Taiwan Ghost Stories

Every Taiwanese I’ve ever, ever met believes in ghosts, and/or possession. I’ve heard some pretty bizarre stories over the years.
The ones about the Xinhai Tunnel female ghost in white, the ghosts around Bitan, the ones on the Tsing Hua University campus, etc.
And a friend of mine told me that a very ‘sane’ student of his believes she was possessed once…
I love these stories, but I don’t necessarily believe them. Well, not all of them…
How about you? What ghost stories have you heard?

My Chinese teacher reckons she was in the lift coming down from the 12th floor, intending to go to the ground floor at one of the local Universities. Anyway, the lift stopped on the 5th floor, door opens, and there was her brother’s girlfriend waiting outside the lift.

Teacher: fei fei ni hao
Girlfriend: ni hao Yang Ting, aaahhh mei guan xi wo deng xia yi ge.

Next day, my teacher runs into the girlfriend and says
Teacher: ni zuotian zemele
Girlfriend: mei shi
Teacher: ranhou, ni weisheme bu yao jinlai dianti
Girlfiend: wo jin bu chu la!
Teacher: Ni jen qiquai, jou shi wo yi ge ren zai li mian ah
Girlfriand: na you yi ge ren, you hen duo ren, wo jen de jin bu chu.
Both: ah! you gui zi!!

My teacher swears to me that the lift was empty and therefore ample room to come into, yet the brother’s girlfriend equally swears the lift was full, and would prefer to wait for the next ride.

Hmm, I wonder if it is possible to get a work permit as freelance exorcist - the market is there…

I wonder why Chinese and Taiwanese are so supersitious and believe in ghosts, is it something in the culture

I find quite a lot of foreigners believe in ghosts too. My friend here’s unlce was an exorcist and he’s a New Zealander. But the Taiwanese are certainly more open about it. My girlfriend (who doesn’t like ghosts) didn’t want me going to the ghist festival on the coast near Jilong (too dangerous).

I have a different take on the whole thing, but I’m more open-minded about the whole thing than I used to be.


Recently been to Jiou Fen (near Keelung) - don’t fix me on the spelling [Jiufen, near Jilong ] - and while walking back to our car we meet a group of teenagers who went to “explore” some hill with a cementary on top.
One girl was totally shocked and crying, they told us she saw a demon. She really looked like she saw a ghost, coulnd’t talk or walk so my friend send her back home first.

Weird to me as I don’t believe in ghosts though I noticed that most Asians do.
If you tell me there is a ghost e.g. on that hill or in a house I would in fact go and try to find it!


An overgrown house in Keelung (near the train station) is a place that many in Keelung dare not go.

Supposedly the story is that it was a bar and during the 60 and 70s, it was a kind of social club for the GIs. Of course the local girls got involved with these foreign devils.

One case happened where the Taiwanese girl fell head over heels in love with a GI. Asking could she go back to the US with him, he told her there was no way.
Returning the following weekend with a gallon of petrol, she entered the bar and doused herself and the GI with petrol and iginited it. Several people were burned alive and now haunt the place.

Prior to that a Taiwanese girl who had become pregant threw herself throught the window on the 4 th floor onto the street when her GI boyfriend did not want her after she became pregnant. Well that’s my girlfriends version.

Also next month don’t be playing your tin whistles after dark as the ghosts hear it and find you. Also don’t breath if a vampire enters your room as they sense you by your breathing. Don’t hang your clothes out at night as the ghosts can go into them and possess you when you put them on.

And don’t move, the ghosts will follow you and also move into your new apartment (My girlfriend’s mother’s words of caution)

Anyone ever hear the weird story about the CAL crash in Taoyuan. A man in a green sweater was standing over a huge piece of wrecj=kage crying somebody was trapped under. when the Emergency guy returned after finding some people to help him lift it up, the man was gone but when they lifted the wreckage up, a man in a green sweater was dead under it.

Actually the scariest place in Jiou Fen in Keelung is supposed to be some house or villa near the graveyard. The Japanese supposedly butchered people or somebody died a horrible death there.

In an anthro class I took we read an account of a Chinese girl’s encounter with a ghost that was obviously a description of a rape. Returning home to tell your parents you’d been raped would only get you trouble (you wouldn’t be marriageable anymore), but a ghost attack has prescribed societal responses to it, including staying in your room for a certain amount of time, taking certain medications, etc. The medicine can be presumed to have had abortive agents in it, and the prayers and such probably had a psychologically cleansing effect too.

