From Zhejiang Online:
After the Chinese New Year, Tiantai (天台) County, Zhejiang Province became the hot topic of the public, from ordinary folks to the media, the concern over the 5 missing children (later found drowned in the local fishery) was still not yet over, another 3 children with the last name Cai (蔡) died of unnatural causes.
The incidents were amplified in forums like MOP and Tianya because of the bizarre coincidences: all of them had the last name Cai (蔡), all of them are children and all of them died of unnatural causes one after another.
On March 18, Zhejiang reporter contacted Tiantai Country police spokesman, Public Security Bureau and Political Commissar Wang Xiejiao. He said there had been indeed 8 children with the last name Cai died of unnatural causes. But after rigorous investigation by the police, these were indeed accidental deaths. The police had ruled out the possibility of suicide and homicide, and these three accidents were not connected in any way.
On March 16 afternoon around 2 pm, a netizen named “我是caizhiyong” posted on Tianya forum claimed to be the father of a 5 year old girl Cai Shaohan (蔡少涵) who just died in an accident.
After this post titled “Tiantai County 5 year old girl bizarre death, hanged in telephone booth (the eighth child victim with last name Cai since the new year)” was published, until the 18th morning 10 am, there were over 400,000 clicks and over 2,500 comments.
This post then was soon copied and reposed on every other major forum on the internet.
In the post, author described his daughter was found dead on March 2, in a public telephone booth. She was hanged by the telephone cord. Tiantai police has determined the death to be an accident.
Couple days later, when our family went to the funeral home for my daughter’s funeral, the funeral home staff told us that your child’s death was a bit strange. And he said something that gave us the chills. “Your child is the eighth child with last name Cai who died of bizarre unnatural causes since the fifth of this year (lunar calendar).”
The eighth child named Cai died of bizarre death! The eighth!! Last name Cai! From the fifth day of the year to the day my daughter died the 17th, is only 12 days apart. Eight of them last named Cai!!! Such a coincidence!!
The father was in disbelief and had so many doubts, he told the public to help him to find out the truth, and claimed that he did not want to see the ninth child last named Cai to die. He also posted his phone number 13989618933 and his dad’s phone number 18760555178 and QQ number 845686129.
Cai Shaohan (蔡少涵)
5 missing children later found drowned in the local fishery
5 brothers and sisters went missing on February 20, and later their bodies were found drowned in the local fishery. The police determined the death to be accidental.
Cai Songtao (蔡松涛), male, 7
Cai Bingbing (蔡彬斌), male, 9
Cai Danni (蔡丹妮) female, 10
Cai Yani (蔡亚妮), female, 12
Cai Kangni (蔡康妮), female, 13
2 more little girls last named Cai drowned
On February 22, another tragedy happened in one village of Tiantai, two girls last named Cai drowned in a local pond. The two girls, last name Cai, were cousins, one was 7 and the other was 9. The villager guessed that two girls after eating some snacks and fell into the pond when washing their hands.
Lunar calendar the 17th (March 2), Cai Shaohan was hanged by a telephone cord and died in a public telephone booth.
After the above post was published, discussions poured in, netizens all think the incidents are bizarre and strange.
Zhejiang reporter contacted the father Cai Zhiyong, he confirmed that the post on Tianya was written by him, he still do not want to accept the fact that his daughter was already dead.
So when you say last name, you actually mean first name. It is so much better to use ‘family name’ and avoid all the confusion.
There is nothing at all unusual or spooky about this. It is very common for many people in any one area to share a family name. It’s like a clan system. What percentage of people in the area have that name? If it’s 5% then it’ spooky. If it’s 75% it isn’t.
I will say less than 5%, it’s like what percentage of people have the last name Smith in Los Angeles county?
Its actuallly last name cuz in china the last name is before the first name
It’s 3 incidents. 5/12 were from a single family, 2 girls that drowned are also from a single family.
It’s not the same as Smith in Los Angeles county. Los Angeles county has literally millions of different last names, as it is home to people whose origins are from around the world.
Zhejiang is a province in China. China has comparatively few last names to begin with and is very homogenious — no immigration to speak of.
蔡 is a family name most commonly found in South-central China.
Does it say how many people live in that county? If the number was a few thousands then sure a strange coincidence but if it’s 50.000 then what? And let’s just be honest and say that the 20 most common Chinese family names probably cover about 95 percent of the population. AND as Eric said the name Cai is probably quite common in that area as well.
Anyway this is a sad story but there is nothing spooky about it. It’s just statistics. Freak numbers and events happen from time to time and although it may seem odd when a story is magnified by the media it’s still just numbers.
What is the chance of you winning the lottery? Not big right? It’s actually so low that people in their right mind normally don’t play. But still sometimes someone gets the big payout so someone out there gets lucky from time to time. Needless to say someone out there gets unlucky as well. Think about all of the counties in China where 8 children with the same surname DIDN’T die and for how long that DIDN’T happen and suddenly hearing about one episode taking place doesn’t seem too unbelievable.
Assuming there is no foul play involved in this story I come to think of the Brit mentalist extraordinaire Derren Brown’s book “Tricks of the Mind” (great read and highly recommendable btw). Rationalizing after a seemingly unlikely event can sometimes be highly troublesome for our brain and our way of thought. Since we are trained from infancy to think logically and rationally and at the same time suppressing our primal fears, irrational thoughts and superstitions then when we do encounter seemingly (well,, seemingly to people who’s never read up on statistics in the Cai case) unexplainable events our logical-rational reasoning that we so often rely on fail us and allow our primal feelings and a runaway imagination to take over. Ghost stories, UFO sightings and religious experiences of proximity can in basically all cases be connected to this sudden or sometimes longer lasting loss of control.
According to this zhejiang gov website, Tiantai’s population is currently at 555,000.
Some guy also did the calculation on the odds of this happening here:
His concultion was 1 out of 20,000
I dont know how accurate that is, but according to him, the last name Cai is ranked 44 in China, so they are only 0.46% of the total population.
According to this website:
Last name Cai has 0.84% population in Zejiang province. (it has information on other provinces as well)
1 in 20.000 is absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things. Oh well,, people love a good supposedly supernatural story.
(You’ll get it if you watched the Terminator series)
This really is disturbing… I just hope whatever it is that is causing it weather it may be coincidence or what, we should pray to spare the innocent children.
I am completely disgusted by the flippancy and disrespect shown by posters here. You trivialize and belittle a sequence of tragic losses, and even when faced with a clear image of the tiny child who died in an utterly bizarre manner you seek to only make yourselves sound clever and precise. Shame on you for have no taste and having no respect.
There is a book of hell and in it are written surnames. If your surname is in the book of hell, you will have a difficult existence. A lot of shaman or yinyang yan depending on the culture will straight out lie and say that your family name is not in the book.
Thank you so much! This is what I need to find.