The City God’s Naked Plea for Clothing


Daoist Zhang Ting(張挺) was in charge of repairing the City God Temple in Huzhou(湖州). He ordered craftsmen to carve a three-zhang tall statue of the City God out of sandalwood and embroidered a ceremonial robe to dress the statue. Just three days after the new City God statue was enshrined, Zhang Ting dreamt of a giant standing before him. This giant wore a celestial crown on his head but was completely naked. 

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. 

Ghosts Stealing Steamed Buns

《龜》清 華喦

Ge Wenlin(葛文林) said: In the area around Dongting Mountain(洞庭山), there are many starving ghosts who sneak into people’s homes to steal food. One day, in his house, they steamed a basket of buns. Just as they were done, upon lifting the lid, they saw the buns making a ‘chirping’ sound while gradually shrinking. What was originally the size of a bowl mouth quickly shrank to the size of a small walnut.