Thursday

Thailand Spirit House

From exorcisms to spirit houses and amulets claiming to make wearers bulletproof, Thailand is a culture soaked in the occult. On a popular episode of Humans Defy Ghosts - a weekly Thai TV program that delves into the supernatural - a 2-year-old girl who survived three days next to the dead body of her mother was asked questions by one of the show's panelists. "Who prepared your milk?" Kapol Thongplab inquired. "Who played with you?" "Mommy," the little girl replied. "In all countries, people believe in the afterlife," Kapol, one of Thailand's most famous ghost experts says, "Westerners may believe in Satan. In the nations of Southeast Asia, we believe in ghosts. This kind of belief helps people refrain from doing bad things. Mr A may think 'If I kill Mr B, he may become a ghost and come back to haunt me'." The spirit world is everywhere in Thailand. Most buildings boast a "spirit house" - a shrine where offerings can be made to appease ghosts lest they turn malevolent. From time to time Thailand's politicians also draw on the occult. Competing camps openly use black magic curses against each other, while protesters deck themselves out in amulets that they believe make them impervious to bullets or harm.
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