Almost all Thai people, whether they’re relatively uneducated villagers or the most sophisticated city-dwellers, take ghosts seriously. Thais believe in a whole pantheon of ghosts, ranging from benign to horrific.
Ghost in Thai language is Phi and is pronounced Pee and so each Thai ghost is named as ‘Phi something”, where something is the name of the Thai ghost. For example, Phi Braed, this Thai ghost could happily take you by surprise if you happened to be walking alone, somewhere quiet…..
There’s an abundance of ghosts and spirits said to inhabit Thailand, some are good and some harmful. Here is a list of just some said to walk Thailand:
Phi Peta – A hungry ghost. Everyone who is preoccupied with material attachments to the exclusion of the spiritual will be reborn as a Peta, having a giant belly and a mouth as small as the eye of a needle. Peta may sometimes be heard whistling at night, looking for people to make merit for them. This ghost is relatively harmless.
Phi Chamob – A ghost which haunts the place where a woman has died in the jungle. This spirit does not do any harm.
Phi Ha – The spirit of a woman who has died in childbirth. This ghost is considered to be very violent.
Phi Krahang – This ghost appears as a man with feathers and a tail like a bird. It eats filth and glows at night. An unpleasant and frightening spirit.
Phi Krasy – This ghost lives inside a witch and leaves her body during sleep by way of the mouth. The Krasy is the colour of fire, has a head the size of an electric light bulb and a half-metre long bluish tail. A Krasy ghost likes dirt and does not generally harm human beings, although when it consumes entrails (hardly surprisingly) it can cause death. Krasy witches have a sleepy appearance during the day. Their eyes don’t blink and they can never look anybody in the face. Also, they don’t cast any reflection in the mirror. Before Krasy witches can die, they have to find somebody who will inherit the Krasy by consuming some of the old witch’s spittle.
Phi Lok – A ghost which haunts various localities. It frightens and misleads people, and can be seen as well as felt.
Phi Tai Ha – The spirit of a woman who has died of malaria. The ghost will also spread this disease.
Phi Pa – A forest spirit. Hunters may leave a piece of the foot, lip, tongue or eyelid of a killed animal to show respect to this spirit.
Phi Ka – These spirits are inherited through women and can be contagious. The Ka, if not properly treated (with raw eggs) will attack and possibly possess people without the owner’s knowledge. Perhaps understandably, ordinary people are said to be reluctant to marry into Ka clans!
Phi Hai – Hungry, amoral spirits associated with places where people have died an unnatural or violent death. Phi Hai are easily offended, and take every opportunity to possess people. Normally, they can be induced to leave their victim if suitable offerings are made, but on occasions an exorcist has to drive them out. In such cases, when incantations and lustral water prove insufficient, a whip may need to be employed.
Phi Pob – A malicious and very dangerous spirit which manifests itself as a beautiful woman. Phi Pob float through the air because they have no legs or lower body. They generally appear as a length of internal organs and intestines suspended from a strikingly lovely face – therefore, beware beautiful women gliding mysteriously by in long dresses! This type of ghost is probably more feared than any other species in Thailand.Phi Pob – A devious ghost which will infest it’s victim and eat away their entrails before leaving their victims body. In public if infested with Phi Pob the victim will pretend to be ill but when given the opportunity it will steal uncooked meat to eat at night.
Phi Tai Tong Glom – This is a seriously evil ghost. The Phi Tai Tong Glom is a female who died giving birth and her baby died also. This doubles the evil strength of this spirit and is definitely one to avoid. This ghost is actually a variant of Phi Tai Hong and is sometimes referred to as Phi Tai Hong Tong Glom.
Phi Thuk Khun – The lifeforce of a living person which has to leave the physical body and be sent out on astral journey on a weekly basis. If this does not happen then harm will come to its owner