1. Jiangshi 僵屍
The jiangshi is a cross between a vampire and a zombie: it’s a recently deceased person brought back to life, who must drink blood to survive. The twist? Because rigor mortis has set in, these creatures apparently hop after their prey with arms outstretched, making them a pretty popular character for movies and children’s ghost stories.
2. Ba jiao gui 芭蕉鬼
Literally, the banana ghost. Doesn’t sound very intimidating, does it? This ghost is said to be found under banana trees, and there is a legend that if gamblers find a ba jiao gui, and tie a red rope around the tree, the spirit will come to them and asked to be released in exchange for lucky lottery numbers. Brave souls beware: if you do not keep your promise to the ba jiao gui your fate is sealed!
3. E gui 饿鬼
The hungry ghosts. Many Asian countries with a history of Buddhism and Taoism observe the Ghost Festival on the 14th or 15th day of the 7th month in the lunar calendar. This is believed to be the time when the spirits can come back to visit the living, including the E gui which represent spirits of greedy people who have now been transformed to make it impossible for them to eat. These ghosts are said to roam the streets during the 7th month, trying to gobble up any offerings or trash left around.
4. Nü gui. 女鬼
This literally translates to female ghost, and these are believed to be vengeful spirits of women who suffered injustice in life. These spirits are depicted with long black hair and white dress. Similar spirits have been made famous in Japanese movies such as The Ring. Creepy.
5. Shui Gui.水鬼
These water ghosts are the spirits of people who drowned, with a twist: they are said to drag unsuspecting victims underwater and drown them, only to take possession of the person’s body, leaving them below the water to continue the cycle with the next helpless victim.
By Ashley Farrell, Personal Placement Consultant @ Teaching Nomad.
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