Last year, on Halloween night, Hong Kong police received a phone call from the resident living in the apartment next to ours. He confessed to killing a woman in his apartment. When police arrived they did, in fact, find a woman’s body and evidence of the crime everywhere in plain site. The next day crime scene investigators found a second body in a suitcase on the balcony, murdered a few days prior. This crime, as it would anywhere, created a sensation and was widely covered by the media. It is a notorious happening in Hong Kong, where murders are very uncommon and the crime rate is incredibly low.
Before we rented our apartment we were made aware of the grisly history of the apartment next door and decided it wouldn’t change our decision to rent our place. Many locals, though, are superstitious about apartments where tragic deaths have occurred and would never live in the building, never mind the same floor. There are websites here in Hong Kong, such as this one, dedicated to tracking potentially haunted apartments. As sad as it is, we know what happened had nothing to do with us and doesn’t affect our lives. The apartment is currently vacant; I believe this is because Rurik, the former tenant, is still awaiting trial and the apartment is still considered evidence. I’m not sure though; maybe the landlord just can’t rent it.
When we made the decision to rent our unit and learned about the double murder, I found myself going down a rabbit hole of articles online about the details of the crime and the two sex-workers who were killed. It’s a sad story of two hapless victims and a seriously disturbed killer. I’m sparing you A LOT of details – there is a myriad of seriously gruesome information about this crime. If you’re brave or curious enough, you can read about everything here and it will definitely get you in a creepy Halloween mood.
It wasn’t until some of our friends found out about our proximity to the crime scene that I actually really spent some time peering from our balcony to the one next door. You can’t really see anything (though it’s a bit uncomfortable knowing a body was found there) but there is one strange thing. There are a bunch of rusty marks on the powder coated railing. From everywhere else in the building, this seems like a total anomaly. Especially at night, they look like hand prints. I think they’re bloody hand prints that were never cleaned up and eventually left permanent marks.
What does it mean for us living next door? A few things. When we meet people here in Hong Kong and tell them where we live, many people know it as “The Murder Building”. When we tell them we live next door they kind of freak out a bit. Every day when we get off the elevator, we walk directly toward that door, which is taped off at the top and bottom with masking tape (no idea what this accomplishing). Probably about once a week I lay my hand on the door and wish the two girls peace. That probably sounds strange but I feel like I need to do something to acknowledge what happened there. If I hear any weird noises on the other side of the wall tonight, I am seriously going to freak out. So, on that note, a spooky Halloween to you!