The Water Monster’s Breath


There was a man named Cheng Zhizhang(程志章) from Hangzhou who once traveled from Chaozhou(潮州) through Huanggang(黃崗) by boat, crossing a sea channel. Halfway through the journey, a strong wind suddenly arose, and a black vapor surged from the water. Within this vapor was a figure, entirely black, with only the eye sockets and lips as white as powder. He boarded the boat Cheng Zhizhang was on, sat at the bow, and blew air toward the people on the boat. 

The Corpse Monster at Shimen Gate

《菸雲生動》吳石仙 近代

In Shimen County(石門縣), Zhejiang Province(浙江), there was a local official named Li Nianxian(李念先), tasked with collecting rent in the villages. One evening, he arrived at a remote village but couldn’t find an inn. He noticed a dimly lit thatched cottage in the distance and decided to head in that direction. As he approached, he found a broken bamboo fence acting as a gate, and from within came moaning sounds.

Li Nianxian loudly announced himself, stating his purpose as a local official there to collect rent. 


Chenhuang(乘黃/飛黃)is a mythical creature in ancient Chinese mythology. According to the Classic of Mountains and Seas(山海經), it looks like a fox, has a horn on its back, and is yellow in color. The person who rides it will live for 2,000 years longer.


The Strange Butterfly

In the capital, there was a man named Ye(葉某), who was very close to Wang Si(王四) from Yizhou(易州). On the seventh day of the seventh month, it was Wang Si’s sixtieth birthday. Ye rode a donkey to wish him well. When he reached Fangshan County(房山), it was already dark. Suddenly, a tall man on horseback approached him and asked where he was headed. Ye truthfully told him his destination. The man was delighted and said, ‘Wang Si is my cousin; I am also heading there. 

The Hairy Man from Guandong

Guandong(關東) resident Xu Shangen(許善根) made a living by digging for ginseng roots(人參). According to the custom, ginseng diggers had to go up the mountains to dig only when it was late and quiet. One day, exhausted from traveling at night, Xu Shangen fell asleep on the sandy ground. When he woke up, he found himself being held by a hairy man. This hairy man stood about twenty feet tall, covered all over with red hair. 

The Monster in the Study Room

He turned around and saw a monster, about five feet tall, with tiger teeth and wolf eyes, fur like a monkey, and claws like an eagle or hawk, wearing leopard-skin pants.

During the Zhenguan period of the Tang Dynasty, Xu Jing and Zhang Xian studied together in the Yanyue Mountains. The study room had two rooms, one for each person, with a distance of one zhang between them. Xu Jing was in the west, Zhang Xian was in the east, and each had their own doors and windows.