Myanmar (Burma)

Ouktazaun are a type of spirit, essentially a special kind of ghost. A dead soul transforms into an Ouktazaun if death occurred while in the throes of greed for material possessions and wealth. The Ouktazaun is then forced to guard wealth, possibly secret buried treasure, possibly the wealth found in Buddhist pagodas. It is an extremely lonely position, and the Ouktazaun are frustrated, unhappy ghosts. They may be male or female, but scary Ouktazaun stories tend to feature female spirits.

Once condemned to be an Ouktazaun, there are two methods of escaping one’s fate.

• The Ouktazaun finds someone tempted by greed and lures them to a secluded spot with the promise of treasure. Then the Ouktazaun kills its victim and switches identities. The victim must take over guardian duties while the Ouktazaun assumes their identity. This is only a temporary solution, as the switch will only last for a limited time—typically about twenty years—after which time, the Ouktazaun must resume its role. Still, it is a respite.

• The Ouktazaun, pretending to be alive, entices someone to fall in love with him or her. (Many Ouktazaun are very attractive and seductive. Plus they have access to wealth.) Those who are seduced by Ouktazaun will die and then join them as partners, sharing guardianship duties. The role is not escaped, but it is no longer lonely. (If the victim is truly in love and does not feel angry or betrayed, they may even be happy.)

Ouktazaun are potentially dangerous spirits even if they haven’t targeted someone to become their substitute or partner. Contact with them can cause death. Pro tection from them may be obtained via amulets or protective tattoos, especially if the Ouktazaun has already been encountered and is exerting a pull on the victim who is trying to resist. Trained shamans and exorcists can also offer protection and healing.



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.