Ancient Chinese Ghost Stories

南阳宋定伯,年少时,夜行逢鬼。问曰:“谁?”鬼曰:“鬼也”鬼日:“卿复谁?定伯欺之,言:我亦鬼也。”鬼问:“欲至何所?”答日:“欲至宛市。”鬼言:我亦欲至宛市。”共行数里。鬼言:“步行大亟,可共迭相担也。”定伯日:“大善。”鬼便先担定伯数里。鬼言:“卿大重,将非鬼也?”定伯言:“我新死,故重耳。”

The Elusive Gui of China

The monsters of Chinese folklore haunt the underworld Dì Yù 地狱, the backyard during the rainy season, and everywhere in between— including your stomach. Here in China, ghosts and goblins in fables fuse the bizarre into scenes of normalcy. Ancient fables often show the beasts as the “other”, exposing the shortcomings and paradoxes of human nature. The monsters cross the bounds of living and dead, intruding and upsetting the lives of humans.