Lady Banana Ghost
Also known as: Phit Nang Tani
Lady Banana Ghost names a species of tree spirit who live within certain types of small Thai banana trees. Each tree has its own ghost. Lady Banana Ghost rarely emerges from her home without provocation. She will emerge upon the death of the tree (she does not die with the tree but will be unhappy at being displaced) and is at the peak of her powers when the tree flowers, when she maybe particularly active. Should the tree die while flowering, she may be really active.
Association between tree and ghost is no accident: this particular species of Thai banana is traditionally associated with death and funeral rites. Tree trunks are used in funeral rituals. Because the tree is useful (leaves are also used to wrap food), it’s not avoided but they are maintained at a distance from residences, not placed too close to home.
Lady Banana Ghost has fun terrorizing solitary men. She’ll emerge and do something scary (her sudden emergence may be sufficient) just to see them run or scream. She doesn’t really do any harm: she’s a prankster out for some fun, not a vicious spirit. If you entertain her by showing panic or fear, she’ll leave you alone. Lady Banana Ghost can also be magnanimous and benevolent and is known to offer alms to itinerant monks.
Lady Banana Ghost is an oracular spirit and is the subject of magic spells intended to force her to reveal information in dreams, usually the identity of someone’s true love or future spouse. She is not a willing participant and must be magically forced. However, once coerced to serve in this manner, it’s her turn to exert coercion. She may not go away but insist on regular offerings and a role as a spiritual matron; haunting dreams and causing misfortune (usually of the romantic, domestic kind) until properly propitiated and a working relationship established.
See also: Ghost
From the Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.