Madame White is a possessive and eerie demon in a famous Taoist Legend.
The young Xuxuan was on his way by ferry to a temple on the bank of West Lake, in central China. It was early spring during the Quing Ming Festival (much like our Samhain, or Halloween, it was a festival for the dead, when the boundaries between worlds is weak). He was charmed by Madame White who appeared as a beautiful woman and he paid her fare, and loaned her his umbrella when it began to rain.
Madame White invited hum to visit her home, and soon after his arrival gave him many silver pieces and declared her love for him, and even proposed marriage, but when Xuxuan returned to his hometown, the silver was discovered to be treassurary marks and he was arrested. He stated his innocence and told the authorities where and how he had come by the silver. So they all went to visit Madame White, but found her “mansion” to be an abandoned ruin. Just as the inspectors entered, the demone made a fittingly brief but astonishing appearance, then vanished, leaving behind the rest of the silver.
Xuxuan was freed but because of his contact with unnatural spirits he was forced to leave his native province and had to work far away. He would again run into Madame White. She persuaded him that the silver incident was a misunderstanding and so they were married and lived happily for a while. When spring came again Xuxuran went back to the temple for the Qing Ming Festival and there he met a Taoist priest. As they stood outside the temple talking, Madame White approached on a boat with her maid in blue to bring Xuxuan home. Upon seeing her the priest called out “Demon” and she vanished as did the maid and the boat. Xuxuan was very upset. The priest told him to go back to his hometown.
When he returned home he found Madame White lying in wait for him as his “wife.” By now he was frightened by what his supernatural wife would do to him. He asked the local priest for help.
The priest gave him a bowl and told him to press it onto Madame White’s head as hard as he could. Xuxuan did as he was told and watched as Madame White began to grow smaller and smaller under the pressure when she shrunk to almost nothing the priest commanded her to name herself. She confused she was a white python who had fallen in love with Xuxuan from a distance and thus disguised herself as human to gain his affection. The priest chanted incantations and kept her within the bowl in the form of a small white snake accompanied by her maid, as a blue fish.
Once more during Qing Ming, another young man would fall victim to Madame White, named Xuanzan who was passing a bridge when he saw a little girl crying. He stopped to help. She said her name was White and she lived by the lake. She had been walking with her grandmother and was now lost. He took the child in. Soon the grandmother showed up and in gratitude she invited hum home for dinner.
Her home turned out to be a grand palace near the temple he had never noticed before. A beautiful woman dressed all in white came to greet him saying she was the little girl’s mother. They all drank a but and then it was suggested that Xuanzan should become her bridegroom.
Her old lover was dragged from his chamber and tore him apart, cutting open his belly they removed his heart and liver and offered this along with wine to Xuanzan.
Though Xuanzan wanted desperately to flee, he ended up spending the night with the woman in white and before he noticed a month had passed. At this point a new groom arrived. Xuanzan knew what would happen to him but he was spared by the little girl. She him home, for she had certain powers of her own. But unfortutantely during the next Qing Ming Festival and once more he was saved by the skin of his teeth. But this time Madame White was furious and showed up at his home and claimed he owed her a heart and liver. Fortunately Xuanzan’s uncle was Taoist priest and realized his nephew was under attack and he recited incantations and burned incense, and was able to exorcise the demonic creature.