Hong Kong is a city full of ghost stories (as we have touched on before). In fact, you might have found it hard to escape from the legends that surround this city, perfectly caught between the East and the West. So next time office gossip turns to urban legends, remember that these stories hold special significance in Hong Kong folklore. Names are often given depending on the history of a place, and these legends are what give Hong Kong it’s magic. Read on for some of the most famous urban legends in Hong Kong.
Plover Cove Country Park in Tai Mei Tuk is an extremely peaceful and tranquil part of Hong Kong island. It is especially idyllic and during the day, you can stroll through the park whilst listening to the sound of nearby waterfalls and natural pools. However, once night falls or the weather takes a turn for the worse, the entire park takes on a more eerie presence. The name behind the Bride’s Pool comes from a rather tragic tale. The bride in question was being carried in a sedan to her wedding, but as they passed the pool, one of the porters slipped and the whole group was washed into the pool, thanks to the driving rain. The bride drowned thanks to her heavy wedding dress and her body was never recovered. Nor were the bodies of her wedding party. People have regularly claimed to see a woman in a red cheongsam brushing her hair next to the pool. Bride’s Pool is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Hong Kong and it is often said that the evil spirits of the pool drag their victims into the pool during bad weather. The spirit of the bride is said to wander the area constantly, particularly on the ‘deadly curve’, a stretch of road where numerous fatal accidents have occurred. Recently, a car slammed into a tree and burst into flames, and a young boy was hospitalised after a biking incident near the pool. Due to this, the pool has been blacklisted as a ‘high risk’ area by the Hong Kong Conservation Department but it is still popular with joggers, cyclists and swimmers.
Tiu Keng Leng
Known as the ‘hanging neck hill’, this spooky area is located in the the far northeast of the New Territories. Built in the 1950’s, Tiu Keng Leng was originally a refugee village that housed former Kuomintang officials and other supporters of the fallen Chinese government after the Communist takeover. There were over 7,000 refugees living in the village at one point. Named after a Canadian official who hanged himself there in 1908, the village was actually incredibly tranquil thanks to the proximity of the sea. The refugees managed to set up their own councils and schools, and whilst supplies were thin on the ground, the settlement functioned, more or less. The settlement was eventually given permission to develop its infrastructure by the Hong Kong government and it fostered particularly close links to the Taiwanese government, which was also trying to resist the spread of communist influence. The village met its demise once the island was handed back to China in 1997, and the residents were evicted. The area has since been totally redeveloped and is now a residential area with plenty of high-rises. Not quite as creepy as it looks, the area is now completely absorbed into Hong Kong with it’s shopping malls and luxury apartments.
Lotus Pond at Chinese University of Hong Kong
The beautiful Lake Ad Excellentiam at Chung Chi College is known as the Lotus Pond, thanks to the history of the place. The lake was built in the 60’s and it has a particularly tragic story behind it. The legend goes that a young girl was waiting for her lover in order for them to elope. When he did not appear, the girl jumped into the pond and drowned herself. The pool at the time was filled with lotus flowers, hence the name. Nowadays, it is said that a young woman often approaches students to ask for the time, but you should never reply if you are a man as she will leap into the water with him. The lake itself is beautiful, with cascading trees and lotuses that dot the water and the lake itself symbolizes the quest for knowledge, in line with the university’s motto. It remains a popular picnic place and is often used by couples looking for somewhere romantic to pass the time. Of course, the tragic young woman leaves couples well alone.
Sau Mau Ping
Located in Kowloon, So Mo Ping in Cantonese was a squatter village that was destroyed in a landslide in the 1970’s. 71 people died, many of whom were children. In fact, the name in Cantonese means tomb-sweeping. Previously known as a cemetery during WWII, the area has now been redeveloped and is home to one of the largest public housing developments in Hong Kong. It’s hospital is considered to be one of the most haunted in Hong Kong, but now the past has largely been forgotten, thanks to the 18 residential blocks that dot the landscape of Sau Mau Ping.