Author Archives: Ai Mak

The year I saw ghost in my house

My roommate, Jane, was born and raised in Korea, moved to Philadelphia for her high school, and to LA for college. I told her that I’m in a ghost story class and in need of ghost stories. I have asked her for stories several times, but every time I asked her, she always said she doesn’t have any along with a very scared expression on her face until one night, she finally told me the following.

“When I was a child, emm.. . I used to be able to see ghost. So… We had these two floors in our house which… in Korea, yea. There is two floors. It is my house. I have been living there for like… it’s almost like… emm… 80 years old house. I have been living there for like twelve years then, and emm… no! ten years because that’s when I experienced a ghost part. And then emm… so like, at night time, I was studying in my room, and I was at the ground floor, first floor, and then I have to go up the stairs to go to the kitchen to go get my water. And when I was going up stairs, in the corner of the staircase, there was a girl just like… dressed up in like… a white dress, and she had emmm…. Like black hair, and her hair was all down, covering her face. And I like heard someone wimping. And then, emm… I saw like the glimpse of her face. And then emmm… her face was all white and freaky so I cried. And I was really young, so I just told that story to my mom. And then my mom decided to call the priest and then she did like the… like the thing… like they blest the house with holy water. I still don’t know what was wrong with the house until these days. The other story was that I was playing with my brother. Actually I wasn’t. Oh ok so I was gonna scare my brother from the behind the door. And then emm… when I was just like about to sneak into like his like room, I saw like a really long hand with really long nails with bright red nail polish color. I thought my brother was just like emmm… playing with me with like the fake figure nails. But then when I like looked, like when I open the door and then like checked the behind the door like there is nothing there and my brother was actually not sitting like sitting all the way like in the corner like he couldn’t have possibly gotten to the door when I open the door, so emm…. And I asked my brother if he was playing with me, but he was just innocently drawing on his book and like playing so yea, I realized that was a ghost. They both happened when I was ten years old. The first one was during emm… close to winter, and the other one happened emm… during the summer. I don’t know what happened to me when I was ten years old, but it happened at the same year.”

My roommate was from South Korea, and Japan is one of the neighboring country which is normal to have ghost believes to be pass on to a neighboring country, Korea. From the story above, there were a lot of the same motives occured as in many Japanese ghost stories such as “stairs”, “white dress”, “red nails”, “long hairs”, “wimping.” She also experienced these when she was a child, and it was believe that child tend to be easier to have contact with ghost because they were closer to birth. Interestingly, her stories took place in nighttime of a summer and daytime before a winter which is unusual. She expressed disbelief by saying that she might be just “imagining things.” Jane is also a Catholic, so that might be the reason why she wanted to avoid talking about ghosts when I asked her, and also there are some religious aspect that they found a priest to “blest the house,” and she never saw the ghost again.


The Forbidden City

Forbidden city is located in downtown of Beijing with a lot of the oldest and finest architectures in the country, but within the high walls of these buildings, death was normal. With the hierarchy system, people would sacrifice others to maintain their own power and social statues which lead to a lot of injustice death especially among the palace maids and eunuch. “ Also, a lot of women sent into the Imperial Palace were never able to step out of the high walls for the rest of their lives, and if the king did not favor those women, then they would not have any kid and die alone by themselves in the palace.

“When I went on a tour to Beijing, we were able to go into a small part of the Imperial Palace, but the tour guide told us there are a huge part of the palace which is not open to the public due to the unexplainable things happened in there. I don’t remember who but someone in the group told me that she heard a lot of ghost stories happened in there after 5pm which is the closing time for the palace. She was told that the guard for the palace at night can hear people playing music, sometimes can see palace maids and palace eunuchs walking by which she had experienced. Every building has explainable things happened such as people who have been there disappeared or die which is why they were closed down for tourists. It was also believed that In the morning when you looked down in the wells, you could see a lot of brushes and stones, but after 12am, if you look down, you will be able to see reflection of moon and also the reflection of someone’s face but not your face.”

My friend, Xue Li Lin, told me this story that he heard during his trip in Beijing. He was born and raised in Guangdong, China. He told me this story in Chinese, and the translation is not exact with a few reconstructions of sentences. He told me he had never experienced these himself, but believed it could happen in real life.

This is story with historical backgrounds that even after their death, the palace maids and eunuch still have the obligation to perform their duties. They are afraid of the high authorities will “kill” them if they don’t perform their duties even though they were dead already. The legends were rather convincing to me because I had learn some histories about it when I was little. It was very brutal back in the days that even their own parents can kill their own child to secure their powers. I could imagine a lot of bad death within all the beautiful architecture which lead to hauntings.