Jumping corpses

Fancy this. The Star Paper carried an article on jumping corpses. It seems that in Kampung Tembioh, a village in Kota Tinggi, Johor, Malaysia, five bundles – believed to be hantu pocong or jumping corpses which smelt of camphor and frangipani were found near the riverbank of Sungai Johor. Two friends who went there fishing had initially seen a bundle which looked like a corpse covered with white cloth appearing out of nowhere. Later that night, four other bundles appeared. The five bundles were all of different sizes giving the impression that they were a family of two adults and three children. The article reminded me of the Chinese vampires called Jiang Shi (stiff corpse) that can hop around and kill living creatures to absorb life essence from their victims. Korean called these vampires gangshi while Japanese called them kyōshi or kyonshī. I remember there were Hong Kong movies on these vampires in the 80s which were very popular; most notably, Ricky Lau's highly acclaimed cult film,Mr.Vampire which spawned four sequels. Storiesof these vampires are supposed to have originated from a folk practice of Traveling a Corpse over a Thousand Li which was popular in Xiangxi. Many people here left their hometown to work elsewhere and when they died, Taoist priests would transport the corpses home at night and would ring bells to notify passerbys of their presence. The family were often too poor to afford wagons to transport the corpses and these were therefore transported using long bamboo rods. It was said that when the bamboo flexed up and down, the corpses appeared to be hopping in unison from a distance, and hence we had the jumping Chinese vampires which brought so much fun in Hong Kong vampire comedies. Some people think though the stories are made up by smugglers who disguised their illegal activities as corpse transportation and wanted to scare off law enforcement officers but then who cares - just watch this... Mr. Vampire...


Comments

thuanhee said…
Jumping corpses!! There are a few of them right here in our local political scene
footiam said…
Oh, you so not computer savvy. For this blog, you just comment. I have a look at the comment and if I don't like it, I can have them deleted. If I like, I can publish it. That's why if you comment, you wn't see what you write immediately but there will a statement that says you comment will be published after my approval. That means, comments will be moderated by me. And yes, those are not jumping corpses, if you read Malaysia today, they called them jumping frogs.
Liudmila said…
People like these stories all over the world and in all times. They make he life more entertaining, I think.
footiam said…
Yes, I like them too. Do post on Italian and Russian ghosts, won't you?
Liudmila said…
I just wrote about them but it's an infinite theme...
footiam said…
Didn't see it - must check!

Popular posts from this blog

A Singer and a Gentleman

Old Taiwanese Romantic Movies

Genetically Chinese