Some of these are ghost or supernatural stories, and some not. All of them are so full of tension and possible disaster that the appearance of a ghost can be something of a relief. This must have something to do with their background in China, in the starving 1960s and the changed social contract since; something like The Uses of Enchantment.
And some things might be more realistic than I knew; children eating coal, for instance. The April issue of Geotimes had an article on pigs eating coal; to the author's surprise, this is well-attested and might even do them good; people have used pigs to find coal seams.
Find in a LibrarySo wrote clew in Fiction (21st c.).