Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei

By Kam Louie; Louise Edwards et al. | Go to book overview

The Lovesick Ghost

In Yuezhou there is a man from the Zhang family with the name Third Master Ghost. The name arose from the fact that he was the third son born, but also because his father was a ghost. His nominal father was a scholar at an academy, and his mother, a Madam Chen, was an incredibly sensual woman.

One day, as Scholar Zhang and his wife lay resting on their bed, a ghost who called himself Little God Yunyang appeared out of nowhere and started having intercourse with Madam Chen.

Zhang felt himself pushed aside and from then on he was unable to do anything at all. It was as if his hands and feet were bound fast.

After this episode the Zhangs bought various charms and amulets in an attempt to expurgate the demon, but none of these had any effect. The ghost continued to visit Madam Chen. She became pregnant three months later and gave birth to a boy.

On the day of the birth strange, ghostly noises filled the air. It appeared the ghosts had come to offer their congratulations, for lots of coins dropped from the sky.

Mr. Zhang was extremely angry about the whole affair and went to Mount Longhu to ask a resident Daoist priest for help.

One morning after this, Little God Yunyang came staggering into Madam Chen's bedroom dripping with sweat, saying, "I'm in deep trouble. Last night I went to your neighbor Mr. Mao's place and stole his golden vase. Unfortunately, Zhong Kui, a figure in one of the scrolls hanging on the wall, leaped out of the picture and chased me, swords and all.

"I was absolutely terrified that he would do some real damage, so I ran off and threw the vase into the pond by the West Lane. I've come here to seek your help! Please give me some alcohol to calm my nerves."

Madam Chen told her husband what had happened and Zhang went to confirm the story with the Mao family.

-96-

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