Known the world over as the “hopping vampire,” the mythology specifically regarding the ch’ing shih originates in the lands between Siberia and China. This vampiric REVENANT is created in the typical fashion of most Chinese vampires—when a cat jumps over a corpse, if a person has been cursed to rise as the undead, or if a person has the misfortune of dying far from home and not being returned there for burial (see UNDEATH). No matter how it is created, the ch’ing shih will return with red eyes, curved fingernails, serrated teeth, and pale GREEN-white skin that gives off a phosphorescent glow. As it ages, its HAIR continues to grow and changes from whatever its current color is to pure white. When it has a long and full mane of HAIR, it is considered physically matured. The ch’ing shih feeds off the blood of men, but with its voracious sexual appetite it is well known to first rape and then devour the bodies of women.
After it rises from the dead as a vampire, the ch’ing shih will have the ability to shape-shift into a CORPSE CANDLE. However, once it reaches maturity, it will have the ability to fly of its own accord, track its prey by scent, and shape-shift into the form of a wolf. Its breath is so foul that it can kill a person if it exhales directly on someone.
The ch’ing shih is blind and it has difficulty crossing running water. Its power is derived from the moon, so during the day and on moonless nights it stays in its underground dwelling. Although it is afraid of thunder and loud noises, the only thing it is truly fearful of is the White Emperor, to whose court it must pay homage.
To destroy an adolescent ch’ing shih, it must first be captured. There are two proven methods that can be used. The first is to trap it in a magical circle that is made by encircling the vampire with iron filings, red peas, or rice. The other method is to throw handfuls of grain on the ground as soon as one is spotted. An adolescent ch’ing shih is mystically compelled to count these grains and will cease its attack. Then, using a broom, a person can begin to sweep the grain back to the creature’s resting place. It will follow, if for no other reason than to begin to recount the grains as soon as the sweeping stops.
Once an adolescent ch’ing shih has been captured, it can be destroyed by taking Buddhist or Taoist death blessings that have been written on a piece of paper and slap it against the vampire’s forehead. Another method is to take the captured ch’ing shih to an ancestral burial ground and once there, after a proper burial rite is given for the creature, Buddhist or Taoist magic spells must be used to bind the vampire to its new grave.
A mature adult ch’ing shih can only be destroyed by the noise of a BULLET being fired or the sound of a large enough thunderclap. As soon as it falls over, the body must be burned to ash.
Chiang-Shi, Chiang Shih, Ch’iang-Shih, Ch’ing-Shih, Ch’ling Shih, Gaing Shi, “The Hopping Vampire of Asia,” Kiang-Kouei, Kiang Shi, Kiang-Shi, Kiangshi, Kouei, Kuang-Shi, Kuang-Shii, Kyonshi, Xianhshi
- New York Folklore Society, New York Folklore Quarterly, vol. 2930, 195;
- Summers, Vampire: His Kith and Kin, 237;
- Thompson, Studies of Chinese Religion, 91;
- University of Puerto Rico, Atenea, 93