Haunted House in Beijing Attracts Visitors Following Release of 'The House That Never Dies'
The three-story town house, Chaonei No.81, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a Kuomintang official's mistress who committed suicide after the Communist Party takeover in 1949.
Raymond Yip's 3D horror story The House That Never Dies has proved a hit at the Chinese box office, picking up $25.1 million in its opening weekend, clocking up 81,360 screenings and 4.37 million admissions.
The movie which stars Francis Ng, Ruby Lin, Tony Yang, Monica Mok, Amanda Qin and Li Jing has struck a chord with Chinese audiences but not just for the 3D thrills and chills. The film has inspired hordes of Beijingers to make the trek to Chaoyangmen Inner Street in the city's downtown area where the notorious Chanonei No. 81 building stands reports The New York Times.
Since the film's release up to 500 people per day were visiting the dilapidated and abandoned three story town house built in 1910 as a Chinese language school for foreign missionaries. The building's owners, the Beijing Catholic Diocese, has had to keep the gates closed in the last week to deal with the crowds only letting in a few visitors at any one time.
Young Beijingers visiting the house told the Times that they loved the fact the property was located in the center of the city and seemed more real than the haunted houses found in American films. Fans of cosplay, are also increasingly attracted to the house as it provides the ideal backdrop for their horror themed dress up parties.
Chaonei No.81's ghostly reputation comes from the aftermath of the victory of the Chinese Communist Party's victory of the Kuomingtang. As the Communists were making through Beijing, Nationalists fled their homes leaving possessions and it seems loved ones behind. At Chaonei No.81, the Kuomingtang official who lived there abandoned his mistress and so devastated was she that she hung herself from one of the building's rafters. Local legend has it that the spurned mistress now haunts the building, indeed, the myth is so strong that the owners have not be able to sell the building despite soaring property prices and demand in the area.