The new Beijing-based horror film The House That Never Dies (Jingcheng No. 81) is bringing visitors, cos players, and ghost enthusiasts from around Beijing to a French Baroque-style mansion that is apparently the inspiration behind the movie. The film is currently third at the box office, behind Tiny Times 3 and Transformers 4.
As legend has it, the abandoned and dilapidated estate is haunted by the mistress of a Kuomintang official who hung herself there after he abandoned Beijing following the Communist victory in 1949.
Since last week the release of the new film has driven the number of visitors to upwards of 500 people per day to explore its spooky corridors and resulting in some safety concerns for the groundskeepers.
Church officials from the Beijing diocese, who are in control of the property disagree with the haunted history of the mansion, stating that it was originally developed as a Chinese language school for foreign missionaries, diplomats, and businessmen. Historians on the other hand state that the building was constructed for the French manager of a railroad company operating in Beijing in 1910.
Regardless, the mystery of its origins and the decayed state of this mansion makes it the perfect backdrop for horror fantasy aficionados and until the space is officially closed off to the public for renovation, wanna be ghouls and vampires will keep on coming for a thin slice of paranormal activity.
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on July 23, 2014.
Photos: The Beijinger