Nam Koo Terrace, known as the Wan Chai Haunted House, has stood abandoned for the past twenty years. It is known for being one of Hong Kongs most haunted locations. Its reputation went national after several students fled the building, with three needing psychiatric treatment. Colloquially referred to as a Haunted House, the mansion has been attached with a certain conjectural element of mystery and esoteric connotation.
The ghosts of women, who are said to have died in the time Nam Koo Terrace allegedly served as a Japanese military brothel; are claimed to have been witnessed at several different points in the building. Accounts of hearing cries and screams from these said comfort women, have long been circulated by the supernatural rumour mill and have subsequently furthered Nam Koo Terraces reputation for being a place of paranormal interest.
The two-storey red brick building was built in c.1915-1921 and owned by a wealthy Shanghai merchant family by the name of To . Prominent Hong Kong businessman To Chun-man first leased the land lot where the building now stands in 1915. At this stage To Chun-man held the position of Chief Chinese Silks Salesman for Wing On Company Limited , although he was later promoted to Assistant Manager .
He also held several posts in various community committees including that of Secretary for the Commercial Chamber of The Heung Shan District , and was a member of The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.
Nam Koo Terrace continued to remain under the ownership of the To family until 1988, when the property was sold to YUBA Co. Ltd.
Hopewell Holdings took over ownership of the building in 1993, which was initially acquired to be demolished in order to make way for their Mega Tower hotel project . However, the site has stood vacant since then; despite the fact that the company’s development proposal gained Government approval in 1994. While Hopewell Holdings remains the current proprietor of Nam Koo Terrace; recent public announcements indicate that their intentions have now shifted to the preservation of this historical site but does not have any concrete plans announced since 2008
People have also reported seeing ghostly flames in the house. However, as Nam Koo Terrace was frequented often by Hong Kongs squatting community, these apparitions were most likely the result of actual fires lit by local vagrants using the site for shelter. On the 30th of November 2003, Oriental Daily, as well as many other local Hong Kong newspapers; covered a story about a group of eight middle school students who attempted to stay overnight on the Nam Koo Terrace property. It was said the students wanted to catch a glimpse of the supernatural ghosts that have long been rumoured to reside in the historical building.
According to the report, three of the female students were seen to have become emotionally unstable, claiming to have been assailed by a ghostly visitant. Later, police sent the three girls to hospital to receive psychiatric treatment. In the days following, local people in Hong Kong thronged to Nam Koo Terrace en masse and the house continued to dominate the headlines of daily newspapers for some time.
November 2003, a group of eight middle school students decided to visit the local areas haunted location. Their plan was to stay the night, in the hopes of getting a glimpse of one of the resident spirits.
Their hopes high for a night of mystery and intrigue, in a few steps undoubtedly turned to uncertainty, as they crossed the threshold into Nam Koo Terrace. It is said a feeling of appalling loneliness that is also confusingly felt alongside the feeling of a crowded space, hits those who enter the property.
That night the students set up their small camp in one of the empty rooms, and decided to attempt to contact the spirits through their version of a ouija board. It was during this session that three of the girls in the group became agitated, their minds filling with terrible images.
One of the girls then completely flipped and became psychotic
The students fled the building, but as they made it to the gate, the girl who had been most affected took on a strange persona and would not step off the property. It was at this stage the other two girls affected during the ouija session heard a male voice calling them to the second floor.
The police were called, and when they tried to forcefully remove the girl, she snapped and attacked them. It took both police officers to remove the girl and she was sent off to a hospital for psychiatric assessment and treatment, along with two of the other students who were emotionally affected by the nights activities.
It was during this period that the legends began starting with tales of local women being taken to the ‘comfort house’ to be repeatedly raped by the Japanese soldiers, before being tortured and killed. Many of these women were said to have been decapitated by the soldiers, before being dumped, to be found by their friends and relatives.
Nam Koo Terrace is also known as a suicide house, a location where people come to end their own lives. As recently as 2010 bodies have been recovered from the rooms of the house, or cut down from the branches of the gardens trees. It is not known how many people have ended their lives in the house, but estimates put it at higher than 30.
Murder is also said to have taken place on the grounds several times.