Mandrill: Strange Encounters at Liugou Temple

Explore the eerie tale of a ghostly encounter at Liugou Temple in the South Mountain region, as recounted by Sun Taibai's great-grandfather.

Sun Taibai once recounted a strange incident: his great-grandfather used to study at the Liugou Temple in the South Mountain. One autumn, during the harvest season, he returned home to visit and stayed for more than ten days before returning to the temple. When he returned to the temple and opened the door to his study, he found that the desk was covered in dust, and the windows were covered in spiderwebs. He called for his servant to clean the room, and it took until evening for it to feel clean and comfortable enough to sit in. He then unpacked his luggage, made the bed, and closed the door to rest. By this time, the moonlight had filled the windows. He lay on the bed tossing and turning for a long time without falling asleep. It was completely silent all around, not a sound to be heard. Suddenly, he heard a strong wind blowing with a “whooshing” sound, and the temple’s main gate suddenly made a loud noise. He thought to himself that one of the monks at the temple must have forgotten to close the gate. While he was pondering this, the wind gradually blew to the door of his room. Before long, the room’s door opened on its own. He was very puzzled, and before he could think it through, the wind had entered the room, and he heard the sound of footsteps wearing boots, slowly approaching the bedroom door. Fear began to creep into his heart. Then, the bedroom door was pushed open, and he quickly looked up, only to see a large ghost bent over squeezing into the room, quickly standing at the foot of his bed. The big ghost straightened up, about the same height as the room’s ceiling beam, with a face that resembled ripe pumpkin skin, and its two eyes blinked rapidly, scanning the entire room. Its gaping mouth was as big as a basin, with a few sparse teeth about three inches long. When its tongue moved, it made a “hoo-hoo” sound in its throat, causing the room to echo with a “buzzing” noise. He was terrified to the extreme and realized that he had only about a foot of distance between him and the large ghost. He wouldn’t be able to escape, so he decided to take the opportunity to fight for his life. He silently drew the dagger hidden under his pillow and suddenly thrust it, striking the large ghost in the abdomen, producing a sound like hitting a stone basin. The large ghost was infuriated, reached out with its giant claw to grab him, and he slightly pulled back. The large ghost grabbed the blanket and angrily left. He followed the blanket as it was thrown to the ground and yelled loudly. His family members rushed over with lamps, only to find that the door was still tightly closed, so they opened a window and jumped in. When they saw the condition of the master, they were all shocked. They helped him onto the bed, and Sun Taibai’s great-grandfather slowly recounted everything that had just happened. Everyone went to inspect, and they found the blanket jammed in the door of the bedroom. When they opened the door and shone a light, they saw a claw mark the size of a winnowing basket, with holes where the five fingers had penetrated. After daybreak, Sun Taibai’s great-grandfather dared not stay there any longer and carried his book box back home. Later, when he asked the monks at the temple, they all said that nothing strange had happened again.



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