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40% of Taiwanese report 'strange encounters' at work during Ghost Month

31% admitted they ‘don’t dare’ work overtime alone at their company during the festival

Lights shine from empty offices. 

Lights shine from empty offices.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Survey results reveal 40% of Taiwanese workers had strange encounters while working overtime alone in the office during Ghost Month.

The survey by yes123 was completed by over 1,200 professionals. It found 30% said they would routinely consult the Lunar Calendar while scheduling tasks to avoid inauspicious days during this time of heightened supernatural activity, according to a UDN report.

Of those who reported experiencing strange encounters, the most common were:

  • "Eerie sound emanating from the office corner” (70.3%)
  • "Felt a shadow flash in the office corner” (51%)
  • "Heard footsteps approaching, but saw no one” (37.4%)
  • "Office lights flashing on and off” (33.6%)
  • "Office window suddenly opened on its own” (28.2%)

Some also reported:

  • “Hearing a flush when sitting on the office toilet” (25.9%)
  • “Silence after answering the office phone” (17.9%)
  • "Elevator stopping on office building floors without anyone who had called it” (9.2%).

On the whole, 31% of office workers admitted they didn't dare work overtime alone at their company during Ghost Month.

For companies looking to purge their office of unwanted ominous activity and conduct business as usual, holding a traditional “Pudu” (普渡) ceremony to show respect for the spirits and make food offerings is considered the obvious choice.

According to the survey, 85.8% of companies said they planned to hold a Pudu this year, with the the average amount being spent roughly NT$4,462 (US$160).