Chinese Weird TalesWhat the Master Would Not Discuss

The Ghosts Borrow Strength to Subdue the Wicked

According to folklore, when a wicked person is dying, the King of Hell will send evil ghosts to seize them because only these evil spirits have the power to subdue such wicked individuals.

In Yangzhou(揚州), Tang(唐氏)’s wife was both fierce and jealous, responsible for the deaths of numerous concubines and maids. Shortly after, this fierce woman fell critically ill. Even in her sickness, she continued incessantly cursing and raging just as she did in her normal days.

Their neighbor, Xu Yuan(徐元), had extraordinary strength but collapsed in bed a day earlier than the fierce woman.  Read More “The Ghosts Borrow Strength to Subdue the Wicked”

Chinese Weird TalesWhat the Master Would Not Discuss

The Painter of Zombies

Liu Yixian(劉以賢) from Hangzhou(杭州) was skilled at painting portraits. He lived next door to a father and son. When the father passed away, the son went to buy a coffin. Before leaving, he asked the neighbor to request Liu Yixian to paint a portrait of his deceased father. When Liu Yixian arrived at their home, he found it empty. Assuming the deceased must be upstairs, he quietly ascended the stairs, approached the bed of the deceased, sat down, took out his brush, and prepared to paint the portrait.  Read More “The Painter of Zombies”

What the Master Would Not DiscussChinese Weird Tales

Debt Repaid

In Luoyang’s Shuilu Temple, there was a monk named Da Le, who was quite wealthy. His neighbor, surnamed Zhou, worked in the government office and was very poor. The supervisor of his post often extorted money when collecting taxes, taking advantage whenever possible. Whenever it was time to turn in the collected sum, Zhou would frequently borrow money from Monk Da Le to make up the shortfall. Over a span of a few years, he ended up owing the monk a total of seven taels of silver.  Read More “Debt Repaid”

Chinese Weird Tales

Kunlun Nu

It is a very famous Chuanqi in the Tang Dynasty.

From Wikipedia:

The hero of the tale is a Negrito slave who uses his extraordinary physical abilities to save his master’s lover from a court official’s harem.

You can read more about it in this Wikipedia page. Below is a full translation of the story.

During the reign of Emperor Dezong in the Tang Dynasty, there was a man named Cui Sheng(崔生). His father was a prominent official who had a close relationship with high-ranking ministers of the time.  Read More “Kunlun Nu”

Chinese Weird Tales

The Old Man Who Makes Barrels

During the Tang Dynasty, Wei Xinggui(韋行規) recounted an incident from his youth. Once, while traveling in the western capital, he arrived at a shop when it was getting dark. Despite that, he intended to continue his journey forward.

There was an old man working in the shop who advised him. “It’s late. It’s not safe to travel at night; there are many bandits around here.”

“I have prepared my bow and arrows. I am not afraid.” Replied Wei Xinggui.

He proceeded for several tens of miles more, and the night became exceptionally dark.  Read More “The Old Man Who Makes Barrels”

Chinese Weird Tales

The Tasty Visitor

Master Ye Fashan(葉法善) was skilled in talismanic magic. The Emperor honored him several times as a Hongluqing(鴻臚卿), bestowing upon him lavish rewards and special treatment.

Ye Fashan resided in the Xuanzhen Temple(玄真觀), often hosting a dozen or more courtiers who would come to the temple, loosen their belts, and stay without intending to leave. The seats would be occupied, and they’d desire wine to drink.

Suddenly, someone knocked on the door, claiming to be Qu Xiucai. Ye Fashan sent word to him, ‘There are colleagues from the court here presently; we have no time to converse.  Read More “The Tasty Visitor”

Chinese Weird Tales

The Dragon’s Pearl

In Jingxiang, there is a temple nestled close to mountains and water, where a dragon resides. This dragon often stirs up storms, damaging trees. Within the temple, there is an old man named Zhang who strikes the bell; he is a sorcerer, unknown to the monks. Zhang detests the havoc caused by this dragon and desires to capture and kill it, secretly performing magic.

The dragon, aware of this, transforms into a human and secretly informs one of the monks, saying, ‘I am a dragon, living in these waters for many years.  Read More “The Dragon’s Pearl”

Chinese Weird Gallery

Love Story of the Flying Head Demon Clan

Once upon a time, a flying head demon (飛頭䝤) flew out of his body at night. Suddenly, he saw his daughter’s head flying next to the head of a boy from another family. They were eating a fish together by the stream. When it was time to say goodbye, they were reluctant to part. When the flying head demon returned home, he arranged for his daughter to marry the boy from the family.

Story and image from《點石齋畫報》. Dianshizhai huabao or Dianshizhai Pictorial (《點石齋畫報》, 1884–1898) was a Chinese language magazine published in Shanghai in the late 19th century.  Read More “Love Story of the Flying Head Demon Clan”

Chinese Weird GalleryStrange Stories from a Chinese Studio

Illustration for “《The Scribe(司札吏)》” in 《聊齋誌異》

An illustration for the ghost story “The Scribe(司札吏)” in “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio”, in Qing Dynasty.

“The Scribe” is a short story from the collection of classical Chinese short stories “Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio” by the Qing dynasty writer Pu Songling. The story tells the tale of a tyrannical and superstitious magistrate who had many taboos. One day, the magistrate’s scribe accidentally violated one of his taboos, and the magistrate had him killed. The scribe then returned as a ghost to mock and torment the magistrate.  Read More “Illustration for “《The Scribe(司札吏)》” in 《聊齋誌異》”