[[quoteright:301:[[Literature/TheDivineComedy http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dore-circle3.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:301:[[NoExit Hell is other people]]. ''Lots'' of other people.]]

->''"Once upon a time, there was a place that wasn't a place. It had many names: Avernus, Gehenna, Tartarus, Hades, Abaddon, Sheol... [[FateWorseThanDeath it was an inferno of pain and flame and ice, where every nightmare had come true long since]]. We'll call it Hell."''
-->-- '''Creator/NeilGaiman'''

Hell's the place where bad people go and [[FireAndBrimstoneHell burn forever]] when they die. Or Hell's the place where [[EvilIsDeathlyCold bad people go and freeze forever]] when they die. Or, for the more [[NietzscheWannabe nihilistically minded]], it's the [[TheNothingAfterDeath pain of nonexistence]], where everyone goes when they die. It might be an [[CrapsackWorld evil world]] where the forces of [[DarkIsEvil darkness]] [[VillainWorld rule everything]]. Or it's an evil world where the forces of darkness are held prisoner. It might be [[Literature/TheBible the Outer Darkness, with wailing and gnashing of teeth]]. Or it could be a [[Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh dusty wasteland inhabited by dreary, half-bird people]]. Sometimes it's [[CrapsackWorld Earth]], and even if it's not, Hell's often portrayed as eagerly looking for [[TheLegionsOfHell opportunities to expand]]. Hell's almost certainly the opposite of {{Heaven}}, and sometimes it's portrayed as being at war with Heaven, though the theological basis for this idea is a little shaky. Sometimes Hell is reserved only for the worst of the worst, but other times, it's [[EasyRoadToHell ridiculously easy to wind up there]]. Maybe Jean-Paul Sartre was right, and [[NoExit Hell is other people]]. Or Creator/StephenKing was right, and Hell is repetition. Whatever else it is, Hell's almost certainly [[IronicHell ironic]].

Hell is many things for many religions and philosophies, but a few pop-cultural constants have emerged over time. [[FireAndBrimstoneHell Hell used to be considered a fiery, literally subterranean underworld]] ruled by a [[HornedHumanoid horned]] [[TheDevil devil]] and, while this interpretation still lives on in cartoons and parodies, the trend for more recent treatments almost always involves placing Hell in AnotherDimension. While the exact details of Hell's environment vary depending on the source, [[AndIMustScream it's always a place of suffering, meant to be inhospitable to human standards of comfort]]. More often than not, [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire and brimstone]] imagery at least plays a part in the setting, though the image of Hell as a [[DarkWorld ruined, twisted version]] of the real world has lately become popular as well. Often DyingDream stories in the horror genre end with the revelation that the character's actually in an IronicHell.

The inhabitants of Hell are usually divided between human prisoners and their [[TheLegionsOfHell demonic captors]], though occasionally the demons are simply high-profile prisoners themselves, and sometimes they're the only inhabitants: modern fantasy stories and video games in particular tend to use Hell as a form of SealedEvilInACan, while downplaying or outright rejecting the idea of it as a human afterlife. If there are human captives in Hell, they'll typically be functionally immortal, at least while they're in Hell: after all, eternal torment wouldn't be eternal if it could really kill you. Of course, if the people damned to Hell [[OurGhostsAreDifferent don't have any bodies]], then this might not be an issue... and it might make escaping from Hell that much [[DemonicPossession easier for them]]. But just as often, Hell is portrayed as single-occupant only, and the damned all have their own separate versions of Hell, disconnected from each other.

In modern horror and fantasy, Hell's often given [[{{Hellgate}} portals]] that can send living people back and forth between the two worlds. A portal usually serves as the vehicle for a living hero to [[ToHellAndBack stage a rescue]] of a loved one from Hell, or for someone to [[LikeABadassOutOfHell break out out on their own]]. The more recent idea of Hell as a parallel reality, though, gives such gateways a more mystical aspect: whereas classical ideas used famous caves as tunnels into the underworld, modern hellgates are usually invisible until opened by magic. Sometimes the magic itself is the gateway, and can be opened from anywhere, usually via a TomeofEldritchLore or an ArtifactofDoom.

The theological roots of Hell, and the modern pop-cultural image of it, come from a variety of sources, from Christian beliefs to Greek and Egyptian mythology to medieval literature. In more recent times, Asian conceptions of the afterlife, particularly the Chinese and Japanese ideas of Hell, have attained some prominence in the West, particularly through video games and anime. The idea of a moral dichotomy in the afterlife, with different fates reserved for the virtuous and the wicked, goes back to EgyptianMythology. Making Heaven and Hell entirely separate places is a relatively recent idea from Judeo-Christianity. Many other ancient religions gave the same bland afterlife to everyone who died, save for those lucky few favored by the PowersThatBe.

Trying to separate the reality of Hell from its [[TheThemeParkVersion theme park version]] is a hopeless cause. Not only is the reality of Hell debated, but what's realistic and what's not often depends on who's being asked. Many evangelical Christians believe that Hell is a literal, lake of fire filled with evil spirits. More liberal theologians often take the position that Hell is the willful separation of the soul from the light of God, and that any suffering beyond that is [[SelfInflictedHell self-inflicted]]. Perhaps for this reason, many serious stories about Hell that are set in the "[[PlausibleDeniability real world]]" won't even try to directly depict Hell, and rely more on what the characters who've been there have to say about it. Sometimes this [[OffscreenAfterlife lack of an onscreen Hell]] is explained by saying that seeing it would [[GoMadFromTheRevelation drive a person mad]].

Stories that don't necessarily want to deal with the religious angle, but still want to use the basic idea of Hell for dramatic purposes, might use a thinly disguised "dimension of pain and suffering" instead. If it's a story with some science fiction elements, this'll often take the form of HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace.

