PHUKET: An elderly woman, a well-known medium for the highly revered spirit of "Toh Phra Thaew", was found hanged in her house in Thalang district of this island resort province on Sunday morning. She was believed to have committed suicide.
After being reported, Pol Col Amnat Kalong, the Thalang police chief, led a team of police to house No.35/2 in tambon Sri Sunthorn for examination.
The body of Wanna Sae Iew, 70, dressed in white, was found hanged with a white nylon rope from a beam of the house. The feet were 85cm from the floor. A wooden chair was found nearby.
There were no traces of physical attacks on the body. She was believed to have died about 12 hours previously.
Narumol Wuthichan, 65, a younger sister of Wanna, said her sister had acted as a medium for the spirit of "Toh Phra Thaew" for over 20 years. She had gained recognition from a large number of loyal followers who believed she was able to communicate with the spirit to get advice.
Those followers had sought advice for various problems including a cure for people believed to have become sick under a magic spell.
Wanna was also a reputed fortune teller and counsellor for people seeking to know the auspicious time for setting up a shrine or holding a house-warming ceremony.
On Dec 20, Wanna told her disciples that she would meditate in the house for about two months and told them not to disturb her. She also told them that, if she died, she wanted her body to be cremated at Wat Pa Khlok temple in Thalang district.
About 10 disciples came to the house at about 7am on Sunday and found her body.