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Gui Men Guan (鬼门关)

Chinese. ‘Ghost Gate Mountain Pass’. Name of the Gate of Hell in Taoism and Chinese folklore, that leads to the Underworld. It is the entrance for the souls of the newly deceased and is believed to be guarded by a group of evil ghosts. With a guide, known as Bai Wu Chang (fig.), the souls of kind people can safely pass the gate, to register in the office of the Emperor of the Underworld and receive their awards, i.e. either rising into heaven or getting a rebirth into a rich and noble family, whereas the souls of the evil and wicked dead will undergo harassment and be sent to the Retribution Palace for interrogation and then for punishment in hell, the place where dead humans face suffering prior to reincarnation. The Taoist Gate of Hell (fig.) comes after the Bridge of Troubled Water (fig.) and precedes Huang Quan (黄泉), i.e. the ‘Yellow Spring’ or the ‘Spring one Falls Through’, also known as the land of the dead and the World of Darkness, which is reached by the road of death and road of the dead under the earth.