Współczesne obrazy grozy – legendy miejskie o duchach z Tajwanu i Hongkongu

Anna Salamonik


Contemporary dreadful ghost tales. Urban legends from Taiwan and Hong Kong

The main topic of this article is to examine Chinese urban legends – a field that is left unexplored in the European science. The author chooses to narrow the field of study only to ghost tales of Taiwan and Hong Kong, because of the limitation of space. There are two main categories of ghost legends: folklore about means of transportation (starting from car folklore and the famous The Vanishing Hitchhiker trope, but also the tales of haunted metro stations), and stories about the girl in red. Each category is represented by various tales and its many variations, as urban legends are rarely told the same way twice. In the article, the author proceeds to prove that urban legends are closely related to earlier Chinese folktales, especially the character in red. There are also many motives that seem to be common for the whole Asian culture, which tends to also have the custom of Ghost Month in common, which does not seem to be a coincidence in this case. The article closes on the note that seemingly popular Chinese ghost legends are perhaps an expression of nostalgia, or even suggest some sort of preserved continuity in Chinese folklore and traditional beliefs.