- Chinese and Japanese (culture)
- Undead (attribute)
- Deadly (behaviour)
- Vampires (common type)
A Chinese Vampire in the form of a soul. It is believed that every person has two souls; one which is rational and superior and one which is irrational and inferior. Before birth the foetus is possessed by the irrational soul which is overcome by the rational one at birth. A Chiang-Shih is a person who has been repossessed by their irrational soul and causes them to eat the living. The Chiang-Shih is known to often possess the souls of children.
There is Chinese belief of a life force called 'chi' which roughly translates to 'air' or 'breath'. It is told that when a person dies with great grudge, they can refuse to let the last 'breath' go, and keep it in their throat. With this last 'breath', somehow keeps some part of the person living, whilst the rest of the body is dead, it will not decay, instead it begins to get harder, to a point even the knees and elbows aren't able to move, (thats why they are jumping around with their arms sticking out). Also, their hair and nails will keep growing.
They call this the 'Shih-bien', which translates as 'corpse change'. Chiang-shihs goes after its own living relatives first, and goes rampage at night afterwards. This is the most mentionable version of the myth, there are other versions, one about a black cat jumps over a corpse will cause it to 'Shih-bien', some says a lightning hitting a corpse will do it.
Chiang Shih doesn't see, they depends on smelling the targets breath, so if you hold your breath in front of a Chiang Shih, it wouldn't feel your presence. A Chiang Shih's body is so hard that normal blades cant harm it, so killing a Chiang Shih, one would need to burn it with fire of a burning Lichi tree, the priest can stop its movement by sticking a paper talisman on its forehead.
Chiang-Shih has been viewed 8613 times.
© Please mention mythicalcreatureslist.com when referencing this source.
Previous: Chin Chia
© Copyright 2011 - 2014 MythBeasts Chiang-Shih
Background Illustrations (Left top-bottom, right top-bottom): Medusa by Gonzalo Ordonez, Loch Ness Monster by dyb,
Basilisk by JustMick, Shuck by Serphire, Ts Um A Kas - Illustration of a rock painting (from Dover publications).