The Water Margin, written by Zichang Xu in the early seventeenth century, dramatizes episodes from the famous novel of the same name, focusing on the character Jiang Song and others related to him.
Song, an honest captain working for a magistrate’s court, has a liaison with bandits in the Liang Mountain. Song takes Poxi Yan as his concubine, who, is also having an affair with Song’s colleague Wenyuan Zhang. After learning of Song’s liaison with the bandits, Yan threatens to blackmail Song, which prompts Song to kill her. After Yan dies, her ghost haunts Zhang and takes his life.
Taken Alive, also known as Love Haunt, depicts the ghost of Yan, who, still having feelings for Zhang, comes to visit his abode at night. She eventually makes clear her intention and succeeds in taking Zhang’s life; together they enter the nether world as husband and wife.