Halloween Special: Bedtime Story
The story is from the book “Spirits along the roads”, written by Ruth Tsang.
“Hong Kong Zoological and botanic gardens”
Hong Kong Zoological and botanic gardens is the oldest park in Hong Kong since 1871. Because it is difficult to access, the park is always quiet at night. There are not many people around.
It was told that during the occupation of Japanese in Second World War, many HK and British soldiers were executed and beheaded by Japanese soldiers at the park. Later, some people started to see headless ghosts appearing inside the park. Therefore the government made an arch at the entrance of the park which says “In Memory of the Chinese who died loyal to the Allied cause in the two world Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945”. Hoping that the arch could prevent the spirits from going out to haunt people.
Below the arch there are four guardian lions. Originally each lion had a rounded stone in their mouths. However since there were too much spirits in the park, they haunted the lions and had their control. The lions started to walk around and attack visitors at night. One of them even killed someone by throwing the rock at him.
At the end the government had to hire a respected exorcist to cleanse the park and take away the rock of the lions. Peace was restored to the park and the arch remains at the entrance of the park until now.
Some facts about the park which you may be interested
This story was widely told after the Second World War until 2000. However there are some facts about the park, which may have some conflicts with the story:
During the occupation of Japanese in Hong Kong, Japanese government decided to change the park to “Hong Kong Shinto Shrine”, a structure whose main purpose is to house the Kami (God). It was doubted that Japanese soldiers would execute people at such a sacred place.
However before the shrine was built, Japan surrendered at the end of the Second World War and Hong Kong was handed over to Britain.
The memorial arch was first erected in 1928, dedicated to the Chinese who died assisting the Allies during the First World War. Reference to the Second World War was added later. It was not first built after the occupation of Japan in Hong Kong.
Address: Albany Rd, Central