The Minxiong Haunted House (aka Minxiong Ghost House or formally as Liu Family Historical Residence 劉氏古厝) is a popular abandoned mansion in Minxiong Township of Chiayi County, dating back to the Japanese era of Taiwan. Urban legends about the house along with its prominence in the area have made it an attractive place for curious visitors. It has been listed as the number one most popular abandoned house in Taiwan.
The Minxiong Ghost house was originally built by Liu Rong-yu (劉溶裕) in 1929 as a family residence. Liu was a wealthy merchant and land owner in the area, and he is also known as the one of the first truly wealthy people to come out of Taiwan's southern plain. It was built in western baroque style like many other residences of wealthy merchants in Taiwan during the time.
The building was built of brick and lumber, and featured three rooms on each floor, with three main stories and a fourth story tower on the top.
Like many residences in Rurul Taiwan, this one was abandoned as the family wanted to live closer to the city where there was more convenient transportation and likely better job opportunities.
During WWII, part of the building was damaged during American bombing raids.
There is also rumors that someone committed suicide in the house.
After years of typhoons and weathering the elements, most of the roof and wooden parts of the building have collapsed.
A plan was presented by Minxiong Cultural Foundation to restore the building, but these plans were rejected by members of the Liu family, so the building sits abandoned to this day.
Free. But when I went there was an artist asking for donations.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Chiayi take provincial highway 1 north toward Minxiong. Turn west into the rice fields and then right on county road 82. The road leads to the house which sits at the end of a tree covered lot. There is paid parking at the coffee shop next door (or free parking anywhere near the rice fields).
By bus: Take Chiayi Bus 7316A from central Chiayi north until you reach Yiqiao Station (takes about 1 hour). The haunted house is about a 5 minute walk south.
Please see below:
We have been to Minxiong Haunted House once by car, just to see what was out there. It has been a popular place to post on Instagram, and lots of people go there to spook themselves out, look for ghosts, or to enjoy the building's aged beauty.
When you get close you will see this sun washed sign pointing to the haunted house and a coffee shop.
A farmhouse along the way with some murals painted on its wall.
Rice paddies near the haunted house.
So you can park right next to the coffee shop for a fee of 100 NT that can be used to buy a coffee. Or *cough* you can park for free literally anywhere on the side of the road nearby...*cough*
It seems the owners of the shop are eager to earn a buck from the most famous ruin in Taiwan.
The entrance to the haunted house property, perpetually open to the public.
When I went the pathway to the house was muddied over so I had to do some sidestepping in the brush nearby.
More of the trail through the jungle. This is what Taiwan's southern plain would look like if there were no rice fields.
A small shed near the house.
While I was there, and artist stood at the entrance peddling for money. He offered some props to pose with the house for a fee.
View of the front of the house with conspicuous genitals graffiti-ed on the bottom left.
Third floor platform and plaque. The plaque above the balcony reads: "兄弟和樂" meaning "brothers live in harmony." There was another plaque on the fourth story tower that read "以明聖德" which may mean "Achieve sacredness and virtue through enlightenment."
Pile of rubble near the house.
Another view of the shed in front.
All three floors and the roof are completely rotted out. This damage may have started with the American bombing raids and continued with annual typhoons, hot weather, and termites.
View looking up to the center room. You can see the remnants of the fourth floor tower.
More stupid graffiti on the walls inside.
A tree has completely overtaken one part of a wall.
People have scratched in some words on what is left of the outer covering of the walls.
View of the last beam helping to hold up what is left of the fourth floor tower.
More graffiti on the walls.
An empty room on the side of the house.
View on the west side of the house.
Same place facing the first floor. It's hard to get a full view because there are so many trees around the house.
View of the north side of the house.
Another view of the rooms to the south.
Three stories facing the entrance of the house.
Another room filled with leaves.
Northwest corner almost completely covered in mangrove tree.
Another view of the same side of the house further back.
View of the front shed again.
Leafy room again.
Another three storey view.
View of the main room looking up to the sky.
A giant cement ball on the floor, along with some fallen beams. Sorry for the blur.
More rubble on the floor.
A cracked part of the wall that looks like it could fall at any moment.
You might ask yourself, why did Mr. Liu build the Mansion way out in the middle of nowhere? Maybe he liked the peace and quite, but ultimately it proved to be the house's doom.
First, being out in the open made it an easy target for American bombers during WWII.
Second, being away from the city center made it inconvenient for his children and grand children to continue to live there. I assume many of them would pursue higher education, so living in the middle of farm country was not part of their life plan.
Actually, many houses like this are abandoned and forgotten in rural Taiwan. I wrote a blog about my own wife's family's ancestral home that lies abandoned in Yunlin county in a post here. It seems like most of these houses were abandoned in the late 1900s when most Taiwanese started moving to cities where there was more job opportunities. When subject to the elements, these old farm houses that rely on wooden beams to hold up the roof and floors rot quickly due to termites and can collapse due to Typhoons if not maintained.
For some more beautiful pictures of this place, check out this blog by Spectral Codex.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our posts on Chiayi!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.