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Home > Horror News > Eastern Horror News > Thai Ghost Buster Turns To Farming
Thai Ghost Buster Turns To Farming
By: RSS/News Feeds

SITTING in a small thatched hut overlooking rice fields and sugar cane fields, Mr Ornta Laokam remembers when Thailand’s landscape was still blanketed with thick forests that were said to be teeming with ghosts.

Mr Ornta’s grandfather and father taught him to see the ‘spirits’.

Most of them are benign, he says, but the malevolent few who tormented the living needed to be caught.

‘I began seeking this knowledge when I was 17 years old,’ said the man, now 77 and living in Phu Khieo, near the Cambodian border.

In his heyday, Mr Ornta travelled extensively around Thailand’s north-east and could earn up to 500 baht for his services.

But today, with the forests shrinking, so too has Mr Ornta’s income.

He now grows cucumbers, corn and beans as his main livelihood.

‘Now I start my day in the morning by watering and picking the vegetables to sell at the market,’ says the ghostbuster.

Demand for Mr Ornta’s services dropped as Thais began relying less on the jungle. Farms and factories grew as modernity and globalisation took over the jungles.

‘As more development came, ghosts were fewer and fewer,’ he says. ‘It’s probably because people cut down so many trees, so the ghosts had to evacuate and move deeper into the jungle to live.’

Farming is not as profitable as chasing ghosts, so he supplements his income and uses his mystical skills to make sashes for trees and spirit houses that people use to protect the good spirits near their homes.

Thais believe that spirits are everywhere. Even outside the steel-and-glass skyscrapers of Bangkok’s concrete jungle, Thais erect small houses where they make offerings to the spirits who protect the buildings.

These are generally good spirits and although the city does have some haunted houses, urban ghosts are usually old souls too powerful to be forced out, or the spirits of people who died suddenly or tragically.

TSUNAMI

After the tsunami ripped across the Indian Ocean in December 2004, Buddhist monks spent more than a year performing cleansing ceremonies to help the spirits of the dead ease their way into the next life.

Even Bangkok’s new international Suvarnabhumi Airport, before the main terminal building opened in September, had a ghost named Poo Ming, who workers said would appear, crying and speaking in tongues.

Airport operators brought in monks to appease him and built a spirit house where offerings could be made to him.

Mr Ornta’s demon-chasing skills are still sometimes called upon.

Madam Son Mongkolkhiew, a 59-year-old farmer, turned to him last year when, she says, she was being relentlessly haunted by a ghost.

It all began as she was returning from a Buddhist temple one day and saw a woman she didn’t recognise pushing a bicycle near a rice field a few metres (yards) from her home.

When she turned back to have another look, the woman was gone.

But Madam Son felt a heavy weight as she pedalled home on her bicycle. Not long after, she had trouble breathing and felt a strange and constant pressure on her neck.

‘I went to a few hospitals,’ she says. ‘The doctors did everything – X-rays, scans and ultrasounds – but they could not find anything wrong.’

After a year of suffering, she went to see Mr Ornta, who recited his spells over her. ‘I felt better and better, and was back to normal within a week,’ she says.

But Mr Ornta’s four daughters are not interested in following in their father’s footsteps. He’s hoping, improbably, that one of his grandchildren might want to learn his skills. – AFP.

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