Author Archives: Patric Liu Sr.

Haunted Temple in Taiwan

Haunted Temple in Taiwan

S.S is one of my suitemates. We were also friends in high school. She was born in the states but moved to Taiwan for school. Her family is Taiwanese. As an individual, she is really interested in sports, and recently, while in college, she has also become really interested in Christianity. While participating in these many things, she has experienced many traditions that are expressed as folklore.

S.S told me an event that when she was back in Taiwan, she would always hike. She used to live in the mountains so hiking is very convenient for her. On her hiking trail, there would be a shortcut when coming back home, but her dad would prohibit going through the shortcut. There would be a temple someone can come across to if they go through the shortcut, and inside the temple, S.S’s dad would mentioned that there were dead people in there and that they worship evil god or “not very positive spirts.” S.S heard about this from her dad while her dad heard this from the neighbors, and thus, S.S would have never gone through the shortcut.

Because of this “myth,” S.S started to become more cautious about temples. Since she was young when she first heard about this, for her, this myth would just be something to be afraid of.

In this myth of the haunted temple, the temple seems to be the main focus, as well as the dead people worshiping the evil gods inside. There is also the significance of the shortcut, as the bad place happens to only be around the shortcut but the just out there in plain site along the normal route or street.

My thoughts on this myth was that I considered this to be a scare tactic most of all. There actually could be dead people inside the temple, but personally, I don’t think ghosts exists (which I’m assuming the dead people are).Apparently no one called the dead people as ghosts, they were just known as the “dead people.” Overall, I also think that this myth falls into the beliefs that bad things happen when someone takes a shortcut. Usually, in stories, if someone doesn’t go along their usual route and ends up going through a shortcut, they would encounter something bad.

P’s Basement

P’s Basement

J.H is currently my roommate is he also went to the same high school as I did. His ethnicity is Taiwanese but he was born and raised in Alabama.

J.H told me about a tradition he and his friends would do. He and his friends would usually go to P’s basement is spare time, or to hang out. J.H explained to me that P never lets anyone go inside of his house, but his apartment has a basement facility, in which he would let his friends stay when they’re bored. But J.H also said that P was always reluctant or hesitant and letting his friends stay in his basement.

J.H is fond of this folk tradition because it’s the basement itself that holds meaning. There wasn’t anything about the basement, it wasn’t haunted or anything, it was just a location that holds goods memories for him and his friends. He first learned about the basement from another friend who was one of the first people who used P’s basement as t place to hangout.

The context mostly revolves around P’s basement. It’s the location that holds significance to J.H and his friend. According to J.H, the idea of going to P’s basement has been circulating around J.H and his circle of friends. This location represented a form of social gathering. Where whoever has been to P’s basement would be considered part of the group of friends who know s about the basement.

I think this type of folklore shows that people can become culturally close because of just one location. The location may not many aspects of it itself, but the people who experienced going there has shared with others about it, and thus the basement became significant to many others.

What did the chicken say when he crossed the road?

What did the chicken say when he crossed the road?

J.H is currently my roommate is he also went to the same high school as I did. His ethnicity is Taiwanese but he was born and raised in Alabama.

J.H explained to me about a joke only he and some of his friends would get in high school. The joke is pretty much: “What did the chicken say when he crossed the road,” and the answer would actually be “Hi.” This joke was part of a group the friends made up, which was called the “Nao Chan group,” which translated essentially into the “Brain Damaged group.” Only a few people would be in the “Nao Chan group,” and only they would understand these types of jokes. The point of the jokes was meant to simply just to be stupid, and not having many thoughts in these jokes.

J.H happily remembered this jokes because of how stupid it was to the point he couldn’t help but laugh when telling the joke. And there are people like him who would agree. He first heard of this joke from his friend who was one of the starter ups of the “Nao Chan” group.

The context of the joke is just how stupid it is, and therefore not a lot of people would get it. This would only be significant to the group because it fits in with their humor, and they’re the ones who thought it up. The silliness of the joke is he thing that brought them together to make this type of group.

This joke is a practical joke that allows a social gathering of whoever understands the joke to be a part of. In addition this joke would also be a sort of initiation of whoever understands the joke. J.H mentioned that this joke may have spread though the high school but the true “Nao Chan” people would understand it.

The Victory Hand

The victory hand gesture.

J.H is currently my roommate is he also went to the same high school as I did. His ethnicity is Taiwanese but he was born and raised in Alabama.

As I was interviewing him, he thought he would tell me about a think he and his friends would do, but then it started to spread around the whole high school. It was first overly done by one of his (who is also my friend). Whenever his friend would do something good, or just if anything good happened around him, he would move his arm into a “check” sign, signaling a sign of victory. For example, he would extend right arm sharply to the upper right, and bend his left arm sharply across his chest. J.H would just randomly see his friends do this movement whenever, and eventually he would do it too just for the heck of it. And throughout the years, J.H would see more and more people doing the hand movement, even from people from grades below that friend who started it.

J.H decided to share this because of how the one simple movement from one random guy would spread though out the whole high school. Even though the action was weird, J.H would explain the victory hand gesture was actually relatable in a sense and could be use anywhere when appropriate. He learned this gesture from the “original creator.”

I think this hand gesture would be used as a comical sense, as J.H’s, and I assume many more, first reactions towards it was that it was weird and funny to look at. People would just laugh at the person who does it, but it eventually became the norm, allowing everyone to follow in.

I would think this would be some sort of folk ritual or tradition and folk speech to have people is a part of a group in high school. J.H said that whoever in Taiwan saw this type of hand gesture would think of the high school that it came from,  even seeing stranger doing it, J.H would assume that they went to the same high school and just never seen the faces of the people doing it before.



P.L is one of my friends in high school. He’s half German so he knows many cultures and folklore from there. He hasn’t been to German for that long, but his parents made it so he would be culturally involved.  He’s also lived in the States and Taiwan so he’s multi-culturally diverse.

This legend that P.L told is about a mountain giant. This legend only occurred in Germany. This Mountain Giant would take away if the children do not behave. In contrast, the Giant will also reward the morally sound kids. The background story of the Mountain Giant would be that he was abducted a princess who likes turnip and that how the giant got his name.

P.L’s grandmother was the one who told him this legend. Parents would usually tell this to their kids to frighten them. P.L remembered this legend as funny because there was a movie he watched about Ruebezahl, and it was funny because of the tricks the giant plays on the bad guys.

The legend is about Ruebezahl, but he doesn’t seem to be an evil character as many evil giant would. Yes, he would take away children but only ones that do not behave, and he would also reward the good ones.

This legend could be true, a giant could mean just an overly huge person, and would punish and bad and reward the good. He also has a historical content to it, as the Giant once abducted a princess. Since parents do use this legend to frighten their children, it could be all made up and was created just to force the children to behave.

For another version of this legend, see Praetorius, Johannes. Daemonologia Rubinzalii Silesii. Leipzig: Oeler, 1662. Print.