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The Jumper And The Gap-toothed Old Lady


I'm going to relate two experiences which have both had me very shaken. They are both 100% true.

I am a 32 year-old Englishman who lives and works in Beijing, China. About 5 months back I moved in with my Chinese girlfriend at her flat on the 36th floor of a high rise block. The building is part of a gated neighbourhood which has several high rise buildings in close proximity. Our building is the tallest and from the windows of our living room, kitchen and study we can clearly see the rooftops of the buildings opposite. It is quite usual to see people walking about on the rooftops, smoking cigarettes or exercising, that kind of thing.

About 3 weeks after I had moved in, I was in the kitchen washing the dishes after lunch and I happened to glance out of the window. I did a double take when I saw a man standing dangerously close to the edge of one of the buildings opposite. I can still recall clearly that he was wearing a white t-shirt and black trousers, which with hindsight seems unusual as Beijing at that time of year is far too cold to be wearing only a t-shirt. He seemed to be in some distress and I opened the kitchen window to shout at him to get away from the edge, but before I could do so the man jumped from the rooftop.

I ran into the living room and told my girlfriend what had happened and we both quickly ran to the lift in a panic and went down to the ground floor, expecting to see a gruesome scene with people panicking and police and ambulances having been called. Instead, we found there was nothing that we expected - no body, no panic, nothing needing our help at all. There were people walking around calmly going about their day. It was as if the whole thing had never happened. My girlfriend was angry at me afterwards because she thought I was playing a joke on her, but I know what I saw. All I can think now is, did I see a ghost? It might sound silly but from that day on I have tried to avoid looking out of the window whenever I'm in the kitchen.

As if that wasn't creepy enough, a few weeks after the 'jumper' incident, I was taking the lift down to the ground floor to go to work. As I mentioned, I live on the 36th floor, which is the top floor of the building. When the lift got to the 21st floor, it stopped and the doors opened. A little old lady walked in. She was short, I'd guess no more than 5 ft tall, and wearing typical clothes for an old Chinese lady. There was nothing spooky or ghostly about her. As she entered the lift, she looked up and gave me a big, open-mouthed grin. I noticed several of her teeth were missing. I smiled back at her, and the doors closed and the lift carried on going down. The lift next stopped at the 18th floor, and the doors opened again, but there was nobody there waiting to get in. When I looked around, the old woman had vanished! I know I didn't imagine her and I am certain she hadn't got out of the lift without me noticing.

Given how she reacted to the 'jumper', I didn't tell my girlfriend about this incident and in fact this is the first time I'm mentioning it to anyone. I haven't seen the old lady since.

The strange thing is, the complex we live in is fairly new, it's only around 10 years old, so I don't think it is old enough to have ghosts. I wasn't really a believer in the supernatural before this all happened, but I really don't have an explanation for the things I've experienced. Has anyone else had any similar experiences to mine?

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Cunobelinus83, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

silverthane61 (4 stories) (344 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-16)
I think that you may be one of those people who have been blessed (or cursed) with the ability to "sense" beings in another realm. People in that category often "see" things when they are in a group of people, but no one else seems to notice what that person is seeing. You may also be attuned to seeing past images, or residual events. You are the person to have in a group that goes ghost-hunting. Just my opinion.
aussiedaz (19 stories) (1565 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-06)
Hi Cunobelinus,

Both my son and I saw two people in a car disappear in broad daylight a few years back so I can relate to these types of accounts that do happened all over the world, so you are not alone mate, nor are you going crazy if that thought crossed your mind.

Based on my own experience, research and string theory, there are many, many universes co existing in suspended states of existence with in their own vortex of energy that converts all potential to macroscopic giving us the illusion of existence we see and know as reality. (THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS? THERE IS NO MATTER)

Atoms have a funny habit of popping in and out of universe's and occasionally, these fields of atoms can mesh together and occupy other universe's with in the normality of our own space, time, continuum, giving you the shared experience of what's going on in a universe almost identical with the one you are in.

