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  • Writer's pictureS. N. Linn

Jiangshi: Chinese Hopping Vampires (China)

Updated: Feb 7


A reanimated corpse wearing clothes from the Qing Dynasty dy

If you have ever watched the Hong Kong movie series called “Mr. Vampire”, you should already be familiar with “Jiangshi”, Chinese hopping vampires in old-fashioned clothes from the Qing dynasty. A jiangshi looks like a lifeless corpse as long as a talisman on its forehead stays in place. However, once it is removed, it attacks any living human nearby, hopping after them with its arms extended to drain their blood or lifeforce. But do you know how this legend of “Jiangshi” came about?


Jiangshi are believed to have originated from the transportation of bodies in the past. In ancient China, it was believed that the deceased could only rest in peace if their body was buried in their birthplace. It’s not uncommon for people to leave their hometowns for work and some, unfortunately, passed away while they were away from their villages. In such situations, service providers would transport several bodies simultaneously by securing the corpses in a single row along a lengthy bamboo pole and shouldering the pole at each end.  As the men carried the bamboo pole, it naturally flexed up and down, creating the illusion that the dead bodies were hopping. To avoid unsettling others, this type of transportation was done at night, and so the legends of hopping jiangshi at night are thought to be associated with this practice.


 

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About the writer:

S. N. Linn is a blogger and author of books on folklore, legends, and heart-pounding ghost stories and paranormal adventures. You can find more of her work on her website: www.snlinn.com


Copyrighted by Su Nandar Linn

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