A beauty pageant of Thai ghosts in order to select the best mascot for Thai Halloween.
Ghost off (continued with audio for part 2)
We go on a spooky quest to find the ultimate ghost in the spirit-riddled Kingdom.
[Listen to part 1 here ]
Pee Krahang are said to be the result of a man who once practised sorcery but it backfired on him, turning him into an arguably scary ghost. Like pee krasue, they live as a normal person during the day and transform into a ghost at night.
Pee Krahang are often portrayed as shirtless men wearing a loin cloth. They wear a big circular basket meant for winnowing rice as wings on each arm. Pee Krahang do sound a little bit like drunken farmers trying to fly with any tools they can get their hands on. However, this also makes them the easiest ghost to pull off as a Halloween costume. If you’re a man with a decent body, go to a party as a pee krahang.
Sure they can fly and that’s pretty awesome. However, unless they resemble Ananda Everingham, they probably don’t look cool while flapping those baskets and sweating profusely in order to take off. The ghosts also like to eat dirty stuff at night.
Pee Krahang aren’t known for being outrightly vicious. If you can befriend one, he’ll probably agree to take you on a free flight. You should give him some deodorant if you don’t want to smell his armpits. Toothpaste and mouthwash are also recommended gifts for him.
Pee Krahang may harm people walking in remote or secluded areas at night. However, would you really be scared of a man whose only weapons appear to be flat baskets?
As far as we know, there have been two lakorn and two films based on this ghost. A kind-hearted krahang appears in the Nak animated movie.
There are several versions of phi pop’s origins. It is the wandering spirit of a prince’s servant whose body was destroyed. His spirit goes from one body to another, eating its intestines. It’s also said to be the spirit of men or women who practised sorcery. They committed a taboo act and the magic backfired on them, turning them into a ghost.
These evil spirits often possess women, causing them to look like they haven’t slept for days with panda eyes.
Pee Bop can either go on to eat somebody else’s intestines in order to survive or they eat the intestine of the body they possess until the host dies during sleep.
Pee Pop are not friendship material by any stretch of the imagination since all the Pee Bop want from you is your guts.
They can kill you in your sleep or transfer their pop-ness to you by spitting into your mouth, which is pretty evil.
The ghost has inspired many feature films and at least four lakorn The most notable adaptation is the Ban Phi Pop series which has spawned 14 films.
It’s a female spirit that lives inside a type of banana called tani.
She appears as a young beautiful woman in a green traditional Thai costume. Her feet don’t touch the ground. To summon her, men can urinate on the tree said to be haunted by the ghost or rub their manliness on the tree. Her skin has a tint of green (presumably from all the chlorophyll) so she’s even less scary-looking than the Na’vi people from Avatar.
Living inside banana trees most of the time, she comes out at night when the moon is full. She’s considered a gentle ghost.
When a tani banana tree starts to blossom, villagers hold a ceremony to pay respect to her. Among their offerings is a piece of cloth which is tied to the tree as if to cover her body. She’ll protect them and bring them fortune in return. She’s also still a tree so can give you oxygen and fruit to eat. What a pal.
Gentlemen, there’s a ritual to have nang tani as your wife (if you’re that desperate). It’s said that once you sleep with her you can’t be with another woman. If you really want to have a human girlfriend, you must ask permission from her first and she’ll let you be with the real thing. Sleeping with her also drains men’s vitality.
Five films have been made with her as the main role. She has a cool appearance as a boss character in the Rangarok Online game.
OUR VERDICT: Mae Nak wins (elastic) hands down by being the scariest/coolest in the most categories. She’s a well-rounded ghost that has evoked both fear and sympathy in Thais for many generations. Ghost girl power!
Learn from listening
Click "play" to listen to Thai ghosts: Welcome to our world (PART 2 audio) and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.
Latest stories in this category:
- Military leaders not taking sides
- Impressive opening for SEA Games
- Thailand's dilemma
- Protests: Orders from Suthep
- Protests: "Final push" not yet final
- What will happen next in Thai politics? (from the editorial pages)
- Protests: Marching day, PM dissolves parliament
- Protests: “Final battle” starts tomorrow