Prior to Jesus death and resurrection, there were none righteous enough to enter Heaven save Jesus who came down from heaven.
Therefore, those who had died in that unrighteous state must have been as the Old testament puts it were asleep in another place. There are some references to the grave and it may just be as Daniel said:
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
And this remains true up until the time in Jesus life where he recalls Lazarus from the grave:
John 11:11 through 13 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
This remains true throughout the Old Testament. Even though Hell is referred to 31 times in the New King translation , 3 times in the literal translation of the Holy Bible, and not at all in most other tanslations.
1st Samuel 28:13 through 15 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
1st. Kings 1:21 Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders.
Psalm 13:3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
After the death of Jesus and his resurrection we find that most assuredly those who have died and no longer have the opportunity to accept salvation, that they are most assuredly sent to different places.
Matthew 5:21 and 22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
If we extend that to:
Rev 20:13 through 15 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
However, in the preceding verses in revelation we see:
Revelation 20:11 and 12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
From these passages we can say with assurance; that at the beginning of the white Throne Judgment, the dead are in both death and Hell. To my mind it seems logical that the difference is that one (Hell) is a place where eternal punishment has already begun since Jesus referred to Hell fire.
There is much dissention among denominations about those not being in Hell and as to where they might be, and I will not offer any commentary about that in order not to begin any discussion about who is right and who is wrong, I will only say that, that is the group I plan to be a part of since the alternative is abhorrent to me.