影/美國博士研究台灣民俗信仰 30年後憶親身經歷皮皮挫 | U.S. professor recalls creepy encounter with spirits after 30 years in Taiwan

【看CP學英文】「我姓康名豹號阿呆,台語叫恐怖。」中研院研究員康豹教授Paul R. Katz,自述從美國嫁來台灣,在台灣各大學教書,和研究台灣民間信仰30多年不寒而慄的經驗。

“My name Paul R. Katz and in Taiwanese, it sounds just like ‘scary.’”

As a researcher at the Academia Sinica, Paul shared with NOWnews and The China Post his experience, starting from arriving in Taiwan and teaching here, to his creepy encounters with spirits while researching folk religion in Taiwan. 

起初來到台灣學中文的他,離開台北後才曉得有第二種語言「閩南話」,當時跟著助理一起到彰化,開始接觸王爺信仰,參與了燒王船、鹽水蜂炮。

Initially, Paul came to Taiwan to learn Mandarin, and it was only after he left Taipei that he realized there was also another language — ”Taiwanese.” 

When he traveled to Changhua County with his assistant to do more in-depth research, he became better acquainted with “Wang Ye Religion” (王爺信仰) and participated in local religious events including the “King Boat Ceremony” and “Beehive Fireworks Festival.”   

某天田野結束時他跟助理一起騎著車,沿著濱海公路要前往熱炒店小酌,騎到一半冥冥中一個念頭讓康豹將車子停了下來,當他停下車猛然發現前方居然有一個深達2公尺的坑洞,若沒及時停下非死即傷。

When asked about whether or not he had any supernatural encounters while doing his research, Paul revealed that he once rode his scooter with his assistant late at night but came to a sudden stop for reasons he couldn’t explain.

When he looked ahead, he realized that the road he was on had a 2-meter deep hole in it, and if he were to have continued, he would have died or been gravely injured.

康豹說:「如果你問我有沒有看過鬼神,我沒有看過。但是我有沒有感覺到?我有感覺到。

“If you ask me whether or not I’ve seen ghosts, the answer would be no. But if it were ‘whether or not I’ve felt them’, then the answer would be a definite yes,” Paul explained.

位於新莊的地藏庵,又名大眾廟,是康豹做深度田野的廟宇之一,多年的研究讓康豹對宗教儀式有更深一層的體會,台灣多元的民俗發展兼具心理撫慰、社會凝聚力等功能。

After conducting most of his research at the temple in Xinzhuang, New Taipei City, Paul has come to have a greater understanding of the rituals of folk religion and realized the impact it has on soothing people and helping a community come together.

回顧在台定居30 餘年,康豹認為台灣是個非常友善的地方,或許是地理位置造就的島嶼文化,使得台灣人不排斥接受外來人種和新事物,即使是一個外國人到台灣各地做田野,即使語言不通、相貌不同,多數時候他都是被接納、包容的,這種歸屬感讓他體悟到華人所說的「緣分」,就是牽引著他從美國一路來到台灣的力量。

Upon reflecting on his 30-plus years in Taiwan, Paul regards the island as a very friendly place and feels that Taiwanese people are not that opposed to accepting outsiders or new things.

Even though he was a foreigner speaking a different language and looked very different from the locals, he had always felt welcome in Taiwan and have realized that “fate” (緣分) was what brought him to this wonderful place.