Thailand is a country blessed with rich culture, traditions, and practices. Being an ancient land, Thailand has all kinds of stories to tell. Taking a leaf from its vast history, we bring you the legendary stories that continue to haunt the locals even now.
Belief in ghosts in Thai culture is both popular and enduring. In the history of Thailand Buddhist popular beliefs intermingled with the legends about the spirits or ghosts of the local folklore.
The Haunting Ghost of Krasue
In Thailand, the krasue is the spirit of a beautiful young woman that manifests as a floating head with internal organs trailing below the neck. An eerie glow accompanies the krasue as it floats up and down the countryside, searching for blood to drink or raw flesh to consume.
According to Thai folklore, krasues pose a real danger to pregnant women. Tales speak of floating heads that attempt to slay babies within the womb or devour expelled placentas. If there aren’t any pregnant women around, a krasue might feast on cattle, chicken, or even feces.
Before night turns to day, a krasue must rejoin the rest of its body or face an agonizing death. Humans can destroy a krasue by crushing or hiding a krasue’s headless body, usually concealed in remote locations, or severing the intestines trailing from the spirit’s head.
Naga – The Semi-Divine Beings
Is it a dragon? Is it a snake? Well, it’s both, and much, much more. Whether on the roof of a temple or in the depths of a river, you’re bound to have encountered a Naga during your travels around Thailand — here’s more about them.
In Thai Temples, a certain snake-like statue attract attention of onlookers. However, they are neither snakes nor dragon – they are underworld deities or semi-divine entities mentioned in both Hindu and Buddhist scriptures.
The Thai believe that the locals inhabit the Mekong River.
They are not to be feared though; the Naga are good souls that are assigned the task of warding off evil spirits. Swimmers, however, have to be cautious when entering into the waters of Mekong River.
Each year, at the end of Buddhist lent in October, huge crowds gather along the banks of the Mekong river, with many choosing a spot near the city of Nong Khao. From here, they’re treated to an astonishing spectacle, as fireballs shoot out from the river and up into the sky.
Many locals believe these fireballs to be from Naga, releasing them from the depths of the river, but this event isn’t without its skeptics. Some claim the fireballs are tracer rounds fired by soldiers, whilst others point to natural explanations such as flammable gas bubbles or plasma orbs. Whilst the jury may be out on what causes the fireballs, it serves as another example of the wonders of Thailand and its intriguing folklore.
The Creepy Legend of Mae Nak – The Wife Turned Ghost
They say true love never dies, well at least the story of Mae Nak says so. It so happened that once upon a time, a woman named Mae Nak lived with her husband in a certain village in Thailand. As fate would have it, Nak’s husband went away to fight a war leaving her pregnant.
However, Nak died during childbirth along with her unborn infant. Her deep-rooted attachment, however, turned her into a ghost. So, when her husband returned home from the war, he found Nak waiting for him at home with their baby. One day, Mak was aghast to see his wife Nak retrieving with her enlarged hands a lemon that had fallen off the porch.
He ran away from the house at night to escape from Nak’s ghost and was saved by the intervention of a holy monk. Some versions say that the ghost of Nak retreated only when the monk promised her that she would reunite with her beloved husband in their next life. There is a shrine dedicated to Mae Nak next to Klong Phra Khanong, at Wat Mahabut.
Krahang – The Shirtless Sorcerer
A man known as Krahang when alive practiced black magic and sorcery. He continued to inflict harm on people even after his death. Reportedly, he wanders through Thai villages in his shirtless avatar (and no, he was by no means a Salman Khan fan).
Endowed with the power to fly due to the twin rice baskets he employs as wings and the wooden pestle he uses for riding in the air, Krahang is infamous for attacking women in faraway hamlets.
Krahang is a type of nocturnal ghost that is said to haunt the same areas as Krasue, a female spirit of the Thai village folklore, thus these two spirits are often mentioned or represented together.
Legends of the Thai oral tradition say that this is an evil spirit that may harm people walking at night in out of the way areas. Like Krasue it lives the life of a normal villager during the day.
But from the research in “Three Seals Law” (กฎหมายตราสามดวง; first Thai enacted law) from Ayutthaya period. Rongroj Piromanukul, an anthropologist of Ramkhamhaeng University found that the Krahang don’t appear in the list of ghosts, so they believe that the names are recorded later.
In August 2012 villagers at Lat Bua Khao, Sikhio District, in the western part of Nakhon Ratchasima Province, blamed Krahang for some nightly attacks on local women.But finally caught up. As a matter of fact, it is only a man who is drug addicted.
In July 2017 18-year-old girl at Nong Plong, Chamni District, Buriram Province, claimed that while she was in the restroom within her house at night before going to bed, she saw a Krahang through a gap near the ceiling, it appearance is a large winged man on the back. She panicked and ran out of the restroom, when this story spread as a result, the villagers of the two villages were terrified.
One elder villager said she saw it for ten years. It flies in pairs with glowing eyes like the thunderbolt, she said she saw it last Sunday at the beginning of the year at 02:00 am she saw for a half hour, and she tried to get her son to shoot the video clip with his cell phone but don’t succeed.
She blames an one house nearby. This was the house of her family living in the past. But now it has become a abandoned house. In 2010, her old sister and her mother died at this house just three months later. Then she saw strange lights floating out of the house at the night. Which she believed to be Krasue and Krahang and she still dreamed of Krahang. She has been fighting it in her dream for more than ten years before she actually saw it in early this year. She has hired a sorcerer to the exorcisms at this house with over a hundred thousand baht but not successful.
The Mountain of the jilted princess – Doi Nang Non
Doi Nang Non, “Mountain of the Sleeping Lady”, is an unusual land feature of the Thai highlands located in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand. It is a karstic formation part of the southern end of the Daen Lao Range with numerous waterfalls and caves.
Long ago, a pretty princess got married to a man who abandoned her while she was expecting their baby. Lonely and betrayed, the damsel looked for him everywhere but in vain. She walked hither and thither for many days and came to a point when she cried out in distress and fell on the ground.
Thus she breathed her last. After her death, the body of the princess grew so large that it ended up taking the form of a mountain range called Doi Nang Non — or the mountain of the sleeping lady.