Legends about vampires prevailed in middle Qing Dynasty and afterwards. Most records were made by Yuan Mei and JI Xiaolan, who were both famous scholars then.
Marching vampire home originated in four counties of western HU NAN province of western China. When a man died his body would be marched home by a magician before the corpse decayed... lining up with wrist tied to one string, corpses bounced along the road. It was yellow paper talisman attached to the corpse’s forehead which is given magic power by skilled magician that sent corpses following the magician ahead of them.
During their move, gongs were struck and bells shook by other magicians to warn people ahead to avoid them. The gang moved at night and lodged at inn during daytime to go to sleep. On arriving at a hotel, magicians will remove talismans from corpse’s forehead for during daytime, corpses have no ability to make troubles.
It is also said that actually, corpse was carried home by people on their shoulder. A generally-accepted idea is Marching vampire home is closely associated with drug-trafficking activity. Corpse is often considered not auspicious in Chinese tradition and people will avoid corpse as much as possible. So under the cover of vampire, opium produced by western powers, especially Britain, found their way to Chinese addicts. From this point, Britain contributed a lot to vampire legends in China.
Sent in by Yumao Wu, Copyright 2011
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