Thai Ghosts; Nang Prai (Lady Ghost), Phii Prai (Necromantic Phantoms) and other Necromantic Denizens of the Netherworld
Thai Ghosts Nang Prai, Phii Prai, Prai Grasip, Hoeng Prai – Different Prai Ghosts and Devas in Thai Buddhist Belief. Nang Prai is a prefix or title given to a large array of different Ghosts, Phantoms, Necromantic Zombies, Nature Spirits and Deva Beings.
A list of the different Prai Devas, Ghosts and Nature Spirits are cataloged in this page.
Mae Nang Takian (Takian tree Lady Ghost)
Nang Takian is a common ghost in the Pantheon of Thai ghosts. She inhabits the Takian tree as a spirit. The area of forest around where the Nang Takian is dwelling, is always clean and tidy with no under brush, as if someone were sweeping the area regularly. Nang Takian is normally attractive in appearance, with long hair worn to one side, and a pretty face with slender figure. She wears traditional Pha Tung skirt. Many witnesses have said she dresses just like a forest maiden dresses.
Phii Nang Takian is quite worried about and protective of her dwelling place, and will become angry and run amok if anyone disturbs her place in the forest. Because of the spirit of Nang Mai Takian dwelling within the Takian tree, when a tree is to be used for building a house or a boat, a ceremony must be made to ask permission from Nang Takian first. Once the tree has been converted into something else, the ghost spirit of Mai Takian will be converted into a spirit of a different kind, depending on what the tree has been used for; In the case of a boat for example, the Nang Takian would mutate and become a ‘Mae Yaa Nang Ruea’ spirit.
Thai people revere the Takian tree for the ability of the Lady Deva spirit within it to be able to reveal lottery numbers. When a Takian tree is found under the ground or under the water, buried since thousands of years, Thai Buddhists will raise the tree and bring it to a temple, and dress it in colored ribbons, light incense, make offerings to the Mae Nang Takian Deva Ghost, and ask her to reveal lottery numbers.
They will then proceed to examine the bark of the tree to see if any number stand out. The strange thing is the extremely high coincidence of lottery winners who take numbers from Takian trees.
Above; Mae Ya Nang Ruea Deva – Personified Form as a Bucha Image
Nang Prai Dtanii (Banana Tree Lady Ghost)
Nang Prai Dtanii is a female ghost just like the more well known Nang Takian, who inhabits a Banana Tree of the Dtanii variety. In order for the ghost to be able to inhabit a Dtanii tree, the tree must be of a special kind called ‘Dtanii Dtaay Prai’, which is a Dtanii tree which dies when it blooms its first flowers.
Nang Dtanii is also beautiful in appearance just like Nang Dtakian, with green robes with a ‘Jong Graben’ cloth just like Ancient Thai folk used to wear. She likes to lure men into her domain and seduce them. She has a very vengeful disposition and also very jealous, so that if a man who has been with Nang Dtanii should go with another woman, the Nang Dtanii will hunt the man down and break his neck bone.
Above; Mae Nang Prai Dtanii Thai Amulet
Phii Bporb is a ghost of a person who has practiced Wicha Akom Saiyasart (occult magic), who has developed strong powers, but used them from harming other beings with or making black magic spells, such a making ‘Ya Faed’, making destructive harmful spells with Yant Hnang Kway (buffalo skin Yant magic), chanting nails into someone’s stomach, calling up other spirits and binding them to inhabit other objects or people (i.e. Gumarn Tong. From the point of view of Buddhism, these practices are forbidden. The Lord Buddha stated that such practices are ‘Dierachana Wicha (animal sciences/occult arts), and that anyone practicing them should take great care in not transgressing the rules of practice and ceremony. To break these rules is called ‘Kalam’ (Isan term), or ‘Phid Kroo’ (offending the Kroo/Master of the Wicha). In such a case, the spirit of the Boroma Kroo (Master Guru of the Wicha) will punish the practitioner by cursing him/her to become a Phii Bporb.
Even if the Boroma Kroo did not punish, any practitioner who uses the Dierachan Wicha arts to harm others will at some point find that the magic they sent out begins to come back on them and eat them up until finally, they also become a Phii Bporb, just as if the Boroma Kroo had cast the spell on them.
Phii Bporb is split into various types;
Bporb Tammada (normal Bporb) – Bporb Tammada means someone who is not possessed by, rather him or herself is a Bporb. This kind of Bporb dies when the person dies.
Bporb Chuea – Bporb Chuea means that when a family whose Mother and Father are Phii Bporb, and the parents die, then the descendants of that family will also become Phii Bporb, regardless of if they are willing to become Phii Bporb, or not. This kind of Bporb has no ending to its lineage.
Bporb Bplaeg Hnaa– ‘Bplaeg Hnaa’ means ‘Stranger face’ This kind of Bporb is very naughty and likes to make trouble getting other s in trouble for things they have not done or don’t even know about. When Bporb Bplaeg Hnaa enters a person and possesses them,the Bporb will start to cause trouble, and when questioned if someone has forced them to do it or who is the culprit, the Phii Bporb will not tell the truth, and indicate innocent
people to take the blame instead.
