Chinese mongoose and weasel folklore

Image courtesy: xuanyuan.wordpress.com
Image depicts Dzambhala with his nakala (treasure-emitting mongoose). From: xuanyuan.wordpress.com

“Coming down to present-day China, it is no surprise to any one to find that nearly all the different types of parapsychical and paraphysical phenomena as known in both Europe and America are also quite prevalent in China. We have such phenomena as telekinesis, raps, poltergeists, psychography, independent voices, levitation, psychic photography, materialization, automatic writing, telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, premonition, apparitions, and haunted houses. Strange to say, the phenomena of apports and psychometry have not come to my notice. Instead of crystal gazing, we have water gazing. Mediums there are, but most of them as in America and Europe are professionals, practising on the credulity of the common people.

Mention may be made of the so-called mongoose-haunted houses, so prevalent in North China. These mysterious animals have never been actually seen by any people although occasionally they may be discerned in the flash of a moment, Naturally, people attribute to them all sorts of supernatural intelligence, which, I may say, can be paralleled with those of the mongoose of the Isle of Man.”

(from ‘On Some Paranormal Phenomena in China’ by Chung Yu Wang; Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, vol. 35, no.1, January 1941, p.11)

In addition, Chinese Black Magic: An Expose (1995) by Dr Ong Hean-Tatt refers to female Taoist witches called Tao Nai-nai, who communicate with weasel or fox demons (p.27). They are known as Hwang Ku-niang (Weasel Dame) or Hu Ku-niang (Fox Dame). The quoted source is Henry Dore, Researches into Chinese Superstitions (1917, republished 1966).

According to V.R. Burkhardt’s Chinese Creeds and Customs (1982), the weasel is regarded as being one of the Five Animals who cause “turbulent insanity and great disturbances,” but is also one of the Five Seers, who must be treated with respect.