Author: Jakkapong Rawiwan
February 5, 2010
The women, Daeng Somwai, 36, from Ban Kud Or and Kancahan Wangchalee, 31, from Ban Khok Si, displayed symptoms of phop-ghost haunting: trembling bodies, speaking in tongues and suddenly switching from laughing to crying and screaming. Relatives took them to Wat Donyanang, where the abbot is well known for his exorcisms.
At the temple, surrounded by holy thread, about 300 residents of the two villages attended the ritual. Earlier, a spirit medium had gone into a trance and declared 100 evil spirits were bent on harming local residents. They were advised to bring their relatives to join the ritual and remain within the protection of the holy thread.
The exorcism then proceeded, with monks praying and the haunted women being sprinkled with holy water until the 100 evil spirits were summoned and captured in 100 sections of bamboo. The two women then returned to normal.
Abbot Phra Khru Prasutthamasunthorn said this period had seen evil spirits roaming free to harm people, especially those collecting things from the forest at night, because black-magic items had been released.
People in the Northeast believe phop ghosts come from practitioners of black magic, who use it to harm others. They are then punished by the spirits of their teachers and become phop ghosts for breaching prohibitions against "improper use" of black magic.
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