Often these accounts only last for seconds or minutes before the atomic structure of that given universe unravels the microscopical content from physical and pulls it back to whence it came. So yes, we can interact with people in other universe's and we are usually none the wiser. Btw,

(I won't get started on the Mandela effect, however, IMO it does offer evidence as to what I'm suggesting here).

The gentlemen you saw jump probably did hit the ground in some other universe.

The little old lady was probably as shocked as you was to find you were gone?

Perhaps, this place you are in is more subjective to a universe shift than most other places?


Just my 2 cent worth here mate, some of the other posters may also be right in what they're entertaining in relation to it being a residual type of haunting, that is also possible.

Regards Daz
LFrog1386 (1 stories) (73 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
I agree with Biblio and the others about the suicide being a residual haunting. If so, the spirit may not even be present; it could be a recording in time. If a spirit really is trapped there in a loop, he's not aware of anything except his reality and has no ability, much less desire, to harm anyone.

As you and your girlfriend live at the top floor of the highest building in the area, you know well how expensive and out of reach many of these apartments can be. I am sadly sure his was not the first suicide due to money troubles in that area, even in the space of 10 years.

You also mentioned that elderly people have passed away in your building, so the old lady may not even be a haunting from the hutongs that were torn down. Let's face it, if she was evicted from her hutong that may have been in her family for generations and watched it be torn down in the name of progress, she probably wouldn't be smiling at you. She seems benign, so think of her as somebody's granny.

As for WHY you are experiencing these things now, there could be many reasons, most of which we may never know. One belief is if you recently experienced a near death experience, you open up a third eye and can see the dead as you've pierced the veil between worlds.
Lealeigh (5 stories) (512 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Hello Cunobelinus and welcome to YGS,

I understand how troubling witnessing the first incident must have been to you. I think, like Melda and Biblio, that it must have been a residual haunting. If I had been in your place, I would have been upset at having to see someone re-enact something so personal as a suicide.

I think, even though these were your first experiences (that you know of) with the paranormal, you must be sensitive to the feelings of others - whether they are living or not. Maybe there were other times, while you were living in England, that you saw things that were like the old woman in the lift; but maybe you didn't have the opportunity to recognize them as such. I am just speculating.

- Maria
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Greetings, Cunobelinus83, and welcome to YGS.

'Ghost' and 'haunting' phenomena are catch-all descriptions for paranormal events. This does not mean that all ghost encounters are the same variety of haunting.

In the case of the jumper, Melda wrote, "he was repeating something which had led to his death." This is one type of experience: a "residual haunting." Residual hauntings tend to follow the same pattern every time they are witnessed because the apparition is locked into a behavior. It is often the behavior that led to the death of that individual; the spirit has no recognition of the fact it has already died, so it continues upon the path that it had determined to take while alive. Psychics often refer to this as being "trapped in a death-state" and I have no better terminology to offer. This can happen in cases of suicidal people or in cases of accidental death when the deceased had no idea he or she was about to die and was intently focused upon whatever he or she was doing.

Sentient hauntings, on the other hand, are events in which the deceased is aware (to some extent) that he/she has died, but has chosen to remain here. My guess is that the old lady is in this second category. It is my conjecture that she lived her entire life in the hutong, died peacefully, and decided to stick around as a guardian ancestral spirit for the younger generations. She may just be curiously exploring the new buildings that occupy the space of her old neighborhood; she would then constitute a "sentient haunting." While the Chinese and American film industries often depict sentient hauntings as terrifying, evil presences, they are most often protective or unobtrusive entities. Your seeing the old lady was cause for surprise, certainly, but I do not think you have anything to fear from her.

You may, over time, get accustomed to dealing with the ability to witness these phenomena. As Tweed expressed, I'm sorry that your first sighting was horrific & traumatizing; it was a rare event that would have shocked *any* member of this forum had we witnessed it. I hope that the information I've described here has helped you to understand your experiences.

