Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Haunted House App

Slate is reporting today that if you happen to live in Hong Kong and are looking for a haunted house, a new app might be just the thing. The app is called Spacious, and it uses a public database of murders, suicides, and so forth to identify places that might be haunted - not for paranormal research purposes, but to save money.

According to the story, Chinese people generally don’t want to live in places where people have died “out of a deep cultural fear of ghosts,” so they tend to sell for less. But “the city’s expatriates—not to mention Hong Kong’s new generation—aren’t usually bothered by living in haunted houses.”

Now spacious.hk’s new app makes it easier than ever for ghost-friendly tenants to find these haunted properties and score housing on the cheap.

Motherboard said that when a user opens the app, “listings pop up on the screen.” The user can also check a specific apartment building—if some sort of chilling event has happened there, spacious.hk’s “friendly ghost icon” will appear. Tapping on the listing reveals details about the apartment and explains why—murder, suicide, etc.—it’s selling for a lower price.

Nobody has built anything similar here in the states, and it would be very interesting to see how well it would work. Americans claim not to believe in ghosts for the most part, but it is also true that from time to time I do see properties come up that are well-known haunted place and they generally sell for less. How much less compared to in Hong Kong, that I don't know.

I've often commented that I would love to live in a haunted house. It isn't that I necessarily like being scared or anything like that, but I'm a magical researcher. In a genuine, honest-to-goodness haunted house the opportunities for experimentation are hard to resist. According to the quantum information model that I use, a sapient ghost is basically the same thing as a spirit, just one that happens to be bound to a particular place on the material plane.

Both of the houses that I've owned were built in the 1800's, the first in 1889 and the second in 1886. But I've never come across anything like a legitimate haunting in either. There were some stories about supposed weirdness from the folks I bought my current house from, but nothing unexpected and interesting has happened there since I moved in. Maybe practicing magick chases the ghosts off, or something like that.

At any rate, if I were looking for a house in Hong Kong, you can bet I would download this and get to work. Since most murders and suicides don't produce ghosts, I would probably have to check out a bunch of places to identify one with the right paranormal characteristics - but finding one would be totally worth it.

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1 comment:

Edan said...

Even for a cosmopolitan city with centuries of British influence, thinking in Hong Kong (like a lot of other colonised communities, actually) is still very much tied to Chinese traditional folk worldviews, among them being a very strong animism and the primacy of spirits and the notion of 'energies', which are partly shared by other East Asian countries, e.g. Japan. The omnipresence of shrines and altars to genii loci (usually represented by a little bald man called To Dei Kung, literally 'lord of the earth/ground') pretty much demonstrates that.

I can testify that Hong Kongers can and do get quite superstitious about places which have witnessed a death of some sort - although, of course, this isn't unique to Chinese belief - and murders and suicides in particular rank high on the list of things that will leave behind a significantly negative woo-woo signature.

My dad comes from this small island off the Hong Kong mainland called Cheung Chau, and down by a stretch of the beach called Tungwan (East Bay) there are a series of holiday chalets that are notorious for having been a very popular site for suicides by carbon monoxide poisoning (charcoal burning in an enclosed space) a couple of decades ago. They're rumoured to be incredibly haunted, although granted it's become more of a running joke (if usually whispered in a low, ominous voice) these days.

That aside, though, geomancy (as in feng shui, not dots) is still very much built into the way we like to think of our dwellings (especially if we're going to pay for it), and better to spend more on something clean than less on something a little tainted with the energy of some tragedy.