Haunted Apartments in Hong Kong

Travel writer Daisann McLane (whose Ghosts of Hong Kong article won the 2011 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold prize) recently tweeted about how realtors in Hong Kong list apartments where people died, mostly by suicide. I just read through a page. I noticed that a lot of them killed themselves by “burning charcoal,” which I’ve never heard of. According to Wikipedia burning charcoal in a small, closed room is a popular method of killing yourself because it’s supposedly painless (although it might not be). Oh, the method was invented in Hong Kong!

“In order to prevent charcoal burning, the Hong Kong Government replaced the traditional countryside charcoal barbecue with an electric grill. Some non-government organizations worked with charcoal retailers to promote the message of “treasure your life” by putting “seek help” labels on the charcoal bags.”

Here is a sample:

“Young female texted and asked her boyfriend to meet her but he sent his sister instead. Victim jumped off the building in front of the sister.”

“99 years old male jumped off the building with no clothes while his wife went to the washroom.”

“Primary school teacher who broke up with her boyfriend, jumped off the building with a thick make-up.”

“Angry male chopped his ex-lover and jumped off the building.”

You can read more here.

A pawn shop on 14th Street. Lately I’ve become fascinated with pawn shops. The next step is actually going in one, but for some reason they also frighten me so I’m working myself up for it.

Pawn Shop, 14th Street, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

3 thoughts on “Haunted Apartments in Hong Kong

  1. Brad Delp, the lead singer for the rock group “Boston”, committed suicide using a charcoal grill that way:

    In the United States those kind of listings would be considered ghoulish, but its a different culture, with a different perspective on suicide. Another example of that may be the “suicide forest” in Japan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aokigahara#Visitors_and_suicides
    (fair warning: a number of articles on Aokigahara feature photos of skulls and other artifacts of the victims, so the squeamish may want to think twice before clicking on the page’s external links. The Wikipedia page is text only.)

  2. Do you remember the 80s pop group, INXS? They had some really big hits! Anyway, the lead singer was going to make a big come-back, but the night before his first concert, he jumped off a skyscraper in Australia!

    Of course, you know what happened to Michael Jackson and the latest, Whitney Houston — not defined as suicide, but still…

    Suicide has always somewhat intrigued me…especially the methods. So your post was interesting!

  3. You should get the book “Or Not to Be: A Collection of Suicide Notes.” Sad, but so compelling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap