China’s history is vast and very complex, and ghost stories are no exception. Step into 5,000 years of history and the ghastly past of China, from the wiles of eunuchs in Beijing to deserted mansions in Shanghai.
While some of the stories are groundless and have no actual proof, the sheer bone-chilling factor attached is enough to make the places attractive in a mysterious sense. Many buildings — old, ruined or new — have several ghost stories attached to them, but not every abandoned house is haunted and not every haunted house is abandoned.
The Forbidden City, Beijing
In 1995, a soldier nicknamed Fat Fu said that one evening: “We were watching TV in the guard room, and at 9 o’clock, two of our men broke in. They looked scared and flustered, saying that a woman with long hair and a black gown had run away from them after they found her walking the grounds.”
The guards gave chase, but the woman managed to keep a distance of about 30 meters from them. When the two men finally cornered the woman at a locked door, they ordered her to turn around. When she turned around, what they saw was so shocking that they dropped their flashlights.
The woman had no face, just hair, according to Fu. They went back to the spot where the woman had been cornered, guns drawn, but all they found were the lit flashlights that the terrified guards had dropped when they came face-to-face with the ghost.
Visitors have also sworn to have seen the ghosts of soldiers, eunuchs, and brides walking the halls of the Forbidden City, while others have heard music played at night, as well as ladies laughing and talking with each other.
High Street, Hong Kong
The Sai Ying Pun Community Complex is located in one of the most chilling locales on High Street in Hong Kong; it was built in 1892 as quarters for European nurses. It typically looks like a haunted house with its eerie yellow lights shining on massive stone arches, casting long shadows across the dark, empty verandas.
Its frightening history matches its gloomy environment. The building was seized by Japanese troops during the Second World War and used as an execution hall. Then, after the war, it was converted into a mental asylum.
Abandoned in 1961, it’s now badly scarred from two fires. However, the place where heads rolled and the demented screamed to their deaths has not been completely abandoned!
Over the years, there have been repeated sightings of a person dressed in traditional Chinese cloths on the second floor of the building, who bursts into flames. Other sighting includes a headless ghost running down the corridors in the middle of the night.
It is also affectionately, yet fearfully, known as the High Street Haunted House.
Great Wall of China
Known as one of the world’s greatest wonders, the Great Wall is often known for its 5,000-mile-long extension. During the construction, an estimated 1 million soldiers died building the wall.
Now, in more recent times, visitors have claimed to have seen the ghosts of soldiers walking the wall or hearing the marching footsteps of them.
The north part of the wall, also known as The Wild Wall, is where most of the ghosts are seen or heard. Many hikers had died around The Wild Wall from very strange accidents and are said to have joined the soldiers.
Huguang Huiguan Opera House
Built in the early 1800s as a home for the poor and less fortunate, it’s now an opera house and museum. Built with good intentions, it seems that it was situated on top of an ancient graveyard. Ghosts have been spotted since the dynastic times.
Allegedly, in the early 1900s, a housekeeper was hired who was so disfigured by leprosy that he kept the house ghost free.
Many visitors have heard the ghosts’ voices and people shouting, and if you throw a stone into the courtyard, you may hear a loud scolding sound.
Bejing’s Imperial Palace
With a history spanning over 600 years, this compound served as the Imperial Palace in the Ming and Qing dynasties. At that time, it was common for people to be executed for betrayal or disobedience of the ruling family or emperor.
Since the late 1940s, security guards have reported seeing strange animals scurrying about late at night, as well as a crying woman in white walking around the area.
Prince Gong’s mansion
A notorious, corrupt official of the Qing Dynasty, He Shen owned this house. With a harem of 80 concubines, his only redemption was that he was devoted to his wife, Feng Shi. But Feng died of sorrow when her youngest son was killed fighting rebels.
The mansion is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Feng, as well as many former escorts of He Shen. Late at night, Feng’s cries can be heard echoing throughout the mansion. Security guards have reported seeing female ghosts in white in the garden, presumably some of Shen’s concubines.
Tomb of General Yuan
General Yuan devoted his life to protecting the imperial family in the Ming Dynasty. The emperor, however, bought into malicious lies about the general and had him executed by the painful death of 1,000 cuts.
According to rumor, the general vowed that his soul would always guard the imperial family’s land.
Upon hearing of the “betrayal,” Beijing residents were so angry that they ate the general’s body. His head, saved by one of his faithful soldiers, was buried at Guanchu Men, where his family has held guard ever since.
His ghost has been seen wandering there at night ever since. Some claim that his ghost wanders around this area at night to seek revenge or guard the land.