Hong Kong’s Booming Market For Haunted Houses

ALeqM5hvMNMdjNjAJEHa_anYDDlWDomOHwThis AFP piece on the intersection of morbid superstition and real estate piqued my interest. Local buyers typically shy from residences where gruesome, unnatural deaths occurred, so out-of-towners are swooping in to buy at a discount. Would you be bold enough to mess with the ghosts of Hong Kong?

Then there is the divorcee whose body was discovered a month after she poisoned herself with the fumes of burning charcoal, or the woman hacked to death and mutilated by her domestic helper in an exclusive apartment block.

For bargain hunters in Hong Kong’s turbocharged property market apartments that belonged to the recently deceased are proving irresistible — and the more gruesome the occupant’s demise the better.

By law, buyers are entitled to details on so-called “haunted houses” — or hongza in Cantonese — and many rigorously check the backstory to their potential purchase. Discounts of between 20-40 percent are the standard for haunted houses.

Popular belief in a city awash with superstition runs that the ghost of a person who dies in unnatural circumstances — a suicide, murder or bad accident — inhabits their home, passing misfortune onto the new occupants. The threat carries weight in a city where feng shui consultants do brisk business; families placate the “hungry ghosts” of their ancestors with offerings and people even refrain from whistling in the street in fear of disturbing lurking spooks.

7 Comments on "Hong Kong’s Booming Market For Haunted Houses"

  1. Jin The Ninja | Mar 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

    i read this article or a very very similar one a year ago. HK already has a lot of ghosts, but i would never ever move into a murder house. unless of course i was a master taoist medium and knew how to make fu talismans-which of course would be plastered against every viable surface.

  2. eyeoftheaxis | Mar 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

    Kowloon & Hong Kong are in my favorites. Ghosts or no ghosts. Expensive
    as hell. The night market has cheaper food and you can buy pretty much anything.
    I would love to drop a bible thumper off in the middle of it and enjoy the show
    as they freak the F out.


    • Jin The Ninja | Mar 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

       great picture of tiantan. i love lantau.

      • eyeoftheaxis | Mar 7, 2012 at 10:59 pm |

        Hong Kong is a photographers dream. I filled a DVD or two and could fill a
        dozen more.

        • Jin The Ninja | Mar 7, 2012 at 11:17 pm |

          i totally agree. it has an extremely cinematic quality, and the older buildings are unbelievable. the 1950s/60s tenements are right out of cyberpunk novel, and i especially love the fishing villages on the outlying islands and the corrugated tin housing in chinese style… lol i could go on and on

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