Folklore Tidbits -Jiangshi ( The Chinese Hopping Vampire)

A depiction of a Jiangshi (Chinese hopping vampire)

A depiction of a Jiangshi (Chinese hopping vampire)

kfthead

Hopping Vampires also known as the Chiang-Shih which translates as [Stiff Corpse] are based on ghost stories from Chinese folklore. The creatures are technically not considered ghosts as their souls remain. They are more of a Vampire and Zombie mix which is a decomposing corpse that feeds from our life force known as Qi. Many speculations are in place, but the hopping motion probably arises from the idea that the Qing Dynasty burial garments were bound so tight that they could not walk. Another common place idea on why they hopped, is that the corpse was still in rigor mortis. Unlike European vampire tales where vampires were kept at bay by strings of garlic and the traditional cross, Chinese vampires needed Taoist and Buddhist magic called

‘ attached to their foreheads, this allowed the Taoist priests to gain control of their bodies and transport them to their burial location. This act was always performed at night when their was no chance of coming in to contact with the living as the Chiang-Shih also detects the living by their breath, a person holding their breath would be rendered invisible. A good Movie to see is the Mr Vampire as its a literal take of the folklore legend in detail, with some added humor. For Anime fans the character Lee Pyron  from the Shaman King is a Chiang-shih. Also Chiaotzu from Dragon ball  acts like the Chiang-Shih as well wearing the Qing dynasty outfit .
For more information on this folklore tale I have added some recommended reading, one book being The Vampire Book and the encyclopedia of the undead [third edition] by J Gordon Melton. I Highly Recommend!!

The Vampire Book by J Gordon Melton

The Vampire Book by J Gordon Melton

The Corpse Walker: real life stories, China from the ground up by Liao Yiwu

The Corpse Walker: real life stories, China from the ground up by Liao Yiwu

Chinese Tales of Vampires, Beasts, Genies and Men by Leon Wieger & Derek Bryce

Chinese Tales of Vampires, Beasts, Genies and Men by Leon Wieger & Derek Bryce

 A Taoist charm called a death blessing

A Taoist charm called a death blessing

Me trying to research this post, I had some trouble as you can see

Me trying to research this post, I had some trouble as you can see

Karen

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Posted on June 17, 2013, in Folklore. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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