Fengdu, also called the “City of Ghosts”, is 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of Chongqing situated on the northern bank of Yangtze River between Zhongxian and Fuling. This small town is an important stop of Yangtze River cruise route.

Fengdu Ghost City

Fengdu received its reputation as the “Ghost City” in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Two officials from the imperial court–Wang Fang Ping and Ying Chang Sheng were bored with political life in the court and came to Mt. Minshan outside Fengdu city to practice Taoist teachings. Both of them later became immortals by carrying out self-cultivation. When combined together, their surnames Yin and Wang sound very much like “King of Hell” in Chinese. Hence the people began to call Fengdu the “Ghost City”.

To Chinese people, the social structure is hell is exactly like that in the real world. In hell, a spirit goes through the whole bureaucracy to be finally judged. Those pure of spirit will be rewarded and those sinful of spirit will be subjected to severe punishments. The temples built on Ming Hill have been carved with a large assortment of ghosts and devils. These ugly and tortured looking creatures are meant to depict the after-life, where people who disobey ancient Chinese morals will be punished by every horrifying way imaginable. Different punishment would be given to different kinds of sins. The temples built on Mt. Minshan display punishing instruments and wild demon images, which vividly depict the Chinese people’s imagination of Hell.

It was hoped that these terrifying statues would scare people into submission to the moral codes.