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Nightmare Fuel / The Divine Comedy

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Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.note 

Inferno is one of the most detailed accounts of what Hell might feel like. The end results aren't pretty.

  • The ones who really have it bad are the ones trapped in Hell's Vestibule — The Opportunists. As they never took sides between good and evil in life, so is their fate in death. They're not actually a part of Hell, and they have no chance at redemption. They just have one small place to be tormented for eternity alone by themselves.
  • The Second Circle, meant for people overcome with lust, dooms its inhabitants to be buffeted about by the terrible winds of a violent storm, never knowing rest. While this isn't a particularly harsh punishment by the poem's standards, the idea of being eternally blown around by such powerful winds is still a pretty terrifying thought.
  • The Fifth Circle, meant for people who succumbed to anger and sorrow, is filled with inhabitants so controlled by their emotions that they alternate between mindlessly attacking every person around them and hopelessly sinking to the bottom of the Circle's filthy waters. This see-saw of destruction and despair continues for eternity.
  • The Seventh Circle, appropriately for punishing the violent, has some very brutal punishments.
    • The first ring is meant for people violent against their proverbial neighbors. It contains the Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood filled with murderers, warmongers, plunderers and tyrants. It gets worse: if somebody rises too high from the river, they get shot by the centaurs patrolling the banks.
    • The second ring is for people who were violent against themselves. It contains the Wood of the Suicides, a dark, scary forest full of gnarled trees and dangerous thorns. Where are the people? Well, they are the twisted, broken trees. Oh, and they still bleed and feel pain, which is a problem since the trees are constantly being attacked by harpies.
      • Speaking of the second ring, it also contains the violently profligate. They get eternally chased through the Wood of the Suicides by ferocious hounds, who savagely maul them when they catch them.
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    • The third ring is meant to punish those violent against God, art, and nature. It's a huge, sandy desert where fire constantly rains down from the sky.
  • The Eighth Circle of Hell, Malebolge, which punishes the fraudulent and malicious. It's probably the closest the poem gets to depicting Fire and Brimstone Hell, and it puts many other similar portrayals to shame.
  • The Ninth Circle of Hell, meant to punish traitors, is a huge frozen lake called Cocytus. The inmates here are trapped in the lake's ice.
  • The final part of the Inferno, where the three worst traitors, Judas, Brutus, and Cassius, are being eternally chewed in Satan's three mouths in the very center of hell.
  • The nightmare fuel doesn't stop when Dante and Vergil leave Hell. When visiting the second terrace of Purgatory, meant for the envious, they see that the souls in it have their eyes sewn shut.

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