District chief asks police to protect village from ghost

District chief asks police to protect village from ghost

A district chief in Amnat Charoen province on Wednesday clarified his request for police protection for a village haunted by a "ghost".

Chakkri Thongcharoen, chief of Pathumrat Wongsa district, wrote an official letter dated June 22 to the local police commander, asking him to send police to Phudankoy village to boost morale for residents stricken by fears of the legendary ghost "phee pob".

"Please consider sending police and tambon police volunteers to provide security for people and their belongings in the village," read the letter, which was seen by the Bangkok Post.

After the police station chief agreed with the request on Tuesday, police were sent to the village and ordered to patrol it regularly. Public health and livestock officials were also dispatched to the village.

Mr Chakkri said he felt the need to help after the Phudankoy village chief filed a complaint, claiming that "phee pob" was haunting the village and was responsible for the deaths of four animals and the sickness of four residents.

According to Thai folklore, once "phee pob" inhabits a human body, the person becomes ravenous for raw food - including the organs of live animals. 

The district chief defended his actions, saying he did not over-react to the fears of the villagers and was not obsessed with the supernatural.

Officials were trying to help boost villagers' morale and ensure their safety, he said, after they started suspecting one another of being the ghost. 

"Let me explain this clearly: I did not ask police to go to the village to drive away 'phee pob'," he told a news programme on Channel 3 on Wednesday. "Leave that matter to monks."

The district chief and Amnat Charoen governor Sirirat Chumuppakan both said on Wednesday that the situation in the village has returned to normal.

"The cattle died simply from complications that arose while they were giving birth, and the people who fell ill have recovered," Mr Chakkri said, without elaborating on the cause of the illness.

Village chief Boonmak Srirarit, however, on Wednesday insisted that the ghost was to blame. 

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