* Greek Mythology depicts the world as ruled by a pantheon of JerkassGods who will [[DisproportionateRetribution utterly screw over mortals]] ([[DoubleStandardRapeDivineOnMortal often literally]]) for the most petty of reasons, or no reason at all. (The Olympian gods deposed the Titans, who were allegedly worse, but we only have the Olympians' word for it.) Oh, and by the way, [[YouCantFightFate destiny rules everything]] and [[YouCannotChangeTheFuture man has no control over his life]]. Nice to note that of the two deities in the pantheon that were nice to humans, one was [[EverybodyHatesHades god of the underworld]] and the other had that as her primary character trait.
** Despite arguably being worse than the Olympians, the Titans are said to have established a 'Golden Age' where man wanted for nothing. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Thanks a bunch, Zeus]].
*** To be fair, many would be very pissed off if their father ate their siblings and tried the same to themselves.
*** Then there's that whole slave to fate thing, so it's not like he really had a choice.
** The ancient Greek word for "safe" translates to English as "free from fear". Their word for "safe" meant that they weren't in danger. It's a negative. To them, the default state of existence was "not safe".
** One last thing that cements Greek mythology as being this trope: There is a reason that Hope is one of the things in Pandora's box. The Greeks believed that it was just as bad, or even worse, then all the other ills in the box, because it deludes people into thinking that they don't live in a CrapsackWorld, only to [[YankTheDogsChain crush this belief utterly]].
* Sumerian Mythology only seems to have one afterlife destination, which is a dusty, barren and empty hall described as sucking immensely. The entirety of ''Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh'' is an ode to the concept that dying can only result in endless tedium and suffering. Also, the goddess in charge of the place routinely threatens to unleash the angry, bored dead to fuck up the living world if her father, the head honcho god, doesn't agree to her arbitrary whims.
** Also, the pain of whatever killed you in life carries on eternally in the afterlife. [[NightmareFuel Ponder that for a moment.]] There are ways to improve the general shityness of the afterlife, however. First and foremost is having lots of children. Having few, or no, children will severely increase your suffering in the afterlife. The reason for this is unexplained, but one would assume it is related to the lack of grave offerings or something of that sort. There is also the possibility of being upgraded to godhood upon death (which happened to Gilgamesh himself in one of the Sumerian poems) which will give you a small part of the underworld to reign over and possibly improve.
* The Aztec afterlife required you to run a big damn gauntlet to get to it, at which point... you spend eternity sitting around inside a pyramid, doing nothing, only even getting to ''eat'' on the Day of the Dead. On the plus side, you can read the life stories of everyone else who got there, maybe write your own.
** Their are a few Aztec afterlives that are a paradise or at least better, but usually involve dying a violent death or under very specific circumstances. Tlalocan is eternal springtime, but reserved for those who died from drowning, lighting strikes and other things related to the rain god Taloc.
** If you think the afterlife was bad, in life the god who controls the sun is a bloodthirsty, warmongering psychopath. If the Aztecs do not constantly war with other tribes and perform grotesque human sacrifices, he will refuse to let the sun rise and the entire world will freeze.
*** To be fair to said god, it's not spite: he'll ''starve'' if he doesn't get the necessary hearts. And according to one version of the relevant origin myth, he sacrificed himself that the people of the earth could live to become a sun god. Sometimes all the gods except the wind sacrificed themselves to fuel the ignition of the sun and have no bodies but the temple statues, and so require much blood to persist and protect.
* Should you die in Pharaonic Egypt, you have to take a very long walk across the desert (hope the people who buried you put a map in your tomb), at which point your heart gets weighed. If it outweighs a magical feather representing Truth, its get thrown to the beast Ammit, who eats it and condemns you to CessationOfExistence. If the feather outweighs it ([[Literature/AmericanGods "We made it really heavy"]]), you get to... work in Osiris's fields for all eternity. [[SarcasmMode Hep hep hooray]]. You get to do what, in all likelihood, you did for your entire mortal life.
