In the Tang dynasty, a man who lived in Chang’an died suddenly one day, leaving his wife and 11-year-old son.
His son had been having nightmares ever since his father died. He kept seeing something outside the window in his room. Was he dreaming? Or was it real life? At midnight, an old man in white with a green face and ferocious fangs entered the room. The old man looked around the room silently, and then walked close to the bedside. A maid was sleeping with her head on the edge of the child’s bed. The man seized the maid by the neck and ripped off her clothes, nibbling her flesh until her bones were exposed. Then he began to eat her internal organs. The son was awakened by the sound. Seeing the terrible scene, he could not speak for a while.
It was a long time before the screams came from the room. Hearing the sound, the mother hurried into the room. All that was left was her son, the bones, and the maid’s ripped clothes.
A few months passed. One day, the boy’s mother held a memorial ceremony for her husband. It was dusk when the ceremony ended. She sat on the ground and enjoyed the cool air. A wasp flew towards the woman and circled her. She slapped the wasp with her fan to the ground. However, when she looked at the ground, all she could see was a walnut. She picked it up and examined it. While she was scrutinizing it, she noticed the walnut was growing slowly –first, it was as big as a fist, then a saucer. At last, it was as big as a millstone and it divided into two shells, spinning rapidly in the air, making a wasp’s sound.
Without warning, the walnut enveloped her head, squeezing and cutting into her neck as it span. Her teeth popped out and hung on a tree nearby, the flesh and blood still clinging to them. The walnut flew away. No one knew what kind of monster it was.
Strange Chinese Stories
walnut ceiling fan