Chinese Superstitions to enter a Hotel Room! Last February, my mum and sister both flew to the UK to visit us. While they were here, we all went on a road trip to Scotland. You can read more about our Scotland trip with Barny here.
We stayed at Premier Inn throughout our holiday at various locations. The last location was Edinburgh, where we happened to have opposite rooms to my sister. I noticed that my sister went through her hotel routine. She knocked on the door and said we are just sharing the room with you for two nights, thank you. This triggered memories for me when I was younger I was told that I must do this hotel routine and I had forgotten! Okay, not really. I never knock the door but each time I go into the hotel room, I will inform ‘them’ quietly that we will be sharing ‘their’ room. Mr C does not believe in these Chinese superstitions thing! He thinks I am totally crazy to do this!
I had two separate unpleasant ghost experiences while staying in a hotel with him while we were in Italy and Japan. So he was used to me doing such crazy things while in a hotel room. I don’t practise these superstitions as much as I used to be because both of my children had started questioning my bizarre behaviour.
Without further ado, these are the rituals and superstitions a lot of Chinese follow and believe in:
1. Knock the door 3 times before you enter
This is to inform the ‘owner’ / spirit that you hope they respect your stay and we mean no harm.
When entering the room for the first time, you should walk in sideways to give ‘them’ space to pass through if they decide to let you have the room.
2. Turn on all the lights and open all the curtains and windows
This is to fill the room with positive energy (yang). Hotels are classified as yin, so by getting the yang into the room will balance the yin and yang.
3. Flush the toilet and open the shower curtain
To get rid of any negative energy in there. Chinese believe that toilets are negative places because chi (good energy) is similar to water and is escaping down the pipes and drains.
4. Leave your shoes the wrong way round
This is to ensure the spirit will not wear it and track you down. Leaving shoes the wrong way round will confuse the spirit.
This is a tip that I learnt from my friend J. Ng. She said the spirit will wear it and follow you home. I am a very neat person and I can’t stand any mess but for this, I always kick both shoes in a different direction. If my children put it neatly, I will ‘accidentally’ kick it apart to mess it. But there is a story on Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories on 22 February 2019, he left his shoes in a mess, the next morning, all his shoes were neatly placed on the floor.
Don’t place your slippers next to your bed when sleeping.
5. Never sleep opposite a mirror
This is my number one hate in hotel! Why they always put a huge mirror opposite the bed!
In feng shui, they mentioned that a mirror facing the bed directly depletes your personal energy when you need it the most.
From what I heard from my friend is that you will frighten your soul when you wake up and see your reflection. To get ‘rid’ of the mirror, I used to put my luggage in front of it or cover it with a towel before I sleep.
6. Leave the Bible or any holy book alone
If you happen to see the book that the book is open, don’t close it. They are open for a good reason. I learnt this ‘tip’ from watching too many ghost horror movie. I remember watching one movie where the actor closed the book and it broke the spell which released the ghost!
As mentioned earlier, a few years ago, I had trouble staying in a hotel in Japan with Mr C. So I opened two holy books that I could find in the room and placed them in each corner. Only since then did I have a good nights sleep.
7. Avoid staying on the 4th floor
Chinese believe number four means death in Chinese. You might notice that some Asian hotels do not come with a level four or door number starting with four. In many cultures people like to avoid the number 13 because it’s associated with bad luck and Hong Kongers like to avoid 7th floor. It is the same kind of reasons.
8. Put your belongings on the spare bed if you travel alone
Whenever I had to travel alone, I would place all my belongings on the spare bed so that I am not inviting any ‘lost soul’ to be in the room with me.
If you are alone and the hotel gives you two single beds, you have to mess up the bed that you are not sleeping in. You can either place your luggage bags or mess up the bedsheet and blanket to inform ‘them’ that someone is using it and to not bother you. Never put a set of clothing (top and trousers etc.) on the bed to form a ‘人’ ren shape. (According to a story on Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories podcast 13th September 2019 at 12 minutes).
I will also sleep with light on and TV! Spirits dislike crowds as they will have lots of strong energy. I am trying to create an atmosphere to cheat my stay!
9. Avoid staying in a corner room or opposite the staircase
‘They’ tend to gather in a corner room as corner rooms tend to be more spacious. As for the staircase, most hotel staircases do not come with windows and there is no sunlight able to pass through there. Hence this area is very ‘yin’. It becomes their entrance/exit.
10. Luggage bags
Don’t take everything out of your luggage bags. Leave some clothing inside and never leave it empty to avoid bringing them back. Also, pack your luggage in bright daylight and not during night time.
Do you have any particular hotel routine? Do you have any experience or tip you would like to share with me? Some people suggest sprinkle salt at all corners, whilst some would bring a new umbrella, open it in the room, close it and leave the umbrella outside the room. Always check under your bed, just in case. (Someone found a body hidden under their hotel bed, Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories podcast 8th March 2019)