Photo courtesy of Newman Tours
Where: Jing’an Temple, Paramount Theatre, Jing’an Park
When: Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Ghost Tour 7:00pm-9:00pm, Ghost Festival Dinner 9:00pm-10:30pm
Cost:Full Tour (including Ghost Festival Dinner): Adults 230 RMB, Students 170 RMB, Children (under 16) 130 RMB, Family (2 Adults, 2 Children) 620 RMB. Tour Only: Adults 120 RMB, Students 90 RMB, Children (under 16) 70 RMB
The tour kicked off at Jing’an Temple and then headed over to the once decadent Paramount Theatre. According to tour guide Daniel Newman, a female dancer haunts the dance floor, and a poltergeist throws heavy objects down on passers-by from nearby scaffolding.
Also featured on the trail was the story of the Yanan Xi Lu dragon, who had apparently got in the way of construction workers drilling a column on the highway. Legend has it a monk was called to politely ask the dragon to move, who eventually did, and construction was finally a success (though the monk apparently dropped dead afterward. Talk about karma.)
Curious Shanghaiisters outside Jing’an Temple. Photo courtesy of Newman Tours
Before an optional Ghost Festival Dinner at nearby Buddhist restaurant Elite Constellations, the trail climaxed in Jing’an Park, home to an alleged Tree Spirit, a lake infested with Water Ghosts, anda cave thought to be the location of the famous Jing’an Bubbling Well. Finally, we were deemed skillful enough to light lanterns and send them into the Shanghai night sky, and not one swerved into the surrounding trees – success!
Although, disappointingly, Newman admitted to fabricating several of the poltergeists featured on the tour, the evening’s trail is family-friendly and comprehensive. Plus, if tales of the occult don’t tempt you, Newman Tours also offer bespoke trails and guides of the Bund and the French Concession. Check their website for details or call +86 138 1777 0229.