Monday, October 10, 2016

Spirit Of Horses (鬼马)

This paper horse will send the 9 Emperors back to heaven.

Horses used to have played very important roles in human civilization; this life and the next too.

In Taoist rituals, imaginary horses acted as transportation to and fro the spiritual realm and our human world.

Last Saturday night, I travelled with my bro’s family to the famous Butterworth Taoist temple, the Temple of Mother Goddess (斗母宫). My 7-year-old nephew suddenly pointed to a section of a street near the temple and said:

“I had been to this place before and this place really scared me. I remember to have seen 5 white horses with 5 red riders in a row in front one of the shops…”

Young nephew’s words did give the car load of people a stunt; for this is our first trip to the said temple and it would be quite impossible for this small kid to have travelled by himself to that region logically speaking. Perhaps the horses and riders my nephew meant were the Taoist 5 legionnaire armies; or perhaps he did visit the said place in his past life!

While we are still on the topic of horse spirits, I remembered quite a famous ghost story started during early Hong Kong establishment. This story happened at the central district and related to a renowned bank. If you pass through the front of two banks in Hong Kong, you shall notice that there are two lion sculptures being placed on both sides of the main entrance. Old local folks believed that there are hidden agendas; but we could just treat the legend as just any sort of urban legends.

According to this particular urban legend, that section of central street where the Queen’s Road (皇后大道) passes through had seen strange happenings in the midst of the nights. Many drivers have claimed to have seen a white horse galloping in the middle of the road which had caused panic amongst them. This phantom white horse could occasionally be seen and yet at times, people could just hear the noise of horse galloping beside them. At that time, that particular spot had become an infamous accident hot spot. Rumour has it that this phantom horse came out from the said bank and after it had satisfied with its exercises, it would return to the bank.

Since the appearance of this phantom horse had caused panic and casualties, the management of the bank decided to place two lion sculptures on both sides of the entrance to prevent this phantom horse from running out. Apparently the measure did work and the white horse never appear on the road again. Of course, I am not sure if this white horse still galloping the inside of that bank at this time. One thing for sure is that the pair of lion sculptures are still there to date.

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