USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘shanghai’
Legends

Shanghai Legend about a haunted shopping mall

Legend

Main Piece:

Me: hey Dachui. Can you give me some folklore?

Dachui: yes. So the Xujiahui Shopping mall in Shanghai has been playing that song Sorry My Baby after it closes, for like ten years. They said that where the shopping mall is right now used to be a place where they bury dead infants. Many newborn dead babies are buried there. They said after the mall was built, people could hear babies cry at night. Also, sometimes the toys in the shopping mall got messed up, and some of them even seemed to be bitten by kids.

Me: and then?

Dachui: then one day the shopping mall customer relations people got a geomancer to check out the problem. He said that there were too many ghosts of infants, so playing the song Sorry My Baby would help pacify their ghosts and stop them from messing around. Therefore, the shopping mall started playing the song every time they close the door. And then nothing happens anymore.

Context:

I first heard this legend from him during a theater club retreat. During the retreat, everyone sort of started to talk about the ghost stories in their hometown. So I recorded it from him.

Analysis:

My friend Dachui heard about this folklore mainly from his friends and parents. According to him, children would be warned about the shopping mall and to go around the area at night. He was really scared at first, but later when he grew up he didn’t trust it anymore. Later, the shopping mall stopped play that song at night, probably because the “ghosts” don’t come out anymore. The performer doesn’t really believe in the folklore. When he performed it, he tried to be like he wasn’t scared by it at all, but I felt like he must have been so scared by the legend.

Later I searched the original story online, which seems to be slightly different from the version he told me. In the version online, the geomancer later got into trouble with the case and seemed to get hurt from the “ghosts”. However, the end of the story is unknown, because China doesn’t really like the ghost story to haunt that area and the surrounding citizens, (Government control, yea.) indirectly controlling the spread and variation of folklore. Therefore, we don’t really know what happened later.

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