Obviously this doesn’t explain every incident of ghost-sightings, but I’d say it probably speaks to the origins of the tradtion. Anyway, I thought it was interesting.

I have a wee booklet which was given to me at a temple in Kaohsiung. The booklet has an incantation of a couple of hundred words to scare away ghosts. Every 3 times that you read the script you can colour a small circle on the side of the script. The more you have coloured the safer you are. Also if you happen to see a ghost you can simply read the text and hopefully the ghost will go away. The text is quite long though so I wonder how long I’d last before I gave up on chasing the ghost and decided to run away myself :shock:

Yes, Zhukov, it’s a cultural thing. Asians, all Asians, are born into cultures that teach them from an early age that ghosts exist and are real, therefor they SEE them, fear them, feel them, think they are real.

Of course, there is no such things as ghosts, as those of us raised in ghost-free cultures know. It is a fact: ghosts do not exist period. Anyone who tells you otherwise is the recipient of an inherited culture that tells them ghosts are real. But this inherited culture is pure fantasy. Ghosts do not exist, except in one’s imagination.

But look at us Westerners. We believe in an invisiblle God and a cruficied Jesus, both of whom are not real, but mere figments of our God-infused, Jesus-infused inherited culture. We think there’s a heaven when surely there is no such thing.

So when my Taiwanese friends (and girlfriend) tell me about ghosts, I listen carefully and I believe them. For them, what they experienced is real. But in objective reality, they are silly people. Just as in objective reality, we are silly to believe in a God that does not exist and a Messiah who never rose to any heaven. It’s all cultural propaganda.

the way we see their ghosts, they see our God and jesus story. ask them. they think we are real fools, too. and we are!

It’s all mental brainwashing. East or West.

But I wonder, are there any taiwanese who can rise above their inherited beliefs and understand that ghosts are not real? I have never met one yet, such a person that is. But here are many Westners who have risen above our inherited beliefs and now understand that Christianity is a mere kids story with no basis in fact. Why can Wsterners rise above their recieved prgoamming, but Easterners cannot?

Does this mean we have better, more insightful critical intelligence, or does it mean that we are too rational for our own good?

Ghosts? Not in a million years! But try telling THAT to someone who SEEN a ghost! I believe my girlfriend when she tells me she sees a ghost! I don;t make fun of her. I take her seriously. But not for one minute do I think she really has seen a ghost. She has just seen FEAR, inherited unconciously from her heritage. It’s cool. Ghost stories are cool. So are alien abduction stories and UFo stories. But they aren’t real.

Why are Asians so gullible in this regard? Oh, wait a minute, Westerners are very gullible too about God and Jesus and UFOs and alien abductions…

Ghost month. Quaint, picturesque, interesting. I love Ghost Month here.

The power of belief! Just look at David Copperfield!

In my experience, when you believe the universe is a certain way, you experience otherwise inexplicable synchronicities which are consistent with that belief–no matter what it is! Maybe ghosts and Jesus are as real as the world you recognize.

Vincent: Exactly! But no, ghosts and Jesus are not real. But they are very real to those who experience them, and get relief from them. More power to them! But don’t ever for one second think they are real. They are not real.

So then maybe you want to know what I think is really real. Well, I must say I agree with you here. I don’t know. I am sure my world is not real either. But at least I know it’s not.

I think.

In my experience, when you believe the universe is a certain way, you experience otherwise inexplicable synchronicities which are consistent with that belief–no matter what it is! Maybe ghosts and Jesus are as real as the world you recognize.

Not necessary you need to believe their existence.

I did see one in shinjuku motel, japan many years ago, it took me 3 mins with big open eyes to fugure out what “it” was, she is transparent, like shadow, but body shape and details are very clear and visible.
She stood on our bed and looking somewhere,
The background sound was also very noisy. like in the night market or crowd.

Not only I saw her, my german husband also saw her.
although he denies that she is a ghost, but he admits he saw a woman sitting next to my feet.

Pshaw! :unamused:

Ghosties and ghoolies and things that go bump in the night!

But none can compare in sheer ludicrousness as those pogo-sticking Chinese vampires! WHAT’S with THAT?