See FireAndBrimstoneHell, IronicHell, BloodyBowelsOfHell, CirclesOfHell, {{Hellevator}}, SelfInflictedHell, ToHellAndBack, PlanetHeck, LikeABadassOutOfHell, TheLegionsOfHell.

For Hells that [[SubvertedTrope aren't so bad]], see AHellOfATime. For gloomy and/or subterranean afterlives that [[DarkIsNotEvil have nothing to do with wickedness or eternal punishment,]] see TheUnderworld.

See also {{Heaven}} and FluffyCloudHeaven.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/HellGirl''
* The [[NeverSayDie Shadow Realm]] in the English dub of ''Anime/YuGiOh'', because death is too much for children to deal with, but an eternity of being {{Mind Rape}}d in AnotherDimension of torment is totally kid-friendly.
** [[MisBlamed Except that it totally was here in the Japanese version.]] Just not nearly as often.
* ''DragonBallZ'' has Hell (or the [[{{Bowdlerise}} Home for Infinite Losers]] in the English dubs). This is not depicted as torture (even has an amusement park), though if the dead villains like Frieza and Cell cause trouble, Pikkon will be sent to beat them up and lock them in prison for a while.
** In ''Dragonball GT'', however, Frieza and Cell send Goku to a new area where there is torture, where their plan backfires.
* ''{{Berserk}}'''s [[http://skullknight.net/encyclopedia/world/universe/ cosmology]] is rather complex, but a lot of its realms would certainly seem Hellish in the eyes of any mortal, particularly the Nexus, which is where [[spoiler:the Band of the Hawk were transported following the activation of Griffith's Crimson Behelit]]. The actual Hell is the Abyss, where the souls of both people and demons go after death and where [[spoiler:[[GodIsEvil the Idea of Evil]]]] resides.
* In one of the early episodes/chapters of Manga/{{Bleach}}, a gateway to Hell is opened for a particularly evil hollow; it's said that only people who were unforgivably evil in their human lives go to Hell. Hell itself wasn't elaborated upon or mentioned again until the fourth movie, where it's shown to be a Dante's Inferno-ish like Multi-layered domain. The first level is a strange floating city-like structure with pathways, the second level is just a bunch of small islands and the third level is a stereotypical potrayal of Hell, complete with [[FireAndBrimstoneHell lava and brimstone]].
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'', the gateways to the various Hells are in a rather distant corner of the Spirit World. Apparently they differ in punishment factor, though at least one ([[spoiler:the one Toguro chose for himself]]) is ten thousand years of brutal mutilation.
* In ''Digimon'' Season 2, the Digimon Emperor goes into the Dark Whirlpool or something like that and extracts data from Devimon, who was destroyed by Angemon in Season 1. While good Digimon are reborn whenever destroyed, it appears the evil Digimon go here.
** Hell is vaguely hinted at in the Season 1 episode "No Questions, Please", when Vademon tells Izzy that his curiosity makes him greedy and will have him sent to Hell ("A very unpleasant place", he says).
** In the wider Digimon mythos, we have the Dark Area, which is pretty much hell. Evil digimon are sentenced there instead of being reborn like most Digimon, where they then become Fallen Angel or demon digimon. This is also where the infamous Seven Great Demon Lords, who include several expies of {{Satan}} make their home.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', Shishio, his girlfriend, and one of their cronies end up in hell, which is depicted as a dark place full of skulls...which he aims to take over from Lord Enma himself.
* During the Duel Coaster event in ''Anime/YuGiOhZexal'', V uses Spell and Trap cards based on the concept of Naraku, the Buddhist Hell. (He gets rid of them afterwards, however, focusing on a science-fiction themed deck.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Art (Paintings)]]
* Hell has been a popular subject for many painters, the most famous of all being Creator/HieronymusBosch who made some of the most memorable and creative images of the location ever.
* Creator/PieterBruegelTheElder portrayed Hell in "De Dulle Griet" ("Mad Meg"), where a giant woman invades Hell along with an army of housewives.
* [[Creator/GustaveDore Gustave Doré]] 's illustrations to Dante's Literature/DivineComedy are also famous.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* MarvelComics often features an evil dimension called "Demonic Limbo" in its storylines. While technically not a part of the afterlife, its inhabitants are called demons, and it certainly [[FireAndBrimstoneHell looks the part]]. In Marvel's fictional history, Dante's ''[[DivineComedy Inferno]]'' was actually based on that dimension (and [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy Dante's real adventures]] and battle against its ruler). The Stygian Deep, Mephisto's home realm, occasionally serves the same role, as did the dimension [[{{Characters.Xmen}} Nightcrawler]] teleports through - at least it did for [[CanonDisContinuity one brief story arc]].
** Along with the various death gods (such as [[TheMightyThor Hela]] and [[TheIncredibleHercules Pluto]]), there are multiple "devils" in the Marvel Universe. These include Mephisto, Satannish and Marduk Kurios (the father of [[ComicBook/TheDefenders Daimon Hellstrom]]). Each of them has their own segment of Hell. Due to recent events, Hela is now renting space from Mephisto's realm.
* TheDCU has a single Hell, although it is typically divided amongst a variety of warring rulers. The exception was for a brief time during the late '90s and early '00s, when the demon lord Neron seized total control. He was eventually deposed and demoted after making an unsuccessful attempt to conquer {{Heaven}}.
* Hell in ''JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'' is a seemingly ordinary city with a gigantic eye where the Sun should be, staring down at people all the time. This renders them obsessively paranoid, vain and violent, as each person thinks the eye's watching him alone and the smallest personal slight or accidental faux pas is rendered unbearable.
