1. Now a cult obsession thanks to Hong Kong horror movies of the 1980s and 1990s, the legend of the hopping vampire was first detailed in a series of supernatural reflections compiled between 1789 and 1798 by Ji Xiaolan (also known as Ji Yun) and collected posthumously in an 1800 volume entitled Yuewei Caotang Biji (閱微草堂筆記) – it’s English-language translation being the rather beautiful Random Notes at the Cottage of Close Scrutiny.
Referred to as Jiangshi (殭屍) – meaning “hard or “stiff”, Jiangshi was a word originally used to mean “corpse” – this cursed soul was stiffened by rigor mortis and unable to move beyond a hop, like some undead pogo stick, with its arms stretched out in front of it for balance.
2.The Hopping Vampires (jiang shi) are a type of undead creature found in Chinese folklore. Although its Chinese name is often translated as ‘Chinese hopping vampire / zombie / ghost), its literal meaning is ‘stiff corpse’. These creatures may be identified by their attire – the uniform of a Qing Dynasty official. Additionally, the jiang shi is recognizable by its posture and movement. The arms of these creatures are permanently outstretched, apparently due to rigormortis, and they hop, rather than walk. As a result of the stiffness in their bodies, there are many ways to turn a corpse into a jiang shi, and as many ways to defeat them. These undead creatures appear in quite a number of Chinese films.
Whilst most jiang shi share the same type of attire, bodily posture and mode of movement, variations also exist amongst these creatures. For example, some of these beings look like normal humans, others are a little more decomposed, as a result of being dead for a longer period of time. Yet others have been depicted with sharp teeth, long nails, and emitting a green phosphorescent glow. In some versions of the story, the jiang shi are said to be able to grow stronger, thus allowing them to acquire skills such as flying and transforming into wolves.