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Pasiphae

Chinese Ghosts

17 posts in this topic

A few years back, I lived in the Far East, Hong Kong to be exact, I saw that the Chinese are very aware of the existance of spirits/ ghosts (An English pronounciation would be Gwai-Ghost or Mogwai-monster, and yes that's where the name from gremlins came from.)

I first became aware of the importance of the spiritual world when I went to vist the Temple of The 1000 Buddhas, if you don't take the correct path you end up at a Chinese Cemetary, and thats what happened to me. I didn't realise what I 'd stepped into as it didn't look like the western cemetaries that I'm used to.

This one was a large slim pagoda with several off-shooting buildings, kind of like mausoleums, in these the ashes of the internee were deposited in urns on cut out alcoves in each room, there was may a few hundred urns per room. I didn't realise where I'd been for some time as I originaly didn't realise that where I'd been was not the 100 Buddhas temple, I couldn't speak any Cantonese back then so I couldn't ask anybody. So I went home dissappointed with the temple.

A while after, I made good friends with a Chinese girl who took me around HK and taught me Cantonese, because of this she took me long to a few festivals and taught me a few of their beliefs and some of the strange customs (to me anyway), instead of carrying on anecdotaly I'll just jot them below.

When Ghost Money (During the festival of the hungry ghost) is being burnt, take care not to step into the swirling ash laden vortices that occur on the street corners, this is thought to be caused by the ghosts 'fighting' over the money.

In some buildings, ancestor halls are laid out, so that people can go and pay homage to their relatives, sort of like shrines, I was told that the family would pay rent on a monthly basis to keep the shrine (which was little more than a photo).

Do not under any circumstances approach any graves. The spirit might follow you and cause you bad luck. The Chinese would often have family burial sites on the hills of the New Territories where the casket would be laid out for a few years before being removed for cremation.

When moving into a new house, an offering of incense, rice and meat will be made to any ghosts living there, inviting them to either leave or allow the new occupants peace.

Spiders and insects in your house are a good sign, apparently, they won't live in a haunted house.

Ghosts may attach themselves to people and follow them around, for example the girl I knew told me that for may years she had four spirits follow her and cause her bad luck.

Another little memory now, I remember walking around with many different people and occasionally they'd tell me not to look at certain people, of course I'd look being the big lummox I am, but could never see anything strange about them other than the odd lazy eye, but my friends would warn me that theses people were evil and were dangerous magicians.

These are all from personal experiance, if any of it's wrong or anybody can expound on these bits and pieces, I'd love to be told about it. (Being cheeky, a link to a good site would be great as well)

Also if any bodies got any questions about the above, I'll gladly try to explain further.

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First of all,I'm a Chinese and.....some stuff you said were new to me though!! tongue.gif

When moving into a new house, an offering of incense, rice and meat will be made to any ghosts living there, inviting them to either leave or allow the new occupants peace.

Yup,we do that everytime should we move into a new living area.It's a must ritual. original.gif

Would like to add something too.I've heard this from my mum.There was a family (dunno who are they though) doing thier prayers at the anniversary of someone at a cemetary.What happens is that some guy in the family stumbled upon a young lady's grave at the cemetary and said jokingly,"Look she's pretty but sadly she's already dead.If she was alive I would have married her".Well the joke's not up til there.

The next day everyone in the family were left in a state of shock and baffled when this particular guy went sort of insane,possessed in other words.He kept himself at a corner and kept murmuring something of marrying,even sort of like communicating with a 'someone'!!!He sounded more to a lady at the moment.

So they forced him to a temple in which there was a very highly experienced medium waiting to exorcise the evil spirit.After that the medium concluded that there was a lady spirit in him,demanding him to marry her (!!!).But the medium did all the procedures and negotiations needed and thankfully,the lady spirit left the guy's body.Then after they had to burnt incensed paper for the lady spirit and that blabbermouth guy had to live in the temple for a period of stay to make sure everything turned out right.

Real spooky,so never ever go to a cemetary and just crap about anything.Because there's always 'someone' who's gonna shut you up. ph34r.gif

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Thanks for your reply, Engulf.

Your example is the exactly the kind of thing that I was warned would occur if proper respect wasn't shown to the sites.

A little question for you if you don't mind, when an exorcism takes place, would it be done by a Buddhist monk or a Confucianist Priest?

I could never see where the two religions were seperated, but it seemed that the ghost side of things were mostly looked after by the Con' side and the general 'well-being' would be dealt with by the Buddhists.

Cheers, Pasiphae.

