Xiao Linlin and the Chongqin Poltergeist

Modern poltergeist cases from China are rare as the Chinese media tends to downplay stories of the supernatural. Feature films that suggest the reality of strange phenomena are restricted, with the only exception being historical dramas where mysterious events are almost always explained away as dreams, simple magic tricks, or something equally benign.

The same approach seems to have been applied to the 2010 poltergeist case I uncovered from Yongchuan District, Chongqin. The story, by author Wu Lili, appeared on the rather formal Chinese Youth and Law web site on 28 July 2010. What begins as a typical poltergeist episode is later explained away as the mischievous antics of a naughty child who simply needed more love, attention and guidance from her immediate family. A morality lesson.

But was the Chongqin case really that simple? A careful read of the translated article suggests perhaps something more mysterious was at work in the home of Zeng Furong. More thoughts after the translated story:

“Family Ghost” directed by a girl lacking love

On July 29th [PC: 2010] a women called Zeng Furong from Yongchuan District, Chongqin came to the police station and reported the case to the police: “My house is haunted! I’m so scared! Could you please come with me to my house? I’m so scared…scared of my family being killed by the ghost some day…”

Zeng was trembling and pale. She said, two hours ago, there were some bricks [PC: stones?] suddenly falling from the kitchen ceiling; all the bowls were broken in the cabinet and five duck eggs “flew” out of the refrigerator and shattered on the floor for no reason at all. All this happened under the nose of the whole family, but no one knows how it happened. Why did this happened in Zeng’s house? The policemen went to her house to have a investigation.

Zeng Furong lives in a two-storey luxury house in Chenshi Town, Yongchuan District. Her husband is a chef working in a hotel. She lived with her 76 year old mother Kang Minghui, nephew Yang Xiaoxiao, Xiao Linlin, granddaughter Meimei. Yang Xiaoxiao is 5 years old, Xiao Linlin is 11 years old, Meimei is a toddler.

The three policemen drove to her house and found the door of the bedroom on the first floor ajar. The pretty girl Xiao Linlin who is in primary school told the policemen about the “things from the sky” last night. The child had no panic or fear, but was a little sly. She described the scene vividly and took out the “weapon” to the policemen. It was an old telephone handset.

When the police were questioning and recording, suddenly a mass of dark things fell from the sky and hit the policeman’s head. “Oh, the strange things come again…is it the ghost…it seems…the dark things are from the top of the cabinet!” Xiao Linlin exclaimed. The policemen found the dark things were a mass of pumpkin seeds. Xiao Linlin murmured that the seeds were placed outside the kitchen window on the ground floor, why the seeds had flown towards the policeman?

The cabinet is behind the door, close to the wall. And the windows were all closed. The policemen checked every corner of the room, but did not find any abnormalities. Where was this stuff from? The policemen were puzzled, and the neighbors outside were scared.

Zeng’s house has 8 rooms. There are several holes in the corridor and the lighting is not very good. Grandmother Kang Minghui took the policemen downstairs. When they had just got to the main room from the kitchen, another mass of seeds smashed out. “My God! Help! Ghost!” Grandmother Kang was so scared and got out of the house, leaving the police in the room.

The strange things happened one after another. The residents nearby began to stir and were convinced of the “ghost”. “It is so scary! Cannot live in the house!” “Oh, we believe that this time there are ghosts in Zeng’s house! The ghost made fun of the police! Zeng’s family will suffer… ” For a time, there were many rumors. The story of Zeng’s haunted house was widely spread. The neighbors and relatives did not dare to go to Zeng’s house or say hello to their families…

“Mysteries” in Zeng’s house

The investigation produced no results. But the police said there were no ghosts because no one in the family had been hurt, it would not be someone outside who did this. This weird phenomenon could not be explained. The police told Zeng Furong to take good care of the old and the children, protect them from harm. Unexpectedly, the next day, Zeng Furong and the grandmother came to the police station to report the case again. The next day, there wasno one at home. All the clothes of Zeng Furong’s mother Kang in the wardrobe were take out and thrown to the ground everywhere.

