Hell’s Museum, the world’s first museum dedicated to death and the afterlife, opens at Haw Par Villa

Singapore, 27 October 2021 – Haw Par Villa, Singapore’s longest-running cultural theme park, is set to officially relaunch on Thursday, 28 October 2021, with the opening of Hell’s Museum, the only attraction in the world dedicated to death and the afterlife. The Museum will be open to the public from Friday, 29 October 2021. The opening weekend, 29 – 31 October, will be packed with a series of events and activities, ranging from Chinese ink-painting workshops and yoga under the stars, to guided park tours and Halloween-themed picnics.

Journeys, an award-winning, Singapore-based heritage specialist is focused on reimagining much-loved historical sites, such as Changi Museum and Battlebox, and is the current management team at Haw Par Villa. “We aim to revitalise this 84-year-old attraction in a three phased programme, starting with the introduction of the world’s first Hell’s Museum,” says Jeya Ayadurai, Chairman of Journeys Pte Ltd. “Our goal is for Haw Par Villa to be reinvigorated as the heritage gem it truly is, by incorporating new, compelling content to complement the folklore and philosophy behind the Park’s array of over 1,000 statues and 150 dioramas. In doing so, we hope to spark in local and international visitors a keener sense of curiosity and an exploration of Asian art, culture, literature, and religion. The result is a richer appreciation of what our communities share in common.” 

Hell’s Museum provides unique comparative insights on how death and the afterlife are viewed and interpreted across religions, cultures, and the ages. The immersive exhibition features specially commissioned videos and multi-media elements that will offer visitors a better understanding of the commonalities across the world’s major belief systems – and how different communities around the world, as well as in Singapore, draw meaning from death and dying. Stretching over 3,800 sqm Hell’s Museum also serves as a prelude to Haw Par Villa’s world-renowned Ten Courts of Hell, based on Taoist and Buddhist teachings of punishments in the afterlife.

“Not many know that Tiger Balm mogul – Aw Boon Haw – built the park as a tribute to his brother, Aw Boon Par,” Ayadurai explains. “After Boon Par’s sudden passing in 1944, Boon Haw wanted to commemorate his brother’s life and developed some of the best-known dioramas during the post-war years – including the famed Ten Courts of Hell. 

“Most importantly, Boon Haw wanted visitors to contemplate how they should live their lives meaningfully. We’ve developed Hell’s Museum to commemorate the brotherly love – and as a continuation of this celebration of life and heritage, focusing on what we share as a community rather than what differentiates us.” 

Hell’s Museum will be open to the public daily from 29 October 2021, with tickets priced at SGD18 for adults (13 years and above) and SGD10 for children (7 – 12 years only). Due to the subject matter, children under the age of 9 years old are not encouraged to visit the Museum. For the opening weekend of 29 – 31 October, which coincides with Halloween, the Museum will be open at the following times. Hell’s Museum will also offer a special limited-edition souvenir to all who visit the museum dressed in Halloween costume.

Highlights of the programme for the opening weekend, 29 – 31 October, include: 

  • Park Tours by Haw Par Villa Park Ambassadors
  • Chinese Ink Painting classes & Tea Appreciation
  • Wu Tao Dance
  • Hypnotherapy Talk & Workshop
  • Breathwork & Yoga under the Stars
  • Halloween themed picnic sets by Glamping Society

As part of the reimagining of Haw Par Villa, Journeys will also offer a line-up of exciting activities that will be rolled out in the next few months.

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