Being a city that never sleeps, it is normal for visitors to expect a variety of nightlife in Macao. We do, of course, already have a large number of 24-hour entertainment complexes for gaming-focused tourists, but what about visitors here for cultural tourism? Well, how about historical heritage tour by day and ghost tour by night?
The London Ghost Tour or Haunted Walks in Old London have long attracted tourists and lovers of vampire novels. Around the world, there are many tourist attractions that have evolved from eerie stories like the “Haunted Walk of Toronto,” “Ghost Tour of Historic Haunted Philadelphia,” and Australia’s the “Rocks Ghost Tours,” to name a few. At a gathering which became a sharing of childhood ghost stories, I realised there are a lot of ghost sightings and haunted spots in Macau. So why not develop a Haunted Historical Route of Macao for an evening walk?
I would suggest beginning the walk from our landmark, the Ruins of St. Paul. Behind the Ruins is a haunted alley, Calçada do Amparo, which was referred to as the “Cannibal Alley” in the old days. During the Anti-Japanese War, overweight people were seen entering the alley never to return. At that time, Macao was faced with a shortage of food, and rumor had it that a Macao version of a Sweeney Todd figure kidnapped fat people and sold their meat in the market to make money. Another rumor was that people were kidnapped and locked in a house in the alley which then burnt down in a large fire. Whichever story the rumor came from, people walking along this alley in the dark have been known to hear crying.
From behind the Ruins of St. Paul, via Camões Garden, you can get to Estrada do Repouso, one of the most haunted streets in Macao where the Kiang Wu hospital stands. Before the hospital was built, the land was filled with the bones of poor people whose families had no money to bury them. One story was that when the government approved the building of a hospital in the area, a large number of workers were recruited to dig up all the bones and put them in a coffin to relocate the graves. But the coffin could not be moved no matter how many men pulled their strength. Even now, the road is still believed to be roaming with spirits.
Next stop, Tap Sac Square. It may be hard to imagine by day that the bright open square is another haunted site. The area was believed to be another site filled with the bones of abandoned bodies. After the Second World War, the area was planned to be used for residential buildings. However, due to a large number of accidents and ghost sightings that scared away construction workers, the premises were never built. Because of the area’s dark past, it had to be kept opened to absorb as much sunshine as possible in the day. But sometimes, around the hidden corners, one may still see a spirit or two trying to scare away intruders.
Finally, going uphill, the walk can take visitors to the most well-known haunted spot: Guia Hill. A night stroll around the dim lighted hill is chilling enough without mentioning that many people claim to have seen ghosts while jogging after sundown. It is said that if you go running at Guia Hill at night, never turn your head around, no matter what you hear from behind you. If you do, you may see a group of hungry ghosts chasing you. Well, there are more sites to add and perhaps a Ghost Tour may contribute to other cultural areas in Macao.