Jiang Shi (meaning "stiff corpse" or "zombie") are reanimated corpses that hop around, killing living creatures to absorb life from their victims. They are said to be created when a person's soul fails to leave the deceased's body, due to improper death, suicide, or just wanting to cause trouble.
Generally their appearance can range from being a recently deceased person to the like commonly associated with corpses that have been in a state of decay over a period of time. A peculiar feature is if they have greenish-white furry skin; one theory is this is derived from fungus or mold growing on corpses. They are said to have long white hair all over their heads and they may be animals. The influence of Western vampire stories brought the blood-sucking aspect to the Chinese myth in modern times.
They as known as Chinese vampires by Westerners, despite the fact that unlike vampires, most jiang shi usually have no self-awareness, consciousness or independent thought, so they are also called Chinese zombies.
Jiang shi have also been a popular subject in Hong Kong films during the 1980s. A Jiang Shi was also a main character in the film The Gods Must Be Crazy III.