On Being Chinese: Lifestyles


On Being Chinese

On Being Chinese

It is no secret that some houses are haunted. Ghost stories are not unheard of.  For example, many years ago, a woman heartbroken over her husband’s unfaithfulness committed suicide. 

She had been so unhappy that she continued to appear at strange times and one day, a workman, painting the outside of her house, saw her sitting on an overhead rafter. Fearful that she might fall and hurt herself, he told her to get down but she just laughed, and then cried hysterically.

The workman didn’t know what to do so he just left her alone. He wasn’t sure she even understood what he had said.  Later on, he described the woman to the owner of the house who said that what he had just seen was impossible. The owner’s face paled and his hands shook because from what the workman said, it had to be his deceased wife right down to the red apron she always wore.

Another Chinese family purchased a house in an affluent area and when they moved in, the unpacked their suitcases and put everything away in the closet.  They awoke the next morning and were baffled to find their suitcases all packed, with their shoes, ready for them by the front door.

At first, they thought it was a trick or relatives playing a game but when this continued on for days and relatives were unaware of this mysterious event, they complained to their realtor.   After much investigation, they learned that someone did die in that house.

Afraid of the angry dead spirit, the residents wasted no time and quickly moved out.  To this day, the house still remains vacant.

On being Chinese, this strange behavior among the Chinese may seem ridiculous to those who don’t understand their culture but traditional rituals should be treated with respect.  The origins are impossible to track down.

Chinese Buddhism presumes the existence of various Hells, almost like the Christian purgatory through which the soul must work off it’s karmic debts. Taosim mystic psychics offer a wide belief about afterlife.  Others are of the opinion that the afterlife resembles life on earth where material goods are transferred to the underworld on behalf of the dead.

Scholars on being Chinese frequently call upon the clear-cut philosophical guidance of Confucius in their public affirmation of values.

Confucius (551-479 B.C.) was a Chinese philosopher and teacher who founded the philosophy known as Confucianism. His teachings emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice, kindness, and sincerity, as well as an emphasis on a ruler’s duty to their subjects 1Confucius believed that education and reflection led to virtue, and that those who aspired to command others must cultivate discipline and moral authority in themselves 2.

Confucius’ philosophy was concerned with practical moral values and focused on achieving and maintaining social harmony. This harmony can be accessed and continually fostered by adherence to rites and rituals, and it is founded on the principle that human beings are fundamentally good, improvable, and teachable 3.

To the Chinese, it is a religion in the form to which they have practiced for centuries. Although the Chinese want as little as possible to do with the Supernatural world, they do live with all due respect to the invading presence of the world unseen.

Some of the most popular supernatural beings in Chinese mythology include:


A type of undead creature that is similar to a zombie or vampire. They are often depicted as hopping around with their arms outstretched.


A beast that appears during the Chinese New Year. It is said to be afraid of loud noises and the color red.

Huli jing

A fox spirit that can shape-shift into a beautiful woman. They are often depicted as mischievous and seductive.


A type of wild man or “yeti” that is said to live in the mountains of China.

Bai gu jing

A white-boned demon that can shape-shift into a beautiful woman. They are often depicted as malevolent and dangerous.

These are just a few examples of the many supernatural beings in Chinese folklore. If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out the Wikipedia page on supernatural beings in Chinese folklore.

  1. Avatar of Kenneth Weene
    Kenneth Weene says

    In England the same sense of a home being haunted would generate no such response, rather just a grudging acceptance. In America most would run to the press and draw attention.Having lived with a ghost, my own advice is a gentle friendliness. After all, poltergeists are human and get lonely.

  2. Avatar of Carla Rosselini
    Carla Rosselini says

    Thank you for your insights on being Chinese!
    Your articles give me an understanding on issues from another world.
    Are the ornaments (Knights, dragons etc. – at least that’s what they look to me) on the roof edges of some classical Chinese buildings meant to protect it’s owners from bad ghosts?
    Cheers, Valerie.

  3. Avatar of Dona
    Dona says

    …………..very interesting Val, thanks for sharing

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