The Ghost’s Purchase

Xu, the household registration secretary of Shanyin County, fell ill and in a daze saw his deceased brother come to him and say, “I’ve bought an official vacancy for you in the underworld. After you die, you’ll still be the secretary in the underworld, so there’s nothing to worry about.” Shortly after, another deceased local constable named Zhu came and said, “You don’t have to die, but you have to give me a large sum of money. 

Infatuated Ghost’s Love for His Wife

吳鎮 《墨竹譜》冊 十幅

In the capital, there was an elderly woman who could see ghosts. She once told people, “I once saw a ghost at a certain family, utterly infatuated to the extreme. However, the situation was pitiful, evoking a poignant and touching feeling. The ghost’s name was unknown, residing in a certain village. The family was moderately well-off, and the ghost died at the age of around twenty-seven or twenty-eight. About a hundred days after his death, the deceased’s wife invited me to accompany her. 

The City God was a handsome young man

《竹禽圖》宋 趙佶

During the Kangxi era, the City God of Longxi County(隴西城隍) had a black face and a large beard, with a very dignified appearance. However, during the Qianlong era, it suddenly changed to a handsome young man’s image. Someone asked the monk in the temple, ‘Why did the appearance of the City God change so much?’

The monk told him, ‘We heard from the elders that in the seventh year of Yongzheng’s reign(雍正七年), there was a scholar named Xie, just twenty years old, who lived in the temple with his teacher to study. 

Nine Husbands’ Grave

《海棠蛺蝶圖頁》 宋

Outside the southern gate of Jurong County(句容), there lies a grave known as the Nine Husbands’ Grave. Legend has it that there was a woman, exceedingly beautiful. After her husband passed away, leaving behind a son, their household became very wealthy. So, she remarried and bore another son. The second husband also passed away and was buried beside the first husband. Later, she married a third time, yet this husband, like the others before him, met the same fate. 

Ghost Expelling Ghost

《斗雀圖》 宋 佚名

In Tongcheng(桐城), there was a scholar named Zuo(左秀才) whose relationship with his wife, Zhang,(張氏) was exceptionally close. When Zhang fell ill and passed away, Zuo couldn’t bear to be separated from her. He spent every night sleeping beside her coffin. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, his family held a ceremony for the deceased, everyone praying and making offerings outside, leaving Zuo alone to read beside Zhang’s coffin.

Suddenly, a chilling wind arose, and a ghost, disheveled with blood dripping and dragging a rope, approached Zuo menacingly. 

The Head-Bearing Official

《茂林遠岫圖》卷 李成(傳)

Gao Yan(高公岩), a man from Rugao(如臯), served as the magistrate of Gaoling in Shaanxi(陝西高陵令). One of his friends came to visit him but found it getting dusk while still about ten miles away from the city. Worried they wouldn’t make it to the city in time, they spotted an abandoned temple by the roadside. The main hall was closed and locked, but there were two rooms on the west side. There was a small door connecting these rooms to the main hall, also locked. 

Washing the Purple River Cart

《仕女圖》費丹旭 清

Ding Kai(丁愷), a bailiff from the Yamen in Fengdu County(酆都縣), Sichuan(四川), was carrying official documents to deliver in Kuizhou(夔州). Passing by the Guimen Pass(鬼門關), he saw a stone tablet inscribed with the words “Boundary of Yin and Yang.” Ding Kai walked up to the stone tablet, touched and observed it for a long time, unknowingly crossing the boundary. Wanting to return the same way, he found himself lost, unable to discern the direction. 

The Shapeshifting Ghost and the Flies

In Huizhou(徽州), there was a top scholar named Dai Youqi(戴有祺). He and his friends, having drunk too much, strolled outside the city to admire the moon, reaching the Hui Long Bridge(回龍橋). A person in blue, carrying an umbrella, approached from the west side. Upon seeing Dai, he hesitated to cross the bridge, appearing fearful. Suspecting him to be a thief, Dai stepped forward to interrogate him. The person in blue claimed, ‘I am an officer from the yamen, sent to apprehend someone.’ 

The Matchmaking for Ghosts

In the southern part(南鄉) of Nanjing’s Jiangpu(江浦), there was a woman surnamed Zhang who married a man named Chen. Seven years later, her husband passed away, leaving Zhang a widow. Struggling to make ends meet, she remarried to another Zhang with the same surname. This second Zhang had also been widowed for seven years. The matchmaker considered this coincidence to be a heaven-sent match.

Unexpectedly, just half a month after their marriage, the ghost of Zhang’s former husband possessed her and exclaimed, “You lack conscience!