In 1774, during the reign of the Qianlong emperor, a young rascal by the name of Hanliu was detained in the capital on charges of beating and injuring his father. The Board of Punishment investigated the case and it was decided that Hanliu should be executed.
One of deputies of the board, however, was of the opinion that since the attack had not been fatal, the death sentence was not appropriate. He was overruled by the chief justice, Mr. Qin, who personally wrote a memorial to the throne arguing that the relationship between father and son was sacred and Hanliu had committed a grave sin by injuring his father.
The throne upheld the death penalty and furthermore sent the Board of Punishment's secretary, Mr. Li Huaizhong, to supervise the execution. Three days after the execution Hanliu's ghost possessed Secretary Li and said, "All the other officials were prepared to forgive me but you insisted on having me executed. I have carried this grievance to the grave and now, as a ghost, I have resolved to take your life."
Everyone who heard this ranting was shocked at the ghost's muddleheaded understanding of the debate surrounding his execution, but they were completely powerless. Li was bedridden from that day on, and it wasn't long before he had passed away.