Scared S**tless: The 7 Scariest Spots in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a foodie’s heaven. But before the city was invaded by hordes of trendy concepts that seem to open and close within a short span of time, these restaurants have been serving quality cuisine for decades and decades – and they’re still going strong today. For a touch of old Hong Kong nostalgia, look no further than these old school establishments. Take note, new-generation restaurant owners…
Looking to get scared s**tless this Halloween in Hong Kong? We’ve rounded up some of the scariest spots in Hong Kong – with reported sights of ghosts aplenty. You might not initially think of Hong Kong as scary place (no, a ride on the MTR during rush hour doesn’t count), but this town’s got some (in)famous places to spook you senseless. Interestingly on their own, most of these places are pretty cool chill out spots…you know, if you ignore all the creepy stuff that’s happened at the locations. Have a peak below…if you dare:
Nam Koo Terrace
A well-documented haunted spot, Nam Koo Terrace is tucked into a quiet corner of trendy Ship Street. The Grade I-listed red-brick mansion, which has been derelict for decades, once housed a wealthy Shanghainese family in the pre-war years. They fled during the war, and legend has it that the house was seized by the Japanese army, who were said to have used it as a military brothel. Torturing and other horrible happenings also took place there, according to folklore. Ghostly sightings have been repeatedly reported. We’ve never been brave enough to check out this spot in all its glory, but judging from photos online, the empty structure has all the makings of a horror movie – complete with scary graffiti scrawled in red paint. The scariest thing to have happened there in recent times? In 2003, eight school kids ventured there one night in a bid to try to catch a glimpse of ghosts. Three girls apparently became emotionally unstable and got sent to a psychiatric hospital. Yikes!
Bela Vista Villa
Once an idyllic seaside resort on the island of Cheung Chau, Bela Vista Villa became the scene of a horrific murder-suicide in 1989 when a mother, dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, stabbed her son to death then hanged herself. Over the next 10 years or so, the collection of beachfront villas saw more than a dozen suicides take place. Residents nearby have reported seeing a female ghost on the beach! It doesn’t sound like a great place for a nighttime swim does it?…
Sai Ying Pun Community Complex Hall
The infamous “High Street Ghost House” refers to the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex Hall, the façade of which was part of a now-demolished structure built in 1892. It was run firstly as quarters for hospital nurses, then later as a mental hospital after the war. It’s rumoured that the place was used for executions during WWII, which explains why when it stood unoccupied for two decades from the 1970s onward, there were plenty of ghost sightings here. Two fires have also taken place there, which no doubt added to the spooky factor. In 2001, the Community Complex was completed, and the historic façade of the old structure – which features a Victorian verandah – remained. These days there’s plenty of foot traffic there, although the “High Street Ghost House” nickname has stuck.
Beautiful? Yes. Romantic? Surely. Scene of a freakish death? You bet! Bride’s Pool is a stream pool in Tai Mei Tuk in the New Territories featuring crystal-clear waters and and spectacular waterfalls. Its name, however, comes with a creepy story attached. Apparently, a bride, who was riding in a sedan on the way to her wedding, fell into the water and drowned when one of the porters slipped on the rocks. It was named Bride’s Pool after the accident, and tales of it being haunted have persisted ever since. Apparently, the bride’s feet can sometimes be seen by swimmers in the pool! Its reputation is also not helped by the fact that Chinese superstition dictates that dead spirits tend to gather in bodies of water. Still, the place is popular with tourists.
It’s hard to imagine that Murray House, which stands on Stanley waterfront and houses a number of restaurants and shops (looking at you H&M!), was built in Central in 1844. Yes, that’s right – the building originally served as an officers’ quarters in the colonial times. During the war, Murray House was taken over by the Japanese military, who conducted brutal executions there – 4,000 people were said to have died. Hauntings were so rife in the 1960s and 70s, when the building was turned into government offices, that two exorcisms had to be carried out! Believe it or not, in the following decade the government decided to take down the whole thing – but instead of destroying it, they proposed to restore it in its full glory in Southside. So here Murray House stands today – a glorious classical structure with columns and wrap-around verandahs, overlooking the South China Sea. Just ignore the extremely out of place H&M store…
Nestled by Wah Fu Estate in Pok Fu Lam, Waterfall Bay feels like a secret paradise. It’s stream of waterfall on a small, secluded beach, popular with locals and dog-walkers. And this is no ordinary waterfall, either – although no one’s sure when it was discovered, the freshwater here apparently gave Hong Kong, translated to the “fragrant harbour”, its name. So how did it end up on this list? There are different stories – and none of them will help you sleep at night. Some say this was the scene of a mass-murder by pirates in the Qing Dynasty. Others believe it used to be a mass grave. When Wah Fu Estate was completed in 1970, the bay became a popular playground for kids – which tragically led to a number of drownings. There have been so many fatal accidents here that the government has put up railings to stop people from visiting. It’s relatively easy to get past these, and the place is worth checking out – but do remember: you shouldn’t head there when there’s been heavy rainfall – be a visitor, not the main attraction!
Ocean Park Halloween
Hold tight, everyone – this is the scariest of them all. At Ocean Park’s Halloween Fest, you’ll find an abandoned school, where the dead spirits of students let out blood-curdling screams; hordes of ghosts from the streets of New York City chasing you for your life; and a Haunted House, which apparently “bleeds with torture”. What does that mean exactly? Go and find out.
Through 31 October. Ocean Park, Ocean Park Road, Wong Chuk Hang, (852) 3923 2323
Andrea Lo is a freelance journalist and translator based in Hong Kong. After cutting her teeth in the industry as a staff writer at a lifestyle magazine, she embraced the freelance life in 2015 and hasn’t looked back. She spends her time exploring the best of Hong Kong’s dining and nightlife scene, trialling new fitness trends, and travelling to exotic locales – all in the name of “research”.