Health officials in the U.S. may think their jobs are tough, but at least they don’t have to deal with terrified people who believe ghosts have eaten the internal organs of their neighbors and are coming for them next unless something is done right now or they’re calling in a ghost-chasing hermit. That’s the situation in a village in Thailand where many residents believe four men were killed by a ghost who ate their innards and may be living inside a local widow.
The Nation media group in Thailand reports that the Kalasin province chief public health officer, Dr. Prawit Sriboonrat, ordered a doctor and a team of psychologists to an area in the Nong Kung Si district where four men have died under mysterious circumstances and villagers are blaming a female “porb” spirit that got inside of them, ate her way out and caused their demise. Dr. Pairat Songkhram, the preventive medicine specialist sent in to investigate, determined that one of the men died of leptospirosis (a bacterial disease that can cause kidney damage, meningitis and death) and another one had blood-pressure problems.
Those diagnoses didn’t appease the locals, who called in a “hermit” to perform a ghost-chasing ritual which seemed to calm their fears. That’s good news for a widow in the village who some people identified as the ghost. The psychologists plan to stay around offering counseling that they hope will prevent future panics when people die mysteriously.
Good luck with that. This “porb” ghost sounds like any of a number of female spirits in the Thai culture and Buddhism. The most famous is the Krasue – a female spirit with no body who has her own internal organs draped around her neck as she floats through the air looking for victims whose own organs she can eat. Krasue is a common ghost throughout Southeast Asia and has been featured in a number of horror movies.
Common themes among Thai ghost stories are vengeful female spirits and ghosts eating raw meat or raw human organs and limbs. This could either a statement on the relationships between Thai men and women or between Thais and their food. Whatever the case, the beliefs are strong because Dr. Pairat told the team members to be respectful of them. Despite that, it was reported that, of those who went to the ghostbusting hermit, “Most returned from the rite with smiles on their faces.”
At least until they got his bill.