A jiang-shi is typically dressed in traditional formal garments. Depending on how long after death they were reanimated, their physical state may vary, so recently deceased people who become jiang-shi may only have grey skin and few other scars or markings. A jiang-shi's fingernails will elongate into long, sharp claws and their canine teeth will lengthen into animalistic fangs.
Jiang-shi cannot jump, run or even walk. Their only form of locomotion is to hop around, almost like rabbits. This is due to the stiffening of their bodies as a result of the onset of rigor mortis.
Jiang-shi hop around with their arms outstretched, seeking living people to attack and feed upon. Much like western vampires and zombies, they will try and eat their prey alive or suck their blood from their necks. To be more accurate, jiang-shi feed on the chi of living creatures, their spiritual life energy. Jiang-shi are also completely mindless, possessing no intelligence or powers of reason and are driven only by their urge to feed on the living.
- Fire - Jiang-shi are highly vulnerable to fire and burn quickly.
- Charms - A protective charm stuck to a jiang-shi's forehead can banish the evil presence that controls the corpse.
- Peach tree wood - Items carved from the wood of a peach tree have a repellant effect on jiang-shi, much like vampires are repelled by crosses or garlic.
- Rice - Scattering rice on the ground is said to stop a jiang-shi in its tracks and it will not continue to pursue prey until it has counted every grain.