** Hell in the Johnnyverse evolved as Vasquez continued to make comics in it. While its original conception is heavily allegorical, when it comes up in ''Squee!'' it is pretty much classic fire and brimstone Hell. This is still played for laughs though, as another part of Squee's [[NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine dinner with Devil and his antichrist son Pepito.]]
* The ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' comic book, and even moreso its movie adaptation ''Constantine'', revolves around a conflict between Heaven and Hell. Hell, in the movie version, is shown as a twisted version of reality that's filled with demons and swept up in a constant storm of {{Hellfire}}.
** In the comics Hell falls more in line with the DCU (or at least Vertigo) conception of Hell, even dealing with events from other comics (like Lucifer leaving, and the resulting power vacuum). It's much more of a Biblical Hell, with the fire and brimstone, desiccated wastelands, and a wide variety of bizarre and horrible demons finding unique and terrible ways to torture people. It seems to work on its own internal rules, however, which mostly serve to keep the demons in check against one another, and to a lesser extent against humans. Of course, after being flipped off by Constantine one to many times the devil (not Lucifer, but the Devil) starts breaking the rules.
* ''{{Spawn}}'' centers around Hell and its secret war with Heaven in the modern world. This version of Hell's definitely the [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire and brimstone]] variety, with each level ruled by a different demon lord.
* "[[http://www.jtillustration.com/hell Hell Lost]]" tells the story of the inevitable Counter Revolution in Hell, as the fallen angels inevitably realize they not only got a raw deal, but that Hell, quite simply, sucks balls.
* Résurrection is said to be Hell in ''Comic/RequiemChevalierVampire''
* ComicStrip/{{Tintin}}: Near the end of "Tintin and the Broken Ear" the two antagonists drown and are flown to Hell by grinning demons.
* ComicStrip/SuskeEnWiske: In "De Sprietatoom" the MadScientist Savantas dies and his spirit goes to Hell. They refuse to take him in, though.
* ComicStrip/{{Nero}}: Nero has often gone to Hell, namely in the stories "De Hoed van Geeraard de Duivel", "De Paarse Futen", "De Terugkeer van Geeraard de Duivel" en "De Kolbak van How", though it always turns out to be AllADream.
* ComicStrip/{{Urbanus}}: Urbanus went there too a couple of times.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheLionKingAdventures'', the [[TheNothingAfterDeath eternal darkness]] that bad animals get when they die is this. Even the villains are afraid of it.
* In ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', Pony Hell is not only a GeniusLoci, it's ''inside'' Havoc, the AnthropomorphicPersonification of Mass Hysteria.
* In ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'', Hell is the [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Demon]] homeworld and official capitol of the [[TheEmpire Demon Empire]]. Once a temperate planet, it was long ago turned into [[SingleBiomePlanet a rocky ball of magma rivers and lava seas]]. Caronius, capitol city of the Demons, is built around its hollowed-out core.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/WhatDreamsMayCome'' features something of a SelfInflictedHell, as well as a self-created Heaven. After a journey that takes him through various sorts of twisted landscapes, the hero finds his wife, who died from suicide, living as an amnesiac in a ruined, monochrome version of their old house.
* Lucio Fulci's ''Film/TheBeyond'' has a city overwhelmed by the forces of Hell, and the heroes finding that the only way out is to go right through the {{hellgate}}. There, they find an endless, mist-shrouded plain of dust littered with fallen bodies, as the narrator repeats an earlier book passage: "and you shall face the sea of darkness, and all therein that may be explored". And then [[DownerEnding the movie ends]].
* ''[[BillAndTedsExcellentAdventure Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey]]'' has the heroes dying and, due to a mix-up during a seance, ending up in Hell. Disappointed that they were "totally lied to by our album covers" (it appears to be a series of floating rocks over a fiery abyss, with the damned sentenced to perpetual hard labor), they complain to Satan, who casts them into a personal Hell, with each one facing the embodiment of his deepest fear.
* The cult horror movie ''Film/TheGate'' and [[TheGateII its sequel]] deal with a gateway to Hell, a realm of imprisoned demons who want to reclaim the world. The first movie only shows an underground tunnel, although another dimension is implied, while its sequel briefly shows a blue twilight world of rocky spires. While the first movie gives the gate a physical location, the sequel shows that the right spell can open it anywhere.
* Dan Aykroyd's original idea for ''[[Film/{{Ghostbusters}} Ghostbusters III]]'' was the boys somehow ending up in ''a'' Hell-like dimension, explained as normally being hidden between the "frames" of the real world. He described it as being like New York City... during the worst traffic jam and the worst heat wave imaginable.
* Though we only catch a glimpse of it, ''Film/DragMeToHell'' gives us a brief but horrific sight of what appears to be a FireAndBrimstoneHell.
* ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'':
** ''Film/HellboundHellraiserII'' depicts a gothic-looking, otherworldly area of Hell (or, at least, a very Hell-like dimension [[FromACertainPointOfView that promises unimaginable sensations]]) called the Labyrinth, where the people who [[SchmuckBait solve a cursed puzzle box]] end up. [[LikeABadassOutOfHell Escape is possible]], and the first two movies focus more on human villains who've returned to the real world and [[OurVampiresAreDifferent need blood]] [[SelfConstructedBeing to restore their bodies]] than on [[TheLegionsOfHell the cenobites themselves]].
** ''Film/HellraiserInferno'' also directly depicts Hell, although in a variation. [[spoiler:It adapts itself to the person who is being punished. Almost the entire film, which is set in Los Angeles, actually took place in Joseph's own personal hell as he was being tortured mentally instead of physically by the Cenobites. He's stuck chasing the personification of his own dark side who goes around murdering all of Joseph's loved ones for all eternity with the reminder of what he once was before falling into hedonism.]]
