Beijing as an old city has many scary stories about the haunted houses. For amusing readers of Absolute China Tour, we list some haunted and mysterious houses of Beijing.
The first haunted house is Huguang Huiguan Hufang Bridge of Xuanwu district(宣武区虎坊桥湖广会馆).Much like the house in the Poltergeist movies, Huguang Huiguan got its ghosts from the fact it was built on an ancient graveyard. During the Republic of China era, a rich philanthropist decided to do away with the tombs and built a home for the poor on the site. The spooks were originally kept at bay by the fact that the housekeeper of house was so disfigured by leprosy that even the undead couldn't bear the sight of him. The dead rose again once the building became the Provincial Headquarters of Hunan and Guangdong. Though it has kept this title, it now houses an opera museum. Legend has it that if you a throw a stone into the courtyard you will hear someone scolding, yet there is nobody there.
The second haunted house is Cao Xueqin former residence 33 Xiaoshihu Hutong of Xidan Xicheng district ( 西单小石虎胡同33号).The house where Cao Xueqin wrote the classic Chinese novel, A Dream of Red Mansions, is possessed by a small orchestra. Like the family in his literary masterpiece, Cao was from a big family which was torn apart - he dealt with the aftermath of the split by moving into this home and writing the book. Although the building where the house once stood is now a wedding photography studio, local people said that late at night you could hear the sound of music played on traditional stringed and woodwind instruments accompanied by a woman reciting poetry.
The third haunted house is Songpo Library 7 Shihu Hutong of Xicheng district (石虎胡同7号). Songpo library holds a special place in Chinese history as it was once the home of Wu Sangui, the general in charge of the vital pass at Shanhai Pass and the man who is said to have let the Manchu army through the Great Wall – an act instrumental to the fall of the Ming Dynasty. Wu's decision to abandon Ming Emperor Chongzhen and defect is said to be due to his love for the beautiful courtesan Chen Yuanyuan – once again proving the Chinese idiom, 'a beauty wrecks the country. For his troubles Wu got both a cushy new post in the Qing court and the girl, who he soon tired of. A heartbroken Chen decided to end her life by hanging herself and for the last hundred years has been haunting the quiet hutong.
The fourth haunted house is Gongwangfu Liuyin Street of Xicheng District (和绅府,西城区柳荫街). Late at night, long after all the tourists have left this popular Houhai historic spot, the cries of a mother whose youngest son perished can be heard echoing through Prince Gong's expansive mansion. Before the house passed onto the regent, the residence of the home was owned by famously corrupt Qing Dynasty official, He Shen and his harem of over 80 concubines. Credited with being China's most corrupt official of all time, the morally bankrupt courtier's only saving grace was his devotion to his first wife, Feng Shi. But tragedy struck when their youngest son died in a battle against Nanyang, a rebellious area in Southern Qing dynasty China. Feng became so distraught that she fell ill. Ever the devoted husband, He Shen hired monks to come to the house and pray for her health to return. But on Mid-Autumn day, just months after the death of her son, Feng died of a broken heart. The former lady of the house is in good company, many of her husband's former escorts are said to also haunt the building. Even now, security guards at the tourist hotspot say they sometimes see female ghosts dressed in white wandering around the garden near the rockeries and pools. Surely, there are also a lot of haunted houses in Beijing. But the most typical houses are mentioned above.
Writer: David from Seeraa International
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