** Not quite. Initially, only the Pharaohs got an afterlife. Later dynasties would expand the afterlife to all the nobles. The commoners who would actually work in the fields got nothing.
*** This isn't quite true. There just isn't a detailed guide to how ordinary people's afterlife will work, like with the Pharaohs and nobles. Even the commoners were mummified, albeit in a very simple manner, so they must have expected some sort of afterlife for themselves. But that's the ticket - you could expect to be in the same condition in the afterlife as your corpse is in the living world. Think about it for a few moments.
*** At least symbolic animal sacrifices made of clay could be expected to count. I'd have looked forward to having a whole herd of goats to milk whenever after struggling with no livestock, hey?
** Even at the pharaoh level, the image of the afterlife wasn't quite unified, let alone static.
* Many mythologies have one or several deities occupied with creating intricate traps and riddles in order to "test" humans. The only problem is that many to most of these tests could only be passed with [[Manga/DeathNote Light-like]] levels of omniscience. Which is to say they are impossible, unless you have the [[ScrewTheRulesIHavePlot Power of Plot]] on your side OR [[LuckBasedMission you don't actually solve it,]] but [[BornLucky are ridiculously lucky]].
* The basic idea of the Gnostics was that Earth is a Crapsack World.
* The book of Ecclesiastes is basically an affirmation of this. The Ecclesiastes himself offers no relief nor heavenly afterlife after death, but mere cessation of existence.
* All of the other Crapsack World entries, however, utterly pale by comparison to the blood-chilling [[CosmicHorrorStory cosmic horror story]] that is classic [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvinism Calvinism.]] This is a cosmogony that makes H.P. Lovecraft in his darker literary moods look like a starry-eyed optimist and the world of Warhammer 40K look like the Hundred Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh. [[FridgeHorror Shorn of euphemisms]], the narrative of Calvinism is essentially this: Before the foundation of the world, an omnipotent [[EldritchAbomination eldritch abomination]], [[GodIsEvil AKA "God,"]] predestined the fate of humanity (and presumably any other intelligent life). In this scheme, the greater mass of the human race is utterly doomed to [[FireAndBrimstoneHell an appalling damnation]]. After an apocalyptic Time of Judgment in which [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt all of creation is basically obliterated]], God will banish the "reprobate" to Hell, where he will apply his infinite intellect and reality warping powers to inflict the most agonizing torments conceivable upon each and every resident for all time. Think [[AndIMustScream I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream]] cranked up [[FateWorseThanDeath to infinity.]] Anything nice that happens to the damned in [[RealLife the fleeting interval]] before they are consumed by the yawning maw of Gehenna is deliberate mockery, by the way–fattening before the kill. And the principle for separating the wheat from the chaff? [[JerkassGods There isn't one!]] There can't be. [[YouCantFightFate God has prearranged every single event in history]], after all. Any apparent instance of virtue or vice in the life of a human is a clockwork inevitability without moral import. No merit or demerit accounts for the fate of an individual in this cosmic passion play, and indeed, the most villainous bastard may be scooped up into the bosom of the almighty while a thousand [[RidiculouslyAverageGuy hapless ordinary blokes]] are sent into perdition. Concomitantly, no act of defiance is possible. You can't even freely choose to ''hate'' God. Those "lucky" souls who receive the capricious mercies of the divine–the "elect"–will be ordained, ''by mind control,'' [[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul to sing his praises for orchestrating the aforesaid for all eternity.]] Rather than a product of divine “justice,” the fates of the damned and the elect are merely trophies from God ''to himself.'' Each glorifies the comprehensive omnipotence of his power–respectively and reciprocally, the absoluteness of his power to destroy, and irresistibility of his charisma. Yep, that's right: Calvinism can conceive of nothing greater than an all-powerful narcissist. And this waking nightmare will never, ever, ever, ever, ''ever,'' end. [[DespairEventHorizon There is no hope, and never was.]]