Tweed (33 stories) (2475 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Hi Cunobelinus,

Really sorry your first experience was so awful. That is NOT a common ghost encounter. It made me a bit angry at the ghost for making someone experience that, and I don't care how insensitive that sounds.

The lady in the lift is a fairly commonly reported ghost sighting. People report seeing people out in public who do inexplicable vanishing acts. In my opinion a location needn't be old, or have a heavy history to be haunted. Anyone can have a weird experience anywhere at any time.

But the jumper is one of the scariest experiences I've ever read on here. Words fail me.
Cunobelinus83 (2 stories) (3 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Thanks Melda,

But this just confuses me even more - hutong buildings are generally single storey. Why would the ghost of a lady who had been a hutong dweller appear on the 21st floor of a block of flats?

The other thing is, if I have a 'sensitivity' to the supernatural it seems to have only developed recently. I grew up in a small market town in Suffolk, England, which is full of old buildings. It's basically your stereotypical ghost-story kind of place. My parents' house is even from the 1840's, yet never once in my life did I experience anything paranormal until I moved into this complex. I also haven't had any other experiences since the old lady in the lift and that was a couple of months ago now.

It certainly has me thinking!

Thanks again, Cunobelinus83
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Cunobelinus - There you go then, hutongs! Lots of old history there I should imagine. That would explain the old lady to me but not so much the guy tumbling from the roof.

Thanks for the info.

Regards, Melda
Cunobelinus83 (2 stories) (3 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Hi Alina5,

Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I don't even know how I'd go about researching the history of the complex, whether there were any accidents during its constructions or whether there were any previous suicides etc. Here. My girlfriend has lived here for several years and says there have been none that she's aware of. The only deaths in the complex that she's aware of have been natural deaths of elderly people, which is normal for any large residential complex I guess.


Cunobelinus83 (2 stories) (3 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Hi Melda,

From my understanding the land that our complex was built on was previously occupied by traditional Beijing hutongs which were demolished to make way for more modern development, a process which is constantly ongoing here in China.

Thanks for your input!
Melda (10 stories) (1363 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Cunobelinus - Do you know what was on the land before the high rise buildings were constructed? Are they all blocks of flats? (Apartments to Americans) Perhaps vacant land or other older buildings? Just because the buildings are only ten years old doesn't mean that there might not be some ghosties hanging around!

I also tend to be sceptical about seeing unusual incidents before I brand them as paranormal. I do believe that you saw this guy jump (or perhaps fall?) from the building and nobody else witnessed anything because, quite simply, he was repeating something which had led to his death.

The old lady in the lift is quite possible as well. It's amazing how life-like spirits can appear and how capable some of them are of interacting with us.

You obviously have a sensitivity in this regard and perhaps your girlfriend does not. Then again, she wasn't there when you saw the guy jump, nor was she in the lift with you and the old lady.

If possible, I would like to know what was on that land before the high rise buildings.

Regards, Melda
Alina5 (3 stories) (136 posts)
4 years ago (2020-04-05)
Hello Cunobelinus83,

Hope you're doing well.

I can relate to your experience to some extent as I had a stalking case few years back and had posted the story here. It's a little similar to observing figures in the building but while we try to communicate or look into more they vanish.

If you're building is not old enough... Have you tried to research a little about its background like:

Any accidents while construction?

Any suicide cases or any deaths reported in the building prior to your experience?

The "jumper" case seemed more like a suicidal one but I can't say for sure.

Or do you recall any such recent incidents which had lead to this so far? Since these instances are sudden, I suppose?

I've dealt with many stubborn sceptical people, my husband is one of them. But I still believe you should consult your girlfriend about this which she's in a good mood. Maybe she'll understand. And you can figure out something together.

Wish you the best!


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