Reminds me of an episode of Mighty Max, my favorite when I was a a child:
"Five thousand years ago there was a great and noble people that lived in a city hidden beneath the waves. But rumours began:the end was nigh, their doom was at hand. There was one among them who played upon the people's fears, claiming that he and he alone could save them from catastrophe. But that one, was Skullmaster. Diabolically, he convinced the king that if all his people yielded up their souls to the crystal, they would survive-for where the souls go, the bodies can safely follow. The king ordered his people to transfer their souls to the stone. But the people hesitated, so Skullmaster used his dark powers to topple the very walls of the city, and the people quickly conceded their souls to the stone. But Skullmaster killed the king, and escaped with the crystal. And never released the souls inside, condemning them to the torment of being neither alive nor dead. With the power of the crystal, Skullmaster ruled the Earth for centuries."