HK Magazine Archive

What's a Classic Hong Kong Ghost Story?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 October, 2015, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:52pm

Let me tell you one of Hong Kong’s best-known ghost tales.

This story dates back to the 70s, and it’s the tale of a young couple from the mainland. A couple who wanted nothing more than to come to Hong Kong, in search of a better life.

The boy—young and full of dreams, was willing to do whatever it took to strike it rich in this city of opportunity. His mind was full of success, houses, beautiful cars and stunning jewelry. The girl—beautiful but sheltered, and very much in love. She was proud of only one thing: her stunning, luxuriant hair which she wore in the traditional style, woven into a waist-length braid.

But it wasn’t a simple matter of walking across the border. The couple would have to enter the territory illegally. Unable to swim across the South China Sea, the pair smuggled themselves onto a cross-border train headed for Tsim Sha Tsui. They never got there.

Why not? Accounts vary. Some say it’s because the authorities were on the train; some say that it was safer to jump off early than to try to thread through the police at a station. Nevertheless, when the train reached Sha Tin, near the Chinese University—the boy leapt off, calling for the girl to follow. Hesitant and playing with her long braid, she stopped—but love spurred her on where caution told her to hang back. She jumped into space, into freedom, into her new life.

But the long braid she loved so much snagged, caught on some part of the train that was now whipping past. Her hair caught, pulled—ripped the young girl’s face from her skull. Her body slammed into the tracks, beautiful no more. She was mourned only by the boy who had called her to her death.

On the Chung Chi College campus of Chinese University, stories have filtered down through the years. A student walking home late at night sees a girl sitting alone, hunched over and turned away. Is she crying?

He walks up and taps her on the shoulder, offering help if it can be had. She turns towards him and the student recoils when he sees nothing but a circle of red flesh, crying hot blood. A flap of skin that was once a face dangles loose, attached by a single, luxuriant, beautiful braid of hair…

The area has become known as the Single Braid Road. Next time you’re wandering around Sha Tin, you might think twice before seeking to comfort a crying girl…