Bporb Gag Geug – Bporb Gag Geug (Isan word),is a Bporb that refuses to speak at all. This usually results in the relatives taking the afflicted person to a Mor Phii and ask the Mor Phii to exorcise the Phii Bporb. Seeing the Mor Phii begin his ritual, will cause the Phii Bporb to finally speak, admitting that it is a Bporb, and sometimes even telling where it
came from and whop sent it. (in the case of a black magic spell or curse being laid on the afflicted person). This kind of direct possession by a Phii Bporb is called ‘Bporb Khao’ (meaning ‘Bporb enters’).
When a person is afflicted by, or has become a Phii Bporb, their behavior differs depending on the case; Sometimes the afflicted will behave erratically and make a big fuss shouting or writhing around. Others may just sit or lie down and be still looking pale as if they were very ill. Others will weep constantly. In whichever case, all Phii Bporb will ask for raw meat (such as pigs liver or boiled/raw innards). They will eat aggressively and chew with their mouth open like an animal. When this causes those close to notice that the person has a Phii Bporbpossessing him/her, the family will take the Afflicted to the Mor Phii.
The Mor Phii has various ways of making a ghost flee from the body of the afflicted; Some Mor Phii will take dried chilli and roast it until it makes a lot of smoke and let the afflicted person sit in the smoke until the eyes water and cannot breathe. This forces the Bporb out of the body, and as this occurs, the Mor Phii then binds the Phii Bporb and questions it as to who it is and where it came from. Once the Phii Bporb has confessed, the Mor Phii will unbind the Phii Bporb and let it go on its way. The afflicted person will be back to normal. The watering red eyes from the chilli smoke will disappear immediately. But the Phi Bporb will become all flustered and red eyed and have to flee.
Other methods of Exorcism;
In General it is common for Mor Phii to use ‘Hwaay’ (rattan) to whip and flog the Phii Bporb with. This also hurts the victim of course. If the Phii Bporb plays tough, the Mor Phii will whip harder with the rattan wood(Rattan has long sharp thorns on it), until the skin of the person is bruised and purple from the beating with rattan. Once the Bporb has left the persons body, the whiplashes from the rattan will quickly fade and disappear from the surface of the afflicted persons skin almost immediately.
But this method of exorcism has already come to cause unrest in the public news, because of a person who did not have a Bporb possessing them, but was actually suffering from a nervous disorder. But the victims family thought that there was a Phii Bporb inside, so they asked a Mor Phii to exorcise, and he used the Hwaay to whip the victim with. The victim was injured in many places, bruised and scarred in various places, and the Hnmor Phii kept whipping thinking that the Bporb ghost was playing hard to beat. In the end, the victim died from the beating. The relatives were charged with criminal offenses and the Hmor Phii was put in prison for manslaughter.
The method used for this exorcism (above) Performed by a Mor Phii in ban Ton Noi (Khon Gaen), was to lay the body of the victim with the Phii Bporb into a grave, and use Kata Akom Incantations to bind the Bporb into being trapped in the hole forever. The body of the victim, is raised back up to the surface after the Ghost has been seen to have left the body and be stuck in the hole. This is determined easily because the victim stops the spasmodic twitching and moaning, and returns to normal, often not knowing what has happened.
A third method for exorcising Phii Bporb is for the Hmor Phii to bring various frightening or unlike-able animals (such as toads, Tuk-Gae lizards, snakes, cockroaches, or the like) and use them to bully and frighten the Bporb out of the victims body. Even though the Phii Bporb is rather a disgusting creature in itself, the fact that most Bporb ghosts are women, and/or inhabit women causes the Bporb to be disgusted and/or frightened by the kind of animals used by the Hmor Phii and will usually flee from the victims body quite easily when this method is used.
It is said that Phii Bporb is very difficult to get rid of. Most people who become afflicted by Phii Bporb Sing Sathit (‘Sing Sathit’ means ‘To Dwell within’), will remain afflicted their whole life. There is however, a trick to use when exorcising Phii Bporb; When the Hmor Phiis Kata Akom begin to bother the Phii Bporb, a ball will form and swell under the skin of the victim. When the Hmor Phii begins to grab it and ‘Saek Kata Akom’ (chant magical spells/mantras) to force the Bporb out, the ball under the skin will begin to disappear and flee. If the Hmor Phii is not experienced enough, he will think that the Phii Bporb has already taken leave, but in fact, the Phii Bporb will first run and hide as a ball of energy in the crook of the leg behind the kneecap, or even in the genital area.
