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13 OF THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES IN CHINA-From Haunted Houses to Ghost-Filled Hotels

Are you a Skeptic or do you believe that ghosts really exist? As a country with a rich past,5000 years of tumultuous history, China has thousands of haunted places that are thought to be haunted by the disembodied spectres who met their ends in some of the most horrifying, violent & terrible ways any human being can inflict on another person. While some of the stories are groundless and have no actual proof, the sheer bone-chilling factor attached is enough to make the place attractive in a mysterious sense. One thing that can be said for sure is that next time you walk past Prince Gong’s Mansion and get shivers down your spine, you are not alone.  The New York Times recently reported the story, discussing how the place has become a popular tourist destination. In fact, there are a number of interesting haunted Chinese destinations, anything from haunted hotels to haunted opera houses to haunted highways where the ghosts stand in the middle of the road and sometimes even climb inside your car… “In many ways, the road is like a zombie virus, killing and adding to its undead ranks and killing more through ghosts appearing out of nowhere in front of drivers.” We will look into 13 of the most haunted places hauntings in China…

 

1)YUN SHAN DIAN HOTEL: Located in Chengde, a small city in the mountains northeast of Beijing, this hotel is haunted by a man wearing western-style clothing, accompanied by a woman in ancient Chinese dress. The couple haunts the area at the end of the hallway on the 8th floor.

yun shan dian

2)THE FORBIDDEN CITY: In the Imperial palace that was the center of power in China for over 600 years, Spectres of Imperial concubines & ghostly eunuchs roam the through it’s many rooms and halls, just like they did in life. It was the Imperial Palace for over 600 years, stretching from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It was home to the country’s most powerful imperial families and their retinue of slaves and concubines. Not surprisingly, there was betrayal and palace intrigue everywhere. Servants and officials literally stabbed each other in the back in attempt to eliminate political opponents in the ranks. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that the Forbidden City is lousy with miserably earthbound spirits. Ghostly music has been heard playing at night and groups of ghostly women in waiting and eunuchs have been seen walking through the corridors by only to disappear around the corner.  One spine chilling tale was of a guard, a soldier named Fat Fu who served as a Forbidden City guard in the mid-1990s being bothered by a strange woman with long hair and a black gown. Finally, he, along wth another guard started chasing her, yelling at her, but she ran away.  Assuming that she was a thief, they chased the woman for some distance, cornering her in a room and locking a door behind them. They then ordered her to turn around. When she did the men screamed in horror because she had NO FACE!!—she was a ghost.

For six centuries, the Forbidden City served as the Chinese imperial palace. Which means it was home for the royal family, along with all their advisors, attendants and concubines. Throughout the centuries numerous murders of power and passion have occurred within  the palace’s walls. Visitors often see ghosts of eunuchs and brides-in-waiting walking the halls.

Beijing_Forbidden_City_taihe_palace

3) THE BURMA INN: Many years ago, a guest staying at this Beijing hotel died after being poisoned by the head chef. Guilt stricken, the chef committed suicide by stabbing himself to death…what a way to go. The vengeful murder victim’s spirit haunts the hotel in a perpetual search for the murderous chef.the burma inn

4)  HUGUAN OPERA HOUSE: The place was originally built in 1807 to serve as a home for the poor but incredibly, it built over an ancient graveyard! Now, though it serves as an opera house and museum, it’s, not surprisingly, is VERY haunted. Guests commonly hear sounds of human shouting but see no one.

Huguang-Huiguan-Opera-House

5) THE GREAT WALL: The most enigmatic symbol of China, The Great Wall that spans more than 5000 miles was built in sections, beginning around 7th century BC. The wall stretches for more than 5,000 miles and was built to protect the Chinese Empire from invasion by hostile nomadic groups. Some sections were constructed as early as the 7th century BC. Approximately 1 MILLION, (with an “m”), soldiers are estimated to have died constructing the wall and countless people  have reported witnessing spirits walking the wall or hearing marching footsteps made by invisible people. Many of these ghost stories center on “The Wild Wall”, the segment just north of Beijing. Several hikers have died along this portion of the wall recently. “Those deaths were chalked up to fatal falls and lightning strikes, but not everyone believes the reports,” states the website of the American TV show, Destination Truth, which traveled to China to sleuth out the mystery. The show reported that at the spot where the deaths occurred, villagers regularly have encounters with long-dead soldiers. The show’s host, Josh, saw “cat-like movement in the distance”,
along with a crashing noise, the smell of fire and a strange animal calling. Josh stopped in his tracks, reads the show’s website, “feeling  someone — or something— is messing around with video equipment in his backpack. Nobody is near him.”

the great wall

6) DEAD FENGMAN VILLAGE: Located in the valley of a nameless mountain in Henan Province in northern China, this village is in a region of hills and forests. Hikers are drawn like flies to this area, which still preserves “mysterious and ornate traditions”, according to a post on Cultural-china.com. The  website goes on to describe a story of a hiker named Maitreya, who camped along the river outside the village with friends. Determined to scare his  companions, Maitreya snuck up to a ridge above them and called them by name in the dark. He blood ran cold  when he heard a weird voice calling him by name.  The only people other than him who would know his name were with his friends, who were below the ridge he was on.