The policemen went to Zeng ‘s house once again, but there were no clues. Initially the police initially concluded that there were two possibilities: the old lady had amnesia, or the clothes were blown away by the wind, or maybe monkeys, apes or some other naughty animals did this. After all, next door to Zeng’s house was a large wildlife park; Chongqing Wildlife World. The police had sprinkled lime around the house doors and windows to confirm. Since then, Zeng’s house had been uneventful for a week.

On August 8, this strange mysterious phenomenon happened in Zeng’s house. The frequency and intensity was much higher than previous. At the beginning, the clothes, shoes, dishes and so on “ran away” without feet – thrown outside of the doors and windows! Later, the 11 years old niece Xiao Linlin complained that the soap, shoes, caps and an abandoned phone hit her. August 8 in the evening, someone sprinkled a lot of ash over a pot of cooked rice. The family could not eat the rice and had to re-make the dinner.

The residents began to talk about Zeng’s oddity. It was suspected that there was a special magnetic field under the house, which could make the stuff “fly”. A supernatural group regarded Zeng’s mother as the “suspect” – the old lady came to her daughter from Rongchang in May this year, “being old, gloomy; or amnesiac, doing this to scare the daughter’s family.” Zeng Furong did not believe that her mother was responsible for the mysteries. She tried to find another reason for herself. This summer, she found some snake eggs near her house and thrown them to the ditch. “Maybe it’s the revenge of the snake imp.”

All the Zeng’s family were terrified!

They paid a geomancer and a wizard to hunt the ghost. The home was in pandemonium. But the geomancer and wizard could not find the ghost. After their hunting, the stuff still “flew”. Even clothes and socks were burnt. The whole family were too terrified to go to their relatives house. The family’s living order was disrupted, everyone was worried, sad, tired and nervous.

Little cousin compromised: His cousin did this

It was a difficult, “strange case” for the policemen. The police were so worried that the ghost kept disturbing Zeng’s family and the residents. They were determined to solve the case and make a peaceful living environment for Zeng’s family.

One day in mid-September, the police invited geological environment and humanities research experts from the Chongqing Academy of Social Sciences to investigate. When they got to the “crime scene”, the little brother was so anxious and took the policeman who was recording to the next door, said: “Uncle, please take a break. I know who did this. But please keep it a secret, otherwise my cousin will beat me…ah…All of this was due to my cousin , she hates our grandmother (Kang Mingkui). I found it, she … she did not let me say it out…”

Yang Xiaoxiao said, one day, he saw that his cousin Xiao Linlin put the ash into the pot and threatened him to tell nobody, otherwise she would drown him in the river. “My cousin put the duck eggs into the bag, then she smash them on the floor. She put mud on the floor in order to make our grandmother slip.” The little cousin said gravely, “My cousin is so bad. She took our grandmother’s clothes from the cabinet to the floor, stamped on them…”

“I saw my cousin did this. I feel bad. I thought she was wrong! I hate her!” In the end, the young boy Yang Xiaoxiao said.

Could the 5 years old boy be trusted? The policemen were dubious. They got Xiao Linlin to check in order to solve the mysterious case. In the morning of September 9, the police went to Xiao Linlin’s school. They found Xiao Linlin who was playing with other children after communicating with the school’s officials.

Xiao Linlin found police seriously and something wrong. She did not speak after coming into the school office. The policemen asked her to talk about the “ghost” of her home. She said she did not know anything about that softly.

The 11 years old girl is a minor. In front of her teacher and aunt Zeng Furong, the policemen began a kindly enquiry:” Do you afraid of the strange event happened in the house? Someone said it was related to ghosts. How do you think about it?” Xiao Linlin said in a low voice:”I’m not afraid of the ghost…But I … I think the adults’ words make sense…ah… The adults words cannot be wrong usually… ”

The police would not be fooled by this 11 year old child. After more than an hour’s enquiry, Xiao Linlin began to recognize that a part of the “bad things” were on her duty. In this situation, the police did not blame her. They said: “Think carefully. What else did you do? Someone saw what you did.” After a long silence, Xiao Linlin said,” In the last Sunday morning, I… I sprinkled a lot of ash over the rice cooked by my grandmother. That time, I hate my grandmother who is partial to my cousin…”

The police asked:”Was your grandmother bad to you?” Xiao Linlin sobbed:”Grandma…Grandma, she often asks me to do the housework, and scolded me, beat me…whatever my cousin did, she will not blame him. Sometimes, she is partial to him…ah…I think it’s unfair to me…”

Then the police asked: “You are a clever girl! Why don’t you talk to your grandmother? Why do you scare your grandmother and the whole family by this way?”

After a long silence, Xiao Linlin said: “A while ago, I heard that the stuff flying around in someone’s house. They said it was a ghost. I made a plan, once my grandmother scolded me, I would make the stuff fly to scare her. I intentionally do this.”

Xiao Linlin admitted that the weird “seed rain” was due to her. She did not want to explain. In the whole enquiry, she did not have much expression. She emphasized that she was afraid that the family did not like her or the grandmother was bad to her.

How others view Xiao Linlin

After the mystery unveiled, Zeng’s family was relieved! When they knew that the house haunted case was caused by the “revenge” of Xiao Linlin, Zeng’s family were not very happy. When mentioned the granddaughter, the grandmother Kang Kang Minghui was very angry. She said: “Hey…this child, young age, such vindictiveness! The girl’s parents are working in Guangzhou. Her aunt and I have to take care of her. But she is very disobedient. I beat her sometimes because she is lazy! I blame her because she is disobedient.”

Xiao Linlin’s aunt Zeng Furong took a long sigh, said “As long as the house is not haunted or something wrong, it is good. But Xiao Linlin’s behavior makes me so sad. When she was 8 months old, her parents went to Guangzhou to work. They did not come back to see her for more than ten years and did not do their duty of educating the child. I brought up the girl, but not very carefully. All of this make her withdrawn, irritability, vindictive…hey, I never expect that…However, Xiao Linlin likes learning but not labour or talking. We will teach her well, make her be a child with good moral character!”

” Xiao Linlin’s class teacher Wei told the police: ” Xiao Linlin performed well in school. She was not naughty, did not curse, serious in class, active labor. Each lesson exam’s points was above 80. She was in the upper grade in the class. But she was quiet, stubborn, impatient. If someone bothered her, she would revenge!”

By now, I can’t help to think of the case happened in Chongqing Dianjiang Country on June 1, 2005: a 10 years old girl poured a bottle of highly toxic pesticides into the water bottles and vats leading to 1 dead , 4 injured. The reason just was “My grandma just likes my brother, despises me and my mother. She scolds us, beats us, I hate her!”

The expression in Xiao Linlin’s eyes and the word “hate” from her mouth made the police and other people shiver when she mentioned her grandmother. Xiao Linlin made a family ghost in order to revenge her grandmother and do not scold her. This hatred gradually overshadowed her kindness and innocence, she forgot what love is. In grandmother Kang Minghui’s mind, considering the child’s future, “Girls can not be too lazy. Now we have to discipline her strictly. Otherwise, she will regret it.”

We do not judge the pros and cons of inter-generational education or the parental education responsibility. If we want Xiao Linlin to get back her innocence of her ages, the is only one way – love. Her parents should give her love, the grandmother and all of her relatives should also show their love. But her parents have been working outside for ten years, what are they doing that for?

So, there is official story of naughty Xiao Linlin. Lesson learned! Chief accuser- her five year old nephew. Even the police were dubious about that one. Her ‘confession’ was only made after the intense pressure of an hours questioning by a police officer at her school.

Ok, call me a skeptic (or maybe a believer) but was little 11 year old Xiao Linlin really so clever that she managed to fool her entire family and the police for over a month? What about those stones from the ceiling? If she was responsible, she has a bright future as a stage magician.  It’s just possible that Xiao Linlin’s emotional state did not drive her to hoaxing, but rather was a contributing factor in a real poltergeist episode.

It’s a shame, but we will probably never know the truth behind this rather fascinating case.

2 Replies to “Xiao Linlin and the Chongqin Poltergeist”

  1. Wish you had your own podcast Cropster. Just realized who you are- one of the guys who investigated Humpty Doo (greatest name ever)!

  2. I stop by here regularly.

    Fascinating, this case, and I am glad you took the effort of introducing it to give it wider attention. It dawns upon me that vast, vast and ancient china certainly must have tons of fortean stories – alas the language barrier!

    Best regards,

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