Think vampires are all the same? Think again! Vampires come in more flavors than Baskin-Robbins ice cream. So, this special DotW feature, Vampires we know and love, spotlights different kinds of bloodsucking fiends from around the world.
Xiang shi/Jiang shi/Chiang shi
Confused yet? Why would a vampire have three names?
Well, when it’s a Chinese vampire, it would be best to write the name in either Mandarin or Cantonese. Wouldn’t it be great if I knew either of those languages?
Just slur it and you’ll be fine.
According to Chinese folklore, you’d better bury your dead right away, or they might become xiang shi (Yes, I’m using the spelling variant that starts with X. Because it’s cool, that’s why). A xiang shi might not have originally sucked blood, but when European travelers brought their tales of vampires to China, they certainly started then.
A xiang shi might be pretty, or pretty gross, depending on the best before date of the corpse, but if you find yourself facing a person with glowy red eyes, covered in greenish fuzz (like corpse mold), and with long white hair, you can get you’ve got yourself a xiang shi.
To defend against the xiang shi, try holding your breath. Other effective techniques include sticky rice (but not the regular kind) and chicken eggs (but not duck eggs).
Or you could just run.
By the way, my friend Allison Van Deipen’s book Raven features a hot jiang shi hip-hop dancer. I would definitely give up sticky rice for him.
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- Rosemary Guiley, Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters, Checkmark Books, 2005