In Chinese folklore Chiang-shih, or ‘hopping ghost’, is a combination of spirit monster and unburied corpse, which vaguely resembles a Western vampire; it comes to life and wreaks death and misfortune. The Chinese believed that an unburied corpse was a great danger because it could easily be inhabited by evil spirits.

Traditionally the Chinese would bury their dead in garments that bound their legs together, so the spirit was thought to hop instead of walk. The Chiang-shih are blind but intensely powerful, with great supernatural powers, including gale-force breath, swordlike fingernails, incredibly long eyebrows that can be used to lasso or bind an enemy, shape-shifting powers and the ability to fly.

The Chiang-shih is created when a person dies a violent or painful death or when the soul has been angered because of an improper burial or improper preparation for burial, or when improper respects are paid to the dead. Something even being buried in the wrong location can cause a person to become a Chiang-shih.

Traditionally the Chiang-shih were believed to suck the breath out of their victims. The main items used in defence against Chiang-shih are death blessings, written on yellow paper and stuck to the forehead of the deceased, garlic, mirrors, straw and chicken blood.