In the annals of paranormal alliteration, the Gong Goi Ghost is definitely a contender for the top spot … and, if you allow terms no longer used (hopefully) for the physically challenged, you can lengthen it to the Gimpy Gong Goi Ghost because it appears to have only one leg. At least, that’s the claim of a man in Laos who posted an interesting video (link here) of something ghostly that appears to be hopping around in a field after dark. Is it a female spirit looking for a mate? Should men in the area be painting their fingernails to fool it? What color?
The video was posted on Facebook September 27th by Chantha Sitouluk and a quick perusal of his page shows he has a penchant for the paranormal, weird and mysterious. He claims this video was taken in a forest near the Luang Namtha Province in northern Laos. However, he believes it’s a type of ghost more common in Thai mythology, the Gong Gai, which is described as being a child-sized spirit or monster that lives in jungles, hops around very quickly on one leg while yelling (wait for it) … “Gong Gia! Gong Gai!
It gets better. According to Coconuts, the Gong Goi is known for sucking the blood from the toes of people camping in the forest while they sleep. If you’re awakened by something near your feet, you can recognize Gong Goi by its red hair, large eyes and the fact that its only foot faces backward. Sadly, the Gong Goi isn’t too bright and it’s believed you can thwart it by getting into a sleeping bag or crossing your legs.
Which came first … losing its leg or becoming a ghost? The legend says Gong Goi died in a fit of rage and anger which drives it to torment humans. Perhaps a human was responsible for the amputation – maybe an accident or a botched operation — so it looks like we’re lucky it happened first to slow down this avenging spirit.
Before you decide it’s a hoax, albeit a strange one that wouldn’t make a very scary movie, Gong Gai is not the only alleged one-legged ghost. Japanese mythology has by far the strangest example – the Kasa-obake or One Legged Umbrella Spirit, perhaps the best candidate for a cartoon since Casper the Friendly Ghost. Its most common form is with one leg, one eye, one long tongue, an umbrella body and two arms for grabbing ghost handrails. While the kasa-obake appears to be harmless (and useless on rainy days), other umbrella ghosts in Japan like the yōkai are said to make those who see it unable to move their two feet, and those who try to grab it on windy days are carried up into the sky.
So, what is the thing in Chantha Sitouluk’s video? Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jesadasai Duangbopphan, a faculty member at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok who researches the paranormal, says it looks like a human in a wig covered with a white cloth, and the hopping rhythm is definitely human to him, possibly a person who is physically challenged or indeed has only one leg.
If only we could get a closeup to see if the foot on the one leg is pointing forward or backward.