In the lead-up to Halloween, we’re visiting spooky supernatural stories and their allegedly haunted locations in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong always has a slightly spooky season around the corner: whether it’s Ching Ming (or Tomb Sweeping Day) in spring; the Taoist and Buddhist Yu Lan Hungry Ghost Festival where ghosts and spirits (including those of deceased ancestors) come out from the lower realm (diyu or preta) in early autumn; Chung Yeung (or Double Ninth) in late Autumn; or Halloween — just to name a few! What we’re saying is, we’re always in the mood for a ghost story. Here are five haunted locations in Hong Kong and their other-worldly origin stories.
Editor’s Note: This article mentions death, sexual violence, suicide and other potentially triggering topics. Reader’s discretion is advised.
Bride’s Pool – Waterfall hike located at Plover Cove, near Tai Mei Tuk
Named for its seriously spooky urban legend, this small river in northeastern New Territories features a string of waterfalls with plunge pools. As the story goes, a bride-to-be was on her way to her wedding — carried in a sedan chair by porters — when one slipped on the rocks. She fell into its icy depths, her heavy wedding wear weighing her down and causing her to tragically drown. Legend says you can still spot her red cheongsam-dressed spirit lurking in the waters, waiting to vengefully drown unsuspecting visitors.
Read More: The Best Waterfall Hikes In Hong Kong
Nam Koo Terrace — The “Wan Chai Haunted House” formerly used as a military brothel
A Grade I Historic Building, Nam Koo Terrace on Ship Street is Wan Chai’s neighbourhood haunted house (making an appearance on the Wan Chai Heritage Trail). At the onset of the Japanese occupation, Nam Koo Terrace was seized and said to have been used as a military brothel or a “comfort house” by soldiers. Witnesses claim to have been haunted by the spirits of women, with accounts including hearing cries and screams as well as seeing ghostly flames in the house. In 2003, a group of middle school students even attempted to stay overnight on the property, with three becoming “emotionally unstable” and sent to the hospital for psychiatric treatment by the police.
Read More: Your Neighbourhood Guide To Wan Chai
The Braided Girl — A phantom haunting CUHK with a single braid
One of Chinese University of Hong Kong’s many, many ghost stories (this is perhaps Hong Kong’s most haunted university!), this creepy urban legend tells the tale of a beautiful girl with a single braid who died the day she planned to elope with her lover. Travelling from the mainland to Hong Kong, the couple feared being stopped by immigration officers at Kowloon and leapt from a train carriage as it hurtled past campus. In a fatal moment, her hair blew in the wind and a braid caught in the door. Lodged tight, it ripped both the braid and her face. Today, male students are said to encounter a girl with beautiful braided hair and no face on Single Braid Road.
Tat Tak School — A now-closed village school in Ping Shan, New Territories
Rumour has it that the schoolmistress of this school killed herself in the girls’ toilet, hanging herself in a red dress — leaving behind a red-dressed spirit who haunts its grounds. The village Tat Tak School is located in has a long history of tragedy too, resisting the British, when the colonial government tried to evict them from the land, and the Japanese during World War II. Mass graves are built into the hillside of the school and the rusty site is barren and locked. Chilling.
Murray House — 75-year-old restored Victorian-era building now in Stanley
Originally located in Central before being dismantled and moved to Stanley, the beautiful Murray House was one of the oldest surviving public buildings in Hong Kong, with a heavy and tumultuous history of its own. Originally the officers’ quarters of the Murray Barracks, it was occupied by the Japanese during World War II, who used it as a military police command centre and also execution grounds for Chinese citizens. Haunting, indeed! This longstanding belief that the wronged victims would continue to roam its halls led to this building being publicly exorcised — twice! One was even televised.
Main image courtesy of Ryan Kwok on Unsplash, image 1 courtesy of image courtesy of Gordon Cheung via Wikimedia Commons, image 2 courtesy of 2009500376onland09 via Wikimedia Commons, image 3 courtesy of Alexander Ramsey via Unsplash, image 4 courtesy of Hkchan123 at Chinese Wikipedia via Wikimedia Commons, image 5 of Hankt via Wikimedia Commons.