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Black leaves | © Pixabay
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The Most Haunted Landmarks of Beijing

Picture of Anastasiia Ilina
Updated: 3 July 2017
Beijing may not be a city renowned for ghosts and haunted mansions, but it is not short of supernatural activities. The city’s landmarks and public places are alleged to be home to spirits from all sorts of backgrounds, ranging from emperors to the common man. Below are a number of haunted locations were ghost sightings have reportedly taken place – visit at your own risk!

Chaonei No 81

As far as haunted houses go, the building also known as the Chaonei Church qualifies both by its creepy appearance and its mysterious story. It was built at the turn of the 20th century and its origins are still disputed. Some sources suggest that it was used for religious purposes up until the victory of the communists in 1949. In the last years leading up to the establishment of the PRC the house was the property of a Nationalist Party (Guomindang) officer, who before fleeing to Taiwan, abandoned his wife in Beijing. Not long after his departure she hung herself in the house and supposedly, her screams can be heard coming from the building. People have been reported to have entered the house and never return.

Chaoyangmen Inner Street 81, Dongcheng, Beijing

The Ivy-covered Facade of Chaonei 81
The Ivy-covered Facade of Chaonei 81 | © ironypoisoning/Flickr

Former Residence of Cao Xueqin

Cao Xueqin was the author of one of China’s four great classic novelsDream of the Red Chamber. The house was his residence as well as the place were he completed the novel. Reportedly music can still be heard in the rooms of the building, now a photography studio, alongside the voice of a woman reciting poetry.

33 Xiaoshihu hutong, Xicheng, Beijing.

Forbidden City

When you have an Imperial Palace that is 600 years old, that has been witness to executions, punishments and at times murder it is only reasonable to assume that ghosts will find a place within its walls. Guards that keep a watch on the grounds of the Forbidden City at night have reported sightings of strange animals, such as ghost dogs, and of a weeping woman in white. Could these stories be true? Difficult to tell, as the doors of the palace close every evening at 5 pm and only the guards are left to wander the vast grounds.

4 Jingshan Front street, Dongcheng, Beijing.

Walls of the Forbidden City
Walls of the Forbidden City | © louisredon/Pixabay

General Yuan’s Tomb

The loyal General Yuan was an avid supporter of the Ming Dynasty, but untruthful rumours lead the Emperor to believe that he was a traitor. As punishment he was executed and suffered a long and painful death by slow slicing. The people of Beijing allegedly ate him as the bits were sliced off his body. Only his head was left to be buried by his father in the tomb that is now located in the Chongwenmen area. His spirit can be seen at night wandering about and speaking of revenge.

Longtan Park, 8 Longtan street, Dongcheng, Beijing.

Dongmianhua Hutong

This house is believed to be inhabited not only one paranormal entity, but by a whole army of ghosts. During the Ming dynasty the execution of a number of soldiers is believed to have taken place outside of their barracks by the order of a female general. The eerie legacy of the hutong doesn’t stop there. It is rumoured that in later years a man burned himself to death after murdering a young girl in the house. He was the last occupant of 1 Dongmianhua hutong.

1 Dongmianhua hutong, Dongcheng, Beijing.

A Hutong at Night
A Hutong at Night | © maltman23/Flickr

Songpo Library

The library was once the home of Wu Sangui, an army general decided to let the Manchu army through the Great Wall. This action allowed them to overtake the Ming dynasty and to establish the Manchurian Qing court – the last imperial dynasty of China. His actions are said to have been motivated by his love for one of the Ming Emperor’s courtesans, Chen Yuanyuan. Yet after successfully assisting in the demise of the Ming, he was promoted to a high post by the next emperor and soon grew bored of his lover. Che Yuanyuan was heartbroken and ended her life only to continue haunting the hutong in the years to come.

7 Shihu Hutong, Xicheng, Beijing.

Subway Line 1

Line 1 of the Beijing subway was the first to be constructed when works began in 1965. The work was dangerous and tragic accidents involving the workers occured. It was thought that the spirits from the graves that were disturbed during the construction were taking their revenging. Only after monks performed rituals did the strange accidents stop. There are three stations on this line that for reasons unknown are closed to public and have restricted access. These stations are known as the ghost stations of Beijing.

Beijing Subway Tunnel
Beijing Subway Tunnel | © kk/Flickr