gorges Dam . The cruise travel will give tourists a full experience of the beautiful scenery in the Three Gorges. There are many cruise ships in Yangtze River, and all of them are equipped with advanced facilities and personalized services.

Recommended Tours:

>> 4 Days Chongqing Essence Tour with Yangtze Cruise

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If you still want to visit other city in China, like Shanghai, Beijing, Zhangjiajie, Xian etc. You can take a look at following tourist routes, or you can contact us directly and tailor your own trip with us.

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Why is Fengdu a Ghost City?

Why is Fengdu a Ghost City

Fengdu, often referred to as the “Ghost City,” is a unique and culturally significant destination in China, particularly known for its association with Chinese folklore and mythology. Here are the details explaining why Fengdu is called a Ghost City:

  • Mythological Origins : Fengdu’s reputation as a Ghost City can be traced back to Chinese mythology, particularly to Daoism and Buddhism. According to legend, Fengdu was originally named “Fengdu Shan” or “Mount Fengdu.” It is believed that two officials from the Han Dynasty, Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping, who were practicing Taoist immortality, came to the mountain to cultivate their skills. Over time, they became immortals and were granted the status of gods of the underworld. Fengdu then became associated with the afterlife and the spirits of the deceased.
  • Gateway to the Afterlife : Fengdu is often described as the “Gateway to the Afterlife” or the “City of Ghosts” because it is believed to be the place where spirits or souls go to be judged before they can move on to the afterlife. This concept is similar to the Western idea of purgatory, where souls are tested and judged for their deeds in life before being sent to their final destination, whether it’s heaven or hell.
  • Taoist and Buddhist Influences : Fengdu’s spiritual significance is deeply rooted in Taoist and Buddhist beliefs. The city features numerous temples, shrines, and statues dedicated to the gods and deities associated with the afterlife. Visitors can explore these religious sites and learn about the rituals and ceremonies performed by Taoist and Buddhist practitioners to guide the souls of the deceased.
  • Ghostly Art and Sculptures : Fengdu is known for its eerie and ghostly sculptures and artworks. Many of the sculptures depict grotesque demons, mythical creatures, and spirits. These sculptures are meant to represent the various trials and tribulations that souls must undergo on their journey through the underworld. The most famous of these sculptures is the “Ghost King” statue, which is said to be the ruler of the underworld.
  • Tourism and Entertainment : Over the years, Fengdu has also become a popular tourist attraction. Visitors come to experience the unique cultural and spiritual aspects of the city. There are various themed attractions and tours that offer insights into the afterlife beliefs and practices of ancient China. Some tourists even participate in rituals and ceremonies to better understand the spiritual significance of the city.

In summary, Fengdu’s reputation as a Ghost City stems from its deep-rooted connection to Chinese mythology, religion, and folklore. It is considered a place where the worlds of the living and the dead intersect, making it a significant cultural and spiritual destination in China. While it may be called a “Ghost City,” it is primarily a place for cultural exploration, religious practices, and tourism rather than a literal city inhabited by ghosts.

Other facts about Fengdu Ghost City:

  • Statues in Fengdu Ghost City
  • The Role of Fengdu Ghost City in Hell
  • History of Fengdu Ghost City

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Home » Fengdu Ghost City: Gateway to the Afterlife (Photos)

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Fengdu Ghost City: Gateway to the Afterlife (Photos)

  • October 26, 2021
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A full version of this post originally appeared on RADII ; a selection has been reproduced here with permission. Spooky content all October long.

Fengdu Ghost City, Chongqing, China

Our crowded minivan rattles up the curving mountain roads of Fengdu, several hours outside of Chongqing, a sprawling Sichuan-adjacent municipality of 30 million. The apartment complexes and noodle houses have all faded away, leaving us with just trees and a view of the city receding into fog.

fengdu ghost city china

Inside the van with me is a nine-person production team — all working on an official documentary for the city of Chongqing — and our tour guide, Bonnie. She’s a smiling middle-aged woman with curly hair and eerily good English, having spent time in Nevada. She’s going to help us hunt for ghosts.

She turns around abruptly to address the group.

“Okay, everyone. I’d like to tell you some information about Fengdu Ghost City.”

fengdu ghost city china

The Fengdu Ghost City is really a complex network of Daoist temples and shrines, all dedicated to the Chinese concept of the afterlife. According to tradition, when a person dies, their spirit comes here to be judged by three trials. If it passes, the spirit can immediately be reincarnated higher on the ladder of existence. If it fails, the spirit must suffer extreme torture in hell for 500 years, after which it can be reborn as something like a spider or a cockroach, and start all over again.

fengdu-ghost-city-3

“Fengdu Ghost City is famous across all of Asia, as the place where everyone must go when their spirit leaves their body,” says Bonnie.

“So even if someone I know back in Texas dies, they have to come all the way out here?” I ask.

I’m skeptical of the long commute, and also of the claim that everyone in Asia views this small Chinese town as the mecca for all human souls.

“Yes,” answers Bonnie without missing a beat. “You could call it the International University of the Netherworld.”

Soon enough we come to a stop and get out of our car. We pass through a turnstile and pack into a cablecar, and the remaining silhouettes of the city disappear behind a thick white sheet of fog.

fengdu-ghost-city-4

Bonnie leads us along the path. She’s clearly passionate about the ghosts, and seems impatient when we stop intermittently to shoot. Eventually we arrive at the first trial, the Bridge of Helplessness. It’s an easy one, and after hearing the rules, I’m not too worried about the consequence of failure (falling into an accidental and eternal damnation).

Just walk down the middle bridge of three without falling, and without looking back. It’s weirdly steep, but nothing an average bridge-walker couldn’t handle. After that, you can choose to walk either the left bridge for blessings of good health, or the right bridge for wealth and fortune. I walk straight down the middle bridge (apparently, it’s much more difficult for ghosts), and do an extra walk down the bridge of good health. I’m not here for games — I’m here to find ghosts.

fengdu-ghost-city-5

Instagram will load in the frontend.

While we’re setting up equipment, three men in traditional costume show up at the bridge. Our Mandarin-speaking producer points to them and tells me, “he catches ghosts.”

At first, I’m thrilled to meet what sounds like an exorcist, or at least a low-level reality TV host. But after some clarification, it turns out to be something significantly more bizarre.

fengdu ghost city china

The three men are dressed as the Ghost King, the judge of souls, and a ghost who escorts souls to the underworld. In ancient times, people would hang paintings of the Ghost King on their doors, in hopes that his imposing image would frighten away the smaller ghosts who feared him.

In a distorted evolution of that tradition, domestic tourists start lining up to have their picture taken with the Ghost King on the Bridge of Helplessness. What makes it strange is that the men are obviously not part of the majority Han Chinese ethnicity. I later learned they were from the Wa ethnic minority in Yunnan.

fengdu ghost city china

“Why do they have to be ethnic minorities?” I ask our producer. “Are they known for dealing with ghosts?”

“No,” she says. “But they have darker skin, and they look different. So it just helps with people’s imagination.”

I watch Han tourists file by for souvenir photos of their brief moment standing next to an ethnic minority. It seems blatantly dehumanizing, but everyone looks happy about it. After the crowd has moved on, I go to talk with the Ghost King and his crew.

