Ghosts and Spirits (Phi) are alive and well in Thailand. Ghosts and Spirits stories are extremely popular and come in many varieties from the comic to the gruesome. Cinemas are guaranteed a full house for the opening of a new Thai ghost movie or indeed a re-run of an old one.
In Dansai near Loei there is even an annual Ghost Festival. But ghosts and Spirits are no laughing matter in Thailand. If pressed, the majority of the Thai population will admit to believing in ghosts and many claim to have seen them. This phenomena is not restricted to the elderly in rural villages but is even taken seriously by university students and people in all walks of life and is particularly strong in Northern Thailand. It is bad luck and tempting fate to talk about ghosts but nearly everyone has a tale to tell.
Many Thais wear amulets to protect them against evil spirits and everywhere you go in Thailand you will see Spirit Houses (San Phra Phum). In Dansai near Loei there is even an annual Ghost Festival.
There are many different kinds of ghosts in Thailand all of them to be feared and each posing a different threat. To combat this proliferation of evil spirits Thailand has its own special kind of "Ghost Buster", the Mho Phi or ghost doctor. Different techniques are employed depending on the type of spirit to be banished and some of these Mho Phi have gained celebrity status.
Phi Graseu is always depicted as a female with a head only and entrails hanging out. This is possibly the most feared ghost and she is always on the hunt for dead bodies or human excrement but will gladly consume live bodies. She is said to haunt the area around cemeteries and has the effect of lowering property values in areas around them.
Phi Tai Hong
The Phi Tai Hong is a ghost with a grudge. These are the spirits of people who have died in particularly bad circumstances eg. murder or traffic accidents or even a baby who has died shortly after birth. Their untimely deaths makes them want to take it out on the living.