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A little question for you if you don't mind, when an exorcism takes place, would it be done by a Buddhist monk or a Confucianist Priest?

dontgetit.gif .......aiks,I'm not too sure,sorry. sad.gif

But I think it would be Buddhist monks?Because normally I hear them doing it,not sure though.I guess it's not much of a difference between the Confucius or Buddhist one because......well,thier aim's pretty much the same,kicking the unwanted spirit's butt right? tongue.gif I guess thier respective ways of preparing for the exorcism is different,.....if there's a possibility of a difference. original.gif

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Dont a lot of Chinese families keep these mirrors on a window facing outside to keep unwanted spirits away?

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Dont a lot of Chinese families keep these mirrors on a window facing outside to keep unwanted spirits away?

Oh yes siphis,that one too.But we mostly put this mirrors above the door more than windows,no particular reason on that one though.We also put holy talismans at times (if not the mirror,then this).My home's got a small altar for praying too.So I bet my home's super-secured with a mighty evil-spirit-free Barrier!! grin2.gif

(Although I had my own wierd experiences the last time around.....oh well as long as it's not of any evil doing rolleyes.gif )

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I go to a college where there's a lot of international students and I noticed that the Chinese students put little talismans in their cars. I got a Fung Shui talisman a while ago. It's made of nine coins tied together with a red string. It's for long life and good health. I put it in my car and since I did, I've had some near-misses on the road, but I haven't had an accident. And I'm not the best driver in the world, either. My brother is a Buddhist and he has a Buddhist talisman in his car...No accidents for him, either, and he can be a very reckless driver!

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hmmmmmmmm............this may be an idea for me and my Death-Trap car.......

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Siphis, further to Engulfs reply thumbsup.gif , those mirrors are called Bat Kwa, they're usually octagonal and the mirror is about a third of the size of the octagonal wooden frame, it's said that the Bat Kwa will reflect bad influences away from the house where it's displayed.

On a non-spooky note, You must have seen those little porcelain cats as well , they're usually portrayed as siiting on their haunches with a paw raised to the the front, the left paw raised means money, and I'm not sure what what the right paw signified.

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You mean those cats that are gold or black and white?

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Yes mate, they're usually pointed towards a door.

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What about budha and the statues of the woman in white?

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Mm.. if memories serve me correctly, the woman in white is named Guan Yin, she/he (appears in either form)is the god of compassion, I think theres something about the vase that is always depicted with her in the pictures.

I couldn't comment much on the Buddhas, they wre just there, but the rest of the statues are usually so colourful and breathtaking, you can't help but be interested in them!

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I read somewhere that there’s many near deaf accidents in china, because one traditions called, ‘Cutting the Tail of Your Demon.’ The Chinese (in some areas) believe they all have personal demons that follow them about all the time. And they use to jump in front of horses, or carts, so that the wheels just miss them and cut the tail off the demon following them, making it powerless to effect them throughout the rest of the day. But nowadays because of cars, the tradition still carries on, but people jump to close to fast moving vehicles to cut the tail from their demon, but risk theirs lives in doing so. Is this true? *

*Its actually taken from a book by Jeffery Deaver, called the Stone Monkey.

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Mm.. if memories serve me correctly, the woman in white is named Guan Yin, she/he (appears in either form)is the god of compassion, I think theres something about the vase that is always depicted with her in the pictures.

Yup Pasiphae,She's always with her vase,if I'm not mistaken there's holy dew in it (I Love honeydews,not to be mistaken with this dew though tongue.gif )

We've got a temple over here that's built specially to worship Her.And you could even ask Her about......say,what are you gonna do if you've got any sort of trouble,She'll give you some advice about it.My dad did that once before we moved south,and the predictions were really accurate!!I mean really!!I can't say anything related to the problem we're facing currently but Her premonitions came true.So with that I've always believed in Her existence.

My brother is a Buddhist and he has a Buddhist talisman in his car...No accidents for him, either, and he can be a very reckless driver!

Oh please Vera,tell your brother to be careful because blessings would only come to a person who knows how to appreciate them.('Them' being his life.)Talismans aren't exactly life-protectors but they'll help ward off evil spirits who seek to trouble the living e.g. crash-victimised spirits.They're not satisfied with the way they died so they're always out there prowling for victims,you know hallucination,double-vision etc.There's a road over here that has similar stuff too,lots of spooky and wierd accidents occuring time after time. ph34r.gif

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I've not heard of that one Kryso, but it sounds quite credible, I'll have to do a bit of research into these matters, it seems like theres a lot of fascinating stuff out there!

@ Engulf, you can't beat a bit of Honey Dew,lol! laugh.gif

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On a related note, Chinese and Japanese ghost stories are very evocative and moving. I've found a few story collections in my local libraries, one that was really old with neat woodcut-style illustrations. Anyone who's played the PlayStation game "Onimusha" has gotten a taste of Japanese ghosts...floating eyeballs, man-eating demons and the like. cool.gif

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