Photo: Not creepy at all!

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Ghost of Mae Nak Shrine

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One of Thailand’s scariest legends involves the spirit of a woman that went on a rampage after her husband caught on to the fact that she was, in fact, a ghost. Those willing to risk being cursed in exchange for witnessing a spiritually potent scene can visit a shrine dedicated to the ghost of Mae Nak near the site of her 19th century home in Bangkok.





The story stars a beautiful young woman, Nak, who married her beloved man, Mak, and intended to live happily ever after. For a while the couple enjoyed a simple life in a stilted house beside the Phra Khanong Canal, but then the Siamese army conscripted Mak to go fight in a war. As he recovered from a battle wound some months later, Nak endured terrible pain while attempting to deliver her first child. Neither she nor the baby survived.

The main attraction. Photo taken in or around Ghost of Mae Nak Shrine, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

The main attraction. Photo: David Luekens

But both of them lingered as ghosts that were life-like enough to convince Mak, who had not heard of his wife’s fate, that they were alive and well when he returned. From there the tale takes on many terrifying twists involving villagers, witch doctors and ghost-busting monks—we won’t spoil it in case you want to investigate for yourself. Adaptations in popular Thai entertainment have included two feature films: Nang Nak went for a straightforward version of the story in 1999, while 2013’s Pee Mak Phra Kanong mixed in some comedy to ease the suspense.

Nowadays, the epicentre of all these fears and fascinations is the Mae Nak Shrine located on the bank of the same canal where Mak left his pregnant wife nearly two centuries ago. Inside sits a stern-looking image of Mae Nak depicted holding her ghostly infant. Both are wrapped in purple robes, covered in gold leaf and surrounded by portraits of Mae Nak (aka Nang Nak) in ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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How to get there
Located 1.5 km northeast of On Nut BTS Station, Wat Mahabut is at the dead end of On Nut Soi 7 and you’ll find the shrine tucked beside the canal at the back corner of the grounds. You could take a taxi or motorbike taxi from the BTS or leave the station through exit 1, turn back on yourself at the bottom of the stairs and walk west up Sukhumvit Road to On Nut Rd (aka Sukhumvit Soi 77). Turn right and cross the road when possible, and you’ll find Soi 7 on the left.

Ghost of Mae Nak Shrine
Wat Mahabut, On Nut Soi 7 (On Nut Rd is also known as Sukhumvit Soi 77), Bangkok
Mo–Su: 08:00–17:00

Location map for Ghost of Mae Nak Shrine

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