"One body, two deaths. All the villagers said that the woman was unlucky, so they found a few young fellas to come crack open the well to haul the body up. However, weird things happened then. The woman's head was facing downward when she jumped, but half way through the digging, people saw the woman's face turning upward.
"The dead person's face was soaked until it was white. Her eyes were bulging, staring at the people outside the well. With guilt suffocating their hearts, the young men were all spooked, and none had the courage to continue digging.
"But they couldn't just leave the body inside the well. The elder discussed this with the girl's new family, and they would provide the money to hire outsiders to dig the well. However, when they returned to the well the next day, the body, which had been facing upward, changed to legs facing upwards. It looked like she was trying to swim deeper into the well.
"Those who saw this reported it to the elder. To prevent panic, the elder said the earlier digging must have affected the water flow and the body slipped down on its own. No one bought this excuse, and on the third day, the villagers discovered that the body inside the well had disappeared!
"There are in total four wells around the village. They were built on top of the same underground river. Since the body had disappeared, they thought it might float up in any one of them. Then weird things continued to happen. The well that the woman died in was the west well, so to avoid her, many people went to the east well.
"The water looked normal, but when they used it to cook rice, they would discover woman's long hair in the rice. One week later, those who lived near the well heard the sound of water splashing in the middle of the night like something was climbing up the wall of the well.
"The villager looked out the window and saw a red shadow climbing out the well!
"The following day, the villagers discovered the woman's husband dead in his own bedroom. The woman's husband was one with a deformity; he had a problem on his face and his arms. When he died, his head was shoved inside a water barrel, cause of death was drowning. This sent a wave of panic through the village. The elder called everyone and suggested calling a doctor from outside to take a look, but before the doctor arrived, the livestock in the village started to die by massive numbers.
"Some who were afraid uprooted and left. However, the scariest thing was, every night, those deserters would be found deposited at the valley in front of the village with various causes of death.
"It appeared like whoever drank the well water would be dragged back and killed. The villagers didn't have time to build coffins and have funerals because there were too many dead people, so they just left them half-buried.
"Escaping the village meant certain death, and staying behind wasn't going to save us either. The villagers tried many things, but they couldn't do anything to the female ghost. Her resentment was too deep, and every night, one or two families would be found dead.
"The number of deaths soared. The people here were superstitious, and we believed if the dead weren't buried inside coffin, they would return as a hungry ghost. No one knew who would die next, but death was coming. Therefore, every family started to make their own coffins, and this was why each family had coffins instead of beds.
"One month later, the woman finally stopped, but by then, there was no normal looking person left in the village. She had killed every normal person and sinner in the village.
"Then, people understood what she was trying to do. It was because the villagers were afraid of the effects of consanguineous marriages on the future generations that they started kidnapping outside women. Thus, the female ghost would kill all the normal villagers and leave behind the abnormal monsters inside the village. Her message was—let the villagers only show themselves as monsters!"
The more the man got through his story, the more agitated he became. He waved his arms of different lengths. "The ancestry's lineage has been corrupted, and only monsters remain in the village. Those who were born normal were killed, and only deformed creatures please the woman and might escape her wicked claws."
The man's story was rather heavy. Chen Ge did not say anything; it was Ol' Wei who spoke first. "My identity aside, there's no one I hate more than human kidnappers."
"That happened many years ago, and the people have been punished and killed. Now, only the innocent are being affected." The man waved his arm. "No one wishes to be a monster. When I saw my reflection in the water, I wanted to die, but I'm not satisfied!"
He clenched his fists, and it looked funny, but no one was laughing.
"If this was one year ago, I wouldn't have thought to resist, but things are different." There was an indescribable expression on his despair-filled face. "I have my own child, a little boy with no deformities."
"You have your own child?"
"Yes, it is miracle. Two monsters with their own child." The man sighed. "I cannot leave him here; he'll be targeted by the woman. Even if the woman doesn't discover my child, the other monsters in the village will sacrifice him to her to save their own lives."
Chen Ge heard the anomaly in the man's words. "The other villagers will sacrifice your child?"
"The people here have gone insane. No, they can't even be known as people anymore." The man's nails scratched his skin. "Many years ago, when the ghost massacred the village, only one family escaped her vengeance. The family had a single daughter. The family was the Zhu family.
"It was this Zhu woman who aided her first escape. After the woman got caught, even the Zhu daughter suffered the same fate and got tied up and beaten. Then, when the woman got bullied, it was often this Zhu woman who came to her aid. That was probably why Zhu family was spared.
"As the number of villagers dwindled, the remaining villagers asked the Zhu woman to become the new elder to protect themselves. They wanted her to communicate with the female ghost. The villagers thought she would help them beg for mercy, but reality was different. The Zhu woman sided with the ghost, and she became the tool for the ghost to manage the village.
"To enjoy better torment, the ghost demanded that whenever we spot a normal newborn, we have to carry it to the Zhu woman. If someone dares to hide that secret, they will be tortured and killed!
"No one knows what happens to the babies after they are brought to the Zhu family. We only know that after the Zhu woman carries the babies into her darkened home, they never return."
His eyes were filled with fear and uncertainty. The man clasped his abnormal hands together. "This rule persists until today. My boy's situation has been exposed to the villagers, so I can only choose to collaborate with you outsiders. Please take my son out of this place before it is too late!"