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Hong Kong’s creepiest urban legends to send chills up your spine

By Catharina Cheung 30 October 2019 | Last Updated 27 October 2023

Header image courtesy of Collin Armstrong (via Unsplash)

Halloween is right around the corner, and there’s no better way to set a spooky atmosphere than with these urban Hong Kong legends. We’re not suggesting that you visit all seven places mentioned on Halloween night to see if you bump into anything supernatural, but if you’re like us and enjoy the subreddit r/creepypasta, then these scary stories will be right up your alley. If not, consider yourself warned before you read these creepy urban legends!

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Photo: Easton Mok (via Unsplash)

A sisterly pact

Tsat Tsz Mui Road (七姊妹道) in North Point literally translates to “Seven Sisters Road” and is famously named after a creepy story. As legend has it, there was once a group of women living in the area who swore a collective vow of celibacy and became blood sisters. However, the third sister’s family eventually tried to marry her off, so in desperate solidarity, all seven sisters drowned themselves in the ocean the night before the ceremony. The villagers were never able to recover their bodies, but after the tide receded, instead found seven boulders arranged in a neat row of ascending sizes. These were then named the Seven Sisters Rocks.

In 1911, the Chinese Recreation Club erected the Seven Sisters Swimming Shed at a nearby harbourfront space. Many would go for evening dips, but the spooky thing is, there have been many cases of male swimmers drowning. Since then, there have been rumours that the spirits of the seven sisters are lurking in the waters, seeking revenge against men.

Photo: Yaliekoui Lua (via Wikimedia Commons)

The locomotive suicide

This Hong Kong legend was a widely publicised matter that even made the national news back in 1981. At the Kwun Tong-bound platform in Yau Ma Tei MTR station, back when there were no automatic doors, various bystanders—including the train driver—saw a girl jumping off of the platform onto the tracks. The driver immediately hit the brakes, but as the train carried on its forward momentum before coming to a stop, it was assumed that she had been crushed under the vehicle. Amazingly, not a single trace of her was found by the police or emergency services. The incident was later written off as a “mass hallucination.”

The plot thickened later when a friend of the girl in question said her friend had actually bumped into a girl who looked exactly like herself on the platform. This doppelganger then jumped onto the tracks just as the train was pulling in. Scared out of her wits, the girl rushed out of the station but died of sudden cardiac arrest a few days later. Coincidence?

Photo: Takeaway (via Wikimedia Commons)

The ghostly takeaway

On a normal afternoon in December of 1989, Chiu Yong Kee, a cha chaan teng (茶餐廳; Hong Kong-style café) in Tai Po Tin, received a phone order for four people’s worth of food to be delivered. Upon his arrival, the delivery boy rang the doorbell, and the door opened just a crack. Money was slipped through this gap and the person in the flat asked for the food to be placed outside. The staff didn’t think much of it and headed back to the restaurant.

When the owner cashed out the register that night, he discovered a stack of “hell money” (burned by locals for the dead to use in the afterlife). All of the staff claimed to have nothing to do with it, but a couple of days later, there was “hell money” in the cash register again. Making the connection that a delivery had been made to the same apartment again that day and thinking it a tasteless prank, the furious owner said that he will deliver the food himself if another order from the same address should come through.

Sure enough, they received a call the next day, so the owner made the trip himself and tried to peek in through the gap when the door opened. He couldn’t make anything out and left after making sure the money he received was indeed Hong Kong dollars, separating the cash from the rest of the day’s earnings. That evening, the money once again transformed into ghostly notes. By now thoroughly spooked, the owner immediately reported it to the police.

When the authorities forced their way into the unresponsive apartment, they discovered the grisly scene of four dead bodies prone on the floor. By the state of their decomposing bodies, they had been dead for some time, but their neighbours claimed to have heard the sound of mahjong (麻將) playing coming from the flat recently and so didn’t even think anything was amiss. The coroner also reported in disbelief that there was food in the corpses’ digestive systems that had only been digested for a day or so—something that shouldn’t have been possible given their deduced date of death. This case also made the national papers and was widely discussed back then. What do you make of it?