So how do you like it in the Fengdu Ghost City?

It’s fine. Wherever work is the best, that’s a fine place to be.

Do people in Yunnan practice Daoism?

No, not really. We’re not ones to blindly follow faith like that.

wukang-mansion-1

Have you seen any ghosts around here?

No. Never in my life.

We talk for about ten minutes. My reaction amuses them. I ask them to write down their names in my notes, and suddenly realize they don’t quite know how to write in Chinese characters. Eventually they finish writing down their names, all with the same family name Wei. I say goodbye to the brothers, and continue my hunt for ghosts.

fengdu ghost city china

Again, as humans, these trials are rather easy. For a spirit, the only way to pass this judgment is if you have a  lu yin , a spiritual passport that members of your family have to ceremonially burn after you die. We make it past the ghosts without waking them — which is lucky for them, lest they find themselves face-to-face with a serious and capable ghost hunter — and walk out into a hall of statues depicting different ghosts, each with a different specialty of haunting. There are alcoholic ghosts who punish drunkards, and disciplinary ghosts who spank poorly behaved children. Each sin has a specific ghost and punishment.

fengdu ghost city china

Nearby, I see a group of site caretakers, and take the opportunity to dig for ghost clues. But when I ask one if they’ve seen any ghosts in the area, he laughs and replies that if he ever did, he’d run away.

The other caretakers laugh with him, but one man steps aside and starts talking to me. He’s higher up in the ranks, maybe a tour guide or a site manager.

jiangshi-chinese-vampire

“There was one man. He had a heart attack, and nearly died,” he tells me. “Paramedics were able to revive him, but when he came back to consciousness, he had vivid memories of ghosts with chains, pulling and dragging him down into hell.”

The story sends shivers down my spine. I thank the man for his intel, and continue my hunt with renewed energy. Soon we arrive at the third and final judgment, the Heavenly Emperor’s Palace, where spirits must come face to face with the king of the netherworld himself.

fengdu ghost city china

“Daoists believe that if you live an evil life, even if you escape punishment, you can never escape the final punishments of the spirit world,” Bonnie tells us.

At this point, we’re thoroughly creeped out. We’ve trudged for hours through silent grey fog, seen every kind of ghost imaginable, and gotten a firsthand look at the agonies of hell itself. It’s time to pack up and begin our descent back to the mortal world.

As we walk down the mountain path, things begin to look less like Dante’s Inferno, or an ancient Tang Dynasty horror flick, and more like normal Chinese civilization. We pass a gift shop selling knock-off  Scream  masks. A de-feathered duck carcass hangs from a tree, infusing the abstract motif of ”the afterlife“ with a now-concrete presence of death. Closer to the base of the mountain, a theatre troupe performs a mix of Sichuan opera and ghost stories.

fengdu ghost city china

And yet, I can’t shake the feeling of failure. We’ve run the whole gamut of Chinese ghost culture, but haven’t managed to find a single ghost on our journey. Have I failed as a ghost hunter? Or is it just that the ghosts of Fengdu Ghost City have long since packed up and left?

I confide these thoughts in Bonnie as we made our way down the path, and ask her if she thinks there are ghosts lurking in these temple grounds.

fengdu ghost city china

“Actually, I saw something myself! It was an autumn evening in 1998. The boat arrived very late that day — it was almost 8pm, and I was leading a group of tourists from America to the hilltop. We saw a human-like shape, with flowing cloth all over its body, dancing against the dim moonlight. We all screamed, and then it just disappeared. It’s quite creepy, isn’t it?”

“Creepy” is one word for it. Something about this fog feels strange, and we can’t quite place it. But we wouldn’t want to go back at night.

fengdu ghost city china

I’m posting spooky content all October , including more photos from haunted sites + a really scary Chinese vampire legend. Subscribe below to my email newsletter for more, or follow Earthshifting on Twitter / Instagram.  

Photos by Nicole Chan and Adan Kohnhorst

Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu is 168km from Chongqing. It is a collection of buildings of monasteries, temples, and shrines overlooking the river. Otherwise, the mythic temple of the underworld is the prototype of the complex, showing the culture of the afterlife to visitors.

fengdu-ghost-city

The panorama of the Ghost City

According to legend, Fengdu got its name of Ghost City during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 -220 A.D.). Two imperial officials, Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping, came to Ming Mountain to practice Taoism, and in the process they became immortals. Meanwhile, the combination of their names, Yinwang, means "King of Hell". It was the beginning of the site's focus on the underworld. In addition, many of the temples and shrines show paintings and sculptures of people being tortured for their sins.

ghost-city-ghosts

"Ghosts" in the city

Furthermore, Tianzi Palace said to be the office of Yama, King of Hell is the largest, oldest and best-preserved of the temples. The giant face of the “Yama” on the hillside, holds the Guinness World Records for the biggest sculpture carved on the rock. 

Fengdu Ghost City was built based on people’s imagination. It consists of the Palace of Hell, Gate of Hell, 18 Layers of Hell and other organs of the Nether World. Statues of ghosts and instruments of punishment are varied, but similarly scaring.

Taking wherry at wharf in the new city of Fengdu County, people can get to the famous Ghost City in 5 minutes.

A giant statue of the King of Hell stands on the Mingshan Mountain, attracting visitors’ sights as soon as they get off the wherry. Actually, Fengdu people do not believe in ghosts, but like using them to describe the real world and enrich lives. During the Spirit Festival, local people will get the family together and prepare a meal to memorize ancestors.

Formerly, vendors in specially-set business zones would wear ancient clothes to celebrate temple fairs. They asked customers to put money into a water-filled basket, saying the paper money would float if they were human and sink if they were ghosts. Customers would respect local customs and enjoy the culture of ghost.

fengdu ghost city china

Visiting the Ghost City at night is a different experience.

Fengdu Ghost City is hidden in the mountains and buildings there constitute the head of the King of Hell. The ghastly environment makes the place more fearsome.

Visiting the Ghost City at night is a different experience. Black and White Impermanence (two deities in Chinese folk religion in charge of escorting the spirits of the dead to the Underworld) welcome visitors at the entrance. Actors/actresses will interact with people along the road to the mountain top. 3D holographic projection is also used to create a horrifying environment. It’s recommended that easily scared people go with friends. But please do not hit the actors or actresses even if you are frightened.

Mingshan Mountain is also beautiful at night. Tourists can enjoy ancient buildings and overlook night views of the city. Mingshan Mountain and the 2,000-year-old Ghost City promote the culture of goodness, instead of ghosts. All the legends and stories here are to encourage people to be kind.

 Attractions

 152 Mingshan Road, Mingshan Town, Fengdu County

 +86-23-70613323

 100 RMB/person

 Open 07:00-17:20

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Ancient Origins

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

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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 domain?

Fengdu Ghost City is a site located on the Ming Mountain, in Fendu County, in the southwestern Chinese municipality of Chongqing. Due to its location, Fengdu Ghost city has become a popular tourist attraction amongst travelers on cruises traversing the length of the Yangtze River. In 1994, the construction of the Three Gorges Dam began, causing a rise in the water level of the Yangtze River, and turning Fengdu Ghost City into an island.

The Home Viewing Pavilion (望乡台), a pavilion that every soul passes by on the journey to the underworld in Fengdu.