dead fengmen village

8) TUEN MUN ROAD: This isn’t just a haunted home or building but an entire bloody haunted highway! The road is the main drag between 2 villages in greater Hong Kong,Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan. The area has been known to be haunted for hundreds of years. But strangely, the hauntings seem to be on the upswing. In a 2012 article in The South China Morning Post reported that the year 2010 to 2012 there were over 250 accidents on the Tuen Mun. The paper went on to add that the accidents are said to be the result of drivers trying to avoid hitting ghosts that suddenly appear in the middle of the road. More horrifying, some the of drivers have even reported that spirits took control of their vehicles. “It is also said that the number of ghosts on the road is increasing as many previous crash victims remain on the road to haunt it,” the website, Dangerousroads.org, reports. “In many ways, the road is like a zombie virus, killing and adding to its undead ranks and killing more through ghosts appearing out of nowhere in front of drivers.”

tuen mun road

9) CHAONEI CHURCH, CHAOYANG DISTRICT: It’s unclear if Chaonei Church is actually haunted or just victim of it’s rundown and abandoned state, is not certain. Constructed in the early 20th century by the Catholic Church, it served as residence for British missionaries living in Beijing. The rumours started when the priest who  built the building suddenly vanished. In one story, the Church sent a team of investigators down to find out what happened the priest. When they searched the building, they found a tunnel in the crypt that led to Jiuxianqiao Lu in Dashanzi, Beijing.  While it appears the priest was never found, people took that as a cue to start conspiracy involving ghosts. Yet another story is that of a government official residing in the church shortly before the fall of the Qing Dynasty. His wife had took her own life in the house  and it was ostensibly her sobbing that has been heard through the corridors on some nights.  Some people have said they’ve seen an apparition of a woman running through the corridors. In this case, some of these same people have used this place to do drugs and could be hallucinating….or not; who knows?

chaomei church

10) SAI YING PUN COMMUNITY COMPLEX: Now,this Hong Kong building looks like the stereotypical haunted house:
1) Weird, eerie yellow lights…CHECK!
2) CREEPY, empty verandas that scare the hell out of people…CHECK!
3) Massive stone arches that cast even creepier, long, inky black shadows…DOUBLE CHECK!!
Yet another home that was built in 1892 as a home for European nurses. According to local legend, it was seized by the Japanese military during WWII and used as an execution hall. It was converted into a mental asylum,following the war but was soon abandoned in 1961. In the intevening years, there has been a series of mysterious fires. “Through the years, there have been repeated sightings of a demonic figure in traditional Chinese cattire bursting into flames on the second floor of the place,” reads the website Cultural-china.com. “Headless poltergeists have also reportedly been seen running down the corridors in the dead of night.”

sai ying ping community complex

10) HIGH STREET GHOST HOUSE IN HONG KONG: This is yet another building that was built to serve as 1892 as living quarters for the European nursing staff until the dawn of WWII.  It was converted to a mental hospital after the war, being the only mental hospital of it’s king until Castle Peak opened in 1961.It was closed and abandoned in 1970 and it  was then that stories of hauntings began. Since then, thrillseekers & addicts began to tell about the supernatural experiences the had while exploring or spending the nights there. In one tale, a girl that was allegedly raped by a Japanese soldier during the Occupation and murdered. People have reported hearing her cries and footsteps when they  spend the night.

highstreetghosthouse

11) QIU MANSION, SHANGHAI: At the turn of the century, the Qiu brothers moved to Shanghai in a bid to strike it rich.  As fate would have it, they stumbled upon a warehouse abandoned by a German during WWI that was filled with buckets of paint. As the price of paint skyrocketed, the brothers became rich. Their lavish lifestyle became the stuff of legend and contention in a poverty stricken city. While the people starved, the brothers lived like a king by buying and keeping tigers, peacocks and crocodiles in their estate  grounds around an expensive man-made lake. Then the brothers mysteriously vanished. The starving and angry neighbours robbed the homes for wealth as well as eating their livestock.
In the intervening years, strange stories were heard from the people that worked in and around the mansion. A stonemason had attacked his manager, swearing that ‘lizards’ told him to do it. A woman swore she saw a {DRAGON!} crawling along a construction crane & weird animal sounds can sometimes be heard. Now the entire housed is being moved to make space for something else. We’ll know soon enough if the hauntings follow it.

