Ghost stories, legends and tales of the supernatural abound in China – here are is a rundown of some of the more interesting ones as All Hallow’s Eve draws near:
The Painted Skin
Part of a collection of supernatural tales from Qing dynasty author Pu Songling’s (1640-1715) book Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio (Liaozhai Zhiyi), this creepy and gruesome tale is one of the the main prototypes for a ghostly meme found throughout Asia – the vengeful female spirit (most recently depicted in the Japanese horror classics The Ring and The Grudge). In this tale a scholar takes in a mysterious young girl in his home and lets her stay in his studio, only to discover a terrible secret about her all too late. Illuminatedlantern.com has an excellent translation of this classic Chinese ghost story here.
Gan Bao: In Search of the Supernatural
Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD) historian Gan Bao is best known for his anthology In Search of the Supernatural: The Written Record (Sou-shen Chi) – a collection of supernatural stories and legends of the era that went onto inspire Pu Songling’s book (see above). Legend has it that "Gan Bao became interested in these matters after a member of his family survived more than ten years sealed inside a tomb with the help of a ghost which brought her food."
Find out more here.
This post first appeared on beijingkids on October 29, 2011.