Sunday, December 4, 2016

Ting Kao Village (汀九村鬼故事)

Ting Kao Village (汀九村) located beside the Ting Kao Bridge of Tuen Men Road has seen one of the most tragic road accidents in modern Hong Kong transport history on the morning of July 10th, 2003 6:15am. A double decker Neoplan Centroliner bus carrying 40 passengers collided with a container trailer that suddenly entered the bus’s path and forcing the bus to lose control and fell over the 35m Ting Kao village slope. Passengers were either being thrown out of the bus or being crushed under the bus wreckage. Villagers witnessing the centennial tragic accident recalled that the aftermath was as if the scene of an air crush with casualties lying all over the place. The fatal accident has caused 21 deaths and 20 injuries.

After the unfortunate incident, the management of the bus company carried out a Buddhist deliverance ritual in the Tsuen Wan Western Monastery (荃灣西方寺) and also on the site. However, the villagers believed that since this accident was too tragic and that many people died in vain; even the compassionate Buddha and bodhisattvas cannot save these indignant souls. As expected, not long after the incident; many reports were being lodged by the villagers about strange happenings.

Many people claimed to have seen ghosts in the Ting Kao Village so much so that the Taoist holy land in Tuen Men, Ching Chung Koon (青鬆觀) dispatched some Taoists to come to investigate and giving out ‘fu’ (talismans) in the hope that the power of Taoism can protect the villagers from the disturbances of those restless ghosts. Perhaps that the road accident was indeed too tragic, even the power of Ching Chung Koon did not help. And villagers continued to see ghosts hanging around the villager. Later, the villagers carried out another 3 rounds of deliverance rituals to pacify all those who had died.

A few days after the tragedy, Uncle Tsu whose roof was damaged by metal fragments of the bus lodged a police report. My pal John was on duty and he visited Uncle Tsu with his colleague Mike at night. So Uncle Tsu told John: “Last night I woke up to pee. Though I was still in a dreamy state and that I am not that old that I am blinded or deaf, I heard many people moaning and groaning in pain; and calling for help. I was curious as it couldn’t be that so many people shouting in the midst of the night. Further, I was staying alone on this slope for dog gone years. Instinctively, I knew those must be ghosts. So, I burnt some joss papers and talismans for them. Today, I heard someone calling for help outside of my bedroom. As I was venturing outside to investigate, I saw many people stood on the slope; some of them were lying on the ground. Feeling scared, I immediately returned to my house and call the police. You can go out to see who or what are outside. I am afraid that if I continue to see them tomorrow, I will be admitted to mental asylum.”

John asked: “Are you sure you did not see things or hallucinating?”

Uncle Tsu replied: “It is impossible for I am still the driver in the village. My vision is excellent. The fact is that when I first heard the voices of moaning and calling for help, they were as if came from the holes of my roof. The feeling is especially close. After my roof was damaged by bus fragments, I used a piece of canvas to temporary close the holes. Those male and female voices were as if came from the other side of the canvas.”

John continued to ask: “Why didn’t you go out to investigate who were outside of your house?”

Uncle Tsu was a little annoyed: “Are you kidding? If you guys do not come today, I dared not even get out of my bed. Moreover, to open the door to venture outside. I was hiding in my blanket and sweat profusely. I didn’t dare to even go to the toilet and that I had to pee in my bed!”

John and Mike stared at each other for a while and they decided to go to the slope where Uncle Tsu claimed to see ghosts to investigate. As the cops walked up the slope, their torchlights suddenly went dead. Since both of them didn’t see anything, they decided to return to the police station. Strangely speaking too, once they returned to the station; both of the torchlights can function again.

A few days later, someone lodged a police report saying that some children were being sighted in a construction site near Ting Kaw Village. Since missing kids is a big case, John and a few police officers proceeded to the site. The folks spent half day moving through winding and narrow hilly paths to reach the Ting Kaw Village but they failed to get to the site where people said missing children were seen. To make the search more difficult, many of the villagers had moved out from the village; and many were still working. So the village was nearly empty.

Finally, the cops found a lady farmer, Aunt Lee who was willing to show them the way. John asked: “How come we can’t see villagers around?”