* In ''Film/EventHorizon'', the ships first attempt at FasterThanLightTravel [[GoneHorriblyWrong goes horribly wrong]], and apparently [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace hyperspace really]] ''[[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace is]]'' [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace a scary place]], because the original crew killed one another in really [[{{Squick}} gruesome]] [[EyeScream ways]]. According to a later character, whose sanity has [[SanitySlippage slipped]] a little thanks to the GeniusLoci of the ship, where it went was ''[[UpToEleven worse]]'' than hell and that "hell is only a word."
* The main character of ''Film/ScannerCop'' finds himself temporarily in Hell, when he uses his PsychicPowers to follow the mind of a dying woman beyond the border of life and death.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Adam R. Brown's ''Literature/AstralDawn'' plays this straight with an interesting interpretation of Hell.
** In this series, it is a vast place called Nazyra and within this otherworldly super galaxy are several worlds created and maintained by the dark souls who venture there.
** The Nine Dark Worlds of Nazyra are connected to the souls of Earth. Like its counterpart, Averya, it exists on a higher dimensional plane that overlaps the lower dimensions rather than existing apart from them.
* Dante Alighieri's ''[[Literature/DivineComedy Inferno]]'' is the [[TropeMakers origin]] of many pop-culture ideas about Hell, such as the Circles of Hell and the ironic punishments for each category of sinners. Unfortunately, it's [[WordOfDante not as much a work of theology]] as it is hard sci-fi for the 14th century, and borrowed quite a bit from...
* {{Homer}}'s ''[[Literature/TheOdyssey Odyssey]]'' and Creator/{{Virgil}}'s ''[[Literature/TheAeneid Aeneid]]'', which introduced the River Styx, Cerberus, the descent with a guide into the underworld, and various [[IronicHell ironic punishments]] for the sinners. Other Greek and Roman myths, such Orpheus descending into the Underworld, Persephone's abduction by Hades, and Hercules capturing Cerberus also helped create many of the ToHellAndBack trope's elements.
* ''Literature/ParadiseLost'' also sets most of its story in Hell, particularly in the demon capital Pandemonium, as Lucifer and the rest of the demons plot their next move against God. It's a much more passive setting than in the Divine Comedy, and human sinners are never seen (since, at this point, Adam and Eve are the only humans around).
* The picture caption comes (more or less) from Sartre's book ''No Exit'' (''Huis Clos''). The spirits of three deceased people are stuck, apparently forever, in a single room. The original quote is "l'enfer, c'est les autres" ("Hell is other people")
* Will Leicester's ''Hell's Bells'' series is (mostly) set in Hell, and seems to take the plot of ParadiseLost as something approaching fact for its backstory. The skies may be red, but aside from that Hell and Pandemonium come across almost exactly like 19-century California and 21st-century Los Angeles respectively, with Pandemonium being a modern metropolis and the Wilds surrounding it fairly barren and lawless.
* Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheGreatDivorce'' portrays Hell as a seemingly endless twilight city (actually an infinitesimally small world created by the minds of its inhabitants), upon which night is imperceptibly sinking. The night represents the final judgement and the arrival of the demons: until then, anyone can leave Hell if they wish, but most of the people there are too proud, angry or despairing to believe in or accept Heaven's offer.
** In ''Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters'', meanwhile, Hell is a VastBureaucracy run by [[TheDevilIsALoser devils with desk jobs]], since Lewis believed that the worst evils of the twentieth century were done by {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s. Damned souls become [[ToServeMan food for their tempters]].
* Literature/TheBible, of course, is the TropeCodifier for the Western concept of Hell as the wicked's everlasting punishment, but it's surprisingly short on details. Revelation describes a lake of fire that those who aren't listed in the Book of Life are cast, which may or may not be the same thing as Hell, while Jesus describes "the outer darkness" as a place for the wicked. The main words used in the New Testament for describing it are Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna, the first two coming from Greek mythology while the latter's a Hebrew reference to the burning of garbage and the bodies of condemned criminals.
* NorseMythology brings us the word Hell from "Hel", the goddess of the dead, though it doesn't exactly have a matching concept; Niflheim, the cold abode of the dead that she ruled, was TheNothingAfterDeath. Norse people believed in different possible destinies for the Afterlife [[http://norse-mythology.org/concepts/death-and-the-afterlife/ including rebirth]] and a holy mountain where, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_in_Norse_paganism according to]] TheOtherWiki the members of the Norse clans would lead lives similar to the ones they had lived in the world of the living. Some psychic people could look into the mountain and what they saw was not intimidating, but instead it was a scene with a warm hearth, drinking and talking. The idea that only warriors avoided Hell is a misconception.
* In ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'', the FireAndBrimstoneHell is of the typical variety, with lakes of fire, terrible demons, and souls in torment. The thing that the demons hadn't realized, though, is that, lacking physical bodies, the whole lakes of fire and iron maidens business ''doesn't actually hurt'' the victims. The newest demon king attempts to turn the whole thing on its head by instituting new torture in the form of extreme boredom and pointlessness.
* Buddhist texts call Hell [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naraka_(Buddhism) Naraka]], which can be divided into two categories: the icy Hell and the fiery Hell. The cold one has no demons, but the victims must spend an extremely long time there, alone and naked. The worst of these Hells, Mahapadma, is so cold that the victim's body cracks into pieces. The fiery Hells are much more ''active'', with Yama's attendants torturing victims to death in various ways. The victims quickly revive, only to suffer the same fate again and again, for a very long (though not endless) time. The worst of the fiery Hells (and the lowest of all the hells), Avici, is reserved for those who commit one or more of the Five Grave Offenses (murder of one's father, murder of one's mother, murder of a Arhat or enlightened being, shedding the blood of a Buddha, and causing a schism within the Sangha, the community of Buddhist monks and nuns), and life and suffering in this Naraka lasts the longest out of all the hells put together.
