In Chinese mythology, Huxian (狐仙) is a fox deity or “fairy” that is especially popular in parts of Northern China, particularly in Anhui and Jiangsu. Huxian’s name is comprised of the words for “fox,” hú (狐), and xiān (仙), which means “immortal.” According to legend, Huxian is thought to be a descendant of the Queen Mother of the West, Xiwangmu (西王母).
Although Huxian can appear in male form, its most common incarnation is that of the nine-tailed fox, or Húxiān Niángniáng (狐仙娘娘), which translates literally as “Fox Fairy Woman.”
Huxian was something of a trickster figure who could transform into any animal and could even take on the form of men and women. When transformed into a human, Huxian often seduced people with wealth and riches, ultimately leading their victims down a path to moral ruin and hedonism.