Episode 201: Skeleton Talks

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Today we will tell a story about a skeleton talks from the book XuZiBuYu 续子不语 from the Qing dynasty 清朝 around the 18th century by the author YuanMei 袁枚.

In the book, it says, a person Mr. Wang 汪 stayed in a temple for a few days. He found some weird thing that he heard someone was talking underneath the stairs of this room. He told other people in the temple and they also heard the talking. They thought maybe someone was buried there and the ghost maybe asking for help or some unfilled wishes.

They told the monks in the temple and they dug underneath the stairs for a few feet. As expected, they found a coffin in which a skeleton lying. Nothing special. People asked the skeleton, “do you have some regrets or wishes?” The skeleton didn’t say a word. So they buried the coffin back to where it was.

Not too long after they buried the coffin, they heard someone talking from underground again and it was for sure from the coffin. A person suggested, “we should tell the Zen master who could understands ghost talking.”




The Zen master came and put his ears on the ground. He closed his eyes and tried to listen the words from the coffin. Then he suddenly said, “don’t bother! This ghost was in high position while he was alive and liked to hear people flattering him. Now nobody is flattering him so he just flattering himself.”



续子不语 XuZiBuYu


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