San-Zhr Pod Village
by Craig Ferguson
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San-Zhr Pod Village, by photographer Craig Ferguson, is a project that features images of an abandoned hotel/housing pod development in the small town of San-zhr (三芝) on the north coast of Taiwan. These images have a post-apocalyptic flavor that seem like they are right out of a dystopian novel, and as Craig explains, the truth is no less bizarre:
Just before arriving in Sanzhi, there’s an interesting site hugging the shoreline - an abandoned hotel/apartment complex that looks like somewhere ET might call home. I first heard about this a couple of years ago, but it was only recently that I was able to get out there.
Accounts vary on the origins of this complex, and indeed, as to whether it was meant to be a hotel development or a housing development. Apparently, it was constructed in the 1960s and included/was to include a dam to protect it against sea surges, floors and stairs made of marble and a small amusement park. The site was commissioned by the government and local firms and there is no named architect. Local papers at the time reported that there were numerous accidents during construction which caused the death of some workers. As news of these accidents spread, no one wanted to go there, even to visit, and the project was subsequently abandoned. The ghosts of those who died in vain are said to still linger there, unremembered and unable to pass on. The complex was left in its unfinished state because no amount of redevelopment will bring people to the area due to superstitions about ghosts, and it can’t be demolished because destroying the homes of spirits and lost souls is taboo in Asian culture.
When I was there, I met four young university students who were passing by and stopped for a look. They didn’t want to get too close to the buildings for fear that the ghosts would take them. They told me there was “heavy evil” in the buildings.