China is one of the largest countries in the world in terms of both population and landmass, and it boasts over 5,000 years of history. Ghost stories were a very early form of literature that are believed to have predated writing. According to Chinese tradition, both humans and animals could become ghosts.
The Chinese believe that there are specific rituals that must be performed when burying somebody. Failure to correctly perform such rituals is thought to be one of the most common reasons for a haunting. Other common reasons for a haunting include righting a wrong, fulfilling a vow, or simply visiting loved ones or a property.
These are some of the most haunted places in China.
10. Chaonei No. 81
Chaonei No. 81 is a three-story mansion in Beijing built in the French Baroque style. According to legend, it was built by members of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) as a church for British expats living and working in Beijing.
Sometime in the middle of the 20th century, the building became the home of a powerful Kuomintang (Nationalist Party) official. In 1949, the Communists defeated the Nationalists at the end of China’s civil war. As the Communists marched into Beijing, the terrified official fled, leaving his wife behind. Devastated by her husband’s abandonment, she hanged herself. Her ghost has haunted the mansion ever since, and people have reported hearing her screams. Some say they’ve even seen feet hanging from the rafters of dark rooms but when they rush in to help, there’s no one there.
There are also rumors of homeless people that have ventured into the haunted house looking for warmth and a place to sleep – they go in but never come out.
9. Huguang Huiguang Opera House
Unfortunately, the chosen site was partially on top of an ancient graveyard, and the deceased apparently didn’t appreciate the disturbance of their final resting place. The building, which is now an opera house and museum, is said to be haunted.
One story holds that, in the early 1900s, the owners hired a housekeeper who had been severely disfigured by leprosy. The man’s appearance was thought to repel the ghosts, so they stayed away while he was there. After he left, the ghosts returned. Since then, people have heard screaming and scolding. Legend has it that a ghost who haunts the courtyard will scold people who throw stones into it.
8. Yun Shan Fan Dian Hotel
The 220-room Yun Shan Fan Dian Hotel, which is located in the city Chengde north of Beijing, overlooks the Yangtze River. It was supposedly built on land that had once been part of the Qing Dynasty’s royal gardens. The hotel is said to be haunted by no less a person than the Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908, Qing Dynasty). Her apparition has been reported by many hotel workers. They say she appears on the 8th floor and likes to look at her old gardens. Some have said they’ve seen her spirit sitting eerily in the shadows of certain rooms. When they look directly at her she lunges at them but turns to mist and disappears.
There’s also reports of a ghost of a man in Western dress appears on the same floor. He looks solemn and paces up and down the hallway.
7. General Yuan’s Tomb
General Yuan Chonghuan (1584-1630) had led the Ming army to a number of impressive victories. His enemies planted evidence that he had committed treason – and the Emperor was thus convinced of Yuan’s guilt. He condemned Yuan to death by lingchi or “slow slicing.” According to legend, spectators at the execution ate slices of Yuan’s body. His father was able to retrieve his head and placed it in the tomb, which is located in Beijing’s Chongwenmen area. The general’s angry ghost has been seen prowling the area and vowing vengeance.
6. Qiu Mansion
The two Qiu brothers originally came to Shanghai as migrant workers at the start of the 20th century. They dreamed of becoming rich and had the great good fortune to find a warehouse that the Germans had abandoned after World War I. It was filled with paint, which was becoming increasingly expensive.
The brothers soon made a fortune selling their find. They then built twin mansions next to each other complete with gardens and an artificial lake. The Qui brothers became notorious for their lavish and luxurious lifestyle in a city wracked by financial woes. They collected exotic animals like tigers, crocodiles, and peacocks that roamed their gardens.
At some point, the brothers mysteriously vanished, and their enraged neighbors broke into the mansions to loot them. They also killed and ate some of the animals. Since then, people have claimed that the ghosts of the abandoned and slain animals haunt the Qui mansions, which have since fallen into disrepair.
People have reported seeing and hearing strange creatures at the mansions. Night guards working for the Four Seasons hotel across the street have sometimes gone to the hospital to be treated for unexplained “animal bites.” A woman claimed to have seen a “dragon” crawling on a crane. In another incident, a mason attacked his manager. He claimed “lizards” had ordered him to do so.
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