tuen mun road hong kong

This is Tuen Mun Road, part of the New Territories Ring road complex which circumnavigates the former British colony of Hong Kong. It may look like a normal busy highway in China–and it is–but this road is infamous in local folklore for being haunted, supposedly by the spirits of victims of the staggering number of car crashes that have occurred here since the road was built in the 1970s.

The worst accident to occur here happened on July 10, 2003, when a truck lost control and crashed into a passenger bus, which then barreled through the guardrails, over the embankment and down a 115-foot cliff below. The crash killed 21 people including the bus driver and was the deadliest single road incident in Hong Kong history. But that’s only the beginning. As you can see from the Google Earth shot above, the road is narrow and treacherous, and most drivers probably take it far too fast. Hundreds of crashes have occurred here in the past 35 years. I could not come up with a figure of how many deaths have happened on the Tuen Mun Road, but it’s got to be a pretty horrifying casualty count.

Local folklore has it that many crashes are caused by ghosts. Supposedly ghosts of previous crashes appear in the middle of the road, causing drivers to swerve to avoid them–and thus causing more crashes. There’s no way you can verify this sort of thing, but that’s the legend, anyway.

I’d love to visit Hong Kong someday, but I think I’ll tell my cab driver to take a different route.