In August, at the beginning of the seventh month on the Chinese Almanac Calendar, you will start to see quite a lot of people burning papers offerings, displaying food and demonstrating rituals on the side of the street. This is the time for a traditional Chinese festival, called the Yu Lan Festival – the Hungry Ghost Festival.
During the festival, ghosts and spirits roam around freely to visit the living. The burning rituals are offerings to these wandering ghosts and spirits, to keep them calm and peaceful during their visit. For those of us who’d prefer not to meet these “festive travellers”, here are some tips that can avoid any surprise encounters!
Team Up With Your Friends
Avoid travelling alone at late night. If you have to be on the street after dark, try to team up with your friends. The amount of “qi” increases according to the number of people gathered together, and so it is believed that the unwanted will avoid crowds.
Walk In The Light
Again, avoid dark, quiet places. If you want to keep up with your nightlife, try to choose busy, crowded areas to hang out in. As well, don’t mind others’ business. During the festival, rituals are performed on every corner, so try to keep a good distance from the rituals and avoid interruptions.
Don’t Pick Up Coins On The Street
Throwing coins on the street is part of the Hungry Ghost Festival ritual and apparently those coins are for the hungry ones to take, not you!
Chinese believe that properties are “haunted” when misfortune events such as murders, suicides and accidental deaths occurred. In some situations, neighbouring units in the same floor are also labeled as haunted. These “haunted” properties tend to have a much lower resale value than market price.
In July 2013, the 725 sq.ft “haunted property” in Kornhill, Quarry Bay was sold HK$5.9 million, at 15% below market price. The history of this daunting incident dated back to 1988, when the husband was killed and cooked by his wife in a neighbouring unit within the same building. This complicated murder haunted the neighborhood until today.
Earlier in May 2013, another “haunted” unit also transacted. A 752 sq.ft unit at The Regalia, Ho Man Tin, was traded at HK$8.3 million, transacting at 30% below market price. The flat is considered “haunted” when the homeowner’s wife plunged from the building few years ago.
There are plenty of similar “haunted” deals transacting in the past few months, as property prices continues to soar. Looking at these transaction figures, these haunted houses can be lucrative investments. However, expect complications when it comes to mortgages and property valuations. Some financial institutions consider these properties as high risks investments.
If you prefer a more rational approach and have the financial capacities, these “haunted properties” could be great deals for your portfolio. If you are interested in finding out potential haunted properties, visit Squarefoot Haunted House Database and start looking for opportunity!
Some people believe in ghosts, while others pass it off as superstition. Here are some scary haunted house stories around Hong Kong:
Fengshui Info：Philip Wong