In the heart of Beijing, among modern homes and apartment buildings, sits an abandoned Baroque-style mansion, over a century old. No one has lived here for decades, except for ghosts - or so local legend says.
Built around 1910, the building - known as Chaonei No. 81 - had a fuzzy history until mid-century. Allegedly built by the Qing imperial family for use by the British as a church, the property at one time or another was a private residence for a French railway manager and/or a language school for foreign missionaries. In 1949, on the eve of the Communist takeover, the home was in possession of the Irish Presbyterian Mission. A Kuomintang official, in the rush of retreat, left his wife (or concubine) to fend for herself. Distraught, she hanged herself from the rafters. Since then, the place has been under the use (or disuse) of various government agencies.
Currently, the Beijing Catholic Diocese owns the building - and they can't do anything with it. While officials deny that the building is haunted, no one wants to spend millions on a piece of real estate if it comes with a ghost - even in such a choice location. It has since been declared a historic building, so the haunted mansion can't be torn down - only renovated. Estimates state that a renovation would likely cost $1.5 million. Most of the community is waiting for the structure to crumble on its own.
There haven't been many reports of specific haunting activity within the property, but look at these photos. It looks like Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Director Raymond Yip (The Warlords) thinks so, too, as a Chinese website says he is creating a film about Chaonei No. 81.
Anyone want to chip in for a haunted vacation home?
Source: NY Times