Hell is a state of mind, not an actual place. The terms "living hell", "Feeling that I am in hell", "When hell freezes over" all stem from this. Young soldiers sent away to fight wars often come home feeling as if they lived through hell and still do when they come home missing limbs or being mentally scarred for life, unable to cope in "normal" society once they return to civilian life. If hell is a place, it is created out of bad circumstances. Being in an abusive relationship is a living hell for instance.
Ancient people could not explain events that science can now explain. This is how I believe heaven and hell were created, as well as God and Satan. To offer some source of rationale to otherwise ignorant people to explain famine, wars, unusual weather conditions and the like.
I think everyone has lived through a "living hell" in their own right. Going through a divorce, suffering a miscarriage, starvation, losing a job, losing a loved one can all be hell.
Extremely poor people around the globe live through hell every day. Forced into slave labor, prostitution, not having any money or means to support their families. People starving in Africa and India, all living in hell.
If hell were a place though I think it would be a tangible geological place on planet earth, such as Iraq, Iran, Africa, India or China, not some firey hole in the middle of earth dominated by demons, serpents and Satan. Places where human rights are extremely violated and exploited, animals are starved to death, abused or eaten alive such as in China, people are routinely tortured and have oppressive governments. Women are subhuman. That too is hell.
Heaven and hell can also remind us that there is good and their is evil in the world and we have a conscious choice as to which side we chose to be on or how to behave and treat others.
Evil people like Hitler,Jim Jones, Stalin or Vlad the Impaler were evil men that created hell for others by the masses. Their names will forever be imprinted on our brains because of the extreme evil of their natures and acts inflicted upon mankind.
The same holds true for well known people in the world who perform extreme acts of good onto others, such as Mother Theresa and Jimmy Carter, champions for the poor and underpriveledged or Jaques Cousteau and Al Gore- people who tried to make a huge difference for the better for their protection of the oceans or global environmetal awareness.
Hell is mostly a state of mind or a state of being. One can create their own hell by being deceitful, hateful or hurtful as this behavior will ultimately come back to haunt them in one way or another. Everyone has their opinions, beliefs and versions of hell. I chose to be on the side of good by helping others and being the best that I can be, hoping that hell will not find me.