Episode 139: Mystery Party

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Today we will talk about a bizarre story about a mystery party from the book Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang 酉阳杂 俎, a book of legends and tales from the Tang dynasty 唐朝 from the 9th century.

The story says, during the Tang dynasty, there was a man who was an official and went on a business trip out of town. When he was riding a house back home, he heard loud sounds of people from an old temple. It sounded like they were drinking and talking and having a lot fun.


He was curious since this temple was too old and had been discarded for a while. Who would be partying in there? He stopped and got off the house and told his servants to keep quiet. They sneaked into the temple and peaked through the door.

Guess what he saw? There were a group of people partying really hard around the bonfire, drinking, talking and laughing at dirty jokes. He suddenly got furious because he saw a lady looking familiar. His wife was one of the people partying there.


Considering the social norms then, it is shameful to see his own wife partying at midnight with a bunch of men. The official couldn’t stand one second and knocked on the door shouting out his wife’s name.

People inside seemed like they couldn’t hear anything or they didn’t feel like answering the door. They kept doing what they were doing. The official picked up a piece of rock and threw it through the door. The rock hit a liquor bottle and it broke. Then everyone inside got shocked and all ran away. The official kicked the door open and couldn’t find his wife.

The official had no choice but decided to go home first. As soon as he arrived home, he inquired the servants where the lady went. Everyone replied the lady was sleeping in the room. The official rushed into the bedroom. There she was on the bed sleeping. He was confused since he was riding back as fast as he could. She had no way to come back earlier.

Any guesses?

At this moment, his wife woke up and blamed him that she was just having an interesting dream.

“What dream?” the official asked.

His wife said, “I met a group of interesting people out of the two and had a great talk. After the sunset, they had a bonfire party in an abandoned temple. We were dancing, drinking and laughing until someone threw a rock and broke our liquor bottle. ”

The official smelled her closely. She didn’t seem like she drank. “Did I enter her dream?” He thought.



酉阳杂 俎 Miscellaneous Morsels from Youyang

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