The house containing the remains of slain model Abby Choi is now on the list of Hong Kong’s “haunted" homes with low prices due to their history of murder, crime, and death.
According to South China Morning Post, properties that can be associated with such unpleasant experiences are called “haunted homes” as they carry with them a “reputation that sticks for a long time and not only lowers their potential rent or selling price but can also affect neighboring flats.”
Known as “the king of haunted flats,” Joseph Ng Goon-lau—who has been buying and selling flats linked to unnatural deaths for almost three decades—noted that the damage can no longer be undone and “there’s nothing that the village landlord can do” about it.
“Everyone has a vivid memory of a murder. It’ll stay that way forever,” he said, adding that “haunted homes” are among the most difficult properties to sell in Hong Kong. He goes with a tried-and-tested formula when dealing with these houses: “First, you offer a reduced price. Second, you wait for someone who will take it.”
The SCMP reported that University of Science and Technology researchers, who looked into almost a thousand “haunted homes” for 16 years, found that their value got reduced by a fifth on average “with no signs of recovery.” Between 2000 and 2015, they also discovered that the neighboring units on the same floor dropped in value by 9%, while homes in the same area could lose 6%.
In late February, the Hong Kong socialite was discovered to have been killed and dismembered amid a financial dispute with her ex-husband Alex Kwong and the latter’s family. Her remains have been found in a house set up as a butchery site, complete with an electric saw and meat grinder “that had been used to mince human flesh.”
After conducting a DNA test early this month, authorities were able to determine that the skull that was found in a large soup pot and the two legs hidden in a refrigerator at the flat were indeed the remains of Choi.
Hong Kong police have arrested and detained seven suspects, including the victim’s former lover and the rest of his family.