Do you know where the capital city of the
ghost world is? Well, a Chinese Daoist will tell you that
it is the county town of Fengdu, on the upper reach of
the Yangtze River in China's Sichuan province, just 172
kilometres from the Chongqing metropolitan. Every third
day of every third lunar month, the town holds a Ghost
Temple Fairs following the long tradition of the grand
capital of the shadow world. During the festival, the locals
celebrate the wedding anniversary of and the visit to their
neighbourhood by His Majesty the Ghost.
According to the Daoist legend, everyone
will be called to face the judgment of Ghost King upon
death (except those who are promoted to Heaven straightway).
But to successfully cross the border into the realm of
the dead where the King’s courtroom situates, you’ll need
a valid passport, which in the old days could be purchased
at Fengdu county magistrate’s office. You don’t have to
fill out any application forms though, as long as you pay
in cash, an officer would happily issue the travel document,
complete with a round red big seal to certify its authenticity.
Once you appear in the court before Ghost
King (after your death, naturally), your good deeds and
bad conducts are to be weighted against each other, and
the outcome will determine whether you should be released
back to the human community by way of reincarnation or
sentenced to Hell.
apparently, is like a multi-storeyed skyscraper (hellscraper).
Some say there are total of 24 floors in it, others insist
that it has only 18. In any case, it’s a big place.
Allegedly, the Hell ward guards (also known
as "devils") on each floor are specialised in
one of the particular torture techniques, which include
hanging the inmates upside down and leave them in that
sorrowful position indefinitely, taking their skin off,
tearing heart from their body and frying them in boiling
oil. The severity of the punishment depends on the seriousness
of the offence. And if a crime is so horrendous and the
convict is sentenced to life imprisonment (or should say
death imhellment), the poor ghost would be subject to the
torture over and over and over and over again, with no parole
eligibility until eternity ...
A devil in Hell is preparing to
fry a ghost
At the moment, the ambitious government of
Fengdu (It's the government administered by people, not
ghosts, of course) is undertaking a grand project to renovate
the township to reflect its celebrated status as the CBD
of the Other World. It is planned to erect the biggest
statue of Ghost King on the planet, construct a scary ghost
town to haunt the visitors and set up a Hell of terror
to torture the tourists.
The whole project would cost an estimated
2,300 million yuans and is expected to be complete in August
2007. By then, if you are getting bored with your life
of peace and comfort and eager to be haunted or tortured,
you know where to go.