The ghost of a Chinese immigrant has been allegedly haunting the bakery of Maurice Piner since long before the bakery was opened. In 1881, when the tragic story of the man finally ended in suicide by hanging he left a scar on the area that has not healed since. And yet Maurice doesn’t seem too bothered by the entity’s presence.
The bakery located in Greymouth, New Zealand, has seen a healthy amount of success despite the presence of an entity from beyond the grave. And in the early morning it is not only bread that is rising in the kitchen, but apparently the dead as well. Piner has reported seeing shadows, hearing mysterious whispering voices, and spotting flitting images of a figure that he has been unable to positively identify. And yet Maurice does not feel the need to leave his establishment. And as he continued work at his establishment, he found that the sound of crashing and banging could often be heard upstairs. And through it all Maurice continued to bake.
When Paul Schramm of Wild West Adventures started researching local establishments for tourists, he came across a story that may have explained Piner’s plight. Quickly after making his discovery, he approached Piner to tell him of the tragic history the plot of land his bakery stood on. Ah Shing was the name of the Chinese miner that committed suicide by hanging on the grounds where Piner’s shop stood. In those days a boarding house stood, but was since torn down. Schramm had discovered a newspaper clipping dating back to October 17, 1891. Ah Shing had previously stolen and pawned a silver lever watch and chain from a friend of his by the name of Bernard Gallagher. It was the last resort of a desperate man. Bernard Gallagher’s watch was a precious item to him, however, and as Al Sheng discovered how distraught his friend was over the loss of his watch he felt immense shame and resorted to hanging himself out of guilt for the theft. And his ghost was left to wander the grounds where the bakery would be built. And to this day, apparently, that guilt manifests to this day in the form of whispers and flitting shadows moving through the corridors.
And yet even this is not enough to make Piner feel he must leave the store behind. Even as he sees the shadows, the flitting shapes, and hears the whispers traveling unexplainably through that veil that separates us from death he continues kneading dough and baking bread. When asked if he was troubled to work alone even if Ah Shing was there, Piner laughed and said it would not bother him. The next question, whether he would leave because of Ah Shing he said he would not. And somehow, though we know very little of Ah Shing, it seems as though he wouldn’t want to drive a man from his house. And if Piner can live with the disembodied spectral form of Ah Shing driven to wandering by guilt, perhaps in time Shing himself can learn to live with his guilt.