Mae Nak spirit
The story of "Mae Nak" (แม่นาค) is perhaps the most famous of all Thai ghosts.
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Last century, during the reign of King Mongkut (1851-1868), when Bangkok was still called the "Venice of the Far East", a woman called "NAK" was married to a man called "MAK". They moved into a house in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district, near Wat Mahabut. After a while her husband was called off to war. Alas she was already pregnant.
Her husband didn't know anything about his wife's death. So when he came back home, his wife was waiting for him. Many persons did warn him that his wife was dead and that he was living with a ghost but he did not believe them.
But her husband saw that, he understood that his wife was now a ghost. He managed to flee from the house and took refuge inside Wat Mahabut. "MAE NAK" terrorised the local population as an expression of her anger with them for helping her husband.
But the husband of "MAE NAK" was living with another woman. The ghost of "MAE NAK" managed to find them and killed her husband's new girlfriend. Finally "MAE NAK" accepted to stop killing because a monk promised her that in a next life she would live again with her husband. Nowadays Thai people still believe in the story of "MAE NAK PHRA KHANONG". Thai people don't like to speak about ghosts, they are afraid to meet them in their dreams while sleeping.
The spirit "MAE NAK" is said to love listening "Mon Rak Luuk Tung" songs. Click here to listen to the song.
The Thai expression is ขัดต้นไม้ขอหวย.
"MAE NAK" is the short name for "MAE NAK PHRA KHANONG". "MAE" (แม่) means mother but now many people are calling her "YA NAK". "YA" (ย่า) means grant mother. Indeed the story happened one century ago.
Thai mothers always warn their daughters to come home after school. If not "MAE NAK" might catch them ! The shrine, where "MAE NAK PHRA KHANONG" ashes remain, is located near Sukhumvit road, soi 77. This shrine is now famous. Due to the several Thai TV series and few movies, the shrine is overcrowded.
The Thai movie "NANG NAK" released in 1999 was one of the biggest success in Thai cinema. It is the story of "MAE NAK PHRA KHANONG". More than 20 Thai movies remakes about "MAE NAK" life have been produced so far. In year 2009 Mae Nak The Musical was even launched.