The Linkou Lightning Building 林口閃電大樓 is an infamous ruin not far from the newly-opened Taoyuan Airport MRT line in Linkou 林口, recently named the fastest-growing district in Xinbei. It is also known as the Linkou Strange House 林口怪怪屋 and occasionally appears in Taiwanese media alongside the Longtan Strange House and other examples of the genre. While I wish there were a good story to go along with these photos it sounds as if it is simply a failed construction project where nobody wants to cover the cost of demolition.
Sourcing credible information about this project has been difficult. No formal name seems to exist and I’ve uncovered no government records. I am loathe to base a post on rumours and hearsay but in this case that’s about all I have. From the comments on this post it sounds like the building has been abandoned for at least a decade and maybe two. One respondent suggests it was damaged during an earthquake—but I have my doubts. Mundane explanations like mismanagement, zoning conflicts, embezzlement, and bankruptcy are more often the case with half-completed developments like this one.
It wouldn’t have been too difficult to jump the chain-link fence and gain access to the interior but it would have been impossible to evade detection. This ruin is in the middle of a busy residential neighbourhood and plenty of people took note of my interest in this building. Since this place is already very well-documented—see these excellent and comprehensive photos or this video tour for more—I declined to make the attempt. Besides, I was pressed for time and bound for a more historic set of ruins: an old brick kiln in to the north of the city, sure to be the subject of a future post.
Naturally this well-known ruin has become popular with photographers and cosplayers. The location is also no secret; you’ll find it on Google Maps and Instagram, among other places. Now that the airport MRT is open—and with Linkou now on the YouBike network—I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more photos from this notorious ruin.