Officialdom Addiction

Legend has it that during the late Ming Dynasty, a magistrate in Nanyang Prefecture(南陽府) died within his office. Since then, his ghost lingered, appearing at dawn, wearing a black gauze hat and an official belt, rushing to sit at the southern end of the hall. When attendants bowed to him, he nodded in approval, mimicking acceptance of their respects. He would vanish only when the day fully dawned.

During the reign of Emperor Yongzheng(雍正), a new magistrate, Magistrate Qiao(太守喬公), took office and upon hearing of this, couldn’t help but laugh, saying, “This person must have an addiction to his official position. Even though he died long ago, he doesn’t seem to realize his own death. I’ll make it clear to him.” Therefore, before dawn the next day, Magistrate Qiao wore official attire and hat, taking his place in the hall, facing the southern end. As the time for court approached, a figure wearing a black gauze hat approached from afar. Seeing someone already seated in the hall, he hesitated and did not dare to advance. Soon after, he sighed heavily and vanished. Since then, the eerie phenomenon of the ghost appearing in court never occurred again.

Translated from 《官癖》 in 《子不語》:


🎨 《墨蘭圖》鄭思肖

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