Wednesday, January 29, 2014

By Hook, By Crook, Or By Spook: Ghost Magic (鬼術)

Many people are afraid of ghosts. There are basically two types of folks who are not afraid of ghosts: the first are the Lower Mao Shan Taoists and the other are gamblers.


The Lower Mao Shan (下三茅) system works with spirits of the deceased, or ‘ghosts’ for short. Within the Lower Mao Shan School, there are many type of ghost magic: the notorious 5 ghosts (五鬼混天), the willow kid (柳靈童), the shaman ghost ritual (沙門練鬼), 5 legionnaires (五營兵) and etc.


Unfortunately speaking, Lower Mao Shan School is a dying art, i.e. you practically can’t find Lower Mao Shan Taoists now days. So, only gamblers exist these days. If gambling and money are two main objectives, we cannot pray to Buddha for money as the Buddha said: everything is ‘empty’, empty and empty. Likewise we cannot pray to Taoist masters as they said: “By doing nothing, people can do everything.” So nothing is done indeed.


What left now are only two options: gods/goddesses and ghosts!


Well, there is a Chinese saying that goes:



“It is better to beg the ghosts than gods.”


Indeed, it is useless to beg the gods and goddesses as they already possess everything human has to offer. On the other hand, the ghosts have nothing to lose and they will be happy to enjoy some food offerings and some joss papers in exchange for their services. It is a win-win deal; why not?


So, if one is a gambler and one has no Mao Shan background; and yet still want to use our good brothers (ghosts), I will still list some simple rituals. But my heartiest advice is not to try as these good brothers are pretty unpredictable.


Ritual 1: Asking the ghost for money (求陰財)


For the inspired, he/she must first choose a new grave; the grave must be within 49 days of those who died young yet violent. This ritual is best to be performed alone at night, best if it is a full moon night.


When the time is right, go to the deceased’s grave with some food offerings, a long piece of green bamboo, a hammer to strike the bamboo, incense, joss paper and a pair of white candles.


After lighting the candles and incense, arrange the food offerings on the floor and then strike the bamboo into the grave. The tip of the green bamboo must touch the top of the coffin cover.


When this is done, stand in front of the grave again and say out loud what help you required from the deceased. Wait until the incense and candles are half burnt then burn the joss papers too.


If the ghost does appear, do not be afraid for it will not harm the person who performed the ritual.


Yet another variation of this ritual is to pick a new tomb of a woman died in childbirth. In addition black dog blood is poured into the green bamboo to force the ghost to comply with the requests.


It is said that the later ritual is more powerful but the ghost will be difficult to control.


Ritual 2: Squeezing money from rich deceased (祭陰財)


Old folks believe that the rich once kicked the bucket, will still possess certain amount of fortune (財氣) so if this fortune is not make use of within 49 days, then the fortune will be wasted.


First, one must choose a rich guy’s tomb and that this person must also died of unnatural death.


Prepare offering stuffs as above, but this time there is no need to use the green bamboo stick. Now one must prepare 5 pieces of color paper each for: green, red, white, black and yellow. So there all 25 pieces of papers altogether.


These color paper will subsequently be buried in eastern corner, southern corner, western corner, northern corner and center.


The idea is to use the 5 legionnaire armies to gang up against the rich ghost for money.


As in ritual 1, one has to lay all of the offerings in front of the tomb stone, read out loud of his/her wish and finally leave the scene without looking back.


The rich ghost may or may not materialize in front of the person, but he/she will visit the person in his/her dreams. Whatever the case may be, one must tell the ghost explicitly what he/she wants.


Perhaps Ritual 1 and 2 are not suitable now days as most people choose to be cremated and modern cemeteries are guarded at night. Having said so, we will never know when we will have such opportunities.


  1. Dear Sir,
    With due respect,
    thanks for your interesting article.
    I have heard, medium advising his followers to simply 'throw' sweets or fatty meat to junction at dusk or night to appeased the gb., without the need to burn incense, and also read sutra that burning incense to appeased the gb at roadside, apart from reciting sutra to clear the karma burden of the gb. ...and many years ago, when I was young, a wandering Indian palmistry, advised me to throw orange into river for ancestor, or leave a sugar+rice at junction, and dont look back....
    What your opinion.
    U sure have very good gift, of writing, informative,funny and entertaining article.
    thanks u so much.

    [PS;I really think u should use your experience &writing skill gift, to write 'horror drama script', as they fetch good money, the only problem is u need to attend a course on "How To, Write Script"....or u could act as actor, playing as yourself, in the kisah benar drama...!

    1. Glad u like the article.

      Indeed there are many methods to offer to gb,

      We can use any methods we like, if we don't burn incense and read sutra, the gb will not come to enjoy the offering in time. That will not be too polite in my opinion.

      Hmm... my English is not good enough for writing script as yet... perhaps some experts can give me some advices on script writing.. So goes my Psychology course... hahaha

    2. Dear Sir,
      With due respect.
      For years, I always 'throw' sweet, at particular spooky place near my business premise.,,and at home roads junction at dusk.
      Before I throw, I snapped fingers thrice and just chant, "GB,GB,GB, come eat sweet, thank u for supporting me" Hokkien....and walk away...[but sometime I chant Om ManipatmeHom, and Om Amritatejavati svaha]

      What u think ? Should I chant some special mantra?

      I dont know whether the GB really get the sweet. But I could see moving white and black shadows, everyday, to and fro around my place.
      Could u teach me some simple mantra, so the GB could really enjoy and support me???
      Thanks in advance.
      ps: I just asked a medium, and he said my business shopping complex is built on a HUGE GB nest! With thousand of GB now regard the WHOLE complex building as their nest!
      Now only 2 survining out of 40 shoplots!..1 is mine, another a tailor shop...people wonder how we manage to survived while other belly up...

    3. I think you must set up a 5 ghost altar or 5 legionnaire altar to accumulate and control the GB or they will eventually scare people away... as for the shops, I'll need to look into your FS first before commenting.

  2. Dear Sir,
    With due respect,
    Thanks for your advice. Really appreciate it.

    May u please tell the differences between the 5 ghost and the 5 legionnaire ?
    And how they control the GB?

    Which one better [the 5 ghost and the 5 legionnaire], for business, customer calling, and wealth?
    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi,

      The 5 ghosts are mainly for private use.

      The 5 legionnaire armies are for business or larger applications. In Taoist magic, the 5 legionnaire is the most powerful ritual available. Just like how our military controls us, those militia controls GB and make them work for us.

      Both 5 ghosts and 5 legionnaires are similiar, but there are many types of 5 legionnaires out there: the Yin and Yang type.


  3. Mr. Liew

    This is a fascinating piece of article. May you write an article on the 3 Mao Shan (上,中,下 茅山). Since you've already addressed the Lower Mao Shan here, may you write one addressing the Middle Mao Shan and the Upper Mao Shan? Thank you.