Historically, síyáh-cháls were used as a harsher form of incarceration. Typically, such dungeons had no windows or outlets, other than the entrance, consisting of a short stairway into the ground.

In Bahá’i religious texts “The Síyáh-Chál” is taken to mean the dungeon in Tehran where Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith, received a vision of a Maiden from God, through whom he received his mission as a Messenger of God and as the One whose coming the Báb had prophesied, while he was in captivity in there in 1852. It was also the place where he wrote his first known tablet, the Rashh-i-‘Amá.