Fengdu, Ghost City
Fengdu Ghost City is a tourist attraction on the northern bank of the Yangtse River 170 km from the east of Chongqing. Fengdu became known as Ghost City in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) when two officials from the Imperial court married and settled on Mt. Minshan just outside the city. Combined, their surnames, Yin and Wang, sound like King of Hell in Chinese. Both of them later became immortals by carrying out self-cultivation. This story widely spread and makes Mt. Minshan become famous. 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, the social structure in the hell is exactly like that in this world. In hell, a sprit would go through a whole and complete administration of a government to get the final judgment. The honest spirits would be rewarded and the criminal ones would be punished. Different punishment would be given to different crimes. The drawing and statues in the temples built on Mt. Minshan represents the Chinese imagination of hell.
According to superstitious legend"the dead come to Fengdu and the devils go to hell". Since Tang Dynasty, forty-eight temples have been built in this place, such as the "Hall of the Jade Emperor", " the "Palace of Hell", "Boundary Between the Living and the Dead", " the "Ridge of Helplessness" and the "Balcony of Nostalgia". All of the temples there look quite magnificent while statues are extremely lifelike.Today, Fengdu - Ghost City throngs with many tourists who come to visit temples and shrines dedicated to the gods of the underworld. Landmarks here bear horrific names - Last Glance at Home Tower, Nothing-to-be-done Bridge, and Ghost Torturing Pass - the three trials for ghosts who wanted to enter the nether world.
In Fengdu, many historical sites are linked with the ghost culture. In the 1990s, local government began to promote the “ghost festival”.However, investigations show that lots of superstitious activities were involved during these ghost festivals.