Thursday, June 16, 2016

Banana Ghost Of Taiwan (民雄的香蕉鬼)

Taiwan is a place full of mysteries too apart from Hong Kong, Japan and Southeast Asia. However, such stories are rarely made available to non-Chinese readers.

My friend who used to stay in Minxiong Village (民雄乡), Jiayi County (嘉义县), Taiwan knew some local ghost stories and he is very kind as to share them with me:

The below is a story about a banana ghost.

In the beginning of 20th century, there was a filthy rich businessman selling tobacco and liquors who owned a big mansion in the village.

This businessman employed may workers and maids to take care of his mansion. There were two wells in the backyard, one well specifically for the businessman and his family; while the other is meant for the workers to share.

To begin with, this businessman wasn’t any amicable soul, he treated his workers cruelly and when his workers grumbled, they would be tortured physically.

Legend has it that one day, one of his maids grumbled about having to work too much and for too long hours, the businessman asked someone to drag this poor maid to one of the well and pushed her down into the well and drowned. After that, this businessman had the well filled with soils so as to hide the body of the poor maid. Now another new well need to be dug as replacement. He subsequently announced to the outside world that the old well had to be abandoned due to lack of water supply. No one questioned his reason of course.

A year later, a banana tree grown from the well that hid the murdered maid’s body. At the same time, the businessman’s house started to be haunted. Right at midnight the moment when the maid was pushed into the well, a lady spirit could be seen raised from the well and wandered about in the backyard while weeping sorrowfully. Everyone in the house was very scared. So, one by one left the house until the businessman has no choice but to abandon his house too.

Another year passed, the banana tree was fully grown and the maid’s restless spirit possessed this banana tree and became the frightful banana ghost.

During midnight, sorrowful voice of this restless spirit could be heard emitting from this banana tree. The news of the haunting of the businessman’s house gradually spread to the villagers and that naturally attracted many spectators.

Gradually, the local government officials noticed the commotion around the haunted house, they sent solders to chase away the villagers but as soon as the soldiers left the place, the villagers congregated again.

The soldiers tried to chop down the banana tree but their axes were swayed aside until the axes chopped the soldiers’ own legs instead. So the local officials had to leave the banana tree alone until a new mayor took over. The new mayor asked some workers to dig out the remains under the well and had some Taoists performed a deliverance ritual in the hope that the restless spirit would rest in peace.

Indeed, after the soul is rested, the banana tree could be chopped down easily. Since then, there are no more hauntings.

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