Nov 8, 2021

I Paid $18 to Go to Hell but was the Experience to Die for?


Hell is open to all once again and this time, you can go to hell in air-conditioned comfort. Literally.

Opened on 29 October 2021 as part of the revamped Haw Par Villa, the attraction that is formerly known as Ten Courts of Hell (which gave kids nightmares, no doubt) is now renamed as Hell's Museum.

Billed as the only museum in the world dedicated to exploring how death and the afterlife are viewed and interpreted across religions, cultures, and the ages, Hell's Museum's immersive exhibition aims to shed light on rituals and ceremonies for the dead, amongst other topics.

Of course, the main highlight of Hell's Museum is the Ten Courts of Hell, which now forms one station out of the ten stations within Hell's Museum. And speaking of the Ten Courts of Hell, I brought the monkies to visit it 7 years ago. 

Expectedly, the kids were pretty terrified of the exhibits... well, except for Ayd who spent most of the time reading the information panels and could even remember the various punishments that were associated with each sin. 😅

Well, glad that I brought them before it was refurbished.... because it costs $18 to enter Hell's Museum now!

Wait, what??? Yes, no more free rides to Hell now as it'll cost you $18 - or $10 if you are a child - even though the other parts of Haw Par Villa remain free to visit.

To be honest, I was mortified when I learnt that one has to pay to enter Hell now - air-con or not. So I did the next best thing... I paid $18 and walked into Hell's Museum to see if the experience was to die for.


Hell's Museum is now made up of 10 stations spread over 3,800 sqm and consists of both indoor and outdoor exhibits.

The self-guided tour kicks off with a 7-min video presentation which brings you through how different religions around the world view death.

Station 2 features specially curated displays that allows visitors a better understanding of the commonalities across the world’s major belief systems regarding the Afterlife.

And there is no better way to see the similarities than comparing Mexico's Day of the Dead festival and our Hungry Ghosts Festival.

Station 3 starts to get a little grim with information about graves, niches and ashes. And yes, that's a see-through panel with a coffin in the ground.

Step outside and you will come face to face with an actual funeral set-up, a common sight we see at void decks.

I have to admit, it's a little creepy especially there is a photo of the deceased at the 'funeral wake'. But if it makes you feel better, the photo of the woman is entirely fictional as it was created using a composite of five different people.

Move further deeper and you will step into the Graveyard.

This is where a replica of a grave is set up and I have to say I learnt a lot more about the various aspects of the grave than I had expected! The information panel was super detailed and interesting, for sure.

Station 4 moves visitors back indoors where information about the prayers and scriptures for various religions are explored in depth.

Station 5 is where the familiarity comes back... especially if you are as old as me.

Various Buddhist and Taoist Icons dioramas are on display here, which essentially are the same as pre-refurbishment.

And then, we come to the main attraction of Hell's Museum - The Ten Courts of Hell.

In case you didn't know, the Ten Courts of Hell depict various horrible punishments that awaited the souls of sinners in their journey to reincarnation. Truly the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Only difference is now, you can walk through Hell in air-conditioned comfort. No sweat!

So if you are guilty of wasting food or misusing books, you are punished at the Sixth Court of Hell by having your body sawn into two. Or for infidelity, your will be thrown into a valley of knives.

Or for cheating in examinations, your intestines and organs are pulled out in the Eighth Court of Hell. A little harsh I admit, but people got to learn it through the hard way I suppose. 😅

Oh, and here's an advisory from Hell's Museum: Due to the subject matter, children under nine are not advised to visit the museum.

Stations 7, 8, 9 and 10 brings visitors back outdoors again and consist of mainly previously-displayed dioramas which depict various virtues and the effects of karma.

One interesting bit of information is this Karmic Kaleidoscope was actually a shower/changing room for the Aw Brothers who decided to 'decorate' the exterior with these dioramas.

Do pay a visit to the Village Temple located right at the back too, which is an actual praying ground for some of the staff and ex-staff of Haw Par Villa.


The short answer, no.

But I do have to admit, I entered Hell's Museum with a tinge of cynicism but left with more knowledge about death and the afterlife.

I like how more effort have been put in to educate visitors about the various aspects of death, a topic which can be still be taboo among some people. I like the different exhibits and mock-ups depicting a funeral and grave, which allowed me to understand more about them.

So yes, I can understand why the place has to charge an entry fee.

That said, I feel $18 is a too high an entrance fee for most people. Perhaps tourists will have no qualms about paying $18 but I feel the majority of Singaporeans and local residents will probably baulk at the price.

My suggestion? Introduce a local residents' rate to entice more locals to visit. In my opinion, a more palatable entry fee should range between $5 and $8.

Useful Information

Hell's Museum @ Haw Par Villa

Address: 262 Pasir Panjang Road, Singapore 118 628

Opening Hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (last entry: 5pm) | Closed on Mondays.

Admission: $18 for Adult & $10 for Child | Free for children aged 6 and under

(Not recommended for children under 9 years old)


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