The Home Viewing Pavilion ( 望 乡台), a pavilion that every soul passes by on the journey to the underworld in Fengdu. (Gisling/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

Legendary City for a Ghostly King

According to legend, Fengdu gained its reputation as a ghost city during the Eastern Han dynasty. During this period, there lived two individuals named Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping, both of whom served as officials in the imperial court. One day, the pair decided to quit their jobs, and headed to Ming Mountain, where they practiced self-cultivation in accordance with the teachings of Taoism. As a result of this, the two men succeeded in achieving immortality. During the Tang dynasty, the surnames of these two officials, Yin and Wang, were combined (mistakenly, according to one source) to form ‘Yinwang’, which meant ‘the King of the Underworld’. The claim that the King of Hell lived in Fengdu also began to circulate at that time.

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Statue of a judge of hell in Fengdu ghost city. (Gisling/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

Three Tests to Pass into the Afterlife

Additionally, during the Tang dynasty, a huge temple depicting the afterlife was erected. These scenes, which included dioramas and statues, were meant to convey the message that the good would be treated well, whilst the wicked would be tortured and punished in Hell. Other structures were added by succeeding dynasties. The best known of these are a trio of attractions – the Naihe Bridge, the Tianzi Palace, and the Guimen Gate, where there are three major tests. According to Chinese traditional belief, a soul would need to pass these tests before reaching the afterlife.

The Naihe Bridge (known also as the Bridge of Helplessness) was built during the Ming dynasty, and is located halfway on Ming Mountain. According to traditional Chinese belief, this was the bridge that connects the mortal realm to the Underworld. The bridge is used to test people, and there are various protocols for crossing it, depending on a person’s age, sex and marital status. In any case, there are square pools of water below the bridge. Whilst the virtuous are said to be able to cross the bridge safely, those who have led evil lives are believed to be pushed by demons into the water below.

Mural in Fengdu Ghost City showing evil people falling to the underworld and being eaten by monsters.

Mural in Fengdu Ghost City showing evil people falling to the underworld and being eaten by monsters. ( CC BY 3.0 )

The second major test takes place at the Guimen Gate (also known as the Gates of Hell). In some sources, it is the third major test that takes place here, but most consider this the second. The Chinese believe that it is here that the souls of the dead report to the King of Hell for judgment. At this place, the dead are issued a road pass which would serve as evidence so that they may register in the afterlife. At Fengdu Ghost City, the front of the Guimen Gate is decorated with eighteen sculptures of ferocious demons.   

Guimen Gate (also known as the Gates of Hell) Fengdu Ghost City, Chongqing, China.

Guimen Gate (also known as the Gates of Hell) Fengdu Ghost City, Chongqing, China . (Jpbowen/ CC BY SA 4.0 )

The last major test is carried out in the Tianzi Palace (known also as the Emperor’s Palace). This structure was originally built during the Western Jin dynasty. The current one, however, dates to the early part of the Qing dynasty. The test here is for a person to stand on a large stone (located in front of the gate) on one leg. Whilst a good person can do this easily, an evil one apparently cannot – leading them to be punished in the afterlife.

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Tianzi Palace, Fengdu, China.

Tianzi Palace, Fengdu, China. ( Visit China Blog )

Facing the Ghost King

Apart from these three attractions, there are a number of other interesting sights at the Fengdu Ghost City for visitors to city. For instance, there is a giant face in the hill known as ‘The Ghost King’, which is said to hold the Guinness World Record title for being the largest sculpture carved on a rock. Additionally, there is the Home Viewing Pavilion, which was built in 1985. It is said to allow the dead to look towards their homes and loved ones one last time before undertaking their journey in the afterlife.

Large statue known as ‘The Ghost King’ on the hilltop at Fengdu Ghost City, Chongqing, China.

Large statue known as ‘The Ghost King’ on the hilltop at Fengdu Ghost City, Chongqing, China. (Jpbowen/ CC BY SA 4.0 )

  Top image: Naughty ghost statue, in the ghost city Fengdu. ( mygola.com )

By: Wu Mingren

China Discovery, 2017. Fengdu Ghost City – Culture of Afterlife in China. [Online] Available at: http://www.chinadiscovery.com/yangtze-cruises/fengdu.html

China Highlights, 2017. Fengdu Ghost City. [Online] Available at: https://www.chinahighlights.com/chongqing/attraction/fengdu-ghost-city.htm

foofoonoo, 2017. Fengdu Ghost City. [Online] Available at: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/fengdhu-ghost-city

Smithfield, B., 2016. The Fengdu Ghost City in Chongqing Municipality in China. [Online] Available at: https://m.thevintagenews.com/2016/10/12/the-fengdu-ghost-city-in-chongqing-municipality-in-china/

Travel China Guide, 2017. Fengdu Ghost City. [Online] Available at: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/river/yangtze_attraction/fengdughostcity.htm

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Wu Mingren (‘Dhwty’) has a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient History and Archaeology. Although his primary interest is in the ancient civilizations of the Near East, he is also interested in other geographical regions, as well as other time periods.... Read More

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Fengdu ghost city, Chongqing China

Fengdu Ghost City (Fēngdū Guǐ Chéng) is an attraction consisting of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife. Located in Fengdu County on the Ming mountain 170km downstream (West to east) from Chongqing municipality on the Yangtze River north bank, the site is largely accessible via road or docked on the ship piers along the Yangtze River.

fengdu ghost city 113

The visit to the ghost city starts off from the river at water level and via climbing stairs up the hill. After completion of the Three Gorges Dam, the rising upstream river water levels separated the ghost city attraction from the city of Fengdu, which was rebuilt on the Yangtze south side higher up the mountainside. Most of the buildings on-site were restored from the original buildings- still retaining the traditional architectures. The city consists of structures, dioramas, and statues related to Diyu.

fengdu ghost city 054

The idea of a hell “ghost city” is refreshing and very interesting, it is surprising the subject is not something most people will relate to as a subject of taboo. You get to pass through the “Hell gates”, and understand concepts of the underworld and hell (or Naraka) in Chinese mythology and Buddhism. Many of the temples and shrines show paintings and sculptures of people being tortured in the afterlife for their sins. The site’s history goes back nearly two thousand years, in legends, focusing on the afterlife and combines the beliefs of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. The architecture of the temples is typically that of the early Qing dynasty period, modelled to resemble Youdu, the capital of Diyu. The structures stood the test of time and existing till today, even the nicely hand-painted statues in the temples were all intricately preserved.

fengdu ghost city 103

According to legend, Fengdu got its name of “Ghost city” during the Eastern Han Dynasty. The combination of two imperial official names, (Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping) who came to the Ming mountain to practice Taoism (and became immortals) yielded “Yinwan”, meaning “King of Hell” setting the city’s focus on the underworld. The city had some popular mention in several classic Chinese works of literature like Journey to the West, Apotheosis of Heroes, and Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio. Near the top of the hill is Tianzi Palace, the largest and being over three hundred years old, and is the oldest building on the grounds.

fengdu ghost city 009

  • Bridge of Helplessness Every soul has to cross “The Bridge of Helplessness” before entering the underworld. This stone bridge was built during the Ming Dynasty, it is a test for Good and Evil. It has three arches, with the center bridge used for testing. The good are allowed to pass while the evil will be pushed to the water below. The spot is a tourist attraction and a popular paid photography spot now.
  • Ghost-Torturing Pass The dead present themselves for judgment before Yama, King of Hell here. This hall is lined with intricately detailed painted large sculptures of demons along the sides leading up to Yama in a dimly-lit temple with huge doors and high step-in.
  • One leg stand at Tianzi Palace In the third and final test, the dead must stand on a stone at the entrance to Tianzi Palace on one foot for three minutes. Legend says that a virtuous person will be able to do it while an evil person will fail and be condemned to hell.

