Sanzhi: the mysterious UFO village

Sanzhi is a small village built on the coast of Taiwan between the late 70s and early 80s. These mysterious houses gave origin to a series of legends on aliens and paranormal phenomena even claiming the village to be cursed. They call them “UFO houses”, and the several photographs taken of the place clearly show the reason…

At first impact, the village looks like an alien town out of a science fiction film, but actually it is an abandoned town, or rather, a town that maybe never was occupied. These incredible twenty-some three-family buildings with private gardens and communal swimming pools are the work of the visionary Yu Zi, who worked under Taiwan government’s commission in its intent to promote and exploit the area as a seaside resort. The UFO houses derive from a trend born in the late 60s from movies like Mika Taanila’s “A new stance for tomorrow” and from such publications like “Tomorrow’s house from yesterday” tracing a “Retro-futurism”, an imaginary future in a past that never existed. The energetic crisis in the late 80s, however, didn’t allow the completion of the buildings, which were then bought by a local beer company with the intention of transforming the village in a five stars touristic resort, going for an even more minimalistic look: white houses, with bright interiors and a “The clockwork orange”-inspired design. But in the same year the company decided to halt the construction: some sources say that a lot of strange incidents took place during the works, and that these stories scared the people to the point of them advising the tourists against going to the area, convinced that in the UFO houses dwelled the spirits of those who died there. Apparently there was something sinister about the project, a curse of some sort that didn’t let anyone who took it up finish the work. 

The incomplete buildings of the UFO houses suffered a progressive structural decay over time, and the vegetation overtook every building. Inside it’s still possible to find furniture, beds, sofas, furnishings and fittings of any kind, making the place look like it was once inhabited. This is because, in Taiwan, when a residence is set for sale, one or more flats are furnished to demonstrate how the rooms can be set up. On sunny days, the alien village, with its various and vivid colours, looks like an abandoned recreation ground. But when the sky is dark, the landscapes takes surreal tones and the atmosphere becomes ominous: it’s like travelling through time to the ruins of the future.

Unfortunately, it looks like these mysterious buildings, destination for photographs and curious from all around the world, have now been demolished… as always, we create anything but get back nothing.
Image gallery on ORIGINAL POST

(Translation by Marco Salvadori)


  1. Does anybody know a story about the death of one of the employees??

  2. Suicides and car accidents were what the deaths of some employees were.


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