Sunday, October 23, 2016
Red Shirt Female Ghost (红衣女鬼)
A friend brought up a very interesting topic: “red shirt female ghost”. So, let us take a closer look at this charming personality.
Traditionally, red colour is associated with love and passion in the West. The Chinese treat red as the colour of happiness and festive. In both cases, red could not by any means associate with ghosts. I have searched throughout the Chinese ghost literatures and found no descriptions at about red shirt ghosts. In other Asian mythologies, the spirits only appear in white, green, grey or black. Or in rare cases, spirits could be as colourful as us the human being.
So, from where does this red shirt ghost come from?
The red shirt ghost is believed to be the product of when a lady is bullied to such an extent that she has no way to seek justice and dead is her only option. This death seeking lady would wear read clothes, red pants, red shoes and put on red lipsticks. Then she would commit suicide and her restless soul will become the infamous ‘red shirt female ghost’ to seek justice against all those who have wronged her.
It is also possible that when a woman died due to very unjust cases and no worldly justice could be sought; then her parents or relatives would let the dead lady wear all red with red makeups. In addition, a pair of scissors would also be put in her right hand so that she could rise from her grave and seek revenge herself.
Sounds familiar? You bet.
The above descriptions are actually common scenes depicted in Hong Kong ghost movies popular in the 70’s to 90’s. Somehow those fable movie scenes gradually believed to be true by some local folks and they just copy them and re-enacted on their love ones died of very injustice cases. Of course, such actions are actually very controversial because by hoping the dead to rise and kill by itself is against religious teachings. Don’t we all want our love ones to rest-in-peace?
As a matter of fact, I have not heard of a real case that any of those deceased changed into red clothing can transform into red shirt ghosts and subsequently success in sought their revenge. Last but not least, when you visited Malaysia and have an opportunity to go to a market and you find a lot of those wearing red shirts or yellow shirts shouting in broad daylight; please don’t be panic. They are only street protesters; call them illegal if you would. Whatever case that might be; they are not ghosts…