Ghost Blows Out the Light

Ghost Blows Out the Light (Chinese: 鬼吹灯; pinyin: Guǐ Chuīdēng), also referred to as Candle in the Tomb, is a fantasy novel series written by Zhang Muye (天下霸唱) about a team of grave robbers seeking hidden treasure, with the first book published online in March 2006.[1] It quickly became the bestselling online novel in China with an estimated readership of six million,[2] and when published in print form in October the same year,[3][4] went on to sell over 500,000 copies,[1] although the book had to be rewritten to remove references to the supernatural before it could be released.[5]

Ghost Blows Out the Light
AuthorZhang Muye (天下霸唱)
Original title鬼吹灯 (Guǐ Chuīdēng)
GenreFantasy novel
Publication date
1st book: March 2006 (online) and October 2006 (print)
Media typeOnline, Print

Set in the 1980s, the series follows former soldier Hu Bayi and his partner as they raid tombs in search of valuables.[3] The two team up with an American archaeologist after they fall victim to a curse, and to release themselves from it they must seek clues found among ancient mythical sites across China.[3]

The title is derived from an old Chinese saying, credited by the author to genuine grave robbers: "A human lights the candle and the ghosts blow it out."[3][4] According to Muye, grave robbers would place a candle in the south-east corner of a tomb after entering, in an attempt to make contact with the dead. If the candle was extinguished it was a sign that the spirits within opposed the intrusion, and the robbers would be obliged to depart, leaving everything intact and undisturbed.[3][4]


In July 2007, it was reported that Hollywood film studio New Line Cinema was planning a movie adaptation.[1] It was stated that one of the two lead actors was to be Qian Zhijun, the teenager whose face was behind the Xiao Pang internet phenomenon, while other roles would be played by established Hong Kong movie stars.[1][6] There has already been a bestselling online game released based on the book, while a play is also mooted.[7]

In 2015, two film adaptations of the novel was released. Zhang revealed that out of all eight volumes of the novel; half of them were sold to China Film Group Corporation, and the other half were sold to Wanda Pictures. Zhang worked with Wanda for Mojin: The Lost Legend, helping to write a new chapter especially for the film.[8] The other adaptation, Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe received mixed reviews as too many changes were made to the story in the original novel, and Zhang even issued a statement saying he was not involved with the screenplay.[9]

Three television adaptations are also produced. Candle in the Tomb, released in December 2016 by Daylight Entertainment, is based on the first volume of the novel series of the same title.[10] Two upcoming adaptations The Weasel Grave and Mu Ye Gui Shi are also set to be released, and are based off the second volume and eighth volume of the series respectively.

Historical information

See also


  1. "Little Fatty Likely to Appear in Hollywood Film", China Radio International, July 2, 2007.
  2. Chellis Ying, "Looking for China's Murakami", Publishers Weekly, September 21, 2007.
  3. "The Thriller 'Candle in the Tomb'", China Radio International, April 4, 2007.
  4. "Ghosts in the Machine?",
  5. Aventurina King, "The Chinese Novel Finds New Life Online", Wired, August 17, 2007.
  6. "Johnnie To's Next Project Is a Trilogy Thriller", China Radio International, August 31, 2007
  7. Jessie Jiang & Simon Elegant, "Avoiding Censors, Chinese Authors Go Online", Time, March 16, 2009.
  8. "'Mojin: The Lost Legend', a Sequel to Ghost Blows out the Light". english.cri. December 17, 2015.
  9. Zhang Rui (December 15, 2015). "Tomb raid novel turned into blockbuster".
  10. Xu Wei (December 14, 2016). "Highly-anticipated tomb-raiding adventure series on air". Shanghai Daily.
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