In China they tell about an urban legend about the disappearance of Bus 330 or the last bus to Fragrant Hills that involves both a ghost story as well as a murder mystery.
One of the most famed urban legends from China is the mysterious story about the bus that disappeared and the close call one of the passengers had to become one of the victims of something supernatural if we are to believe the legend.
So what really happened inside of the mysterious Bus on this cold November night in 1995 on the roads in Beijing, and how much of the retold story is true?
The Last Bus to Fragrant Hills
In 1995 the last bus of No. 330, or 375 in some variations, departed from the main station of Yuanmingyuan at 10 o’clock on November 14th to Fragrance Hill. There was a young couple, a young man and an old woman in addition to the driver and the conductor.
After a few stops the bus picked up two passengers on the way back to the terminal.
The men were running after the bus, trying to wave it down in the cold November night. Although some passengers protested as they just wanted to get home, the bus driver stopped and opened the doors for the two men with a person between them, propped up that looked passed out drunk.
The passed out man was not the strangest thing about them as the two men were wearing Qing Dynasty costumes and although a little peculiar attire, no one gave them too much attention as they thought they might have been filming something and the bus ride continued in peace through the dark night with only a few dimly lit street lights on the close to empty road.
The Legless Ghosts
The driver and the conductor were laughing and talking together and the young couple got off the bus three or four stops later.
Only the old woman watched the two men closely and suddenly got up and claimed that the young man had stolen her wallet, yelling at him and telling him they needed to head to the nearest police station to settle the matter.
Two passengers, a young man and an old woman disagreed about the wallet, and the old lady insisted they get off the bus. When they were safely off the bus, she told the young man, annoyed for getting off at the wrong bus stop, that the two strange passengers on the bus actually turned out to be ghosts from the Qing Dynasty.
She had noticed that the two men had no legs at all and she had made the story about the wallet up to get him to get off the bus with her. Who knows, the ghosts could very well be dangerous.
The Death and Disappearance of the Bus
The bus never made it back to the terminal, and when questioned by the police, the young man and old lady told them about the ghost passengers. No one believed them, but the ending of the story seemed to be the most mysterious about it all.
The bus was found three days later in the Miyun Reservoir, over 100 kilometers from Xiangshan and its original route. According to the legend the bus was already rusted like it had been there for years, not just a couple of days and then there were three bloody murdered bodies found inside of it, already starting to decompose.
The Truth of the Bus Disappearance
Was this story really a sensation in 1995 as the legends wanted it to be, and do the details really hold up ?
The case of the missing bus has today been solved according to many people, and there were no ghosts, the bus wasn’t rusted and the bodies were decomposed as it time had moved quicker than the rest of the world. But they were indeed dead according to this version as this was a straight up murder case, not a ghost story.
The two passengers boarded the bus with the person between them already dead and covered up the blood with wine and pretended to be drunk rather than dead.They killed both the driver as well as the conductor and drove the bus to a remote place to hide it and got away with the crime.
So could this be it? Could the incident be a murder case more than a ghost story? There are however no found written records about a crime case like this either from this time and place and the story lives on as an urban legend, even without the supernatural elements to it.
The Urban Legend Evolves to Modern Times
There has also been a shift in the bus number in recent years, and it looks like the newer generation often credit the bus number as 375, not 330 anymore. Recent retellings also add on newer technology like that it was a phone that was stolen, and puts more focus on surveillance cameras that were not as widespread in the 90s.
The fact it has such a specific date, makes the story much more believable at once, but when looking closer it is also easier to see there really wasn’t a mystery in any papers at the time.
There were however several stories similar circulating even before 1995, and some sources put the event at 1992, and perhaps even earlier. However, as the legend stands today, there are several things that can debunk the story. Online the earliest entry found of this story so far dates back to 2015.
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