The House That Never Dies Ⅱ is based on real stories

East wing of the house after renovation Photos: Courtesy of Tam Kwong Yuen
A forthcoming thriller based on popular ghost story IP Chaonei No.81 is set to release a virtual reality (VR) trailer before July 6, when the summer movie comes on. The House That Never Dies Ⅱ, featuring famous director Gordon Chan Ka-Seung and screenwriters Cai Jun and Tam Kwong Yuen, is said to be based on a real story.

The House That Never Dies (or Jing Cheng 81 Hao), the first Chinese 3D thriller in 2014 had become a hit immediately, with its story based on that of a purportedly haunted mansion, Chaonei No. 81, which is located on No.81 Chaoyangmen Inner Street in Beijing, China. The House That Never Dies Ⅱ comes as a sequel to the successful 2014 thriller, with a totally different story line. has recently interviewed Tam Kwong Yuen through e-mail to learn about ‘the new story’ behind the scenes. Historical records about Chaonei No. 81 before 1949 are mostly lost. So, stories before the date are hardly traceable or proven. Have you collected any interesting material about the house before content-creating work for the movie?

Tam Kwong Yuen: Anecdotal tales are always 30 percent true and 70 percent false, although they serve as a source of inspiration for writers like us. The first movie should not be evaluated based on its authenticity considering that after a long period of precipitation, stories emerge as part of history. For the second story that I’m involved in, I would say there were real history incidents behind. Have you recently visited the house? We know after renovation, it is now for rent. 
Tam Kwong Yuen: During the winter of 2015, I visited Chaonei No.81 and then lived in the hotel opposite to it for writing the script. I have read news about its sky-high renting prices, and I’m glad an old house of historic value could thus gain a new lease of life. We all know that the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television have regulated that ghost tales have no ghosts. How do you handle the tricky thing?

Tam Kwong Yuen: In my view, it depends on different people to perceive it. There are many things in the world that could hardly be explained like miracle, or nemesis. No matter it’s the ghost in people’s mind or really the arrangements of god, no one could tell, although I do believe that all things that have happened aim to tell us to learn to cherish those by our side. 

East side of the house after renovation
Attic after renovation
A room inside the east wing
The stairs inside the east wing after renovation
The west wing after renovation
The old pagoda tree by the side of the house

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