People Reveal What Their Own Personal Version Of Hell Would Be Like
From Dante's _Inferno, _one of the only surviving old pieces of literature which quite literally imagined Hell as a place, to Jean-Paul Sartre's infamous play _No Exit _(from which the quote "Hell is other people" was born,) humans have always been fascinated with imagining this chamber of torture that supposedly those who led despicable lives shall inhabit for all eternity.
So when lalatier asked the internet:
They were met with a breadth of answers.
A cold winters night. I'm driving home, the heat doesn't work, and it's 40 below. I really, REALLY need to poop, so badly that it hurts. But I hold on, suffering, because I'm almost home. It's just around the corner!
But it isn't just around the corner, because this world is a looping purgatory. I have no concept of time, so I'm stuck in this moment, freezing cold, in a state of gastric pain, with my futile hope that I'll be alright hanging in limbo for eternity.
Or maybe I'm just stuck in the mall behind a group of kids who won't move. Same amount of suffering, TBH.
Trapped Inside Of Trapped
A place where you constantly hear nothing but a dripping sound and you always feel like you have to take a piss, but you have no genitalia.
Everytime I'm going to do something or make a decision, someone will tell me to do just that a couple of seconds before I actually do.
So patronising. It'll make me feel like I have no free will.
Alone in a room that's a blank, empty cube. Absolutely no diversions or distractions whatsoever. No need (or ability) to eat or sleep. Rendered incapable of having a psychotic break that would at least give me hallucinations for company. Fully aware and conscious forever.
Even if you stuck me in a cell with something I hate or fear, eternity would probably be enough time to become desensitized to it. Ultimately, after a few years, the worst thing would be nothing.
A Summer Day
I'm a cashier in an overcrowded store. The customers are -ssholes and the computer is slow. I'm wearing -ss shorts but I didn't shave my legs up high enough so there's like three inches of hair showing beneath the shorts. My lips are peeling and my hat is too small for my head. I know it's almost break time but break time never comes.
A quiet room with my favorite book. The room is completely silent except for one person eating yogurt right beside me.
When You're Here, You're Contained.
It would be a little place called "The Container Store".
I would walk in with my girlfriend, and she would immediately disappear into one of the aisles. I would text her, but she would never answer. I'll be left there, alone, staring at Tupperware containers and garbage cans by myself for all eternity.
Oh God, Just End It
100+ degrees F with 99% humidity. kittens, but dying every five minutes. people constantly mocking me and laughing behind my back. all set to easy-listening music on a continuous loop.
Sartre Would Be Proud
I would be the host of a party in a house I've never seen. None of the proper arrangements would be made, so no food, drinks, or entertainment, and I would be expected to provide all of them. On top of all this, I wouldn't know any of the guests, yet each one of them would know me and try to make conversation and get offended when I don't know details about their lives.
In short, hell is other people.
A Life In Molasses
I'm extremely hungover and am in a supermarket with florescent lighting, too many middle aged women and men with too many screaming kids running around, and they have nothing on my list.
I'm thirsty but everyone I turn into an isle looking for water all I'm faced with is a special on whatever I was drinking the night before, fish, or cleaning supplies where people have been spray testing the most potent air fresheners.
I dressed for the cold but it's not as cold as I though, the lights get steadily brighter, the children louder, and the adults more obnoxious. They've no trollies so I'm carrying a basket filled with a heavy bag of potatoes.
I was a grunt in the Marines and as you can imagine there was a lot of hiking going on. And when you train in Southern California, they make you hike up some mountains. It was a unique experience and I never had trouble keeping up, but god damn I hated it. Some of the most miserable hours of my life were climbing up a mountain in the middle of summer in full combat gear while humping around a 60 pound pack. If I had my own special hell, it would be climbing a mountain eternally. I can't believe some people do that shit for fun, haha.
She's A Brick
I'm trapped in a room in which the walls and floors are covered in thousands of centipedes, the only safe heaven from the centipede onslaught is a single toilet placed in the middle of the room.
Because I'm in hell I am doomed to suffer, the centipedes continuously bite and tear my flesh as I try and make it to the toilet seat. Whenever I die due to the centipede's venom I am reborn farther away from the toilet seat.
After centuries of trying I finally make it to the toilet, I sit on the porcelain throne finally safe from the centipedes only to find out that the seat is warm.
