ByChris Moore, writer at
Full-time writer and professional movie geek; writer of all things Star Wars, DC and Marvel for the Moviepilot Editorial team. @Irish_CGM
Chris Moore

The history of the Chinese culture is ancient and saturated with mythology. From Confucious (Kongzi), to Daoism and Buddhism, the Chinese culture has an impressive variety of beliefs that feed the imagination.

But what about the darker side of Chinese folklore? If you look into some of their common folk tales you'll see darker themes arising. So considering Halloween is just around the corner, I've compiled a list of six Chinese folk tales that would translate brilliantly into the horror movie genre.

Which do you think would work best as a horror movie?

1. The ghost of Jiang Ziwen

Jiang Ziwen was a Chinese tyrant to who ruled over Moling, a provence of ancient China. After his untimely death at the hands of bandits, Ziwen's ghost continued to haunt the provence, demanding to be worshiped.

Although Ziwen was never officially made a deity, he was most certainly treated like one. In his honor the cult of Jiang Ziwen was founded; his worshipers become a powerful force in ancient china and continued to be so for hundreds of years.

2. Chengdu UFO Incident

We've all heard of Area 51 in the United States; most nations have that one region supposedly prone to UFO sightings and it seems China is one of the. In their case it's the Chengdu Military Zone.

In 1947 a farmer found a strange object which was quickly reported on, before the military moved in and confiscated all evidence, labelling the situation unimportant and blaming it on a weather balloon.

3. UFO Seen by Millions

You may have heard of the huge spiral that appeared in the sky above Norway in 2009, but it seems they weren't the first to experience this phenomenon, which the U.S. Airforce blamed on a spy-plane.

Back in 1981 a similar spiral appeared in the skies of China, and was seen by over 10 million people. The strange object moved through the sky at around 1.6km per second, before disappearing. Unfortunately cameras weren't common in China back then, but there is footage of the Norwegian event.

4. Wu Tou Gui: The Headless Spectre

Not a fan of UFO's? Fair enough, let's move away from the norm and back to some Chinese specific gore. How about Wu Tou Gui, or "Headless spectre?"

In ancient China the worst crimes were rewarded with beheadings, which encouraged the myth of the Wu Tou Gui -- the headless ghosts of China's worst criminals who tortured the people of ancient China.

There is also the Diao Si Gui -- the ghost of the wronged, denied access to the underworld, whose cries for help can be heard at night.

5. Gan Bao: In Search of the Supernatural

Gan Bao was a historian who wrote "In Search of the Supernatural: The Written Record" (Sou-shen Chi). His collective works are pretty interesting, but it's his own life which could really fuel a horror movie.

Supposedly Gan Bao's obsession with the supernatural began after a member of his family survived ten years trapped inside a tomb. She claimed to have achieved this with the help of a ghost who fed her. She was probably imagining the ghost after ten years alone, but it's a hell of a story!

6. Hopping Ghosts

Often described as more like a vampire or zombie than a ghost, the Chinese "hopping" ghost is the reanimated corpse of the dissatisfied, the unavenged, murdered, or unburied.

But they're supposedly weak to the blood of a black dog or a wooden sword made from a peach tree, so no worries right?


Which story would make the best horror movie?

Just a heads up!

We're excited to share the fourth issue of Moviepilot Magazine: The Fear Issue, which just went live.

It includes extensive portraits and exclusive photography of Jason Blum, John Carpenter, and Elijah Wood.

We named today's 7 most influential people in horror, and invited top genre minds - like Oren Peli and Daniel Myrick - plus our most passionate fans to weigh in.

With hand-stitched, in-depth reporting and a deep dive into the Hollywood psyche, we're proud to present The Fear Issue of Moviepilot Magazine.

Whether you're reading from your desktop, tablet, or mobile, we hope you'll really enjoy the result. We can't wait to hear what you think.


(Source: Godchecker, Thebeijinger, Listverse.)


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