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By Trinity Sun January 3, 2022 • 4 min read

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A trip through the afterlife is what Haw Par Villa’s newly launched Hell’s Museum promises. Indeed, stepping through the glass doors of the building, we were immediately greeted by a ticket counter with the signage “Tickets to Hell” scrawled on the top of the signboard. But as far as the novelty goes, the signage at the counter is where it ends.

hell's museum tickets
© Natalie Teo

The tickets we got from the counter come with an interactive element — scan the QR code on your ticket and you’ll immediately get more information on the exhibit. We were then ushered to a screening room, where a video showcased an impressive presentation on the history and different beliefs of death. After getting some context on the subject, it was time to head into the museum proper.

death customs and rites
© Natalie Teo

Our first stop was learning about the customs and rites of death different civilisations practiced, from ancient Greece to India. Various manuscripts and scrolls documenting the traditions observed after death were also displayed, giving new insights into the cultural aspect of death. 

hell's museum afterlife
© Natalie Teo

As we ventured deeper into the museum, we came across the next section that detailed different religions’ beliefs post-death. There were displays of flowcharts explaining the cycle of life, and death viewed through Taoism, Christianity, and Hinduism, among others. For a museum with an unusual name, it handles the subject matter of death with an air of reverence.

hell's museum religions
© Natalie Teo

To our surprise, the museum’s layout then opened out into a replica of a graveyard, along with a reimagining of a void deck funeral. Different cultures’ methods of burial and memorialisation were displayed, from Mexico’s Day of the Dead to the Chinese Lunar calendar’s 7th Month. Solemnity and silence are observed in the graveyard settings, which added a layer of authenticity to the museum’s overall experience.

prayers and verses
© Natalie Teo

Coming back into the interior of the museum, we were then greeted by a reflective area filled with verses and prayers from major world religions about life, death, and the afterlife, as well as an exploration into the philosophy of Taoism in life and death. Circling back to the front of the museum, we were ready to leave the afterlife but Haw Par Villa had one more surprise: our admission ticket included the newly revamped Ten Courts of Hell experience. 

10 courts of hell
© Natalie Teo

The difference in quality in the newly renovated Ten Courts of Hell made all the difference — with interactive screens explaining the dioramas. Because it’s now fully air-conditioned, there were plenty of people walking through the attraction. As we left the “afterlife” behind for real this time, we waved farewell to the imposing gates of Haw Par Villa.

hell's museum entrance
© Natalie Teo

Being the first of its kind in the world as a museum dedicated to exploring the theme of death, Hell’s Museum did not disappoint. An educational look into the customs and cultural differences between how the major religions of the world view death, it is certainly a must-visit attraction if your curiosity on the subject of death needs to be satiated.

haw par villa
© Natalie Teo

Guided tours of Hell’s Museum are available and can only be signed up for at the counter, so we recommend going early to get a slot on the museum’s tours. Visitors are also required to pre-book their tickets in advance, which are available on the Haw Par Villa website.

Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118 628

Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays and Public Holidays from 10am-6pm

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Trinity Sun


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