Hangzhou Liuhe Tower Accident

The following story is about a tower in Hangzhou, China which has the top two floors shut down.


Initials are used in the narration of this story.


XZ: So it goes like this—a long time ago (laughs)—there’s a very famous tower in Hangzhou called Liuhe Tower. And the Liuhe Tower’s top floor had been closed for several decades. And, later, why was it closed—it’s because a long time ago a school arranged a spring trip—a fieldtrip, and when that group of children reached the top floor, there was one person who said, “a ghost!” And everyone started sprinting downstairs. When they were sprinting down, maybe it’s because it’s too crowded or something, the top two floors just—because it was built in wooden structure that time—


Me: Top two floors?


XZ: Just the top floor, and—um—you know the stairs will be lower—


Me: Oh, right, the ceiling will be lower.


XZ: Right. And along with the wooden stairs, it snapped. Like, some wooden boards came off under the pressure, or the railings broke off. And so some kids either fell down or were stepped on—anyways, there were a few kids who died from the stampede.


XZ: And after that, you cannot go up there anymore. The top floor.


She later told me that her aunt, who’s over forty now, was on the same trip as the children who died; her class was waiting downstairs the tower when the collapse happened.


Me: How many floors does the tower have?


XZ: Oh it was pretty tall. It’s on the mountain, and it was quite tall—there’s nine floors.


She also mentioned that the general opinion about ghosts in China is that children are more sensitive to ghosts than adults.


Me: Where did you hear this story from?


XZ: I heard it from the elders—my grandparents.


Although no “ghost” is clearly apparent in this story, this story can be considered ghost folklore because of the unnatural collapsing of the building and the fact that the child claimed that he/she saw a ghost. If the child was joking about the ghost, why did every other child get nervous and start rushing down to the extent that some children were stamped to death? The tower was repaired afterwards, but the top two floors are never open to public again; the safety and potential to collapse is probably not an issue after the repairing of the tower, but the top two floors were kept closed. However, if the top floors are opened to public and supernatural events happen after the death of the children, this story would be a better ghost story.