Aunt Lee said: “Most of them moved out due to ghosts. Luckily, it is still early; otherwise I dared not lead you around!”

“Why do you say so?” Asked John curiously.

Aunt Lee said: “Nowadays villagers dared not venture outside at night. A few villagers saw some ‘strangers’ walked in a file. They comprised of men and women and those folks didn’t look like locals; the best bet is those were ghosts.”

As they talked, Aunt Lee pointed her finger forward and said: “The construction site in just in front. I must go now as it is getting dark!”

After that, Aunt Lee turned her back and ran as fast as she could. So, John et al proceeded to the construction site but there was no one there.

The cops ventured into the worksite and finally saw the work supervisor. John asked: “Who made the police report about missing children? Why is it that no one works at this place?”

The supervisor said: “I did. All of the workers left before sunset as they were afraid of ghosts. Many people reported to have seen some kids looked like school children playing in the work site. Since it is very dangerous for children to play in construction site, I figured that the police can help to catch hold of them…”

John asked: “If those are just kids and your workers are macho guys, can’t you just catch hold of them and send them back?”

The supervisor was a little embarrassed and replied: “I didn’t see them. The workers said that those kids were too fast for them. They saw the kids on the 1st floor and once they rushed to the floor, the kids were being sighted on the ground floor. So we though it is best to let the police to handle this… Oh, there is another matter… I used to come to worksite at night and I could hear many people crying in the worksite. But after I searched high and low, I couldn’t find anyone around. What do you think Sir?”

John laughed: “You are talking nonsense! Do you mean that you have seen ghosts? Crazy lot!”

After that, John and the cops ransacked the worksite but found nothing. So, they decided to call it a day and returned.

They followed the direction the work supervisor pointed to them. After walking for a distance, John found his walkie-talkie lost. He thought the walkie-talkie must have lost in the worksite. So he and his colleagues returned to the place and looked around. Suddenly, John saw the walkie-talkie was lying on the ground near some iron bars. Just as when he approached the iron bars to get his walkie-talkie; he suddenly saw a few children standing behind the iron bars. John thought they were perhaps the missing children as reported. Strangely speaking, those children just stood by quietly under faint worksite lighting. They just stared at John without any facial expressions.

John was pretty excited, he immediately picked up the walkie-talkie and called his fellow colleagues. At the same time, he rushed to the children thought of prevent them to leave while waiting for his fellow officers. John shouted to the kids: “Hello there! I am police and coming to help you. Don’t’ be afraid.”

At this point, another police officer yelled at John: “Hey, John! What took you so long?”

John turned his head and said: “I am here. Can’t you see the kids? They are just standing there!”

As John was talking to the officer, he turned his head to look at the kids. Now the kids were nowhere to be found! There was not a single living sole nearby or within sight. Before John could say anything, his fellow colleagues grabbed his arms and dragged him out of the worksite. None of them want to say anything as all of them knew that John might have seen ghosts.

The group continued to walk in silent, no one wanted to say anything; they just want to get back to civilization ASAP. Perhaps because fogs developed quite early in the hilly area, the police officers kind of lost their ways when they came to a road junction. As they were thinking of which way to take, a 40-year-old man came from a far. John proceed to ask the gentleman: “Sorry Sir, we want to get out for the village. Which way to take?”

The man pointed his finger towards his back and said: “You guy just walk straight and about 10 minutes’ walk, you will find your cars there.”

John thanked the gentleman: “Thank you very much, Sir. Are you from Ting Kaw Village as well?”

The man said: “I am Wong from Tin Shui Wai (天水圍). I am just passing through and I must get on my journey. Thank you for your help.”

After they had finally got to their cars, a police officer suddenly thought of something, he asked John: “Hey, John. How come Wong knew which way we took to enter the village?”

This query caused a sense of chillness rose from John’s spine. He suddenly realised that road junction was where rescue personnel congregated and where the dead and injured were being placed temporally. The first thing John returned to the police station was to find out the record of the deaths. A name stood out prominently: Wong, male, 42. Living in Tin shui Wai…”

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