Korean Traditional Monsters (3): Changgui

Changgui

Changgui is a type of ghost that appears in Korean and Chinese legends. It is the spirit of a person killed and eaten by a tiger, and serves the beast in afterlife against their will. Becoming changgui depends on many other factors and they vary from one story to another. The most common one is meeting a tiger alone at night.

Changgui’s primary roles are to help the tiger find other human victims and avoid traps set by hunters. Changgui helps the tiger to eat other humans because there is a chance to be set free.

There are two common ways to get rid of this ghost:
(1) One of the living relatives can hunt the tiger, kill it, and eat the heart.
(2) Collect and burn the person’s remains to build a sanctified stone tomb around the ashes.

Usually protagonists use the methods simultaneously. This tragic legendary figure is thought to be semi-corporeal, and likes to eat green plums. A way to distract a changgui, while hunting the tiger it serves, is to scatter green plums throughout the mountain trails. Depending on geographical regions, other local delicacies replace green plums because they are rare in some areas of Korea.

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The linked video is a short story  based on changgui. I have shared the video to enhance the article and done so with the maker’s permission.

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