However, not many of the buildings on the site stood the test of time, many in the compound are either upgraded and not original. One such visible tell-tale sign is the mixed use of structural concrete for more recent modern buildings additions to the site instead of wood. Last but not least, at the top of the Ghost city past the Tianzi Palace is the Home Tower (or The Home Viewing Pavilion, 望乡台). Built in 1985, this more recent addition at the top of the Fengdu ghost city hill is a majestic 8 storey concrete pagoda perched over a cliff side overlooking the hills and farming terraces in the distance. Legend has it that every soul that passes by on their journey to the underworld can have one last look from here towards their home, families and loved ones in the world of the living. It can also get rather misty up here on the hills.

fengdu ghost city 034

The Ghost city is a lesser attraction, good a for a 2 hour visit, though there is nothing much in terms of building architecture. I particularly liked the beauty of the hand crafted sculptures in the temples, as well as the views of the farmlands and the Yangtze at the top of the hill. I found that the constant misty fog up in the hills around the temples, gives the vicinity a rather nice eerie surreal feel, which adds to the atmosphere of the ghost city.

Catch more sights of the Fengdu ghost city in it’s photo gallery here.

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Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu, also called the "City of Ghosts", is 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of Chongqing situated on the northern bank of Yangtze River between Zhongxian and Fuling. It was the legendary capital of The Ghost King whose gigantic sculptured statue has been carved onto the rock face of a mountain there. This is 138 meters (452 feet) high and 217 meters (711 feet) wide. Just the tongue is 81 meters (261 feet) long while the mouth is 70 meters (229 feet) wide. Visitors can climb the body of the king to the top of the mountain. Guinness World Records has listed it as the biggest sculpture carved on a rock Ghost State by Daoists. The temples built on Ming Hill have been carved with a large assortment of ghosts and devils. These ugly and tortured looking creatures are meant to depict the after-life, where people who disobey ancient Chinese morals will be punished by every horrifying way imaginable. It was hoped that these terrifying statues would scare people into submission to the moral codes. Many tourists arrive by boat and from the pier one can climb the winding cobblestone road or take a cable car to the top of the 288 meter (945 feet) high hill. Some ships arrange an early night visit to the ghost city to enhance the mystique and haunted feelings of the trip.

According to traditional Chinese thought, the social structure of hell is exactly like that of this world. In hell, a sprit has to stand before a whole and complete bureaucracy (or jury) to receive their final sentence. Pure spirits are rewarded and the sinful ones are severely tortured. Different tortures are meted out depending on the kind and severity of the sin committed. The Temple built on Mt. Minshan displays instruments of torture and demon images. These offer a vivid depiction of the Chinese people's beliefs of hell that were held at that time. Landmarks on the hill bear horrible names - Ghost Torturing Pass, Last-Glance of Home Tower, Nothing-to-be-Done Bridge, and the River of Blood. Every March 3 to 15 on the Chinese lunar calendar, merchants and businessmen used to gather at Fengdu Ghost City. Various folk culture activities were held. The ghost face was one of the specialties. Fengdu Ghost City welcomes visitors from China and abroad, but be wary as you never know what might pop out at you or what ghosts might be watching.

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North bank of Yangtze River, Fengdu County, Chongqing, China

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A Glimpse into the Darker Side of Chongqing

Fengdu Ghost City is located in Fengdu County in Chongqing city, just over 100 miles (170 kilometers) downstream from Chongqing on the north bank of the Yangtze River, a worthwhile stop along the Yangtze River. Fengdu Ghost City is renowned for its vivid architectures and figures in Hades, such as Heng Ha Temple, Son of Heaven Hall, Bridge of Helplessness, Yellow Springs, Ghost Torturing Pass, Eighteen Level of Hells, King of Medicine Hall, Judge of Hell and Home Viewing Pavilion and the like. The Hades referred to in great works like Journey to the West, Apotheosis of Heroes and Strange Tales of a Lonely Studio are all vividly shown here. Fengdu Ghost City is the place where the mystique of ghosts in Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism come together.

Bridge of Helplessness

Bridge of Helplessness is thought to be the bridge that every soul has to cross before entering the underworld. The bridge has a history of 500-plus years and is five and a half-feet (172 cm) high, five feet (156 cm) wide and 11.6 feet (355 cm) long, with a blue-stone paved path and flower-engraved railings. Below the bridge is a square pool of water. It is believed that people with great virtue will pass the bridge smoothly, while evil ones will fall into the pools below and will suffered severely.

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Ghost Torturing Pass

The Ghost Torturing Pass is perched atop Mingshan Peak and it is the outer door to enter the Son of Heaven Hall. According to great novels like Journey to the West, every soul needs to report to Yama, the king of the hell, and they need to cross through the Ghost Torturing Pass.

Eighteen Levels of Hell

On both sides of Son of Heaven Hall stands an image of hell, which is often referred to as eighteen levels of hell. Eighteen Levels of Hell is the place where the Yama, the King of hell, punishes the souls which commit sins while they are alive. It is said that sinners are subjected to gruesome tortures until their “deaths” in the eighteen levels of hell. What kind of tortures inflicted depends on the sins committed, varying from sawing, carving, slicing into half, mashing or pounding into pulp, to crushed by heavy rocks or boulders, run over by vehicles, boiled in oil cauldron and the like.

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Location:  Fengdu County, Chongqing

Admission Fee:  CNY 80

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Fengdu Ghost City - A Culture Shock for Western Travelers

Fengdu - "the Ghost City"(丰都鬼城) , which also called the “City of Ghosts” on Ming Mountain with a history of 1900 years, is located on the northern bank of the Yangtze 176 kilometers downstream from Chongqing.

The Ghost City now has become one of the most popular shore excursion sites for many popular Yangtze Cruise Ships such as Victoria Cruises , President Cruises and Yangtze Gold Cruises . It is a great historical site definitely worth visiting when having your Yangtze Cruise Tour.

Why Ghost City?

Fengdu received its reputation as the “ Ghost City ” during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD – 220 AD). Two officials from the imperial court – Wang Fang Ping and Ying Chang Sheng – were bored with the political life in the court and came to Ming Mountain outside Fengdu City to practice Taoist teachings. Both of them later became immortals by carrying out self-cultivation. When combined together their surnames – Yin and Wang – sound very much like " King of Hell " in Chinese.

Hence the people began to call Fengdu the “Ghost City”. This local legend became famous throughout China during the Ming Dynasty about 400 years ago when it was mentioned in the Chinese classic novel, A Journey to the West.

Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu Ghost City

Ghost City, Culture Shock?

A shore excursion to Fengdu Ghost City may be is a culture shock tour for many western travelers. For the different cultures between Western countries and Eastern countries, to some extent, the Chinese Ghost Culture is difficult to comprehend.

To Chinese, the social structure in the underworld is exactly like that in the real world. In hell, spirits would go through a whole bureaucracy of underworld officials to receive their final judgments. Those pure spirits would be rewarded and those sinful ones would be subject to severe punishments. The temples built on Ming Mountain display punishing instruments and wild demon images, which vividly depict the Chinese people’s imagination of Hell.

Ghost Culture in Fengdu City

Chinese Ghost Culture in Fengdu Ghost City

What to See in Fengdu Ghost City

Today, Fengdu throngs with many tourists who come to visit temples and shrines dedicated to the Gods of the underworld.

Landmarks here got horrific names - Last-Glance at Home Tower , Nothing-to-be-done Bridge , and Ghost Torturing Pass – the three trials for ghosts who wanted to enter the nether world. In addition, Tianzi Palace and the River of Blood are also the highlights which you should never miss.

Nothing-to-be-done Bridge (奈何桥)

The bridge is composed on three identical stone arches, and the middle one is used for testing people. There are different protocols for crossing the bridge depending on your gender, age and marital status.

Below the bridge are square-shaped pools of water. Virtuous people will pass over the bridge without obstacle; villainous people will fall into the pools below. The other two arches are called the golden and silver bridges respectively. When preparing to leave, visitors are encouraged to pass these two bridges because according to local superstition this will bring them good fortune.

Ghost Torturing Pass (鬼门关)

The Ghost Torturing Pass is the second test before enter into the nether world. It is said that this is the place where the dead report to the Yama, the King of Hell, for judgment. In front of the structure there are eighteen sculptures depicting ferocious demons. Each of these devils is quite lifelike creating a feeling of true eeriness.

Last-Glance at Home Tower (望乡台)

This ghostly structure was built in 1985 and commemorates the site where spirits consigned to hell could take one last look at their families.

Tianzi Palace (天子殿)

Having over three hundred years' history the palace covers an area of nearly 2,908 square yards. It is composed of a temple gate (paifang) and the palace itself.

The gate is an archway made of wood and stone rising to height of nearly 33 feet. The palace is the nerve center of the Ghost City and is the oldest and largest temple on Ming Mountain.

Travel Note:

  • Every Chinese Lunar March 3 to 15, there are various folk culture activities including the Temple Fair .
  • The cableway in Fengdy Ghost City is now put into service again for travelers. So if you don't want to walk the many steps, the cableway from the bottom to the upper area would be your better choice, which needs only about 15 minutes. Such cableway service needs extra payment of about 20RMB/person for single way and 30RMB/person for double ways.

Fengdu Ghost City Attraction

Nothing-to-be-done Bridge

Fengdu Ghost City Attraction

Ghost Torturing Pass

Fengdu Ghost City Attraction

Last-glance at Home Tower

Fengdu Ghost City Attraction

Tianzi Palace

Valued Guests' Ghost City Experience

Many valued guests such as President Hu Jintao, Premier Lipeng, Henry Alfred Kissinger, Austria General Governor William George Hayden, have already visited the Ghost City Fengdu to explore the Buddhism and Taoism Culture.

This was fun - Interesting bit of old culture and campy at the same time. ” The temples are recently restored and have very new Buddhist statues in them. There are numerous gimmicks that provide opportunities for photographs and videos. A great experience and a definite photographers delight. - From Our Guest

>> Check more photos of Fengdu Ghost City .

Shore Excursion to Ghost City

Shore Excursion to Ghost City

Attraction nearby

Jade Emperor Scenic Area

Wuyu Mountain (Five Fishes Mountain) is the key scenic spot in Fengdu to know deeper about the Chinese Taoism and get close to nature. The conspicuous yellow sacred statue of the Jade Emperor is just worshipped there at the mountain peak. Based on the spiritual concept of 4 phenomena, 5 elements and 8 diagrams, more than 30 traditional temples and 208 holy statues of deities are well displayed in the Jade Emperor Scenic Area (玉皇圣地, also called Sacred Place of Taoism), which aims to present visitors the real traditional Taoist culture, and the typical combination religious culture of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism in China. Also, you would encounter with the exquisite pagodas, pavilions, corridors, terraces, etc. to get more fun. Moreover, those interesting stories and legends about the Chinese immortals and the beautiful natural views of mountains, springs, floras, rivers and so forth would make your excursion really amazing. If you are interested in the old structures and traditional Chinese culture and religions, do not miss this great place. ( PS: to visit the Jade Emperor Scenic Area, you could choose the downstream cruise of Victoria Anna and Victoria Jenna which offer shore excursion visits to this attraction.)

Fengdu Ghost City

To explore the historical site Fengdu Ghost City, you can choose Victoria Cruises , President Cruises and Yangtze Explorer . Both upstream and downstream cruises in these companies offer a shore excursion in Fengdu Ghost City.

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Fengdu, Ghost City

Fengdu Ghost City is located on the northern bank of Yangtze River, having distance of 170 Km from the eastern side of Chongqing. Fengdu became the Ghost City during the Tang Dynasty when two officials of the Imperial Court married and settled on the Mt. Minshan which is just outside the city. On combining their surnames which is Yin and Wang, it sounds like King of Hell in Chinese. Later, both of them became immortals by carrying out the self cultivation. This story was later widely spread making Mt. Minshan a famous place. After that the people used to call Fengdu as “Ghost City”.

According to Chinese, the social structure of hell is just like that in this world. A spirit would go through the whole and complete administration of the government for getting the final judgment in hell. The honest spirits are believed to be rewarded whereas the criminal one would be punished. There are different punishments for the different crimes. The statues and drawings in the temple built on the Mt. Minshan represent the imagination of the hell by Chinese.

According to the superstition of Chinese people, the death come to Fengdu and the devils go to the hell. Since the period of Tang Dynasty, forty eight temples have been built here like Hall of Jade Emperor, Boundary Between the Living and the Dead, the palace of Hell, Balcony of Nostalgia and Ridge of Helplessness. All these temples are magnificent in their looks and the statues are lifelike.

Now days, Fengdu- Ghost city is visited by many tourist who come here to see the temples and shrines which are dedicated to the gods of underworld. The landmarks here also bear some horrific names like Last Glance at Home Tower, Ghost Torturing Pass and Nothing-to-be-done Bridge. These are the three trials for the ghosts who wanted to enter the nether world.

Fengdu has many historical sites which are linked with the culture of ghosts. Local government is also promoting the festival- ghost festival. However, it is investigated that a lot of superstitious activities were involved during the ghost festivals.

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Fengdu Ghost City – China

Fengdu Ghost City – China

Fengdu Ghost City

The city consists of buildings, structures, dioramas, and statues that are related to Diyu, the concept of the underworld and hell (or Naraka) in Chinese mythology and Buddhism. It is modeled to resemble Youdu, the capital of Diyu.

After the building of the Three Gorges Dam and the rising of the water level of the river it became separated from the city of Fengdu, which was rebuilt higher up the mountainside on the south side of the river.

Fengdu Ghost City – China

According to legend, Fengdu got its name of Ghost city during the Eastern Han Dynasty when two imperial officials, Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping, came to Ming mountain to practice Taoism and in the process became immortals.

