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The Four Ghosts of China

Western monsters are well-known all across the world. There are zombies, werewolves, vampires, dragons, and so on. Meanwhile, China has a diverse range of terrible monsters and apparitions. Since ancient times, the Chinese have told legends about demons and monsters to explain what goes bump in the night. The ancient Chinese took ghosts exceptionally seriously, and an incorrect ritual or burial may result in vengeful spirits. With that being said, let’s look at one of the most feared ghosts in China:

Jiang Shi or “Hopping Corpse”

This type of ghost or monster is China’s very own vampire and zombie. “Jiang shi” translates approximately to “stiff bodies,” and they are corpses that have risen to kill the living to take their life force. They have greenish-white skin and are occasionally shown with decaying flesh. A Jiang shi is distinguished by the fact that they can only move by hopping since their body and limbs have become brittle owing to rigor mortis. A jumping monster’s hopping sounds may often make Chinese youngsters fear. Mirrors, it is thought, can be utilized to fend off Jiang shi. Jiang shi is terrified of their own reflections and the glare of mirrors.

Mog Wai or “Monster” 

Rain, according to legend, was the catalyst for the mog wai mating season. In Chinese folklore, there are several shape-shifting creatures. The Yaoguai (妖怪) are demons that consume souls in order to obtain immortality. To deceive their prey, the shapeshifters would assume multiple forms. A terrifying Chinese legend tells about a guy who brings a lovely damsel home. He does, however, spy on her via the bedroom window one night. Instead of this gorgeous girl, he sees a devil painting characteristics on a woman’s flesh.

Nu Gui or “Ghost Woman”

The nu gui, or ghost lady, was mistreated in life and has returned from the grave to exact revenge by sucking the life force of her adversaries. These were frequently the spirits of women slain or mistreated by their husbands. As a result, numerous urban legends claim that these ghosts will kill males while just scaring women. As Japanese culture greatly affects Chinese popular culture, more current female spirits are modeled on Sadako from the Japanese film “The Ring.”

Hu Li Jing or “Fox Demon”

Lastly, there’s this urban legend that if there are many villager corpses with their hearts pulled out, then there’s probably a fox demon among them. Fox demons sometimes assume the guise of attractive, alluring women. They frequently seduce men and then devour their hearts (or livers) to keep their gorgeous looks and immortality, or to become human themselves. The Chinese term meaning “fox devil” has been used to characterize beautiful ladies with questionable morality. However, it was said that not all fox demons are evil. Some Chinese traditions relate to benevolent and friendly fox spirits.

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