The next Thai ghost in our Halloween series is the spirit of Nang Tani. Phi (ghost) Tani, also known as “The Banana Tree Fairy” is believed to haunt wild groves of banana trees. For this reason, many Thai residents will not have that particular type of Banana tree anywhere near their homes. It is said that Phi Tani only comes out on nights when the moon is full.
If you are ever driving around and come upon a clump of banana trees with a knot of red cloth tied around it, it is probably best not to meddle around with it. This ribbon is placed around the banana trees that are said to be haunted by the ghost. Thais will also typically leave offerings of sweets, incense and flowers to keep the ghost appeased.
While Phi Tani is not necessarily as horrifying as some of the other Thai ghosts, it is believed that she will get angry if you cut down the wild banana trees that she inhabits. She also is known to get revenge on men who abuse or mistreat their women. For the most part though it is believed that Phi Tani is a semi-peaceful spirit.
The particular banana trees that house Phi Tani are a variety that produce no edible fruit. Their leaves and flowers are believed however to possess magic and are widely used for a variety of healing remedies.
Most people who have spotted the ghost state that she is green in complexion (much like the banana trees) with long flowing black hair and a traditional Thai style outfit.
Much like the first two spirits we discussed, the tale of Nang Tani has been created into several films of the same or similar names. There are also several Chinese and Singaporean stories that mention a banana tree fairy or spirit.