The Most Nightmarish Depictions Of Hell Ever Conceived

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Wondering what hell looks like has long been a fascination of artists. Much of what people know of hell comes from 'eyewitness' accounts, alleged gateways, and the occasional Biblical reference. Yet, you still find countless depictions of hell in all forms of art, and many paintings of hell get particularly unnerving. Even if you're not religious—or you are religious but have no belief in hell—seeing artwork depicting hell, with the torture and the fire and the unknowable horror, can leave you feeling uneasy.

And these pictures of hell come from all over the place—they span centuries and styles, beliefs and countries. But the one thing that they have in common? They're all just super effed up. You don't have to be an art history major to appreciate the creativity behind these works—some inspired by descriptions from Dante and others just pulled straight from the darkest corners of the imagination.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY