Friday, November 4, 2016

The Hua Guo Cinema (华国戏院)

The Hua’guo Cinema is one of most haunted place in Tao’yuan (桃园), Taiwan. It burnt down in early 1990 and taken many lives. However, the locals believe that this cinema still in operation every night and for very specific audiences only. This Hua’guo Cinema has been topics for many paranormal shows in Taiwan and Hong Kong. You can search it out in the intranet. I have not been to Hua’guo Cinema but my friend, Raymond who is an American did managed to ‘watch’ a movie and lived to tell his story…

Raymond has a Taiwanese sweetheart, Mei’mei and they got to know each other when Raymond was sent to Taiwan to perform a contract work. When he returned to US, they kept in contact. A few years later, Raymond decided to visit Mei’mei again to catch up. Mei’mei stays in Tao’yuan so once Raymond touched down, he immediately went to Tao’yuan to see his long time no see sweetheart.

The couple spent daytime together as Mei’mei had a night job selling fast food in local hawker centre. That left Raymond with nothing to do but to linger on Tao’yuan street at night. He normally wandered around the town area until fairly late at night when Mei’mei knocked off from her business. He didn’t want to wait in his hotel room all by himself, after all; Raymond didn’t fly over such a long distance to sleep in the hotel room.

During one of the nights as Raymond was strolling in the street, he suddenly found himself standing in front of a cinema. When he looked up, the sign board displayed ‘Hua’guo Cinema’ and the show time was 7:30pm. Raymond thought that he would just jumped into the cinema and spent about 2 hours there. By the time the movie is over; it would just be nice for him to see Mei’mei again. As recalled by Raymond later, he could only tell the movie he was about to see was a comedy because his Mandarin was not too good; suffice to speak a few sentences and recognised a few characters.

With this thought, Raymond looked at his watch and it was only 7:00PM. So, he approached the ticket counter and purchased a ticket. Before he checked into the cinema, Raymond visited the toilet to relief himself before the starting of the movie. When Raymond just stepped into the toilet, he saw there was a long queue. Having no choice, Raymond fall into the queue and waited for his turn. At the same time his glance fell upon an odd looking old lady wiping the toilet mirror. Half of the old lady’s head was bold with half of her face as black as a charcoal.

Raymond thought the old lady shouldn’t be in men’s toilet, so he habitually turned his head to a person behind him and said: “Don’t you think this lady shouldn’t be here?”

As he talked, Raymond raised his head and looked into the face of the person he talked to and found the person’s face was almost greyish without any facial expression. At this point, Raymond still has no second thought what the person was. Soon, it was Raymond’s turn to use the toilet.

After the relief, Raymond proceeded to the entrance and passed his ticket to the conductor but the conductor just stood still with numb facial expression. He shrugged and entered into the cinema to look for his seat by himself while thinking how awkward tonight’s folks he had come across.  Soon, Raymond found his seat and he quickly sat down and turned his attention to the theatre screen.

The movie started on time. As the movie was showing, Raymond thought it was a little too quiet in the cinema as if he was the only audience. As Raymond’s mind started to wander off, he heard someone was coughing at his back. His reflexes made him turned and there he saw the strange looking old lady sat behind him and grinned at him. This surprise discovery caused Raymond to panicked and yelled: “Yaaak!” twice; and then he stood up.

Perhaps Raymond was better seated because as soon as he had stood up, he found himself standing in total darkness engulfed by the foul odour of decaying flesh. Suddenly, the cinema and audiences had vanished! At the same time, Raymond felt the atmospheric pressure around him increased until he couldn’t move and gradually he became dizzy and fainted onto the floor. He sworn that he could hear people crying and begging for help before he passed away.

The sun was already in the middle of the sky when Raymond finally regained consciousness. And through outside sunlight, he managed to crawl out from the rubbles and returned to civilization once more. Raymond looked at his watch and it was already 1pm the next day. He told Mei’mei about his strange encounter but she just thought Raymond had a cup too many on that night.

When Raymond approached me with his story, I too said to him: “I know you, bro! I have told you to be careful of the Mau’tai (茅台酒) liquor! They could knock you out cold very fast!”

Of course, it is up to you if you want to believe what Raymond said… 

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