The Haunting of Beijing's Metro Line 1

By Matthew Bossons, October 22, 2020

4 0

Tales from the Chinese Crypt is a regular web column exploring bizarre and creepy stories from across China.

To tell this tale, we turn the clocks back to 1965, when Beijing’s Metro Line 1 began construction. According to a narrative from Xu Ziqian in a 2013 Global Times article, the early phases of the subway’s construction were mired with problems, including “dangerous accidents” and broken equipment. As urban legend would have it, these issues were the result of vengeful homeless souls whose graves were destroyed while building the metro line.

In an effort to oust or appease these bitter spirits, monks were allegedly brought in to conduct ceremonies aimed at securing the blessing of the now restless ghosts (cue the Ghostbusters theme). The monks, in an effort to pacify the restless souls, promised the spirits that the metro would close before 11pm – since 11pm to 1am is the dead’s time of rest (who knew?), according to the Global Times

The monks also promised the souls that after the subway closed and all the passengers had left, the trains would do one last lap to return the dead to their proper resting places.

READ MORE: Tales from the Chinese Crypt: 1981's Eerie Sky Spiral

According to the story, the remainder of Line 1’s construction went smoothly and no further issues were encountered.

Those who believe this tale point out that Beijing is an ancient city with evidence of paleolithic human habitation dating back 27,000 years, so it is more than likely that human remains were disturbed at some point during the subway’s construction.

Line 1 also services the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery – a slightly eerie connection.

The main problem with this story, however, is that most (if not all) metro lines in Beijing now close after 11pm and the last train arrives at Line 1’s Pingguoyuan station at 12.11am most nights

Much like our previous Beijing-related ‘Tales from the Chinese Crypt’ article, Beijing’s Ghost Bus, this spine-chilling story seems to us to be simply that: a story. What That’s can confirm though, is that Beijing Metro Line 1 is home to two phantom metro stations – Gaojing and Fushouling – both of which are off-limits to the commuting public...

READ MORE: Tales From the Chinese Crypt: 4 More Strange Cryptids


This article was originally published on Thatsmags.com in 2016. It has been updated and republished on October 22, 2020.

Enjoy this story? Click here for more Tales from the Chinese Crypt.

[Cover image via Sogou]

more news

This Day in History: The 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

A look back at the first ever Olympics to be hosted in China.

Beijing's An Yu on Her Debut Novel 'Braised Pork' and Her Inspiration

We hear from An Yu about her fantastic novel and the inspiration behind her work.

Beijing F&B Could Take 6 Months to Recover from Coronavirus: Ignace Lecleir

Ignace Lecleir runs the TRB Hospitality Group, which consists of four restaurants: TRB Hutong, TRB Forbidden City, Hulu by TRB and Merci French Food TRB.

Generation Gap: On Beijing Daxing International Airport

‘Generation Gap’ is a monthly series where we talk to two Beijingers from two different generations.

Getting Moderately Deep With... An Assistant Chef at a Beijing Duck Restaurant

In our monthly series 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' we ask a food vendor tough questions. Well, sort-of tough.

Explainer: Why Beijing Gets Central Heating Yet the South is Left in the Cold

When the ancient Huai River-Qin Mountains Line and the days of central planning combine...

Lonely Hearts Club: Tales of 21st Century Love in China

We look at some of the contemporary faces of modern-day romance in China.

I'm an Asylum Seeker Living in Beijing. Here's What My Life is Like

The following is a first-hand account of seeking asylum in Beijing.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsGuangzhou for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Guangzhou With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's PRD!

Visit the archives