* One of the [[Literature/WingCommander Kilrathi]] hells is called Nagrast, a name given to an ice world orbiting a brown dwarf where survivors from a battle at the end of the war have gathered in an EnemyMine situation, in ''False Colors''
* In ''ILucifer'' one of the few things Lucifer is very vague and evasive on is the exact nature of hell, whether it's a horrific place or actually not so bad. It's very difficult to assess if he's hiding something or just messing with the reader.
* In his chilling short story "Other People" NeilGaiman portrays Hell as a single room, the walls covered with instruments of torture, where a single soul enters, and the demon goes through each instrument of torture over and over again, until the pain of each becomes bearable. Then they start picking through the soul's mind, making them relive and reexperience every lie and misdeed, every mistake, all their doubt and guilt. And then... well, you'll have to read it.
* In the [[Literature/TheCulture Culture]] novel ''Surface Detail'', Hell, or the appropriate equivalent is a very real possibility. It should be noted that that the Culture Universe is based on incredibly advanced technology, such as recording mindstates (which are often analogised as 'souls'). A variety of afterlifes can be created in the form of flawless computer simulations. Whilst the vast majority are benign or pleasant, some civilisations deliberately create a Hell simulation to send their dead to. The more horrifying thing about this is that most of the Hell builders think that it's a good idea. Needless to say, the running of Hell programs is one of the very few things the Culture actively dislikes and makes a point of making this known.
* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', there's the Place of No Stars (also called the Dark Forest), a forest covered in fungus, lit only with a SicklyGreenGlow, with sludgy rivers, and no prey. Each evil cat is meant to walk the Dark Forest alone, but they haven't exactly been doing that lately.
* Played interestingly in the ''Literature/RiftwarCycle''. The cosmology of that series is layered, with at least fifteen "circles"- seven heavens, the mortal plane, and seven hells (there may be more, but anything above the highest heaven or below the lowest hell is completely incomprehensible to human minds). The catch is that which parts are "heaven" or "hell" are subjective, since everyone sees their own circle as the default, so to angels the mortal plane is actually part of Hell, while to the demons its part of Heaven. Each circle down is progressively nastier- the circle just below the mortal plane is very similar to it, albeit far more brutal, while the fifth circle down is the most classic [[FireAndBrimstoneHell hell]], and is home to TheLegionsOfHell. The sixth and seventh hells are little mentioned, but are said to be the home of {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, while the third and fourth [[spoiler: were consumed by those same abominations, who are currently working on the third and influencing the second- and we're next on the menu]].
* The german e-novel "Magicalogen" has a hell near the end of the third part. It has twenty-nine levels which are very different (a sea, a jungle, a bakery, a moldy cellar, a labyrinth of public toilets...) Each level is ruled by another Lord of Hell and whenever a new Lord is appointed, it grows a new level. The dead here are bodiless souls but some Lords give them bodies made of snow, blood or chocolate. There are several living servants of the Lords but no demons (which were earlier established as a completely mundane and mortal species of reptiles). Oh, and it's located in a big rock that is BiggerOnTheInside. Other hells are mentioned to exist. As you can probably tell from this, the novel isn't completely serious.
* Creator/TheBrothersGrimm: Several fairy tales have the protagonists go to Hell and meet Satan there. Often they try to make a DealWithTheDevil too.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' shows us the Klingon idea of Hell in the episode "Barge of the Dead". At first appearing as a barge sailing through a sea of blood, when it arrives at the gates of Hell, B'lanna finds that it's actually an IronicHell, as her version is Voyager itself, lit dim and red, with the crew at their most callous and mocking, on a journey that will never end. But the episode's ending leaves open the possibility that it was AllJustADream.
** ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' also leaves open the 'dimension of pain and suffering' aspect with stories that involve realms or areas of subspace that are inhabited by creatures with wholly malevolent intentions toward humanity (episode 6x05, "Schisms")
* ''HerculesTheLegendaryJourneys'' occasionally featured the Underworld in its stories, and it usually doesn't appear as anything more than an expansive, misty cavern, or the windowless palace of Hades. Hercules does, however, get to visit his dead family in the [[{{Heaven}} Elysian Fields]].
** Ditto for ''XenaWarriorPrincess'', except more of Tartarus was shown than in Hercules.
* In the third season of Lexx, the crew finds themselves orbiting two planets called Fire and Water. The planet Water, as the name suggests, is almost entirely water, While Fire is a waterless desert. As it turns out, [[spoiler: Water and Fire are the Lexxverse's equivalents of Heaven and Hell, respectively]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' has countless "hell dimensions" as well as "heavenly dimensions", though sometimes Hell and Heaven are both referred to as proper nouns. Angel was lost in a hell dimension for [[YearInsideHourOutside several centuries]] and, though we never see what it's like, he arrives back on Earth almost completely insane. One episode shows us a different hell dimension, which includes at least a giant factory where captives are used as slaves until they're too old, and then thrown back to Earth to die on the streets of Los Angeles.
** The [[GrandFinale series finale]] did finally show what lay beyond the [[{{hellgate}} Hellmouth]] that lies hidden beneath Sunnydale, and which many of the show's villains had sought to end the world by opening. However, we still see nothing more than a huge cavern at the very entrance of the hellmouth, filled with Turok-han. No comment was made about where the giant tentacle monster, the first to come out on previous openings of the hellmouth, went (it may have been killed during "The Zeppo," since [[NoodleIncident we never learn the details of that fight]]).
* The spinoff show ''Series/{{Angel}}'' continued exploring the idea of hell dimensions. Angel's own son Conner is eventually lost as an infant to "the Quor'Tath, darkest of the dark dimensions". Although that world's also not seen onscreen, Conner reappears after a few months as a very powerful, and very traumatized and angry, demon-slaying teenager.
