The Mystery and Myth of Fengmen Village: China’s First Ghost Village

Deep in the outskirts of Qinyang in Henan Province lies Fengmen Village, an eerie, long-abandoned settlement that has been the stuff of whispers and nightmares. The village is often referred to as “China’s first ghost village,” and it’s a moniker that seems to have stuck. A walk through its empty streets and crumbling houses sends shivers down the spine, as if the very air is thick with stories yet untold.

The village became empty in 2007, and it didn’t take long for tales to spread like wildfire. By 2008, the village was a hot topic on internet forums, with many claiming to have had experiences that defy logical explanation. But even before that, Fengmen Village had a history that captured the imagination of those who ventured near it.

In 1963, a man named Lee, along with two friends, visited Fengmen Village for what they thought would be a tranquil art retreat. Their timing was unfortunate—they arrived just as a family had passed away due to a mysterious fever. The funeral rituals of the village included placing the pillows of the deceased in the road. Unaware of this custom, Lee and his friends kicked the pillows aside, unwittingly inviting trouble into their lives.

After arriving, they found that the only place to stay was the recently vacated house of the deceased family. Despite their reservations, they accepted the offer. But from that moment on, their nights were anything but peaceful. The cries of invisible children pierced the silence. All three experienced nightmares featuring haunting faces and eerie occurrences—faces that later seemed to manifest in the waking world. One friend even fainted at the sight of a ghostly face hiding in his wardrobe, an ordeal that left him feverish and shaken.

Years later, in 2011, an adventurous expedition team found themselves lost and stumbled upon Fengmen Village. They, too, were met with unexplained phenomena—mysterious scratches appeared on their skin, and the ground beneath them seemed to shake for no reason. During a return visit, they found that two coffins they had discovered on their first trip had disappeared without a trace, adding another layer of intrigue to the already perplexing village.

Lee and his friends eventually found relief by offering prayers at the graves of the deceased family. They speculated that the village’s labyrinthine layout might be trapping spirits who could find no rest, exacerbated by the lack of religious icons to offer them solace.

Interestingly, a local TV investigation into the ghost stories of Fengmen Village concluded that it was not haunted. However, the testimony of those who’ve had firsthand experiences has many doubting the official narrative. The ongoing debate has only fueled interest in the village, making it a magnet for thrill-seekers and skeptics alike.

And now, there’s talk of constructing a dam near the village, a development that could submerge Fengmen Village underwater. What would become of the tales, the lingering spirits, and the mysteries then? Would they simply become legends told around campfires, or would the restless entities find new ways to make their presence known?

In an era where every corner of the Earth seems to have been explored and explained, Fengmen Village stands as a defiant question mark. It confronts us with the unknown and challenges our assumptions, reminding us that the world is still full of mysteries that we don’t—and perhaps can’t—understand. Whether you’re a skeptic looking to debunk myths or a believer seeking a brush with the supernatural, Fengmen Village offers a tantalizing journey into uncertainty.

It’s hard to say if we’ll ever get to the bottom of what’s really happening in Fengmen Village. With the looming dam project threatening to erase its physical existence, the village may soon exist only in stories and in the memories of those who’ve dared to set foot there. But one thing is certain: its legacy as a place that defies easy answers will live on, captivating our imagination for years to come.