Robert Joe, or RJ, comes to Hong Kong, now part of China. Many people here claim they have seen ghosts. And one story catches his attention. Ricky, "school teacher by day, but war gamer by night." And here is the full testimony:
"I work as a high school teacher. War games taught me to control my emotions and my temper. Whenever I face an obstacle at school or at work, I consider it a challenge.
We usually look for old and abandoned schools or factories. That's why I organized the game in Tat Tak school.
We split into two teams, A team and B team. The enemy found me and shot me. I went to the dead zone.My friend pointed into the room and asked: do you see a man squatting there? I looked closer and it seems as if he was squatting down to pick something up. He was wearing white.
So I decided to walk towards him. But when I reached the room, I found nothing. That's when we began to feel something was strange. Until now I still can't explain what we saw."
Tat Tak school, where the eyewitness claimed to have seen a ghost squatting in a room, is in Ping Shan Village in Hong Kong. Robert Joe begins to explore the truth.
Robert Joe meets his local fixer, Tammie Tsang. Tammie takes him to a store, where there is a woman who is said to have "the sixth sense". The woman tells RJ that she has a constant flow of customers everyday. She also helps RJ to understand that the population here are still superstitious: they believe in ghosts, and those ghosts are the deceased generations.
So our fearless urban explorer takes a taxi to the haunted school. Surprisingly, the taxi driver was once a student at Tat Tak school. He tells that there was no ghost rumors surrounding the school when he was studying there. Since it was abandoned, stories began to come out of the ordinary. Even the road besides the school is said to have many ghostly figures.Finally RJ arrives at the vacated primary school of Tat Tak. He explores the inside. It turns out that where Ricky saw a man squatting was once a gym. And during the visitation, he finds eerie anomalies: strange graffiti, hollow books, metal cells,...
The second storyEdit
Back to the investigation room, Robert Joe finds out that the cells are fake. A film called Chaos was filmed here in 2008, and the school was a movie set.
But he still doesn't know why the school is abandoned. Then Tammie, the local fixer, tells him that she found the most recent principal of Tat Tak school. But when they come to his house, there was nobody there, and the neighbours don't allow the crew to film. So RJ asks another neighbour. This man agrees to be filmed, and he tells Robert Joe to ask Mr. Fat, someone who makes candles.
Mr Fat turns out to be the principal's brother. He answers that Tat Tak was not enough to contain many students from Ping Shan village. So they moved to Yuen Long School. And Tat Tak was abandoned since then.
So it's a dead end for Robert Joe. He reviews Ricky's testimony and gets another clue.
"After a few games, it was my team's turn to hide. I decided to hide in the ladies' toilet. Then, I had a feeling of something very close to me. I turned and saw nothing. I felt something wasn't right, so I decided to leave the toilet."RJ heads for Tat Tak school once again. This time, he visits the second floor toilet to get some evidence. There had been a rumor that a teacher of this school committed suicide in the toilet. And here, Robert Joe finds another ghost story.
"There's another story here, on the Web, about a group of 12 kids who actually heard about the stories here. And they decided to sneak in, bravely, at night time. And while they are wondering, all of their squad... they saw a figure of a lady in red through the windows.
On the way out, one of the girls just started freaking out, acting really strange, screaming, choking herself and attacking her friends. And they had to take her away on a gurney. And later when she came to an interview, she said that she had visions of people killing themselves, committing suicides. And it turns out that there were rumors of a teacher at this school who'd killed herself in one of the bathrooms."
According to the article, there are tombs behind the school. Robert Joe decides to take a look at them, and sends pictures to Tammie, so she could translate the names on the tombstones for him. He wonders, if the account of a teacher committing suicide is true, so was she buried here, in this scary graveyard?
Robert Joe sends his question to the Hong Kong Police Department. Then he gets his answer: no reports of a suicide in Tat Tak School. So maybe the lady in red was based on Chinese beliefs in the afterlife, or even she was imagined by some "genius" kids.
He comes to Sheung Wan, Hong Kong to meet Joseph Bosco, a professor who studies the local folklore for years. He answers that the story of a teacher committing suicide after being raped could very well be a story made out of fiction, just to fit in the perfect setting at Tat Tak School.
After that, he gets a message from Tammie. She tells him a shocking revelation: the graveyard that he visited belongs to an ancient clan: Tang.So he decides to go deep into the history of this Tang clan. He meets Mr. Fat, who is also a Tang member. They meet near a historic monument, where there are four cannons pointing to the sea. He gives RJ some knowledge. And the most important of all:
"They (the cannons) were last used when we were fighting against the British. They wanted to claim these lands so the villagers took up arms to stop them.This is a page from an accounts book, the Tangs bought 4 cannons 400 years ago. On March 13, the Tang Clan spent $3,695 buying cannons during the Shunzhi era. All these cannons were to be used against pirates."
Robert Joe wants to understand more about this war. So he comes to a local museum, but there is no signs of a war between the Tang clan and the British here in the museum. Could this war be another unreal event?
In Hong Kong Public Records Building, RJ reads a document from the British. This document reports that there was a forgotten war ignited due to British expansion after Chinese sold Hong Kong for British in 1842.
He wants to know more. He meets Tang Shing Sze, who wrote a history book about the war. His book mentioned the war as "The Six-Day War", and told that more than 2500 people from nearby villages took part. And the supports for the battle came from Tang Clan. But they lost the battle. And Sze's son tells Robert Joe that the dead soldiers are buried in Kam Tin.
But this book also gives RJ a stunning clue. In the British document, it reported: no casualties. But in Sze's book, there are more than 170 deaths in Ping Shan. So, was there a cover-up?A British historian, Dr. Hase, agrees to talk to Robert Joe. Hase tells that the war was caused by a misunderstanding from the villagers: the British just wanted to make good relationships with their people, but the villagers thought that British governors were tyrants and those governors were about to cause endless evil. In the aftermath, Hong Kong governor Henry Blake decided to forget everything about the war.
Almost every mystery is solved, except for one. Chinese believe that the dead ancestors who are not remembered and honored will cause sufferings to the living people. So there have to be somewhere to honor those forgotten deaths.
Joseph Bosco agrees to meet Robert Joe again. This time, in the Temple of One Hundred Names, where the tablets of the deaths whose family didn't recognize them or forget them would be put in.
"The Ping Shan story had so many elements: Mystery, Political cover-ups, Ancient beliefs. The abandoned primary school had gained infamy with all tales of hauntings and ghosts.
But the real story for me, the real mystery, was a century-old war expunged from the official records. Now on the unmarked graves of those forgotten soldiers, the souls of the villagers who fought this secret war could be paid the reverence they deserved."