Episode 30: A Random Story About A Haunted House

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I know a lot of urban legends are about haunted houses and people never get tired hearing more of the horror or bloody stories. However, today I am going to talk about a not so scary yet a little bit random story of a haunted house. It is from the book SouShenJi 搜神记, which we mentioned before from Jin Dynasty 晋朝 around the year 350.

There was a person called ZhangFen 张奋 who used to very rich and for no reason he became old super fast and lost his money so he sold the house to another guy named ChengYing 程应. Not too long after ChengYing moved into the house with his family, they all got diseases. So ChengYing sold the house to his neighbor called HeWen 何文. It seems like the house is haunted and has some bad FengShui.

The neighbor HeWen he probably figured out when he bought the house and wanted to figure out the reason. He brought a huge knife and climbed to the pillar in the north room when it was getting dark. During the midnight, there suddenly appeared a person about 2~3 meters wearing a tall hat , yellow clothes, coming to the court and shouted “XiYao 细腰!” XiYao literally means “skinny waist ”. Then there was a voice replied. So apparently XiYao was some other person in the house. The big guy wearing yellow asked “why do I smell some strangers in the house?” XiYao answered, “I don’t think so there are no strangers” So the yellow guy left.

Soon after, another guy wearing tall hat however wearing greenish clothing. Afterwards a third guy wearing tall hat wearing white clothes. They both asked the same question and got the same answer from XiYao. HeWen waited on the pillar the whole night and got down until sunrise. He followed all the tall hat guys and shouted “XiYao”. He asked who was the guy wearing yellow clothes? XiYao said, “it was gold under east wall of the house” He asked again who was the guy wearing green? XiYao answered “it was coins 5 step in front of the well in the house” “Who was the guy wearing white?” “It was the silver under the pillar near the northeast wall” replied XiYao. HeWen kept asking,” who are you?” XiYao answered, “I am the wooden pestle under the stove.” that’s why the name was XiYao, skinny waist cause it was a pestle. When it was totally bright outside, HeWen went through the places in order and got gold, silver and coins. In the end he burned the wooden pestle. After that, the house became peaceful again.

In Jin Dynasty 晋朝 in China, there was a popular theory that things that old enough could become some form of spirits. In the story gold, silver and coins under the ground for so long that they became evil spirits and so was the pestle. I think this is quite interesting cause when you think of the ghosts in a haunted house, they always were already evil creatures or mistreated where they were alive. I sometimes wonder when something is missing is it because they walk around themselves? And be a hoarders cause your old stuff may be haunted one day….


搜神记SouShenJi/ In Search Of the Sacred

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