The combination of their names, Yinwan, means “King of Hell” and that was the beginning of the site’s focus on the underworld. Many of the temples and shrines show paintings and sculptures of people being tortured for their sins.

According to Chinese beliefs, the dead must pass three tests before passing to the next life.

First they must pass the ‘Bridge of Helplessness’. This stone bridge was built during the Ming Dynasty and is a test for Good and Evil. It has three arches and only the middle one is used for testing people. There are different protocols for crossing the bridge depending on sex, age, marital status. At the bridge demons allow or forbid passage. The good are allowed to pass while the evil will be pushed to the water below.

This is now done as a tourist attraction and performers characterised as demons momentarily stop tourists on the bridge but finally allow them across.

Then the dead must proceed to Ghost-Torturing Pass where they present themselves for judgment before Yama, King of Hell. This is the second test. In this area there are large sculptures of demons.

Fengdu Ghost City – China

StarsInsider

StarsInsider

All the places in our world where you can find hell

Posted: November 1, 2023 | Last updated: October 31, 2023

<p>In most belief systems, the afterlife can only be accessed once one has passed. But then there are some who believed, and still believe, that the living could access the underworld directly here on Earth. From Mayan caves to Japanese swamps, there are various entrances, scattered across the globe. And while some of these spots involve the <a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/lifestyle/493539/secret-sects-rejected-by-early-christianity" rel="noopener">Christian</a> concept of hell, some lead to other, sometimes not so unpleasant, afterlives.</p> <p class="item-body-text-graf">If you should decide to visit any of these sites, any consequences on opening an infernal portal are on you! Now that you've been warned, click through the following gallery to check them out.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/67818?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> 10 countries with exceptionally beautiful women </a></p>

In most belief systems, the afterlife can only be accessed once one has passed. But then there are some who believed, and still believe, that the living could access the underworld directly here on Earth. From Mayan caves to Japanese swamps, there are various entrances, scattered across the globe. And while some of these spots involve the Christian concept of hell, some lead to other, sometimes not so unpleasant, afterlives.

If you should decide to visit any of these sites, any consequences on opening an infernal portal are on you! Now that you've been warned, click through the following gallery to check them out.

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<p>With a height of 4,892 feet (1,491 meters), Hekla is an active volcano on the southern part of Iceland. It's one of the nation's most active volcanoes, having had over 20 eruptions since 1210.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Hekla, Iceland

With a height of 4,892 feet (1,491 meters), Hekla is an active volcano on the southern part of Iceland. It's one of the nation's most active volcanoes, having had over 20 eruptions since 1210.

<p>Due to these eruptions, during the Middle Ages the Icelandic Norse called the volcano the Gateway to Hell, which spread over much of Europe. Medieval monks wrote that the volcano was a doorway to hell, as well as the eternal prison of Judas.</p><p>You may also like: </p>

Due to these eruptions, during the Middle Ages the Icelandic Norse called the volcano the Gateway to Hell, which spread over much of Europe. Medieval monks wrote that the volcano was a doorway to hell, as well as the eternal prison of Judas.

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<p>Portuguese for "Hell's Mouth," Boca do Inferno is a chasm located in the seaside cliffs in the Portuguese city of Cascais. The old cave forms an archway, which the Atlantic waves crash relentlessly through.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Boca do Inferno, Portugal

Portuguese for "Hell's Mouth," Boca do Inferno is a chasm located in the seaside cliffs in the Portuguese city of Cascais. The old cave forms an archway, which the Atlantic waves crash relentlessly through.

<p>A popular tourist attraction, the cave was the first to be depicted in moving pictures, in the 1896 British film 'A Sea Cave Near Lisbon.'</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/178190?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Wedding dress trends for 2018</a></p>

A popular tourist attraction, the cave was the first to be depicted in moving pictures, in the 1896 British film 'A Sea Cave Near Lisbon.'

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<p>Founded in the 15th century, St Patrick’s Purgatory is a small monastery located on Ireland’s Station Island. According to old Irish tales, St Patrick visited the island and Jesus sent him visions of the torments of hell.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

St Patrick's Purgatory, Ireland

Founded in the 15th century, St Patrick’s Purgatory is a small monastery located on Ireland’s Station Island. According to old Irish tales, St Patrick visited the island and Jesus sent him visions of the torments of hell.

<p>The spot where the saint received these diabolical hallucinations was later considered to be an entrance to Satan's pit. The monastery was built to cover the hole.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/191066?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Cameron Diaz roles that make us ecstatic she's back!</a></p>

The spot where the saint received these diabolical hallucinations was later considered to be an entrance to Satan's pit. The monastery was built to cover the hole.

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<p>Situated in Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert, the Darvaza gas crater is also known as the Door to Hell or Gates of Hell. And we can all see why!</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Darvaza gas crater, Turkmenistan

Situated in Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert, the Darvaza gas crater is also known as the Door to Hell or Gates of Hell. And we can all see why!

<p>A burning natural gas field, it collapsed in a cave that has been burning for an unknown period of time. It has a diameter of 200–230 feet (60–70 meters), and a depth of about 98 feet (30 meters).</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/195388?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Mind-blowing facts about the brain</a></p>

A burning natural gas field, it collapsed in a cave that has been burning for an unknown period of time. It has a diameter of 200–230 feet (60–70 meters), and a depth of about 98 feet (30 meters).

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<p>Located north of <a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/travel/488246/myths-and-legends-of-prague" rel="noopener">Prague</a>, Houska Castle is a 13th-century Gothic gem, which supposedly sits on top of hell's gate. According to local legend, the castle's chapel was built to cover an enormous hole in the ground that served as Satan's threshold.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Houska Castle, Czech Republic

Located north of Prague , Houska Castle is a 13th-century Gothic gem, which supposedly sits on top of hell's gate. According to local legend, the castle's chapel was built to cover an enormous hole in the ground that served as Satan's threshold.

<p>Houska Castle is still considered haunted, and tourists have reported seeing headless horses and demonic winged beasts lurking around.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/199449?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Find out the richest and poorest suburbs of Australia</a></p>

Houska Castle is still considered haunted, and tourists have reported seeing headless horses and demonic winged beasts lurking around.

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<p>Saying that you're going to visit Hell on a trip to the Cayman Islands isn't weird at all! One of the island's most visited tourist attractions, Hell is a geological site.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Hell, Cayman Islands

Saying that you're going to visit Hell on a trip to the Cayman Islands isn't weird at all! One of the island's most visited tourist attractions, Hell is a geological site.

<p>Its name comes from a group of short, black limestone formations located in the area. Hell is roughly the size of half a football field.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/248702?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> The unbelievable story behind a tiny self-declared nation</a></p>

Its name comes from a group of short, black limestone formations located in the area. Hell is roughly the size of half a football field.

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<p>Located northwest of Nairobi, Hell's Gate National Park was named by British explores in the 1880s after the narrow break in the cliffs.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya

Located northwest of Nairobi, Hell's Gate National Park was named by British explores in the 1880s after the narrow break in the cliffs.

<p>The national park is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. Additionally, it has three basic campsites and a Maasai Cultural Center.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/279719?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Actors who didn't make it until later in their lives</a></p>

The national park is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. Additionally, it has three basic campsites and a Maasai Cultural Center.

