Chinese Folklore about Necromancy in My Hometown

Foundation Operation X for languages, cultures and perspectives

Written by Dakota Wang

I am wondering if you guys have watched Hongkongese movies featuring necromancy? The folk stories which are called “dead body running” (raising a corpse and controlling it) in some of these movies originate from Xiangxi (my hometown). Officially, dead body running is a part of witchcraft culture, also known as Yiling. In the Qing Dynasty, the rumor of “corpse chasers” in Western Hunan was widespread, that is, the corpse chasers used “secret skills” to bring back the corpses of people who had died in a foreign land far away from their hometown and let them live in peace. So what are those skills? How does that process work?

In ancient times, there were countless riots and wars in China. Therefore many people were sacrificed or died in places other than their hometown. Traditionally speaking, Chinese have strong feelings of family and home — ”fallen leaves return…

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