It’s Halloween season, and though the Thai do not celebrate this holiday, they are definitely believers in ghosts and the supernatural. So I thought I’d share a couple of creepy Bangkok items. The first is a temple with a shrine for a popular local spirit — and I don’t mean Thai whiskey. Wat Mahabutr in On Nut is better known as Wat Mae Nak, Mother Nak, a ghost.
This legendary lady Nang Nak was pregnant when her husband was called off to war. Just as he was wounded in battle, she died while trying to birth the child. When he returned home, she and the child awaited him with open arms — or so it seemed. Neighbors tried to warn him but were scared off by the apparition. Eventually the truth came out and of course the man was terrified. An exorcism was performed to release the spirit from its earthly ties but the locals have since taken to praying to her. Figures and portraits adorn the shrine on the temple grounds near the canal. If the story doesn’t exactly give you chills, check out the mummified corpse of an infant also on site (not related to the haunting).
The second creeptacular experience isn’t intended to be so. In fact, it is a sort of fundraiser for coffins for the indigent. At Wat Prasat, an Ayutthaya-period temple (with some nice murals by the way), there is this little display of creative marketing:
Translation: Please come and make merit and release your bad karma — buy a coffin for the poor!