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<p>Naples also has a gateway to hell called the Cave of the Sibyl, which was described by Virgil over 2,000 years ago in 'The Aeneid.'</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Cave of the Sibyl, Italy

Naples also has a gateway to hell called the Cave of the Sibyl, which was described by Virgil over 2,000 years ago in 'The Aeneid.'

<p>According to the poet, the Trojan hero Aeneas met the oracle Sibyl there, who guided him through the cave into hell. In 1932, explorers finally uncovered this entrance to the 'underworld.'</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/220480?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Celebrities who have sued their own parents</a></p>

According to the poet, the Trojan hero Aeneas met the oracle Sibyl there, who guided him through the cave into hell. In 1932, explorers finally uncovered this entrance to the 'underworld.'

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<p>In Beppu City lie a series of nine hot springs, each one flowing in a different color and composition. However, Chinoike Jigoku, meaning "bloody hell pond," stands out with its rich color from natural iron oxide.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Chinoike Jigoku, Japan

In Beppu City lie a series of nine hot springs, each one flowing in a different color and composition. However, Chinoike Jigoku, meaning "bloody hell pond," stands out with its rich color from natural iron oxide.

<p>Mentioned in Buddhist texts that date back to 700 CE, Chinoike Jigoku has a collection of sculpted demons around it, some even carved in the rocks. The ancient Buddhist monks sometimes used this bubbling pit to torture prisoners before boiling them alive.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/168017?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Facts you never knew about Winston Churchill</a></p>

Mentioned in Buddhist texts that date back to 700 CE, Chinoike Jigoku has a collection of sculpted demons around it, some even carved in the rocks. The ancient Buddhist monks sometimes used this bubbling pit to torture prisoners before boiling them alive.

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<p>The indigenous people of Masaya didn't believe that the mouth of their caldera was a gateway to the afterlife, but there was a local belief that the volcano was a god and that a sorceress lived inside it.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua

The indigenous people of Masaya didn't believe that the mouth of their caldera was a gateway to the afterlife, but there was a local belief that the volcano was a god and that a sorceress lived inside it.

<p>It was the Spanish colonizers who arrived in the 16th century, and had little familiarity with volcanos, who associated the Masaya with hell.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/225840?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Marriage material? Royals and aristocrats who are still single</a></p>

It was the Spanish colonizers who arrived in the 16th century, and had little familiarity with volcanos, who associated the Masaya with hell.

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<p>Japan's Osorezan, or Mount Osore, is a pilgrimage site that translates to "Mountain of Dread." For centuries, this volcano was believed to be a gate to Buddhist hell.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Osorezan, Japan

Japan's Osorezan, or Mount Osore, is a pilgrimage site that translates to "Mountain of Dread." For centuries, this volcano was believed to be a gate to Buddhist hell.

<p>With a height of 2,884 feet (879 meters), Mount Osore last erupted over 10,000 years ago. However, as the area has many fumaroles, emitting steam and volcanic gases, it's still an active volcano.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/246100?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> These celebrities have been accused of murder</a></p>

With a height of 2,884 feet (879 meters), Mount Osore last erupted over 10,000 years ago. However, as the area has many fumaroles, emitting steam and volcanic gases, it's still an active volcano.

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<p>Fengdu Ghost City is a temple with close ties to Naraka, the underworld of Chinese mythology. Visitors can find the entrance to hell at Guimen Gate, which is also known as the Ghost Torturing Pass.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Fengdu Ghost City, China

Fengdu Ghost City is a temple with close ties to Naraka, the underworld of Chinese mythology. Visitors can find the entrance to hell at Guimen Gate, which is also known as the Ghost Torturing Pass.

<p>This 2,000-year-old settlement is located on Ming Hill, at the northern end of the Yangtze River. Its streets and squares are filled with statues of ghosts and demons, as well as reminders of the punishments that await the wicked in the next life.</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/148932?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> The greatest mysteries of the human body!</a></p>

This 2,000-year-old settlement is located on Ming Hill, at the northern end of the Yangtze River. Its streets and squares are filled with statues of ghosts and demons, as well as reminders of the punishments that await the wicked in the next life.

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<p>The ancient Greeks believed the dead descended into the underworld, ruled by Hades. When Orpheus and Hercules made heroic journeys into Hades' home, they supposedly entered through the caves of Cape Matapan.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Cape Matapan, Greece

The ancient Greeks believed the dead descended into the underworld, ruled by Hades. When Orpheus and Hercules made heroic journeys into Hades' home, they supposedly entered through the caves of Cape Matapan.

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The ancient Spartans built several temples there, dedicated to various gods, including Hades.

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<p>One of the most important archaeological sites in Oaxaca, Mitla was a sacred burial site for the indigenous Zapotec culture.</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Mitla, Mexico

One of the most important archaeological sites in Oaxaca, Mitla was a sacred burial site for the indigenous Zapotec culture.

<p>The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlán, meaning the "place of the dead" or "underworld."</p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/267510?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Nick Cannon and other celebs who were fired from hit TV shows</a></p>

The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlán, meaning the "place of the dead" or "underworld."

You may also like: Actors who didn't make it until later in their lives

<p>Located in the Serra da Estrela mountain range in Portugal, Poço do Inferno literally translates to "Hell's Well."</p><p><a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/community/channel/vid-7xx8mnucu55yw63we9va2gwr7uihbxwc68fxqp25x6tg4ftibpra?cvid=94631541bc0f4f89bfd59158d696ad7e">Follow us and access great exclusive content every day</a></p>

Poço do Inferno, Portugal

Located in the Serra da Estrela mountain range in Portugal, Poço do Inferno literally translates to "Hell's Well."

<p>Found at an altitude of 3,500 feet (1,080 meters), the water gets so cold in the winters that it literally freezes over, like hell. </p> <p>Sources: (Atlas Obscura) (Gizmodo) (Fodor's)</p> <p>See also: <a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/lifestyle/232743/bizarre-religions-and-their-strange-beliefs#google_vignette">Bizarre religions and their strange beliefs</a></p><p>You may also like:<a href="https://www.starsinsider.com/n/289785?utm_source=msn.com&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=referral_description&utm_content=588941en-en"> Ejected: celebs who got kicked off flights</a></p>

Found at an altitude of 3,500 feet (1,080 meters), the water gets so cold in the winters that it literally freezes over, like hell. 

Sources: (Atlas Obscura) (Gizmodo) (Fodor's)

See also: Bizarre religions and their strange beliefs

You may also like: Ejected: celebs who got kicked off flights

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IMAGES

  1. ChongQing FengDu Ghost City

    fengdu ghost city china

  2. Fengdu Ghost City, Fengdu County, Chongqing municipality, China

    fengdu ghost city china

  3. Three Gorges Cruise Day 1: Visiting Fengdu Ghost City

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  4. Fengdu Ghost City

    fengdu ghost city china

  5. A Chinese Ghost Town, Resurrected

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  6. ChongQing FengDu Ghost City

    fengdu ghost city china

VIDEO

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  4. China Empty City (Ghost Town) 😱#shortvideo#trending#viral#viralvideo#shorts#yt#ytshorts#top#new#like

  5. HUGE Abandoned Chinese Ghost City!

COMMENTS

  1. Fengdu Ghost City

    Fengdu Ghost City ( simplified Chinese: 丰都鬼城; traditional Chinese: 豐都鬼城 (traditional form of the revised name); pinyin: Fēngdū Guǐ Chéng, originally 酆都鬼城 [1]) is a large complex of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife located on the Ming mountain, [2] in Fengdu County, Chongqing municipality, China. [3]

  2. Fengdu Ghost City

    84 Want to Visit? 561 The Ghost King in the Ghost City. China Photos/Stringer/Getty High on the Ming Hill, Fengdu, the "City of Ghosts," is situated at the northern end of the Yangtze...