** Hell, this time in the proper-noun sense, would later turn up in the episode "Hell Bound", as a century-old ghost has remained free by sending other souls to Hell in his place. Although the vortex to Hell is seen, the characters and audience never find out what lies beyond it.
** The oft-mentioned "Home Office" dimension of [[OccultLawFirm Wolfram & Hart]] is heavily implied to be one of the worst of the hell dimensions. When Angel becomes a DeathSeeker and tries to invade it, he gets his own HeroicBlueScreenOfDeath. Home office is overrun with [[spoiler: humans, seeing that it's Earth.]]
* The underworld in ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'' resembles the traditional depiction of Hell. Everybody seems to go there when dying no matter how they act during their life time.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' generally depicts Hell as a place where demons live and where people go when they make deals with demons and are later killed by hell hounds. It is glimpsed once at the end of Season 3, where [[spoiler: Dean is killed by Lilith and the Hell Hounds and is in a yellow and black cloudy area with several chains hooked into him.]] It is later mentioned that a month is equal to several years, and that Alastair tortures people there until they agree to torture other souls.
** And from the glimpses we've seen of [[spoiler: Lucifer's cage]], there's also a definite [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire]] element to Hell on this show.
** And in a late Season 6 episode, we see what's happened to Hell ever since [[spoiler: Crowley]] became the new King - he turned it into an endless waiting line. And when you finally reach the end, it ''just starts over''.
--> '''[[spoiler: Crowley]]''': "The problem with the old way was, a lot of the people who came here were masochists anyway. A lot of 'thank you sir, may I have another spike up the jacksie?' But ''this'' is torture."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* Most of ''Radio/OldHarrysGame'' takes place in Hell, with {{Satan}} dishing out cruel punishments to those involved, and trying to keep the place under control.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has an infinity of evil planes in the Abyss, most of them based around mythological underworlds and demons. The dead don't necessarily go there, but they are home to some [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils very, very nasty evil deities]] who often have plans for expanding their reach to the mortal world.
** The Nine Hells of Baator, which paid homage to Dante's version. It's also home of all types of nasty, but with a different slant along Alignment lines—the devils of Baator [[LawfulEvil want to rule]] TheMultiverse, whereas the demons of the Abyss [[ChaoticEvil want to destroy it]].
*** As of the fourth edition, [[http://images.yuku.com/image/pjpeg/45536ba641a897edcc85536f05a293fe97906a7c.jpg Hell is a planet.]]
** In fact, ''D&D'' has ''several'' planes of ultimate evil, collectively known as the Lower Planes. From LawfulEvil through NeutralEvil and to ChaoticEvil, they are: the Infernal Battlefield of Acheron, the Nine Hells of Baator (or just "Hell"), the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna, the Gray Waste of Hades, the Tarterian Depths of Carceri (aka "Tartarus"), the Infinite Layers of the Abyss, and the Windswept Depths of Pandemonium.
* The D20 game ''TabletopGame/{{Infernum}}'' uses Hell as its setting and as the default adventuring locale. This is because you're encouraged to play as a demon instead of a human.
* The TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness sourcebook "Inferno" details Hell, which in this setting appears to be a personification of human evil, and grants the opportunity for unpleasant spirits, the ghosts of evil people, and goetic demons, escaped {{Anthropomorphic Personification}}s of dark human urges, to become corrupting [[TheHeartless Dominions]]. Just ''looking'' at it can damage your KarmaMeter - it's not an evil act, but you are looking at the heart of all sin in this or any reality, and it's nearly impossible for it not to erode your moral standards.
** The [[TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening Supernal Realm]] of Pandemonium is generally hellish, albeit of the [[SelfInflictedHell self inflicted]] variety, the rationale being that when faced with a place of pure thought, people will generally force themselves to confront their worst aspects.
** Subverted in ''DemonTheDescent'' - while demons believe in Hell, they aren't tied to the metaphysical realm of the Inferno. Rather, "Hell" is an idealized state that differs from demon to demon, but typically embodies a world where [[DeusEstMachina the God-Machine]] has no sway over them.
* In the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness, there was the Abyss from TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen. Here, Hell was the absence of God... and everything else, in fact. And since the titular demons had just been tossed in by God and had a bunch of anger issues, [[SelfInflictedHell they quickly turned on one another and made it into the classical version]].
** The [=oWoD=] also had the Thousand Hells from ''TabletopGame/KindredOfTheEast''. The spirit realms that became the Hells were originally intended to be for the punishment and correction of Asian mortal souls. Then their rulers, [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils the Yama Kings]], discovered that they could draw strength from pain, suffering and corruption, and were more than happy to embrace this new source of power, diving headlong into corruption themselves. In the present day, correction has no place in the Hells; it's all about torment and suffering.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' calls it "the Warp".
** ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' calls it "the Realm of Chaos".
* Malfeas in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}''...the dumping ground for the Primordials who didn't end up minced. By and large, mortal souls don't end up here; it's not intended for them.
* In {{KULT}}, we have Inferno as classic hell. Nowadays, most souls end up in [[IronicHell Purgatory]] instead. [[spoiler: Catch is, [[{{Satan}} Astaroth]] no longer gives a damn about the place and lets his subordinates manage Inferno as they please, so you can get punished for a sin you never committed at all. And with fewer souls coming to Inferno, they will give you some extra ForTheLulz. Just goes to show just what kind of a CrapsackWorld we're dealing with]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' games all involve teleportation experiments in a future space setting that have accidentally opened portals to Hell. Something of a HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace plot, except the games make it clear that what the scientists call hyperspace actually is Hell, which is mostly portrayed with [[FireAndBrimstoneHell seas of lava, brimstone mountains and a burning red sky]].
