Diary gives clue to angst of 'ghost lover' teen

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 July, 2009, 12:00am

What did missing teenager Wong Ka-ting mean by her diary entry saying she would jump into the sea to join a 'ghost lover'? That is the question puzzling experts.

The diary, with its disturbing entry, was found in Ka-ting's schoolbag at the Tuen Mun ferry pier in early June, three weeks after the 15-year-old had gone missing.

In it Ka-ting had written the note to herself dated a year from now announcing she would jump into the sea to join a 'ghost lover' she had met, through a seance, in the netherworld. Ka-ting hasn't been seen since. Her parents fear she killed herself and police from the West Kowloon missing persons unit continue to investigate the case.

Hsu Sin-man, a social worker with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, said teenagers often sought support from other 'powers' through the likes of seances.

'Teenagers like to be empowered by other powers when they are facing pressures. It is not uncommon for young people to try contacting 'ghosts' to know about their future. But most of them are just for fun,' Ms Hsu said.

A case of 'falling in love with a ghost' indicated an interest beyond mere superstition. 'It might relate to her family and social background.'

Ka-ting's parents said their daughter dropped out of school in February after being bullied. Police also searched her computer and found records of an instant messaging chat she had with a man in his 20s.

Lee Wing-king, a psychiatrist, said it was possible Ka-ting suffered from a mental illness. 'She had hallucinations and the content in her letter was abnormal,' he said.

Dr Lee said some people who suffered from an abnormal state of mind would claim they had contacted ghosts, vampires, Satan or Buddha. If it involved religious imagery, then the matter could be handled by a pastor or another similar religious leader.

'If these cases cannot be sorted out by their religion, then they have to go to psychiatrists,' he said.

'The girl might not be able talk to others on the issue.'

He said it was also possible that some young people might have been influenced by the publicity surrounding the probate battle over late billionaire Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum's fortune involving fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen.

Ms Hsu said it was becoming more difficult for parents to know whether their children were involved in superstitious games, as they were using the internet to communicate.

Ka-ting's father, Wong Kay-jor, said: 'My daughter is a gentle girl, but she changed a bit when she became a Form Three student. She started to smoke and skip school ... She is a quiet person with only a few friends.

'I do not know everything about my daughter. I only know she was involved in a seance with her friends when she disappeared.'

Police said anyone who may know anything about the girl's whereabouts should contact the regional missing persons unit of Kowloon West on 2761 2584 or 9020 6542.