the ghost bus of Beijing

This week I got my students to tell me stories about mysteries. Two separate students in two separate classes on two separate days both whipped out their cellphones and Baidu’ed them up an old story they obviously knew about, but couldn’t remember all the details of. Here it is, based on my memory of what these two students told me:

One night back in 1995, the last bus of the night left Yuanmingyuan bus station bound for Xiangshan. It picked up a few people, including an elderly couple and a young man. It was an unusually quiet night with very few people around. Then three people were seen waiting for the bus, but the elderly couple noticed something odd – these three people had no feet, they were floating there. So they told the young man, “Hey, those are three ghosts waiting for the bus, let’s get out of here”, and they and the young man got off the bus. The bus went on its way.

The next morning the bus was found in the Miyun Reservoir with three people dead on board. Nobody could figure out how it got from its bus route from Yuanmingyuan to Xiangshan on the northwestern fringe of Beijing to the Miyun Reservoir in the far northeastern rural exurbs.

Now, I suppose I could get on Baidu and rustle up some more details and figure out how much factual basis there is to this – was there really a bus in 1995 that was fished out of a reservoir far from where it was supposed to be? Is the mystery really unsolved? But my daughter is probably going to wake up soon and we’re home alone, so I thought I’d just put it out there, let whoever reads it make their own decision.

About the Author


A Kiwi teaching English to oil workers in Beijing, studying Chinese in my spare time, married to a beautiful Beijing lass, consuming vast quantities of green tea (usually Xihu Longjing/西湖龙井, if that means anything to you), eating good food (except for when I cook), missing good Kiwi ale, breathing smog, generally living as best I can outside Godzone and having a good time of it.

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