Chaonei No. 81
What's the story
A century-old abandoned French Baroque-style mansion, Chaonei No.81 is associated with many spine-tingling stories which have turned it into one of the most hyped haunted houses in Beijing. Built on behalf of the Catholic Church in the early 20th century, it was meant to be a residence for British missionaries living in Beijing, but then it was disused. Nevertheless, thanks to its imposing appearance and the urban myths with which it is associated, it has become a famous shooting location for Chinese films and TV series.
One story related to the house involves the family of a Chinese Nationalist Party general who used to live there. After losing the civil to the Communist Party in 1949, he ran off to Taiwan and left his wife behind. Distraught, the poor lady committed suicide by hanging herself from a beam. Many believed that the sound of her crying coming from the house can still be heard at night.
Some more supposed paranormal goings-on concern a summer night in 2001 and a group of drunken construction workers from a site across the street. The basement of the building they were working on was divided from the ‘ghost mansion’ by a thin wall. Rumour has it they were so drunk that they broke the poorly built wall down with their bare hands and went inside. The next day, none of the men could be found. It’s also said that, during summertime, the temperature at the mansion’s door is much lower than the temperature on the same level of a building just 20m away. Spooky.
If it were a film, it would be…
The House That Never Dies – posthumous wedding, pale-faced women in red dress, and plenty of scares with Chinese characteristics
Where is it?
81 Chaoyangmennei Dajie, Dongcheng District 东城区朝阳门内大街81号