As I cry "Brick House" by the Commodores begins to play.
Eyes In The Darkness
I would be left alone, in a room, by myself, with nothing to do. Except I would always know at least 2 people where watching and judging me. Also, I would have some kind of collar or something that constantly put weight on the back of my neck, that makes me super uncomfortable for some reason.
Fiery Hell With Ice Breakers
The first day of the semester when the professor tells you to introduce yourself or to tell something interesting about yourself.
I'm waiting to get off an airplane. People keep gathering their stuff and getting ready, making crappy jokes, looking impatient.
But we never actually leave.
Everyone chews with their mouth open all the time and people in conversation make bad jokes loudly so other people around them can hear and then look around to see who's laughing
Texts To Lucifer
Everyone I know is mad at me and I keep trying to apologize through text but they never respond back and I know every time I hit enter again, it just makes me look a little worse. The anxiety does not end, for eternity.
I'm trapped in a glass cage. Outside the cage are hundreds of corgis that I can't pet. They keep rolling, trying to get me to pet them. They keep getting more and more cute every hour I can't pet them.
My High School Experience
I'm trapped in a room of 15 year old theater geeks. They're all singing songs from musicals and think it's funny and interesting to break out into off-key song. It never ends. help. Everyone knows Hamilton. For the love of god, just pick a new musical.
Given that you cannot die in hell I would imagine my eternity would be spent in horribly gruesome scenarios. Particularly my head would be separated from my body and put into a steel case with spikes on the inside then spiders and scorpions not affected by flames would be poured into my head case to sting me forever. My head case would be thrown into a lava pit. Meanwhile my body would be subjected to various impossible tortures like a being stabbed with a knife that lives inside of me.
The only thing I never understood about hell is how can it use physical pain to punish me when I am already dead. To me hell would be something worse than physical pain and in fact emotional pain. Hell is after all an absence of God so I imagine that it would be something along the lines of never being able to feel love. I would only be able to experience sorrow, hate, anger, and despair for the rest of time. If this is true then why would I need to be in a physical place? Couldn't hell for me just be reliving all of the times I felt those emotions on Earth? Wouldn't it be me hurting the people I loved on earth over and over forever? Every time someone hurt me is the experience that would most likely be hell.
An infinite department of motor vehicles with no exit. It would have exclusively post-90s pop music playing, only keurig coffee and nothing to eat but risotto.
The smell of cheap air freshener would hang heavy in the air, and you would be forced to listen hourly to one of the other inhabitants drone at you about what forms you need to fill out to enact a change in tag or title but theres no pen or pencil anywhere.
There would be a unbreakable glass wall with people outside smoking joints and cigarettes enjoying a beautiful sunny day. You are only allowed to look at them longingly for no more than ten minutes a day, as stated in department regulation 225-379.6
Everything is white styrofoam. It screeches when you move as styrofoam rubs styrofoam. Little bits of it break off, floating into the air. You're breathing it in. Tiny fragments of styrofoam are filling your lungs, but you can't die. Nevermind that it's blindingly bright, because there's a piece of styro in your eye and some under your fingernails. A styrofoam devil gleeful rubs his styrofoam hands together in a cacophony of squeaks and screams. For all eternity, the shit doesn't decay, except breaking into smaller pieces of styrofoam.
C'est Les Autres
INT. A SUBWAY CAR
A young man is slumped in one of the window seats in a subway car. This is STEVE. He appears to groggily wake up from a nap, look around, and then sit upright as though startled.
STEVE: Whoa, where am I?!
Steve starts to rise from his seat, but notices that the one next to him is occupied by a very large WOMAN in a floral dress. The woman pulls a hard candy from her purse, fumbles in extracting it from its crinkling wrapper, then puts it in her mouth and audibly sucks.
STEVE: (CONT'D) Excuse me, can I just...
ALAN: (O.S.) Don't bother, man.
Steve turns to look behind him, where he sees another young man in a similar predicament. This is ALAN, whose shoulder is being used as a pillow by an ancient Asian MAN.
ALAN: She won't move. She has bad knees.
STEVE: Yeah, that's great. Where is this train going?
ALAN: (Shrugging) Who knows? Heaven, maybe? Valhalla? Maybe it just goes nowhere.
STEVE: What are you talking about?
Alan gestures out the window. Nothing can be seen beyond it but darkness.