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Photo: @wing1990hk (via Wikimedia Commons)

Collective deaths

Telford Gardens in Kowloon Bay seems to have had some bad luck with tenants. Over 19 years, there have been two major incidents on the estate, with the total death toll numbering 12. Eerily, they also all occurred on the same date—July 22—with the most famous of these cases being one which happened in 1998. The police found five female corpses lying in different rooms of an apartment in Block C, as well as a round mirror tied to a pair of scissors with a red string—a feng shui ornament—hanging outside the window.

The authorities initially investigated on the suspicion that it was a mass suicide related to cult activity after discovering that three out of the five women were believers of Shintoism. It was later revealed that one of the deceased was the CEO of a listed company and that she had also withdrawn $700,000 on the day of their deaths.

It turns out that three of these five women were superstitious and subsequently conned by a fake feng shui master from mainland China into performing a ritual to increase their longevity (ironic, we know). After requesting a large sum of money to purchase supplies for the ritual, he gave them talisman water to drink. This was poisoned, and one of the unwitting women also shared the water with her two daughters, thus causing all five to die.

Since then, many cleaners in Telford Gardens have quit their jobs after experiencing strange things. One such cleaner claimed that when taking out the rubbish from the floor where the apartment in question is located, she would hear slippered footsteps hurrying down the corridor, and a woman’s voice exclaiming, “Wait for me, I haven’t put out my rubbish yet!” After clearing the bins from the whole floor, she would turn back to the stairwell only to find a neat bag of trash by the door, with no explanation as to how it got there.


A hairy encounter

Numerous male students at Chinese University Hong Kong have reported seeing a girl sporting a beautiful long braid alone at night near the Chung Chi canteen on campus.

Upon being approached, she turns around, only to reveal an identical single braid where her face should be. As the story goes, this girl is said to have crossed the border illegally from mainland China with her boyfriend. The train they were on was approaching a checkpoint in Kowloon, so the lovers decided to jump off before being found.

The girl leapt out as the train passed near the site of what is now the university, but her braid got caught on a part of the train, ripping off her hair and face as she met a bloody end. Since then, this horrific spectre has made several appearances, but only to men. The woody lane near the old train tracks is now called Single Braid Road. Creeped out yet? We definitely are!


Dead-popular screenings

At the height of its popularity in the 1960s, the Tung Shing Cinema was often fully booked. But dig deeper and you’ll hear of how people reported seeing a full house while in the dark, but when the lights turned on at the end of the film, there were only a few others—if at all—in the theatre. Staff would tell of how the theatre was always full at night screenings, even though not that many tickets were sold. There have also been reports of women in the washroom glancing into the mirror and seeing someone with no face behind them.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the cinema used to be a funeral parlour, and the location of the women’s bathroom was where the mortuary used to be. It has since been demolished.

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The vengeful bride

Many already know the Hong Kong legend surrounding Bride’s Pool. For the uninitiated, this picturesque waterfall and pool in the wilderness of the Tai Po District supposedly got its name from a bride who was being carried to her wedding in a sedan chair when one of the porters slipped on the rocks above the waterfall, causing her to fall out of the sedan and plunge into the pool below. Weighed down by ceremonial garb, she drowned.

Some say her spirit still lurks in the depths, waiting to drag others to a watery grave, while others have seen a woman in a red cheongsam brushing out her hair by the water.

The thing that makes this urban legend even creepier is that the nearby Bride’s Pool Road is famous for being the site of car accidents. Many believe that, aside from the bends and blindspots along this road, there is also a touch of the supernatural at work. A large number of vehicles involved in accidents here share a feature: the colour red. As bridal sedan chairs are traditionally also red, legend has it the spiteful spirit is mistaking red vehicles for other sedan chairs and trying to harm what she assumes are other brides. It’s really up to you whether or not to speed past the danger zone, or slow right down to stay safe!

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Catharina Cheung

Senior editor

Catharina has recently returned to her hometown of Hong Kong after spending her formative years in Singapore and the UK. She enjoys scouring the city for under-the-radar things to do, see, and eat, and is committed to finding the perfect foundation that will withstand Hong Kong’s heat. She is also an aspiring polyglot, a firm advocate for feminist and LGBTQIA+ issues, and a huge lover of animals. You can find her belting out show-tunes in karaoke, or in bookstores adding new tomes to her ever-growing collection.

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