Supernatural Being of the Week #7: Yuki-Onna
Appearance: The Yuki-Onna, or “Lady of the Snow,” appears a a beautiful, incredibly pale maiden, dressed all in white. As the legend is of Japanese origin, it is probably safe to assume she would appear as a woman of Japanese descent.
Lore: Yuki-Onna appears during snowstorms in mountain regions in Japan. She can transform into a white mist to slip undetected under the door, and will hover over members of the household, slowly drawing their life essences out through their mouths.
The Yuki-Onna may occasionally choose to make a lonely mountain-dwelling man her husband. In such a case, she may appear as a stunningly beautiful, but also abnormally pale young woman, usually giving her name as Yuki. In one such case, the husband had already encountered her on a winter night, on which Yuki-Onna killed his master, threatening the man with death should he ever speak of the incident. When he mentions to his “wife” that in the lamplight she resembles that spirit, she flies into a rage, fleeing the home and threatening the man with instant death if any harm should befall the children they have had together.
Dispelling Methods: There is no known way to drive away Yuki-Onna once she has appeared in the home during a blizzard. It would be reasonable to assume, though it remains unproven, that a good means of barring her entry in the first place would be to thoroughly protect the house from drafts, as it can be safely assumed that anywhere a draft may enter, she may enter as well. If a man is chosen as a husband by Yuki-Onna, it is to be remembered that if she has given any condition (a thing that is not to be mentioned, a basket that is not to be opened, etc.), it must be observed, on pain of death.
Other Information: Based upon her appearance and operation, Yuki-Onna may be a personification of the winter chill, causing death by exposure (in the open) or illness (in a drafty home).
Information on Yuki-Onna was gathered from A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits, by Carol K. and Dinah Mack, Owl Book Publishers, 2009 edition. All content is property of the original creators.