The Chinese believe in a large spectrum of ghosts that haunt the world of the living after passing into the netherworld. Each specific ghost has a trait, based on how they lived or how they died. These ghosts can be identified by specific characteristics and some are believed to haunt and even harm the Chinese people. If you find yourself in China face to face with a spirit it may be useful to know what type of ghost you are dealing with.
If you are a lecherous man beware of the Nu Gui
The Nu Gui is the ghost of a woman dressed in a long red or white dress. The most common Nu Gui’s come from women who commit suicide and return to the realm of the living to take revenge on those who have wronged them. There are tales of ghosts returning to earth as beautiful women who seduce lecherous men before killing them and taking their blood in revenge.
Don’t lose your head – Wu Tou Gui
The Wu Tou Gui is the ghosts of the beheaded Chinese criminals. In ancient China those accused of committing severe crimes were sentenced to decapitation and it is believed that their headless spirits wander around the execution site for eternity.
The Wronged Ghosts – Yuan Gui
When a human dies and there is injustice or their death is the result of a false accusation they are believed to remain on earth in the spirit form of Yuan Gui. These ghosts are unable to enter the underworld as their depressed and restless spirit keeps them trapped on earth. They can be heard crying or screaming at night as they sometimes look for people to help them clear their reputations in the living world.
Er Gui – The affection seeking ghosts
Er Gui or the “Hungry Ghost” are believed to be the most common in China, during the seventh lunar month of the year (July), is the period when the Chinese celebrate the Western version of Halloween. It is believed that during this period ghosts return from the netherworld in search of affection from the living. The Chinese are taught to placate to these ghosts with gifts of food, money and water. It is believed that if the spirits are not appeased they could return to earth angry and haunt the families who ignore their deceased relatives.