Ghostly Banquet: A Supernatural Encounter and Culinary Revelation

Explore the eerie tale of a wife's mysterious encounters with the afterlife while preparing a sumptuous feast.

The wife of scholar Du Jiawan fell ill. It happened during the Double Ninth Festival when Du Jiawan was invited by his friends to go mountain climbing and drink chrysanthemum wine. Early in the morning, after he had washed and dressed, he informed his wife of his destination, put on his hat, and prepared to leave. Suddenly, he noticed that his wife was not in her right mind, mumbling as if talking to someone. Du Jiawan was quite puzzled and asked her what she was doing in front of the bed. To his surprise, his wife called him “son.” The family suspected that something was wrong.

At that time, Du Jiawan’s mother had not yet been buried, so they suspected that his mother’s spirit had possessed his wife. Du Jiawan prayed and said, “Could it be my mother?” His wife scolded him, saying, “You beast! Don’t you recognize your father?” Du Jiawan said, “If you’re my father, why are you haunting my daughter-in-law?” His wife called him by his nickname and said, “I came specifically for my daughter-in-law. Why are you blaming me? I should have died right away, but four people came to fetch my soul, with Zhang Huaiyu as their leader. I begged them in every way, and they finally agreed. I promised to give them a small gift, so you should give it to them now.”

Du Jiawan followed her instructions and burned paper money outside the door. His wife said, “Those four people have left. They didn’t want to offend me, so three days later, we must prepare a feast to thank them. Your mother is old and can’t move well, so she can’t cook. At that time, we’ll have to ask my daughter-in-law to come.” Du Jiawan said, “The way things work in the world of the living and the world of the dead is different. How can she cook for my mother? I hope my father can forgive her.” His wife said, “Don’t worry, she will come back after a short while. This is her duty, and she shouldn’t be afraid of hard work.” After saying that, she fell into a deep coma.

The wife finally woke up after a long time. Du Jiawan asked his wife what she had just said, but his wife couldn’t remember anything. She only said, “I saw four people come just now, and they wanted to capture me. Fortunately, your father begged them not to, and he even gave them money as a bribe. That’s when they left. I noticed that your father’s money pouch still had two silver ingots left, and I thought of taking one secretly for our future. But your father found out and scolded me, saying, ‘What do you think you’re doing? Do you think this is something you can use?’ So, I quickly withdrew my hand and didn’t dare to touch it.” Du Jiawan thought his wife’s condition was serious and had mixed feelings about her words.

Three days later, while they were chatting and laughing, the wife suddenly stared for a long time and said to Du Jiawan, “Your daughter-in-law is too greedy. A few days ago, she had impure thoughts when she saw my silver. But it’s mainly because she’s too poor, so I can’t blame her. I plan to take your daughter-in-law with me to handle the cooking, so you don’t have to worry.” As soon as she finished speaking, she suddenly passed away. After about half a day, the wife finally woke up. She told Du Jiawan, “Just now, your father called me and said, ‘You don’t need to do it yourself. I have my own chefs in the underworld, and you just need to sit there and give orders. We like things plentiful in the afterlife, and all the dishes must be overflowing from the plates. Remember that.’ I agreed. When I arrived in the kitchen, I saw two women inside cutting vegetables, both wearing sky-blue vests with green borders, and they both called me sister-in-law. Whenever they put the dishes in the plates and bowls, they always asked me to check. The four people who fetched my soul last time were all sitting at the feast. After serving the food, the tableware was already arranged in the containers, and your father asked me to come back.” Du Jiawan was greatly astonished and often told this story to his friends.





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