|“||So, Cade damned them in return. With his last breath, he let loose a psychic blast so powerful that it created its own world. Call it Hell if you want. It doesn't matter what name you give it or whether you believe in it or not. Either way, that is where Cade feeds on the souls of the damned.||”|
Hell was a supernatural dimension of misery and fire created by Arcadius thousands of years ago. It was initially one of the two destinations one takes in the afterlife for 3,000 years. It is believed to be an awful, fiery realm populated by every soul (both human and non-human) that has failed to find peace.
This realm is considered a "hell" due to its similarity to the unpleasant afterlife that is believed to exist by many religions as well as the violence by which it sucks in its eventual residents. However, contrary to the religious belief that only sinners are damned to hell, it has been proven that this is not the case. While some characters who could arguably be deserving of this fate, such as Katherine Pierce, Markos, and Silas, were in fact dragged into Hell, undeserving characters, who were known to have committed benevolent deeds, were also said to have been sucked into Hell as well, such as Maria and Vicki Donovan.
After Arcadius attempted to help a fellow villager with his impure desires, the villager manipulated and turned the entire village against Arcadius, who was then tied to a stake and stoned for being a psychic. He was then burned at the stake, and as he was burning alive, Arcadius came to believe that all the people punishing him were monsters despite the fact they were manipulated. In that moment, he released a psychic blast so powerful that it created a realm, a psychic imprint of his death, where he would forever punish those souls. From then on, whenever a soul who has committed a bad deed would die, they would be sucked into this realm where Arcadius would feed off of their souls for the rest of eternity.
In 2018, after Arcadius was killed by Stefan Salvatore and Bonnie Bennett, Katherine Pierce temporarily became the new ruler of Hell, revealing that she had in fact manipulated Arcadius the entire time and was the one behind his plans for Stefan and Damon. After Matt rang the Maxwell bell 11 times, a gateway opened between Hell and earth, allowing several deceased characters such as Kai, Vicki, Kelly and Katherine to return. Kelly and Vicki were working for Katherine and the latter wanted to ring the bell 12 times, in order to unleash hellfire.
Meanwhile, Bonnie and Alaric came to the conclusion that a massive amount of energy would be necessary to destroy Hell, and Katherine along with it. Such a colossal amount of energy could only have been found in hellfire, thus Matt allowed Vicki to ring the bell, knowing she will be freed of suffering due to Bonnie's plan. Bonnie meanwhile used a powerful spell to control hellfire by invoking it through the tunnels below Mystic Falls, all the way to the Armory. There, with the aid of many ancestral Bennett witches, Bonnie redirected the hellfire back into Hell, causing its permanent destruction and releasing thousands of souls from their suffering, while killing Katherine in the process.
- It is implied in What Are You? that once a spirit has been dragged into Hell, their residency is permanent. This implication stems from Damon asked Arcadius if anyone had ever earned their way out of Hell. Arcadius told Damon he didn't want to give him false hope.
- According to Julie Plec, the rest of the Other Side might have been sucked into Hell.
- In A Closer Walk With Thee, Hell was referred to by Klaus as "the nothingness."
- In An Eternity of Misery, Sybil revealed that Hell was created by Arcadius.
- Fire from this dimension is called "Hellfire" and has supernatural properties of its own.
- It is believed that the realm is filled with Hellfire due to the nature of Arcadius' death.