Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei

By Mei Yuan; Kam Louie et al. | Go to book overview

The Hairy People of Qin

In Yunyang's Fang County, on the border between the provinces of Hunan and Guangdong, there is a mountain of enormous magnitude called House Peak. Its name is derived from the roomlike caves that flank its four sides. Its height and isolation make it treacherous to venture near.

Living in this mountain are a people whose bodies are covered with hair and who measure over ten feet. Every so often they venture from the mountain to steal the nearby villagers' livestock for food. If anyone dared to try to prevent this theft, the hairy people would retaliate while retreating with the animals they had snatched. Firearms provided no protection since the lead shot would simply bounce off the hairy people and fall to the ground, leaving them completely unharmed. Traditional wisdom maintains there is only one way of preventing their rampages, and that is to clap your hands and shout, "Build a great wall! Build a great wall!" On hearing this, the hairy people run away in terror.

A lifelong friend of mine by the name of Zhang Qun held an official post in this region and his experience confirms the efficacy of this tactic.

The locals explained the phenomenon thus: "In the Qin dynasty during the building of the Great Wall, some of the villagers avoided conscription by hiding in the mountains. After many years they evolved into these strange hairy creatures. We noticed that whenever they came into contact with other people, they would ask whether the Great Wall was completed, thereby exposing their weak point and enabling us to frighten them away."

One can appreciate how fierce the emperor of Qin must have been if after several thousand years these people still lived in terror of Qin laws.


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Censored by Confucius: Ghost Stories by Yuan Mei
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xxi
  • Deputy Prefect LI 3
  • Scholar Cai 7
  • Revenge of the Skull 8
  • General Zhao Spears the Cheeky Monster 9
  • The Magistrate of Pingyang 11
  • Tricking the Thunder God 13
  • Ghosts Are Afraid of Those Unafraid of Death 15
  • Scholar Qiu 16
  • Ghosts Have Only Three Tricks 18
  • Master Chen Qingke Blows the Ghost Away 20
  • The Tall Ghost is Captured 22
  • The Lady Ghost of the Western Garden 24
  • A Sentry is Struck by Lightning 26
  • In Which Hunters Expurgate the Fox Fairies 28
  • The Goats Who Fulfilled Their Fate 31
  • Capturing a Ghost 33
  • Mr. Xu 35
  • The Hairy People of Qin 37
  • The Human Ape 38
  • The Human Prawn 39
  • The Duck's Lover 40
  • The Spirit of the Turtle Stone 41
  • Ghosts Who Play with Firecrackers May Burn Themselves 46
  • Kaxiong 48
  • Freak Wind 51
  • The Old Woman Who Was Transformed into a Wolf 53
  • A Loyal Dog Makes Use of Another Dog's Body 54
  • Leng Qiujiang 56
  • The Nailed-Up Specter Makes Good Her Escape 58
  • The Messenger of Death Who Loved His Wine 60
  • A Fox Fairy Plays Guanyin for Three Years 63
  • Butterfingered Scholar Wu 66
  • The Patriarch of Fox Fairies 69
  • Swindled by the Earth God's Wife 72
  • The Good Little Ghost 74
  • The Ghosts Who Pretended They Could Speak Mandarin 76
  • The City God Gets Drunk 78
  • Two Great Ways to Deal with Ghosts 81
  • The Immortal Prostitute 82
  • Zhang Youhua 85
  • A Ghost Borrows an Official Title for a Daughter's Marriage 87
  • The Bear 89
  • Two Corpses Make Love in the Wilderness 90
  • King Buffalo Head 92
  • The Muddleheaded Ghost 94
  • The Ghost That Stood in Awe of the Powerful 95
  • The Lovesick Ghost 96
  • Thunder Strikes the Earth God 98
  • Zhang Guangxiong 100
  • The Blue-Capped Demon 104
  • Cousin Raccoon 107
  • An Imprisoned Ghost 108
  • A Fox Fairy and a Ghost Invade the Stomach 111
  • The Immortal Fox Fairy Hangs Itself 114
  • Ghosts Hate Poverty 115
  • Xiao Fu 116
  • A Jeweled Pagoda Formed by Ghosts 118
  • The Land Without Doors 120
  • Scholar Song 122
  • Scholar Zhuang 125
  • Little Mischief 128
  • Commander Wang 130
  • The Sea Monster of Jiangxi 133
  • The Sparrows Repay a Debt of Kindness 134
  • Quan Gu 136
  • A Ghost is Chased off by a Ghost 139
  • The Folding Immortal 141
  • Demons Are Terrified of Rationalism 144
  • Spiritual Man Luo Catches the Wrong Demon 146
  • The Thunder God Strikes Wang San 148
  • Memories of Suiyan 151
  • The Cool Old Man 155
  • A Tiger Steals the God of Literature's Head 158
  • Revenge on the Warrior of the Flowers 161
  • The Wooden Guardsmen 163
  • A Woman Transforms into a Man 164
  • The Prince of Guazhou 165
  • Yang Er 167
  • Helping a Ghost Get Revenge 169
  • A Donkey Helps Solve a Strange Case 173
  • Scholar Zhang 176
  • The Reincarnation of Cai Jing 178
  • Hanging onto the Ears of a Tiger 180
  • Animals and Humans Are Equally Unpredictable 182
  • A Ghost Buys Herself a Son 184
  • Poor Ghosts Haunt, Rich Ghosts Don't Bother 188
  • Revenge of the Wronged Wife 189
  • A Ghost Makes an Offering of Dumplings 190
  • You Don't Have to Be Virtuous to Become a God 193
  • In Which the Ghost Sues Her Loved One 196
  • Elder Brother Ding 202
  • Miss Wang Er 204
  • Double Blossom Temple 206
  • The Female Impersonator 209
  • Tools of the Sex Trade 212
  • Stealing Ginseng 215
  • Stealing a Painting 217
  • Stealing a Pair of Boots 218
  • Stealing a Wall 220
  • Daylight Ghosts 222
  • About the Translators 223


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