Haunted House revels in new home

Haunted House revels in new home

The historic Victorian-era Murray House is thriving since it was moved from its original Central site to Stanley's seaside

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Graham sits on a bench next to Murray House.
Graham sits on a bench next to Murray House.
Photo: Bobbo Liu Ho-yee
Murray House has a haunted history. The Victorian-era building, which today stands in Stanley, has been officially exorcised twice by Hong Kong's government because of fears that it is haunted.

Originally the former British colonial building stood in Central. In the second world war, during the occupation of Hong Kong from 1941-45, it was used as the headquarters of the Japanese military police. A number of Hongkongers were executed there.

Reports of ghosts in the three-storey building followed, leading to the exorcisms between 1960 and 1970. It was believed that a headless ghost lurked in one of the washrooms, and eerie typing sounds were heard.

Murray House is one of the oldest surviving public buildings in Hong Kong. It was first built in 1844 as officers' quarters of the Murray Barracks and named after Sir George Murray, a British soldier and politician. The architectural design of Murray House combines eastern and Western styles. It features a granite facade with pillars, a Chinese-style red roof and elegant verandahs.

The building's appeal ensured that it survived the relentless pressure of bulldozers to redevelop Central's business area in the early 1980s. It was dismantled in 1982 to make way for the Bank of China Tower. More than 3,000 pieces were labelled and stored. It was restored in 1998 in Stanley and reopened in 2002. Today it houses the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, restaurants and cafes.

"I have been to this place numerous times just because I love it," says Graham, 64, a frequent visitor to the old building. "The building itself is fantastic and beautiful."

This is the fifth in the six best Heritage Detective series covers written by Hong Kong students. This week's Inheritage School Team is from Good Hope School, Kowloon

Team: Bobbo Liu Ho-yee (leader/photographer); Pearl Wong Hiu-ching (editor); Pamela Ho Wing-ki, Rachel Wong Yan-kei, Joyce Fung Lok-sze (writers)

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