Five Types of Chinese Ghosts

  • December 27, 2010
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Nu Gui

Nu gui can be read as a blanket term referring to certain types of vengeful female ghosts.


Sisters are doing it for themselves.

According to legend, a woman who commits suicide while wearing a red dress will return to the realm of the living as a spirit wearing a white dress. At what point she decides to change her outfit is uncertain but there's a good chance that somewhere in limbo you can find a dry cleaner. Anyway, in folklore the color red is usually applied to revenge, so if you ever see a corpse in a red dress it may be in your best interest to turn around and walk very, very quickly.

Stories involving nu gui usually have the woman meet with some form of abuse or injustice while she's still alive. When she returns as a spirit, her mission is to simply seek revenge on those who wronged her. A common urban legend tells of families dressing up the body of a deceased daughter or sister in a red dress with the hopes that she will rise from the grave hungry for justice.


Every single one of these people are praying for a Batman.


Yuan Gui

What happens when you take a nu gui and completely remove the kick-ass? Yuan gui happens, and it's a bit depressing.

An early Chinese belief saw spirits as not immediately being reincarnated. Sometimes they would need to wait before entering the underworld and thus would remain among the living until their time had come. Such is the yuan gui, but with a twist; yuan gui have suffered a wrongful death and simply won't shut up about it.


File photo.

While waiting for their turn to give it up to Jesus, the yuan gui roams the earth depressed (because being dead simply isn't enough) and constantly seeking to have their story told. They whine and whine and whine until someone actually gives a damn, then they whine some more until something is actually done about it.

Stories focusing on these spirits involve them searching for a kind person that they can direct to clues that would ultimately tell their story and put them at peace.

Written by NN – Copyrighted ©

Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - Ba Jioa Gui:
  • - E Gui:
  • - Jiang Shi:
  • - Nu Gui:
  • - Yuan Gui: