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khi nok, among other things

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a sucker for ghost stories (haunted folk tales, horror movies, etc). Now, I am not a “believer” in the paranormal– I just enjoy a good fright from the safety of my bed. Since moving to Thailand, I have been introduced to a whole new level of belief and reaction to such stories. From what I gather, most Thais believe that there are pii1 everywhere– living in buildings, jungles, banana trees, and even in the ground. Those who say they do not believe will still take many precautions to pay respect to the spirit world.

Ghost Tree at a Chang Mai mountain wat

Almost every  home, business, and restaurant in Thailand has a strategically placed San Phra Phum2 erected for the primary purpose of appeasing the spirit-world (and perhaps for the auxiliary benefits of choke dii3, protection, and winning the lotto).  Thais place daily offerings of fruit, rice, lotus, and Strawberry Fanta at the door of their San Phra Phum2.

San Phra Phum for sale in Sikhiu, Thailand

Brightly colored ribbons and garlands of flowers are wrapped around the bases of old trees to appease the spirits contained within, while incense, gold flake, and cups of water are placed on the bows of boats and on the dashboards of many vehicles to keep misleading spirits at bay. According to Thai’s, pii1 love Strawberry Fanta– although I did happen to stumble across a very, ahem, credible [blog-]article that asserts 4 out of 5 ghosts don’t actually like Strawberry Fanta, so it’s difficult to tell where ghosts really stand on the matter.

San Phra Phum with Strawberry Fanta offerings

There are literally hundreds of different types of ghosts terrifying Thai citizens, each one created by the circumstances of their death and the life they lead while alive. With ghosts pervading so much of the Thai lifestyle and belief-system, I thought it would be fun to share one Thai ghost story each week with you. Keep an eye out for this week’s tale of pii krasue, one of the most terrifying female ghosts haunting the people of Thailand and Cambodia.

This cute advertisement offers a glimpse of some of the more well-known ghosts of Thailand.

1. Ghosts

2. Ghost House

3. Good luck


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