qiu mansion

12) CHANOEI # 81, BEIJING: The beautiful three-story French Baroque-style house at Chaonei No. 81 is a well-known anomaly of Beijing. Small courtyard properties in this area of China’s capital city sell for millions; yet this once lavish mansion is in a state of rot & decay. Why won’t people buy it or even go near it? SIMPLE; the fear of ghosts and death. This amazing mansion was built by the Qing royal family as a church for British residents of Beijing. In 1949, after the Communists had just defeated the Nationalists and were making their way into the city, the high-ranking Kuomintang official living in the house at the time abandoned his wife, leaving her to face the Communists all by her safe. Devastated, she
allegedly she killed herself by hanging from the rafters of their beautiful home. Neighbors believe her troubled spirit has been haunting the place ever since and few dare will set foot  inside alone or with others, especially at night. The once luxurious mansion deteriorated to a now dilapidated shadow of its former glory, covered with graffiti warninngs to stay away and full of empty booze bottles and cigarette butts. In spite of its location in the center of Beijing, where prices for the smallest properties are often millions of dollars, there are currently no plans to do anything with this home. Stories of hauntings keep potential tenants away. It’s now on a historic preservation list so it can’t be demolished, just renovated. So, now it’s just a waiting game for it to completely crumble on it’s own.
“Even in the 1970s, people thought the house was haunted,” a Beijing resident who grew up behind the mansion at Chaonei No. 81 told the New York Times. “As children, we would play hide-and-seek  in the house, but we didn’t dare come in by ourselves. Even the Red Guards who lived in the house during the Cultural Revolution got scared and left.” Most of the locals believe these stories but government types didn’t. The Chinese Government wanted to tear the place down a few years back but backed off after a number of construction workers mysteriously disappeared!There are a number of skeptics, one being Shi Hongxi, secretary general of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association in Beijing, who owns the property. He claims there’s no record of a Kuomintang official ever living there. The building, Mr Shi says, was constructed in 1910 as a language training center for foreign missionaries by the name of the North China Union Language School. He claims all ghost
that all the stories of hauntings are pure hogwash.  are pure nonsense. Of course, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association in Beijing has every interest of attracting investors willing to put money into the building’s renovation, and there are those who claim it’s Shi’s historical records that are inaccurate. It would cost 1.5 million dollars + to renovate the property and although it seems like a lot but it’s pretty reasonable considering the property values in the area. However, investors seem more willing to sink millions into new construction than put money into this beautiful but haunted piece of architecture. It’s a shame that it’s so closely tied to Chinese superstition and their tendency to avoid all things related to death. Believe it or not, the Chinese belief in the supernatural is so powerful that telephone numbers and properties with addresses that contain the number 4 are cheaper because the word for “four” in Chinese sounds like the word for “death”.

chanoei #8113) FENDU GHOST CITY, CHONGQING: Almost 2,000 years old, Fengdu Ghost City is sits on the northern bank of the Yangtze River. Considered the best place for research Chinese ghosts, Fengdu County has a unique culture concerned with spirits and the afterlife. Recently,  Fengdu Ghost City has become an integral part of scenery for passengers on Yangtze River cruises, as visitors can enjoy both natural scenery and historic relics during their trips there…. BUT they should be cautious  things that go bump in the night.  This city was buuilt to focus on the Afterlife and combines the beliefs of Confucius, Taoism and Buddhism.  The city is mentioned in several Chinese literary works, like “Apotheosis of Heroes” and “Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio”. Local legend says Fengdu  was given the appellation, “Ghost city ”  by 2 imperial officials, Wan Fangping & Yin Changseng during  the Eastern Han Dynasty when they  made a pilgrimage to Ming mountain to practice Taoism and  became immortalThe combination of their names, Yinwan, means “King of Hell”, marking  the beginning of the city’s focus on the underworld & Afterlife. Many of the temples and shrines have paintings and sculptures of people being tortured in payment for their sins.

According to Chinese belief, the dead must pass 3  tests before they can go on to their next life. First,  they must negotiate their way across  the ‘Bridge of Helplessness’, which is stone bridge was built during the Ming Dynasty as a test for Good and Evil. It has 3 arches, with the middle one appointed for human souls. Depending on the gender, age and marital status, there are different protocols for crossing the bridge.  At the bridge demons allow or forbid passage, with good being allowed to pass while the evil will be shoved to the water below.

Nowadays, this now done as a tourist attraction, with performers dressed as demons that momentarily stop tourists on the bridge but finally allow them across.  The dead must then proceed to Ghost-Torturing Pass where they present themselves for judgment before Yama, King of Hell. This is the second test and in this area, there are large sculptures of demons.The 3rd test is at the entrance to Tianzi Palace, where the dead must stand on a certain stone on one foot for three minutes. According to legend a virtuous person will be able to do it while an evil person will invariably fail and be condemned to hell. Tianzi Palace is the largest and oldest building, at over three hundred years old.  The most recent addition is the Last Glance to Home Tower (also called Home Viewing Pavilion) which was built in 1985 and is placed where according to legend the dead could have one last look towards their home and families.

fengdu ghost city

 

A good ghost story makes for an interesting tale and a haunted house usually comes with a history that reaches so far back into the past that the mystery of its origins is enough to make imaginations run wild. Whether the building is haunted or not, it is most likely historical and should be accorded such a status. Besides, there’s no guarantee that a demolishing would remove the hauntings. There are numerous stories about new buildings adopting the ghosts of its predecessor.  Perhaps then, it would be best to maintain these buildings – ghosts or no.
Besides, the world moves too fast already and in time, all we may have left of our past are those same ghosts that haunt the dark, lonely corridors.

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