My informant learnt about the ghost story from his father, who is a native of the Shenyang city.
“There is a ghost building in Shenyang, which the old generation knows where it is, but they tacitly agreed that they would not tell the younger generation its location. They hid it because they were afraid that if young people knew about it, kids would form explore teams and seek advanture in the ghost building. So that’s why I don’t know where it is but my father know where it is.
I don’t know what happened before abou this building, but it’s hounted, and very severe. One after another, people moved out of that building. They would connect, or call the police and say ‘哎！有鬼有鬼有鬼，’or ‘Oh there is ghost!’ And because everyone moved out of the building, it become quite a big deal to the real estate developer of this building. And it also had bad influence to the local security, people were scared. The government thinks this is not the way things should be, so they sent out a team of police officer to the ghost building one night, to see what’s the real deal there.
And because it was a very famous hounted house, the police also knew about it, and they were scared as well. The police, as they should, brought guns with them.And they also brought wine, to strengthen their courage. So their plan was to drink in the ghost building and see what will hanppens. After they drunk, they slept. But the next morning when they woke up, every single one of the police officer was dragged outside of the building. They were slept in bed, but they woke up outside. So there is something wrong with the building.”
This is a classic example of a haunted house legend. The legend is passed down through oral tradition and is a part of the local culture. The fact that the older generation knows about the ghost building but does not disclose its location to the younger generation adds an element of mystery and intrigue to the story. This legend of the hounted house is a legend that contextual the influence of space angd time into our belief. The time of this legend appeared just after the open up of China, when there were lots of superstitious belife as well as ideas that call for science and anti-superstitious.
The emphasis on the severity of the haunting and the repeated instances of people moving out of the building due to ghostly encounters build the suspense and contribute to the eerie atmosphere of the legend. And because legends might be true, the use of the phrase “哎！有鬼有鬼有鬼”(Oh there is a ghost!) adds authenticity to the legend, as this phrase is commonly used in Chinese ghost stories and adds an element of cultural familiarity to the tale.
This legend offers insight into the beliefs and superstitions of the people of Shenyang city, as well as their attitudes towards the supernatural. The fact that people were so afraid of the haunted building that they moved out and reported ghostly encounters to the police suggests that belief in ghosts and spirits was widespread in the community. It also highlights the impact that supernatural beliefs could have on everyday life, such as the impact on the real estate market and local security. It also implied that the supersitous belief of ghost does not limit to the ordinary people, but as well as the people in the government, who supposedly based on communist doctrine, reject any superstious belief and firmly believe in science. The contridiction between dogmatic belief of the state and the actual practice of the people is particularly interesting in this context.