China and Hong Kong have a rich history of ghost stories that have been around for centuries. Even today, some of these stories live on and others have been added. Today, many in China have claimed to experience some paranormal occurrences while others thrive in traditional yarns. Here are some past-meets-present tales that are sure to make you want to explore China’s ghostly history.
Tuen Mun Road (Hong Kong)
Drivers on Tuen Mun Road have reported visions of ghosts wandering the highway. Unsuspecting drivers cruising along the road may find spirits appearing seemingly out of nowhere or running in front of other vehicles, causing drivers to swerve and get into accidents. The apparitions people see may be the spirits of accident victims who may be looking for others to join their party.
The Ghost Bride
Many Chinese ghost stories show that the spirits may have ill intentions toward the living. The story of the “Maiden in White” is one such example.
Dating back to the 9th Century A.D., follows a young scholar as he falls immediately in love with a young woman walking the halls of the temple he resided. She told him she came from a town near the mountains, and even though the scholar knew this wasn’t the case, he did not question her. The two talked all night, and he fell deeply in love. The pair married immediately.
Depending on which translation you read, there are different accounts of when the couple wed: Some suggest they married within a week, while others state they married the night they met. Either way, they really didn’t get to know each other that well.
Some after their marriage, the young woman wanted to return home and told her new husband not to follow as she worried her family would not approve of their marriage. Before she left, he gave her a white jade ring so she would not forget him. As she walked away, her husband watched as she disappeared from sight. He ran toward her location to see where she went only to find hundreds of white lilies basking in the moonlight.
Knowing he married a ghost, he picked the lilies and brought them back to room where he noticed his jade ring. Within a course of ten days, he fell ill and passed away.
The ending of the story has different translations as well with some suggesting he died of a broken heart and he joined his young lover in the afterlife. Other translations state his young bride was a toxic lover who wanted to kill the young man. It seems the interpretation depends on how much of a romantic the reader is and how they feel about ghosts.
All Aboard the Midnight Bus
In Beijing, the story of the Midnight Bus is fairly well-known. But are you a visitor willing to find out what bus is the bus of doom?
According to the urban legend, an older gentleman and a young man boarded a bus. The old man sat in the front while the young man rode in the back. The bus picked up two more passengers at another stop. As the bus continued its route, the old man grew angry and accused the young man of theft. As they argued, the old man told his younger counterpart to come with him to the police station to clear the matter up. As the two got off the bus and it sped away, the old man said he saved both their lives as he noticed the other two passengers had no feet and were floating; the two other passengers were ghosts.
After the bus’ journey, it turned up missing. When found several days later away from its route, the bus driver was dead and badly decomposed, and the bus ran on blood. How’s that for a creepy ride?
Tsung Tsai Yuen (Hong Kong)
In 1955, a picnic in Tsung Tsai Yuen turned deadly when a sudden downpour caused a mudslide that killed several children and teachers from St. James Primary School. Since then, passersby and drivers often see ash and mud-covered children wandering the Mang Gui Kiu Bridge. Some say they see white shadows darting around and the outlines of children playing in the fields.
Since the incident, a placard was erected to appease the spirits, but to this day, some may see the children play.
What are some of your favorite ghost stories and urban legends from China? Share with us because we love a good haunt!
— Joelle Halon