Taiwanese man sorry for starting of Ghost Month rumors

A woman burns incense papers on the eve of the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival in Taipei.
PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan - An Internet user who reportedly brought on the viral sharing of a photo depicting the words that an underworld god would "harvest 96 human lives this year," went down on his knees to ask for forgiveness in front of the deity's statue yesterday, according to sources.

The photo showed words on a white board, stating that Tainan City's Chenghuang Ye had instructed young adults nationwide to be "wary of crossroads," as this year the god of underworld spirits is looking to harvesting 96 lives. "Seldom visit public places and mountainous areas," were other words written on the white board in the photo.

Chenghuang Ye is the Chinese god in charge of spirits and the underworld. Traditionally, there are certain taboos during Ghost Month, the seventh month of the lunar calendar, which this year lasts from Aug. 14 to Sep. 12.

The Internet user, whose identity was not revealed by the Tainan Chenghuang Ye Temple authorities, stated that he only shared the photo and typed out the captions that went along with it, but did not reveal the origins of the photo. The temple decided not to file a report.