I’m not superstitious or religious at all (actually, they’re one and the same, aren’t they?) but I still whistle past a graveyard… oh, wait, in Chinese culture, whistling actually ATTRACTS ghosties, doesn’t it?

Superstition clash! Now I don’t know WHAT to do!

A great thing here would be to keep an open mind.

Being an atheist I would say that I don’t believe in ghosts or God myself. I would say that is very unlikely from what we know of evolution and studies of DNA that we as humans possess any sort of spirit element to ourselves that makes ourselves special compared to say, fish for example. Why don’t we see floating transparent fish flying around. Why don’t we see dinosaurs crashing through our walls. What’s so special about people. Sure we walk on two legs and talk but after that I’m not so sure (I know somebody is going to say they heard of a ghost dog or something now :wink: , woooooooohhhhhhhhhh). You see if ghosts were a manifestation of a natural phenomenon then they would be more evenhanded,instead they have a curious gravitation towards spooky old houses and tragic people.

Equally though I wouldn’t rule them out as physical phenomena, just that it seems very unlikely. In the same vein there might be a God, but if there is one he doesn’t seem to do much and what’s the difference?

I used to very afraid of ghosts when I was younger growing up in a superstitious environment. I can still get the shivers after watching a horror movie. But I still haven’t seen any myself and until that happens in broad daylight I won’t. I also have suffered from sleep paralysis three times. That is when you wake up suddenly and can’t move for maybe 20 seconds. It can be very disturbing and easily attrituable to ghosts, however it’s caused by your brain secreting muscle relaxants to prevent you sleep walking while dreaming.

Why are all these stories usually anecdotal? Why are they almost alway when there is only one person?
That story of the girl in the lift is a classic. She was sure the lift was full. Actually I’ve made mistakes like that sometimes. Being sure something was there and then looking back five seconds later and it wasn’t, big deal people brains can jump to conclusions sometimes, especially if their sleepy. Another reason that story could have happened is the Chinese teacher’s friend was lying and couldn’t think of a better story as to why she didn’t want to get in the lift. Maybe she’d just let a big fart and couldn’t go in! People lie all the time too and their lies are often really crummy.
As for the story of the guy with the green sweater, there are tonnes of guys with green sweaters out there!
If you can see a ghost with your eyes that means they are reflecting visible light so why can no camera pick them up?
Peoples brains are faulty and easily misled, some people are extremely easy to hypnoptise they are so open to suggestions. It makes people easier to lead around I suppose. Ghosts often seem to appear in darkened rooms at night when people are half asleep and dreaming, coincidence?

One of the stories I’ve heard is of the old Japanese prison near 99s, beside where many students live. Many Taiwanese were executed in that prison. It’s got a real old stone wall running around it and certainly is real spooky. I had a friend once who swore she was looking at my guardian angel who was sitting on a light looking at me. When I asked my friend what his name was she said he was Roger. Strangely enough that was the name of her boyfriend and roommate at the time. When confronted she said it was a coincidence. She told me my guardian angel was the easygoing sort who was independent like me so he only came every now and then to check up on me. She said she saw these ghosts since she was very little. In fact now that I recall almost all of the ghost stories I’ve heard were from girls. Maybe it is also biological…here we go :unamused:

It’s just as irrational to claim that ghosts (non-physical beings composed of pure energy) don’t exist as to claim that they do exist. There’s no proof nor scientific or logical arguments either way. It’s an open question.

There’s no evidence or proof that love exists either but most of the people who claim that ghosts don’t exist believe that love exists. That’s because they’ve experienced it.

If I’d never seen two pieces of metal slap together across empty space I’d probably have a hard time believing in magnetism too.

Actually I don’t believe magnetism exists, I know it exists because there’s proof. There was a time in human history though when no proof existed and many people mocked the notion of magnetism’s existence.

I guess the problem is mixing up the notions of ‘believing’ and ‘knowing’.

The point of all the foregoing pontificating is just to suggest that maybe we should have a little more tolerance for both points of view until we have real proof either way.

Oh, please. Therefore it is just as irrational to claim that the universe is not ruled by a gigantic invisible hedgehog named Spiny Norman as to claim that it is.

All hail Spiny Norman!

[quote]universe is not ruled by a gigantic invisible hedgehog named Spiny Norman as to claim that it is.

Which is true! It is just as irrational! How do you know that it’s not ruled by Norman?

Because its ruled by the Big Giant Head, of course. Duuh!