* The ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' games use Hell and an attempt to stop a [[TheLegionsOfHell demonic invasion]] in their stories: the first game features the catacombs of Tristram's cathedral eventually warping into a Hellish landscape, while the sequel involves a journey straight into Hell itself, a landscape of burnt, smoldering plains of ash. The [[VideoGame/DiabloIII third game]] ups the ante by [[spoiler:having you stave off an assault by Diablo's demons upon the High Heavens by journeying to Hell and destroying the gates Diablo is using to invade before battling your way to the Crystal Arch to stop Diablo from destroying it and plunging everything into darkness forever]].
* The story of ''VideoGame/FearEffect'' revolves around the dealings between the demons of the Chinese Hell and the crime syndicates of a near-future Hong Kong.
* ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'' involves a modern man's Heaven-sent mission to assassinate the demon lords of Hell. After an extensive battle through Purgatory, Hell itself turns out to be [[spoiler:[[HellIsWar a series of still, deserted scenes depicting war throughout the ages.]]]]
* ''VideoGame/HellgateLondon'' takes place in a near-future England where the gate to Hell has opened and the modern world has [[AfterTheEnd long since fallen]] to the [[DemonicInvaders demons]]. The Earth itself is gradually succumbing to "the Burn", a reverse-[[{{Terraform}} terraforming]] process that's creating a new Hell on Earth.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry'' likes to visit Hell for its last few levels in a given game.
* If you dig far enough in ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', you'll eventually encounter a vast sea of magma, filled with bizarre, vicious creatures and twisted fauna. [[spoiler:That's not hell. Hell is lower. It's [[SerialEscalation much, much, worse than anything else in Dwarf Fortress]]]].
* In ''SuperPaperMario'', the area of the afterlife (known as aftergame) that dead characters end up in first is The Underwhere. Queen Jaydes (a reference to Hades) will send them to The Overthere (Heaven) if they are good, and if they are evil, will send them below to "suffer for eternity among the game-overed". This fate is clearly Hell. Shaydes sent there become Skellobits. One wonders how many of the Skellobits are any of Mario's old enemies, like Tatanga and Cackletta and the Shroobs...
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' have the Oblivion Realms, every Daedric Prince rules one of their own. Although not all Oblivion Realms are "evil" or "bad", the one the player visits in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' (by going through a ''very'' ominous Oblivion Gate) is the one belonging to the Daedric Prince of Destruction, Mehrunes Dagon. Complete with burning and scourged landscape, random {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, carnivorous plants, lava lakes, mutilated corpses hanging around, intimidating towers, fortresses with names like [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Meat Grinder]] and a blood-red sky.
** By contrast, Sheogorath's realm appears relatively benign - on the surface. Until you realize that everyone there is some flavor of insane and an in-game book reveals that the water, food and ''air'' are all contaminated with mind-altering spores.
** In-universe sources point to several of the other known Realms as being hellish -- Periyte's is described in terms similar to what Mehrunes Dagon's Realm was shown to be, Vaermina's Realm is literally a place of nightmares, Malacath's is a place of bitter air filled with "anguish, betrayal, and broken promises like ash" and Molag Bal's is a darker image of Nirn, filled with charnel houses and vast slave pens.
* Oddly enough, Hell does appear in a Final Fantasy game (''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', to be exact). [[spoiler:And you end up making [[BigBad the Emperor]] [[NiceJobBreakingItHero the ''ruler'' of Hell]]. OhCrap doesn't even begin to describe it.]]
* Hell in ''ShadowMan'' is a vast zombie-ridden wasteland with sprawling rivers of blood where everyone goes when they die.
* The webcomic ''Ctrl-Alt-Del'' has proposed a specific hierarchy of Hell specifically related to the cardinal sins of gaming: http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20090928
* ''Baldur's Gate 2'' and the ''Throne of Bhaal'' expansion feature some parts of the Nine Hells, including your own pocket plane and Bhaal's Throne of Blood, which is a series of organic, bony islands in a void of darkness, surrounding the central island, where the 'throne' is.
* It's possible that the lower level of the Ancient Cistern in ''TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' is hell. It's full of zombies, bones, poisoned water, it's like the underworld in every way. Link even CLIMBS OUT OF THIS AREA BY A ROPE at one point, which has been used a few times to show people escaping hell.
** And they do establish a devil in Majora's Mask, whom Sharp sells his soul to.
* GuildWars has the "Realm of torment", home to a god who revolted, and his followers, who play a major role in the Nightfall campaign. This version is a collection of creepy realms, but not fire and brimstone.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'', having Hinduism and Buddhist tones for the games mythology, has Naraka, depected a endless realm of golden clouds with bottomless abyss and towers made out of stone faces. Asura climbs up a tower in here multiple times throughout the game after dying many times.
* ''VideoGame/DokaponKingdom'' has Heck (the game is silly) as the last area the adventurers go into. The first section of the dungeon is the typical fiery wasteland, and the heroes have to fight their clones. The second section is more of a dark and evil castle, though.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', the second segment of [[DeathMountain Red Mountain]] descends into a volcano. There are cells in the walls with rather surreal looking prisoners dancing to the beat of the level's song. The level is also filled with skulls that breathe fire, [[ScarySpider giant spiders]], and tomb stones. An in game mission refers to this area a 'burning hell' so its pretty much explicitly supposed to be a hell analogue
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* For a non-religious analog of Hell, ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' has "The Dimension of Pain", first introduced as Saturday filler material, before getting a [[CerebusSyndrome somewhat more dramatic focus]] in the "That Which Redeems" StoryArc.
