Not terribly well-known in modern evangelical circles, the belief that Christ after His death went to the land of the dead and freed the righteous dead and/or announced His victory over sin and death is an ancient one, and still affects many believers today. You can read the Wiki article just to get a sense of the widespread effect of the belief.
The earliest known account of the event is found in the Gospel of Nicodemus, which also recounts the Acts of Pilate. You can read translations of the story here as M.R. James’ Acts of Pilate Part 2 and Roberts-Donaldson’s translation.