At the intersection of Chienkuo Rd and Wenhua St in Yunlin County’s Dounan Township, you will see a yellow real estate sign which, upon a closer gander, one will notice is a sign for a haunted house for sale. On the sign, it also says that in the area where the house is located there is a hypermarket and other convenient facilities, and the asking price is NT$1.88 million
(US$63,596), making the house a local topic of discussion.
The real estate agent trying to sell the house, surnamed Wu, says that it is located behind the Dounan Train Station and that the current owner purchased the house at a bargain during a public auction four years ago. No one has lived in the house since the owner renovated it, and after trying to sell the house himself for more than a year he decided to hire the real estate agency to sell it. The agency conducted an investigation of the property rights of the house, including searching haunted house Web sites and police records, but never found any criminal record that mentioned the house.
Wu says that even though the house is located behind the train station, transportation is convenient and it is close to the town center. With around 30 ping (99m2), the multistory housing complex is approximately 30 years old, and the living environment is good, but has still not been sold. Everyone spoke evasively when he asked people living in the neighborhood what was going on, but he finally learned that more than a decade ago a man committed suicide in the house. The owner of the house was also shocked to learn that the house was haunted after the real estate agent told him.
People living in the area said that more than 10 years ago the owner of the house rented it to a mother and her son, who was serving in the military and for reasons unknown killed himself in the house one day while on furlough. After the heartbroken mother moved out, the owner leased the house to a father and son, who did not live there very long before moving out. For unknown reasons, the house was eventually put to public auction and remained empty for quite a while. The current owner apparently bought the house several years ago in a public auction.
1. gander n.
一眼；一瞥 (yi4 yan3; yi4 pie1)
例: Everyone in the restaurant turned to take a gander at the arguing couple.
2. auction n.
拍賣 (pai1 mai4)
例: She sold her car by auction.
3. suicide n.
自殺 (zi4 sha1)
例: South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.
Haunted houses are a taboo for most people, Wu says, but some people actually go out of their way to buy haunted houses. As a broker, Wu must let potential buyers know that the house is allegedly haunted, so he decided to be forthright, doing the opposite of what is usually done, and write that the house was haunted on the for-sale signage, letting potential buyers know that the house for sale is haunted, honing in on a target market and saving a lot of trouble in the process.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)