Saturday, July 16, 2016
The 13 Maids Of Small Hill (小山十三姑)
This story is told by my Taoist brother who now resides in Jiayi (嘉义), Taiwan.
The story happened in Xinzhuang (新庄) of Jiayi County many years ago many years ago where a very rich man who bought 13 young maids to help him managing his domestic affairs. This person somehow was said of raped and killed all of his 13 maids at the end. The bodies of these unfortunate 13 maids were subsequently buried on the peak of a small hill nearby.
The story of 13 maids was popular within the locals ever since and it is still a hot topic after the formation of new Taiwan. It was said that starting somewhere from 1911 onwards, thick fog and mist always developed during gloomy days that would cover the whole hill for days. The local believed that these phenomena were caused by the restless spirits of the 13 maids because they felt lonely and no one noticed and made offerings to them. At times, sorrowful weeping sounds could be heard came out from the fog.
My Taoist bro did visit the small once and found it was surrounded by thick bamboo bush on three sides while one side facing a river. There was no tomb stone or anything like that and though he was in doubt, he did approach some locals to record down some quite interesting stories which he subsequently shared with me; and then I am sharing them with you here many years later…
The Xinzhuang village was a very small village with not more than 100 residents. Though a small village, three of the villagers lost their lives to the spirits of 13 maids; at least the locals believed to be so.
The first casualty was a farmer of around 50 odd years old. He had a duck farm situated just beside the river that runs at the foothill with 1,000 egg laying ducks. This farmer built a small hut at the hill top so that he could rest and overseeing his ducks. One evening, three of the maid spirits appeared in front of the farmer requesting food offerings. Due to extreme fear, the farmer started to run down the hill but the persistent spirits again materialized in front of the framer and warned him that if he ignored their request; he has a choice of either he or his ducks will perish soon. This stubborn farmer again ignored the request of the spirit and 5 days later after this farmer returned from his duck farm, just as he was stepping into his house; he suddenly dropped dead on the door brim of his house.
One year later, another farmer installed a water pump beside the river to pump up river water for irrigation purposes. Again, the 13 maid spirits materialized in front of this farmer warned him that his pump was making too much noise that has disturbed the spirits from resting; he should stop his operation immediately. This farmer also ignored the spirits’ request and continued to operate his pump. On the 5th day, this farmer was hag-ridden during his afternoon nap in his pump room by the 13 spirits. He was scared as his predecessor and ran back to his house.
After the incident, this farmer switched his operation to the morning as he thought the spirits would not disturb him during the morning hours. Just as he thought his ordeal was over, during one of his pump maintenance session; the pump belt suddenly snapped and the belt stroke the farmer’s face and he was knocked unconscious. Unfortunately speaking, the unconscious body of the farmer fell facedown into a small pond and drowned by just 3 inches of water. This ill-fated farmer was only 39 years old when he met his doomed.
Two very close cowboys used to let their cattle graze on the slope of the small hill. They have not had any big fights since they knew each other… well, not until the said 13 spirits appeared in front of them asking for food offerings. Both of the cowboys were thought young men and they too refused to satisfy the sprits.
A few days later, a fight suddenly broke out between the two cowboys for a very small reason. Not long after that, one strong bull ran amok and rammed head on into one cowboy and he died of severe injury.
A week later, the other cowboy committed suicide by drinking insecticide on the hill slope because he was jilted by his girlfriend who scorned at his appearance and handicapped.
It was said that no one dares to approach the said small hill since. Perhaps the 13 spirits had gone by now but my Taoist bro had not had another chance to revisit the place again. So, I would just stop the story here for now.