In a country where the common pick up line is, “How about a horror flick at my place?” it is not surprising that Thai folklore is filled with spooky and strange tales. Take a look at the three, popular Thai legends and ghost stories below – Perhaps it would be better to read them in broad daylight?
Set in Phrá Ká Nhǒng, a district in Bangkok, Mâe Naâk is Thailand’s celebrity ghost as her story has become the plot of several Thai horror films. It started a long time go when the husband of a pregnant woman named Naâk was sent to war. While he was at war, Naâk and the baby died during childbirth. Because of her strong love for her husband and the super strong ghost powers (as the Thais believe that pregnant women who die have the power of two spirits), she became the horror of the town, threatening anyone who comes near her home or her grave.
When her husband returned from the war, he was greeted by his wife and newborn son as if nothing had happened while he was away. The villagers tried to warn him about the ghostly state of his wife but he did not believe them until he saw her hand go through the kitchen counter to pick up a lemon that she had dropped. Frightened, he hid behind a camphor plant (as it is believed to keep ghosts away) until daylight came and he continued his escape to a temple, where spirits cannot enter. Outside the temple, she would wait for him to come back until one day, after several attempts at exorcizing her spirit, she was finally put to rest. And, now, instead of fearing her, people in need come to her shrine to ask for her assistance.
Once a beautiful young lady who was to be married to a Siamese nobleman, Krasue’s tragic fate has turned her into something macabre. Secretly in love with a lowly soldier, she was caught having an affair with him and was sentenced to death. Although a sorceress tried to save her by casting an incantation that was meant to protect her, she was only able to save a few parts of her body, turning Krasue into a wandering ghost with only a head attached to viscera and intestines. For some reason, in the after-life, she developed a taste for fetuses, blood, and human excrements, an eternal punishment for a woman who chose love.
JAO MAE NANG NON
Although the spirits of reclined women turning into mountains tend to be a trend in Southeast Asia, the story of Jao Mae Nang Non in Mae Sai has recently caught a lot of attention when 10 young soccer players and their coach went missing for days after entering her cave.
As legend has it, Jao Mae Nang Non, the reclining goddess of the cave and mountain, was once a beautiful princess who sought refuge in the cave with her lover, a lowly stable boy, after finding out that she was pregnant. When her lover left her to get some food, he was found by her father’s army and was immediately killed. Distraught by her lover’s death, she stabbed herself to death and her blood turned into the water that flowed through the cave and her reclined body increased in size, turning into the mountain that surrounded the cave.
According to Thai beliefs, ghosts can be both malevolent and helpful. As a means of appeasing her spirit and seeking her help in recovering the lost group, the locals gave offerings to her shrine. A news report said that the boys and their coach were found just a few days later.
RUN FOR COVER!
Thai ghosts tend to have two sides – the malevolent and violent beings that strangle people and those that can be asked for aid. Just to be on the safe side this Halloween, if you encounter any hauntings in Thailand, the best place to run would be the closest wat you can find as they believe that its sacred ground keeps spirits away. If there are no wats about, run to the nearest camphor tree.
GOT A THAI GHOST STORY TO TELL?
Perhaps you have heard of some interesting urban legends and ghost stories during your trip to Thailand? Share them with us by commenting below.