Thailand is a fascinating culture. Although I lived there for six years, I still have many things to learn.
One intriguing facet is the Thai belief in ghosts and spirits. Most every house and shop maintain a spirit house. The Thai word for ghost or spirit is Phi or Pee. As a building is built on land occupied by a ghost, it is important to install one, which must be better than the owner’s house, to appease the ghost. Food and drink are offered, and it is honoured with garlands or phuang malai for luck.
Depending on the tone, Pee is also a title given to a person older than oneself.
The Pee House on the left is a typical modern shrine. They come in jewel colours as the photograph below shows.
Businesses are not exempt either and this is another one, larger as it should be considering the building and the land it used. I wonder if Thai ghosts like McDonalds as much as the Thais and the rest of the world?
Thai cinema feature ghosts often, which are not only horror movies. The Mae Nak Phra Khanong ghost story has been made into a musical and Thai film makers have used the story for over twenty movies. I have copied the legend from Wikipedia and put it below.
They are also a staple in soap operas where the ghost interacts with the living. Of the thirty-five ghosts in the culture not all are evil. Comedies have even been produced of the well-liked ghosts, and they appear in animations and comic books for children. Newspapers run stories often that support the existence of ghosts. In my experience, I know of one lady with children who built a house with her foreign husband’s support and money. When she was ready to move in, she saw the ghost of an old lady, and refused to live in the house. I can imagine how that conversation went.
The belief is ingrained, and many problems are attributed to the ghosts or spirits. It is not spoken of with foreigners because the ghost might eke revenge on the teller. An adjunct of the culture is the plethora of charms and amulets worn for protection. Others encourage good luck, wealth, health and so on.
So why am I telling you this? Because my latest novella is again set in Thailand, and features ghosts, a seer, and a man who hears Buddha talking to him. It is written but at the revision stage. On my Pinterest boards, I pin a variety of images for each of my stories, and there is a board called with the working title Even Old Cow, which features images for this new novella. The images above are on my Pinterest.
The link to read the legend of Mae Nak Phra Khanong is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_Nak_Phra_Khanong
For an image of the shrine by Richard Barrow the link is http://blog.thailandphotomap.com/bangkok/wat-mahabut/