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  • Writer's pictureS. N. Linn

Ma Phae Wah, the Ghostly Guardian of Graveyards from Myanmar

Updated: Jan 1

A phantom woman in long black hair sitting on a coffin, graveyard scene behind her

Ma Phae Wah, also known as the “Yellow Ribbon Lady” from Myanmar folklore, is the ghostly guardian of graveyards. She is depicted as a pale phantom woman with long black hair dressed in yellow attire.

When night descends, she is said to wander through the streets, carrying a wooden coffin on her head. If she places her coffin in front of a house, it is believed that someone, particularly a young child, will soon perish. In this sense, she is the Myanmar equivalent of a grim reaper.

In the late 1990s, a rumor spread across Myanmar that Ma Phae Wah had appeared in a monk’s dream, expressing a desire to devour children. Feeling deeply disturbed, the monk allegedly advised her to consume dogs instead.

This rumor triggered a wave of mass hysteria, which led to the emergence of even more unsettling tales about Ma Phae Wah.


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About the writer:

S. N. Linn is a blogger and author of books on folklore, legends, and heart-pounding ghost stories and paranormal adventures. You can find more of her work on her website:

Copyrighted by Su Nandar Linn


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