Discover the fascinating story of Shi Maohua, a prefect in Qingzhou, who issued an imperial edict to quell vengeful spirits haunting a water pit, putting an end to their malevolence.
In the past, when Shi Maohua, the Prefect of Qingzhou, was still a scholar, there was a large water pit outside the city gates of Qingzhou that never dried up even when it didn’t rain. Yìdū County had once captured dozens of notorious thieves, all of whom were executed near the large water pit. Surprisingly, the lingering spirits of these thieves continued to haunt and harm the people, often pulling anyone passing by the pit into the water.
One day, a certain individual was attacked by these ghosts and found himself in grave danger. Suddenly, he heard the ghosts frantically fleeing in all directions and shouting, “Prefect Shi has arrived!” Shortly thereafter, Shi Maohua arrived at the water’s edge, and the individual recounted what he had witnessed. Shi Maohua then used lime to write a notice on the wall, which read:
“Announcement by Shi: If you have wicked intentions that incur the wrath of heaven, and in the past, you were punished with execution for your sinister schemes, it is time for you to repent for your past sins. Perhaps, by doing so, you can cleanse the bloodstains of your crimes from your withered bones and escape the depths of your current torment. However, even after enduring extreme punishment in your previous lives, you still gather and commit evil deeds in death. At times, you suddenly appear before people in groups, disheveled and frightening, while other times you deliberately linger without advancing, pounding your chests and stamping your feet, emitting terrifying screams. You have already blocked your ears with mud, yet you dare to display the audacity of wicked spirits in broad daylight, obstructing the paths of pedestrians! Beyond your three-foot graves, you are under human jurisdiction, but how can the vast universe and the heavens and earth tolerate your continued malevolence? I now warn you that from this day forth, you must each hide and refrain from evil deeds. As spirits, you must patiently await reincarnation; only then can the souls of your loved ones dream of returning to their hometowns. If you persist in harming others, you will surely regret your actions!”
Since that day, there were no more incidents of ghosts causing trouble in Qingzhou, and the water in the large pit finally dried up.