Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Ghostly Encounter

We went for a steamboat potluck at some friends' house the other day, and as is our unofficial custom after dessert, we started telling scary ghost stories. My sister reminded me to recount my own personal experience and after managing to spook the girls, I thought, Hey! I could write my own ghost story!

So, to commemorate the chinese's Hungry Ghost Festival, my new post shall be about an encounter that happened during our family trip to Taiwan.  

Since I tend to forget where we've visited on previous tours, I decided to produce a collage of photos, write a brief summary of the places we've been to and upload them at the end of each day.  Walla! Instant mini travel journal.

Fifth day into our trip, our tour guide decided that we had ample of time before lunch to do a quick impromptu tour of Lin An-Tai Old Homestead.  Our initial thought was, cool...same surname.  To give a very brief summary, the ancient courtyard home was built by the Lin (Ling) family over 160 years ago, dismantled from its original site and reassembled at the current location for public viewing.  We were told that it is a well known filming location for period dramas and in fact, my brother saw filming crews there on the day we visited.

We entered through what I took to be the main courtyard which led us to a lake pavilion.  The view was impressive and we stopped to take a few photos.  We then wandered off to the main house with rooms connected via a series of corridors/passageways.  Almost all the rooms were furnished with traditional furniture which brought back childhood memories for my parents.  Mum was especially ecstatic upon discovering the kitchen and informed us that the traditional cook stove was exactly like the one she used to tend when she was a child.  The next room we entered consists of a huge and intricately designed timber framed bed, a mirrored dressing table and chair.  This particular room was darker than the other rooms and we were a little creeped out by the intimidating bed.  Dad figured that this could be the Bridal chamber.  He suggested that we have our photos taken while seated at the dressing table, to which we obliged.  I took a photo of my sister and she, in turn, took 2 photos of me.  One unsmiling, and because I wasn't happy with the result, another one of me smiling.

We then proceeded to the main ancestral hall which was decorated with ancestral pictures on the walls, a main alter with tablets, some food offering and chairs on each side of the table.  While mum and dad were waiting for their turn, our tour guide entered the room and reminded everyone to smile when they have their photo taken.  From the way he said it, I think everyone in the room understood that not doing so would possibly offend any lingering spirits. We didnt have time to linger, so after a final family photo in front of the homestead's gate, we left the venue and proceeded to lunch.

You're all probably getting really impatient by now and thinking, WTH, is that all?? Lol. Anyway, the last 2 days of the tour were really hectic which resulted in me neglecting to post any update.  While lying in bed a few days after arriving in Adelaide, I decided to browse through my photos taken at Lin An-Tai and pick out a few for the collages. I was flicking through the photos we took in the Bridal Chamber when I noticed that in 2 of the photos, the mirror behind us was clear, whereas a single photo showed a blueish shadow at the back.

 Clear mirror 
 Clear mirror
 Blue-ish shadow on mirror

Wondering what the blueish tinge is, I decided to zoom in to see what it is. 

And I saw her straight away.

In case you lack imagination, I have tried to make her clearer.  She looks like a bride in traditonal bridal hat/headdress.  I tried to find a similar one on google and this is what I found.

However, it's a headress for mongolian bride, which doesnt make much sense =/

I contemplated telling my sister about it but decided to leave it till the next morning so as not to spoil her sleep. Lol. Everyone's been asking how I felt since the discovery and all I can say is....It's cool.  She didn't do anything bad.  The vision probably appeared because she was upset that I didn't smile. (Notice that she only appeared in the unsmiling photo and remember what our tour guide reminded us to do when taking pictures)  I'm just glad that she's pretty and not a deformed creature with fangs.  I am also intrigued.  About the occupants who stayed there many centuries ago, especially the females.  How their lives were like.  BUT! Saying that, I hope that she doesn't decide to pop up in any of my future photos.  R.I.P. please.


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