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Unseen Matchmaker

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What was the ghost?
Mass hallucination
 0%  [ 0 ]
Prank gone wrong
 0%  [ 0 ]
 0%  [ 0 ]
Conspiracy to overthrow the priest
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 0

1414848.  Mon Jul 11, 2022 3:22 pm Reply with quote

In 1924 in the district of Haicang, now completely included in the city of Xiamen (Amoy), a voice was heard by the deacon of the local Protestant church, which introduced itself as Lin Shutai, a preacher who served in the said church, who at that point has been dead for about a decade. The ghost proved itself by first inflicting injuries on and then healing the deacon's niece's hands.

The voice continued to manifest itself to the members of the parish, claiming to be a messenger from God. Convinced of its power, local residents and pilgrims sought the voice's advice and the voice acted as a matchmaker to arrange marriages in the parish.

Science communicators travelling around China C.H. Robertson and Dr Huang Hesheng travelled to Haicang trying to disprove the existence of the voice, but could not work out how the trick was done.

The voice and the parish priest developed a conflict, after the ghost accused the priest of corruption as well as suggested matches between people who were already married. The congregation split into two, the followers of the voice started a rival prayer group on a hill near the church.

The situation ended, when Xu Chuncao, an elder from another Protestant church in the area, first appointed an investigative committee intending to 'sue' the voice and force him to defend his accusations about the parish priest, and then travelled to Haicang in December 1928 to exorcise the ghost. An account of his exorcism was published in 1930 in order to communicate the fact that the voice was gone.

Chris White, scholar of Chinese Protestantism, has a very exciting chapter on this topic in an edited volume on Protestantism in Xiamen.

I thought it was a funny story.

Ana Akulich

1414856.  Mon Jul 11, 2022 4:44 pm Reply with quote

Can't vote on this as there is insufficient information to form an opinion - reminds me of the cargo cults

1414960.  Wed Jul 13, 2022 9:53 am Reply with quote

Hi Ana and welcome :-)

Yes it's an interesting story but not really something to vote on!

1415129.  Sat Jul 16, 2022 12:29 pm Reply with quote

Hi, Bob!
It is an interesting comparison and certainly an analogy, I would assume, the science communicators who came to explain the nature of the trick would appreciate.
Yet, I think it is interesting that they were unsuccessful. It is also not that much unlike the weird spiritualist and revivalist tendencies that were happening around Europe and in North America at the time. Though this time it was articulated through the prism of both Christianity and Chinese folk beliefs (and their particular concern with matchmaking).

1415166.  Sun Jul 17, 2022 9:51 am Reply with quote

If it was a ghost, it seems to have been a decidedly mischievous one.


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