Ge Zuliang(葛祖亮), an official in the Ministry of Rites, told me: A neighbor named Cheng, who was wealthy but childless for many years, unexpectedly had a son in his old age. This son was intelligent and clever, with bright features that Cheng cherished dearly. However, by the age of twelve, the child fell seriously ill, incurring countless medical expenses. As he grew older, instead of engaging in productive activities, he took pleasure in cockfighting and dog racing, squandering away the family fortune.
Ma Shilin(馬士麟), a scholar from Changzhou(常州), once recounted a personal experience:
When he was young, he and his father studied in the northern tower. From their window, they could see the outdoor flower platform of an old man named Wang who sold chrysanthemums. One day, Ma Shilin woke up early, leaning against the window and peering below. The sky was gradually brightening, and he saw Wang ascending the platform to water the flowers.
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.’
In Shucheng County(舒城縣), Luzhou Prefecture(廬州府), there was a villager named Chen(陳姓者). His wife was suddenly haunted by a female ghost who sometimes strangled her throat with hands and other times tied her neck with straw ropes. No one around her could see the haunting ghost. Tormented and in agony, she frequently clawed at her clothes, pulling out many straw ropes.
Chen gave his wife a bundle of peach tree branches, saying, ‘If the female ghost returns, use these to strike her!’