We wondered where the spirit lived. Most villages have one; Neak Ta they are called. These spirits are powerful beings, holding the entire village in their grasp.
Today, my helper told me the Neak Ta lives right under the mango tree by her house… and she’s scared.
As if a powerful force that frightens you in the night and follows you down the river road isn’t enough, she quietly told me of the other spirits in our village. Every five years, they find someone in the village and make them hang themselves, alternating male and female. So far, there have been six deaths.
These spirits do other things. One man went crazy. Another wasn’t allowed by the spirits to have his leg amputated, so he died. People call these spirits into them to use their power bringing harm to those who have wronged them.
As we were talking, my helper points to the figure retreating down our driveway. “His brother, the son of the village chief, hung himself.” She rubs her goose bump covered arms.
Our neighbours beliefs are not some cerebral explanation nor are they some kind of whimsical myth. The evil here is real, dangerous, and powerful.
“Bong Lily said you pray to keep the spirits away.” she mentions.
I tell her of the God who created the world, who is more powerful than any evil spirit. I tell her the Name that causes the demons to run and flee.
And we pray. We pray for a war. We draw lines in the sand with the prince of darkness.
We know the victory is already had.
You can read more about Neak Ta here.