Hmor Run Kroo Method;
‘Run Kroo’ means ‘the teacher Guru generation’. Hmor Run Kroo means the experienced older Master Hmor Phii, who has both a large armory of Kata Akom and assorted psychic powers which he has developed over the years with Kammathana Meditation and Kasina staring, as well as the
advantage of many years of experience. I would translate this as ‘Adept Ghost Doctor’. The Adept Hmor Phii will barge in and tie the wrists, ankles and neck of the afflicted using Saay Sinjana (Saay Sin – the thin white cord used by Buddhist Monks in blessing ceremonies). This
prevents the Bporb from escaping from the afflicted persons body whilst the Hmor Phii works.
Recorded Cases of Phii Bporb
In Isan country (North East Thailand), Ghosts are an everyday occurrence, and legends and tales of Ghost visitations are rife. A very famous case of apparent possession by Phii Bporb, is the case in Don Somburn in Ampher Yang Dtalaad, Kalasin. A large number of case of people appearing to have been possessed by the spirit of a malefic being such as a Phii Bporb, who were causing havoc in tow different villages. It became so bothersome that it became necessary to ask a Monk to come and ward the Ghosts off.
Local news reporters stated that there were various unexplainable incidents of middle aged women being possessed. Two cases occurred in one evening, which began with Nang Daeng Somway, a lady aged between 30 and 40 years old, who was displaying signs of being possessed by a Ghost (this is called ‘Thuug Phii Sing Khao’ in Thai). The second case was with Nang Ganjanaa Hwang Chaalii (31) from Koke Sri. Both women began shaking, and began to speak jibberish, and wail and moan. The local villagers in both districts became afraid that Phii Bporb was running amok in the district and thus took both women without prior notice to the temple of Wat Don Yaa Nang, in order to fend the Ghosts off.
The local villagers heard of this matter as word got around, and many people turned up to sit and watch and see what would happen. Pra Kroo Bparsut Tamma Suntorn, the abbot, and some of the other monks of the temple performed a ceremony to trap and dominate a Phii Bporb, by tying
cords of Sai Sin thread (a white string thread used by monks to chant spells with) around the temple grounds, and the Shrine room. Both women were taken and sprayed with Nam Montr (prayer water), as the victims were screaming and wailing nonsense (a typical response when
The atmosphere became very thick as Ajarn Khajam ( leading figure of Isan Animist magic) entered into Rang Song (Deity possession/ Spirit Mediumship), and stated that there were hundreds of Phii Bporb spirits planning to come and wreak havoc on the inhabitants of this village. The villagers were terrified, and formed a circle joining hands and began to chant to chase the Ghosts away. As the Monks and Ajarn Khajam were spraying prayer water, they were simultaneously chanting spells and Kata to call and force the spirits of the malevolent Ghosts to enter into tubes of bamboo, which had been prepared as vessels to trap the Phii Bporb with. They performed the Ritual all night, and managed to entrap more than 100 Phii Bporb Ghosts, including successfully extraditing the Phii Bporb from the two women who had already been affected and possessed, who returned to their normal state.
Pra Kroo Bprasut Tamma Suntorn (Wat Don Ya Nang), commented that in this particular time of the year there were lots of Phii Bporb flying around because it was the season that people would ‘Bploy Khong’ (release Magic Spells) or ‘Krorb Kroo’ (perform ceremonies of Initiation). Many of these ghosts belong to beings (Human and Non-Human) with much Wicha Akom (occult and psychic powers). He warned that people who would hunt or stay in the forest at night should use the greatest caution. To make the Ghosts flee, they should use the Khant Haa ceremony and prepare Ya Fhaeg grass to make the ceremony whilst chanting the Ancient Kata used by their forefathers.
It is believed in the Isan country, that Phii Bporb such as these come from Occultists who have mastered the Dark Arts and developed enough power to be able to take the life of another person. The Ghosts of these people are the Phii Bporb created by the Master of Dark Arts (Saiyasart). Some of the Dark Rituals involved with this kind of practice are the making of ‘Ya Faed’, or ‘ Roop Fhang’, Saek Hnang Kwaay (Buffalo skin spell), ‘Saek Dtapu Khao Torng’ (cast a spell to make nails enter into the stomach of the victim), or use Mantras to make a Malefic spirit enter into that person and possess them.
Saiyasart has its rules of play and rules of conduct. He who has Magical powers (Wicha Akom), which the Lord Buddha has decreed to be ‘Wicha Dierachan’ (animal science – black magic), must abide by the rules of play. He who does not abide by the rules of play and breaks the rules (called ‘Calam’ in Thai), will receive heavy doses of bad luck due to having ‘Phid Kroo’ (offended the Kroo of the Wicha). The spirit of the Boroma Kroo will punish you and convert you into a Bporb Ghost.
People who use spells and Kata to evoke magical power and harm other beings, with no fear of Karma or wrongdoing, will slowly get the rebound wave of the Magical energy fall back on them and finally turn them into a Phii Bporb.
This Article is a preview Excerpt from Ajarn Spencer Littlewood’s ‘Buddha Magic’ Ezine (issue 2)
Mae Nang Prai Jing Jork Gao Hang (Nine Tails Fox)