TF Archives

Western Ghosts Terrorise Thailand

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Thai people living near the coastal areas devastated by the tsunami are reportedly living in fear of scores of foreign ghosts believed to be haunting the beaches by night, Thailand's Nation newspaper reported this week.

The paper suggested the ghostly sightings, almost always of farangs (foreigners), reflect widespread local religious beliefs in life after death combined with the massive emotional trauma inflicted on the country by the tsunami.

"Thai people believe that when people die, a relative has to cremate them or bless them," Thai psychologist Wallop Piyamanotham told AFP. "If this is not done or the body is not found, people believe the person will appear over and over again to show where they are," he explained.

More ghosts could presumably be popping up at Bangkok's notoriously brutal Bangkwang Prison in the near future, after authorities announced they're to start broadcasting executions live on the internet. Authorities are reportedly hoping the Iraqi style televised killings with deter lawbreakers, particularly drug dealers. 65 prisoners face imminent execution, the Edmonton Journal revealed this week, with a 1000 more of the 6,000 convicts also sentenced to death (mainly for drugs offences). ("Bangkwang is Thailand's central, high-security prison for men. The foreign inmate population of Bangkwang reflects the character of the international narcotics trade and justice systems. Some nations provide a minimal financial support. Others simply abandon their nationals to their own individual fates . . .') (Prisoners in Paradise (Guardian 2000: "There's a really bad flu bug in the prison at the moment. TB is rife, and there's leprosy. They sit outside and scrape it off . . .')