Header image courtesy of 攝影 札記 (via Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Safe though the city may be, Hong Kong is not left wanting for real-life haunted houses. From wartime horrors to urban legends and modern tragedies, these are the city’s most haunted spots. For the morbid and morose among you, the property website Spacious keeps a list of properties that have seen their fair share of tragedy. For the easily spooked, we would recommend steering clear of those web pages and leaving the following haunted locations in Hong Kong off your Halloween hit list.
Completed in the 1920s, this two-storey, red-brick Wan Chai dwelling hosts a dark past. Built as the family home of a wealthy merchant, it became occupied by the Japanese military during the wartime occupation. It was reportedly the site of a brothel and countless cases of abuse and murders. In more recent history, a group of schoolgirls made their way into the abandoned house in 2003 in an attempt to summon the spirits but were left severely traumatised by their time there. One was forcibly removed from the property and later sent for psychiatric examination, and two of the other girls in the group soon followed suit.
Nam Koo Terrace, 55 Ship Street, Wan Chai
So Lo Pun was inhabited as early as the ninth century but has been abandoned since the late 1980s. Mystery shrouds the village’s eventual abandonment, with myths ranging from a health pandemic sweeping through the city to a tragic boating accident and wartime horrors. The village’s name translates to “locked compass” in Cantonese—fitting, considering the numerous reports by Plover Cove hikers that their compasses go awry when they reach the village (over three hours from any main roads).
So Lo Pun, Plover Cove Country Park, Shuen Wan
Peace, quiet, and the site of a horrific tragedy. According to legend and local lore, a young bride was travelling to her wedding when one of the porters carrying her slipped. The sedan then collapsed and she fell into the nearby pool of water. She drowned due to the weight of her wedding dress. While it’s a popular hiking site and makes for a leisurely place to while away an afternoon, we would steer clear of venturing too far from the shore, as the bride is said to haunt the pool and the bachelors who swim in it to this day.
Bride’s Pool, Bride’s Pool Road, Tai Mei Tuk
Just off the Chinese University of Hong Kong campus, a winding road where train tracks used to run is the site of a tragic folktale. A runaway bride and groom are said to have come to Hong Kong by train to wed, but fearful of being stopped by immigration, they decided to make their way by foot instead. The young woman jumped first, but her braid caught on the train, resulting in a gruesome and fateful tragedy. Those who pass by the road where the accident occurred have reported seeing a faceless girl, with a long single braid running down her back.
Single Braid Road, behind the Chung Chi College Student Canteen, Pond Crescent, Ma Liu Shui, Sha Tin
On the sleepy seaside shores of Cheung Chau, Bela Vista Villa is a holiday resort complex that has witnessed more than its fair share of tragedy. After a string of suicides beginning in the late 1980s, the villas have developed an unfortunate reputation as a location for people attempting to take their own lives. Residents formed a local suicide watch to help patrol the area and offer assistance to those in need.
Bela Vista Villa, Cheung Chau Beach Road (North), Cheung Chau
Situated underneath the sprawling Wah Fu Estate, Waterfall Bay is the former resting ground for pirates of the Qing dynasty, though it is thought to have also served as a mass burial site after the massacre of an entire village. It is said that the spirits of those who drowned are also said to snatch swimmers who dare to tread the waters. Picturesque though it may be, this is one swimming hole we are happy to miss.
Waterfall Bay, Pok Fu Lam
Informally dubbed the “High Street Haunted House,” this nineteenth-century building once served as the accommodation quarters for hospital nurses working at the facility. Following the end of the Second World War, the site was repurposed and used as a psychiatric clinic. It is said that in the time between, the hospital was an execution site, and there have been countless poltergeist sightings since the 1970s.
Sai Ying Pun Community Complex, 2 High Street, Sai Ying Pun
The Victoria Road Detention Centre—known as The White House—is a structure from the 1950s that served as the colonial administration’s secret intelligence headquarters. Aptly named, the stark white structure was initially used as a recreational grounds for officials, although it later became a housing centre for political prisoners, communists, and those involved in the 1967 Leftist riots. It is listed as a Grade III historic building.
Prisoners were reportedly tortured, interrogated, and even murdered. Rumour has it that headless figures could be seen late at night, which is not likely to be music to the ears of any incoming students, as the building is being restored and incorporated into designs for the Chicago Booth School of Business campus.
The White House, 168 Victoria Road, Pok Fu Lam