ALAN: You're dead, man. This is the afterlife.
STEVE: (Scoffing) The afterlife is a subway car?
ALAN: Yep. Purgatory, from the looks of things.
STEVE: Right, so, you're insane. Got it.
Steve yanks on the cord to request a stop. Nothing happens. He pulls on it several more times.
WOMAN: Please stop jostling me. I have bad knees.
The woman gives Steve a disapproving look, then turns to face forward again. The sound of her sucking on her candy remains audible. From elsewhere in the car, someone loudly sniffs.
ALAN: Look, I know it sounds crazy.
STEVE: Do you hear yourself? How can this be purgatory?
ALAN: Think about it, man. Purgatory is the place where you atone for your sins before reaching your final destination. As metaphors go, a subway car seems appropriate.
STEVE: I'm an atheist.
ALAN: Alright, so, maybe it's a loading screen.
STEVE: ... What?
ALAN: You've heard the theory that the universe is a simulation, right? Maybe this is what brings your code to the next area.
STEVE: Shouldn't we be in a bus, then?
A door opens near the back of the subway car, and a TICKET COLLECTOR walks in.
ALAN: Oh, hey, look! Here's proof. Just wait.
The ticket collector walks through the car, murmuring to each of the occupants before moving on. When he finally reaches Alan's seat, he gently shakes the man sleeping on Alan's shoulder.
COLLECTOR: Ticket check.
COLLECTOR: Ticket check.
The man clears loudly clears his throat, then lies back down on Alan's shoulder. He smacks his lips several times.
COLLECTOR: (To Alan) Ticket check.
ALAN: I still don't have a ticket.
COLLECTOR: I am very disappointed in you.
ALAN: Just like you were last time.
The ticket collector moves forward and addresses the woman in the floral dress.
COLLECTOR: Ticket check.
WOMAN: I don't see why I should have to show you my ticket.
COLLECTOR: I need to check its validity.
WOMAN: This is harassment. You're only checking my ticket because you think a single woman is an easy target.
STEVE: What are you talking about? He literally...
Steve is interrupted by Alan's hand on his shoulder.
ALAN: (Interrupting) No, man, don't do it. You'll only make things worse.
WOMAN: I'll be filing a complaint with your superiors.
The woman slurps on her hard candy. The ticket collector turns his attention to Steve.
COLLECTOR: Ticket check.
STEVE: Listen, I don't know how I got here, but I'm not supposed to be on this train.
COLLECTOR: I still need to see your ticket.
Steve hurriedly checks each of his pockets.
WOMAN: Stop jostling me! I have bad knees!
STEVE: Sorry! I'm just looking for my ticket.
The man lying on Alan's shoulder starts loudly coughing. Another sniff becomes audible from elsewhere in the car.
COLLECTOR: Do you have your ticket, sir?
STEVE: I don't know! Where are we even going?
WOMAN: Stop shouting in my ear. I have bad knees.
STEVE: What does that have to do with anything?!
WOMAN: (Gasping) Are you threatening me?
STEVE: What? No! I just...
WOMAN: (Interrupting) I'll report you for assault!
COLLECTOR: Do you have your ticket, sir?
STEVE: Just hold on for a second!
WOMAN: (To the collector) Arrest him!
ALAN: Convinced yet?
STEVE: Ugh! Look, just come back to me. I'll try to find my ticket.
The ticket collector moves on. The woman opens another hard candy and starts sucking on it. Someone sniffs. The man lying on Alan coughs and smacks his lips. Alan starts humming. Steve closes his eyes and takes several deep breaths.
COLLECTOR: (O.S.) Ticket check.
IDIOT: (O.S.) Did you know that you eat eight spiders in your sleep every year?
COLLECTOR: (O.S.) That's an interesting fact.
IDIOT: (O.S.) It's part of the reason that vaccines cause autism. The mercury reacts with the spider venom.
COLLECTOR: (O.S.) I never knew that.
Steve opens his eyes.
STEVE: I'm in Hell. That's what this is.
Steve turns back to look at Alan.
ALAN: (CONT'D) At worst, you're in Heck.
ALAN: The place itself isn't so bad.
Alan leans back in his seat and puts his knees up behind Steve's head. All of the noises in the car become more and more audible.
ALAN: (CONT'D) Hell is other people.