* ''PicturesForSadChildren'' has paul who is a ghost going to hell, which is a latinamerican hotel (possibly mexican, since John Campbell lived in México for a while) where he meets jeremy, the main's character roommate who died and is speding his time in hell doing exactly the same thing he did while he was alive.
* In ''BobAndGeorge'', [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000724c the Author first tells Megman and Protoman that the White Space is Hell]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' lampooned the concepts of Heaven and Hell mercilessly, with a likeable Satan and an underworld that often [[AHellOfATime doesn't seem particularly bad]], especially given since virtually nobody except Mormons go to Heaven.
* ''{{Futurama}}'' gives us Robot Hell, a subterranean, industrial hell for, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin robots]]. It's located beneath New Jersey, and only applies to robots who join the Church of Robotology and then reject it. In addition to being a mechanized version of the [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire and brimstone]] variety, each level features a different, [[IronicHell ironic punishment]] for Bender's sins.
* The WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes short ''Satan's Waitin''' has Sylvester the Cat repeatedly descending to Hell and then returning to Earth as his nine lives are used up in pursuit of Tweety Bird.
** ''Devil's Feud Cake'' has Yosemite Sam going to Hell, but being offered a reprieve if he can bring Characters/BugsBunny down to take his place. Utilizing clips from earlier cartoons, Sam is depicted repeatedly trying and [[KarmicTrickster failing]] in this endeavor; in the end, the Devil offers him one more chance, but Sam declares, "I'm a-stayin'!"
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' also used Hell at least once, in a short involving Tom threatened with Hell unless he can get a pardon for his sins signed by Jerry. The Devil in this case is supporting character Spike the Dog, with horns and red skin, and Hell is a fiery cavern. The episode also features the escalator form of a StairwayToHeaven, and ends with Tom greatly relieved to find that it was AllJustADream.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' had Yakko, Wakko and Dot arriving in the Underworld (the [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire and brimstone]] variety) and generally tormenting Satan with their own unique brand of insanity. Eventually Yakko freezes Hell over, and he and his siblings are [[LikeABadassOutofHell kicked out]], only to find themselves in [[FluffyCloudHeaven Heaven]].
* ''TheSimpsons'': In the "Devil and Homer Simpson" segment of the HalloweenEpisode "Treehouse of Horror IV", the Devil - in the persona of Ned Flanders - sends Homer to Hell after he sells his soul for a donut. Homer is immediately dispatched to the Ironic Punishment Division of Hell Labs, where he's strapped to a machine that force-feeds him "all the donuts in the world". (The punishment fails, however, as Homer greedily devours each and every one of said donuts with no complaints.). Later Homer is put to trial and judged by a Jury of the Damned, consisting of various celebrities who lead an evil life and now spent eternity in Hell.
** In "Treehouse of Horror XI", during the segment "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad" Homer is sent to Hell again, where apparently Creator/JohnWayne resides too.
* ''PinkyAndTheBrain'' had an episode where Pinky sells his soul to the devil and gets snatched away into a traditional FireAndBrimstoneHell. Similarly to the ''{{Simpsons}}'' example, the devil tries various torture methods on Pinky but they all backfire because [[TooKinkyToTorture he just thinks they're fun amusement park rides]].
* The main setting of ''{{Jimmy Two-Shoes}}'' is either Hell or some resonable equivolent. In [[WhatCouldHaveBeen the original pitch]], it was explicitly Hell, with Jimmy sent their by accident after dying, but in the finished product it's vague, but heavily implied. It varies between a FireAndBrimstoneHell and AHellOfATime.
* In one episode of WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic, the three-headed dog Cerberus from [[ClassicalMythology Greek mythology]] briefly leaves his guarding place at [[{{Hellgate}} the entryway to Tartarus]], where all sorts of [[EldritchAbomination horrible creatures]] are said to dwell, and shows up in Ponyville. Luckily, Fluttershy and Twilight help get him back to his post and no lasting harm is done, but the fact that ''pony Hell'' was more-or-less introduced remains a tad unnerving.
** Introduced and dismissed quickly as a gag, no less. However, [[PlotArchaeology it came back in a big way]] in the season four finale: something ''did'' get out when Cerberus was away, and it was being held there for a ''reason.'' [[spoiler: Tirek]] has been gathering his power and getting stronger since his imprisonment, is only now ready to show us ''exactly'' what in the land of pretty magic ponies is ''so'' nasty it gets sent to such a place.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' features the [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire-and-brimstone]]-with-[[HellIsThatNoise screams-of-the-suffering]] version of Hell, called the Nightosphere. It's filled with [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demons]], and it's said to be sustained via ChaoticEvil. It's apparently not a dimension for the deceased, however.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* The urban legend "[[http://www.snopes.com/religion/wellhell.asp Well to Hell]]", documented on Snopes, tells the story a Russian geological team whose equipment [[DugTooDeep accidentally drilled all the way into a subterranean Hell]], revealing a scorching darkness filled with the screams of the damned. While there's a slight element of truth, in that a Russian geological team did discover something interesting during a dig, that something apparently wasn't the underworld.
** What they did was [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kola_Superdeep_Borehole drill a hole]] as far as possible into the earth's crust, before it became too difficult due to the heat. They found interesting geological anomalies, but no FireAndBrimstoneHell.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Norway Hell]].
** There are a couple of other places named "Hell" in real life:
*** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Grand_Cayman one in the Caymen Islands]]
*** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Michigan one in Michigan]]
*** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_California one in California]]
*** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell,_Arizona several places with the word "Hell" in their names in Arizona]]
*** [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell_for_Certain,_Kentucky How about Hell for Certain, Kentucky]] [[FalseReassurance I wonder?]]
*** [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door_to_Hell Door to Hell]]--This comes closest to a real-life fiery hell.
* Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, named because of the high violence and crime rates which, until the 1990's, were found there.
[[/folder]]

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