Then, you come upon the frightening form of Hu Fa Shi Zhe, upholder of the laws of the Ten Courts of Hell and controller of ghosts and devils. This is one man you don't want to cross.
In the next cave-like structure, the God of Earth is seated on a green leonine beast, his shawl patterned like a brick wall. But all these sights are just to prepare you for the tunnel labelled 'Ten Courts of Hell' and guarded by two men with the faces of an ox and a horse. A placard advises parental discretion due to the graphic nature of the exhibits within. I can imagine coming here as a child, consumed by morbid curiosity and insisting upon being taken inside.
The Ten Courts of Hell
A story unfolds as you pass through the tunnel, beginning with the Golden Bridge, which marks the passage to afterlife, a man on his knees, desperately pleading for mercy and then, the ten courts of hell for ten different sins, ranging from murder to deceit, thievery, envy and lust. In one scene, men are being flogged with ropes and in another, they are being made to lie on burning hot coals. There are sinners being impaled on spears and others being made to hang upside down.