  3. Chongqing Fengdu Ghost City, Chongqing Attractions

    Fengdu Ghost City Written by Kelly Pang Updated Jul. 17, 2023 A popular stop on Yangtze River cruises has been the Fengdu "Ghost City." It used to be a burial area with scores of temples and shrines and a small ancient town. Due to the construction of the 3 Gorges Dam, the ghostly city is underwater.

  4. Fengdu Ghost City Facts & History, Chongqing

    The Fengdu Ghost City is located on the Ming Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River in Fengdu County, Chongqing municipality, China. It is situated about 170 kilometers downstream from Chongqing on the north bank of the Yangtze River.

  5. Fengdu Ghost City on Ming Mountain

    Located on the Ming Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, Fengdu County is known to most Chinese as the 'Ghost City'. Having nearly two thousand years' history, the Ghost City combines the cultures of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism with the mystique of ghosts.

  6. Fengdu

    Fengdu county has a unique natural landscape and cultural landscape, many places of interest, there are three main scenic spots in Fengdu county which visited by most Yangtze Cruise tourists are Fengdu Ghost City, Shuanggui Mountain and Jade Emperor Scenic Area.

  7. History of Fengdu Ghost City

    Fengdu Ghost City, often simply referred to as "Ghost City," is a unique and culturally significant tourist attraction located in Fengdu County, Chongqing Municipality, China. This ancient city has a rich history that dates back over two thousand years and is closely associated with Chinese folklore, religion, and mythology.

  8. Why is Fengdu a Ghost City?

    Here are the details explaining why Fengdu is called a Ghost City: Mythological Origins: Fengdu's reputation as a Ghost City can be traced back to Chinese mythology, particularly to Daoism and Buddhism. According to legend, Fengdu was originally named "Fengdu Shan" or "Mount Fengdu.". It is believed that two officials from the Han ...

  9. Ghost City of Fengdu, Chongqing

    Ghost City of Fengdu 4 259 reviews #7 of 416 things to do in Chongqing Points of Interest & LandmarksReligious Sites Closed now 6:30 AM - 5:30 PM Write a review What people are saying " Go all the way to the top " Jul 2021 The temple at the top is authentic while some of the other structures were rebuilt.

  10. Fengdu Ghost City

    Fengdu Ghost City (simplified Chinese: 丰都鬼城; traditional Chinese: 豐都鬼城 (traditional form of the revised name); pinyin: Fēngdū Guǐ Chéng, originally 酆都鬼城[1]) is a large complex of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife located on the Ming mountain,[2 ...

  11. Fengdu Ghost City: Gateway to the Afterlife (Photos)

    The Fengdu Ghost City is really a complex network of Daoist temples and shrines, all dedicated to the Chinese concept of the afterlife. According to tradition, when a person dies, their spirit comes here to be judged by three trials. If it passes, the spirit can immediately be reincarnated higher on the ladder of existence.

  12. Fengdu Ghost City

    Fengdu Ghost City was built based on people's imagination. It consists of the Palace of Hell, Gate of Hell, 18 Layers of Hell and other organs of the Nether World. Statues of ghosts and instruments of punishment are varied, but similarly scaring.

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

    Fengdu Ghost City is a site located on the Ming Mountain, in Fendu County, in the southwestern Chinese municipality of Chongqing. Due to its location, Fengdu Ghost city has become a popular tourist attraction amongst travelers on cruises traversing the length of the Yangtze River.

  14. Fengdu ghost city, Chongqing China

    East Asia Fengdu ghost city, Chongqing China Saturday, April 16, 2016 Fengdu Ghost City (Fēngdū Guǐ Chéng) is an attraction consisting of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife.

  15. Fengdu Ghost City, Fengdu County sichuan China, Fengdu Ghost City

    Fengdu, also called the "City of Ghosts", is 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of Chongqing situated on the northern bank of Yangtze River between Zhongxian and Fuling. It was the legendary capital of The Ghost King whose gigantic sculptured statue has been carved onto the rock face of a mountain there.

  16. Fengdu Ghost City

    Located on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, Fengdu is an ancient city with a time-honored history, known as the 'Ghost City' to most Chinese people. Fengdu got its reputation as the 'Ghost City' in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 A.D. - 220 A.D.). Two officials from the imperial court named Wang Fangping and Yin Changsheng, got bored with the political life in the court and came to Mt ...

  17. Fengdu Ghost City

    Fengdu Ghost City is the place where the mystique of ghosts in Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism come together. Bridge of Helplessness Bridge of Helplessness is thought to be the bridge that every soul has to cross before entering the underworld.

  18. Fengdu Ghost City, China Fengdu Ghost Town, Fengdu Attractions

    Fengdu - "the Ghost City"(丰都鬼城), which also called the "City of Ghosts" on Ming Mountain with a history of 1900 years, is located on the northern bank of the Yangtze 176 kilometers downstream from Chongqing.

  19. Fengdu County

    The Fengdu Ghost City is a tourist attraction modelled after Diyu, the concept of hell in Chinese mythology and Buddhism. It was built over 1,800 years ago. The ghost city became an island once the Three Gorges Dam project was completed. Specifically, part of the Fengdu Ghost City is or will be submerged, but scenery above the "Door of Hell ...

  20. Fengdu, Ghost City

    Fengdu Ghost City is located on the northern bank of Yangtze River, having distance of 170 Km from the eastern side of Chongqing. Fengdu became the Ghost City during the Tang Dynasty when two officials of the Imperial Court married and settled on the Mt. Minshan which is just outside the city. On combining their surnames which is Yin and Wang ...

  21. Fengdu Ghost City: China's Portal to the Underworld

    Fengdu Ghost City is now a tourist destination. At the entrance, you'll be greeted by the statues of the Heibai Wuchang (黑白无常), which are two Chinese mythological deities in charge of escorting the dead to the underworld. Inside the city, there are various statues of ghosts around the streets.

  22. Fengdu Ghost City

    Known as the Ghost City to most Chinese, Fengdu is a seriously photogenic place. According to legend, the dead come to Fengdu and the devils go to hell. Nearly 50 temples have been built here since the days of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), with evocative names like the Palace of Hell and the Balcony of Nostalgia.

  23. Fengdu Ghost City

    The mysterious North Brother Island, New York. Fengdu Ghost City The city consists of buildings, structures, dioramas, and statues that are related to Diyu, the concept of the underworld and hell (or Naraka) in Chinese mythology and Buddhism. It is modeled to resemble Youdu, the capital of Diyu. After the building of the Three Gorges Dam and ...

  24. These are all places where you can visit the gates to hell

    Fengdu Ghost City, China. This 2,000-year-old settlement is located on Ming Hill, at the northern end of the Yangtze River. Its streets and squares are filled with statues of ghosts and demons, as ...