Daily Monster 303: Nang Ta-khian

Region of origin: Thailand

One of a group of spirits that appear as young women who inhabit specific trees, the Nang ta-khian is tied to Hopea odorata, or, locally, ta-khian, trees. The spirits and the trees they inhabit are revered and, in some areas, shrines are created around the tree, and offerings such as food, small carvings and clothing are left for the spirits. In return she may provide luck and wealth (with a particular connection to lottery winnings). If the tree is to be cut down, a ceremony may be performed to let her know to move on to another home or else she will remain tied to the timber and anything made from it, bringing misfortune or otherwise haunting the structure, often heard wailing in the night. Like most spirits taking on an attractive female form, she is also said to lure men in with a beautiful or mournful song and steal their life-force.