August, 2001

A couple of days ago I was told that if I see a monk walking with a lady monk (some call them nuns), not to talk to them because they are possessed and if I talk to them I will die. I am not even to return a "Hello" if I pass them on the motorbike.

From what I understand, one monk at the large and Nationally known temple in a nearby town (Known for having on its grounds, what is traditionally believed to be a footprint of the Buddha in stone) learned some ancient secrets and became possessed by some sort of ghost. He and this woman monk walk around together, kill people and eat their organs (without opening them up). A family of five was found dead in a village near Pakad a couple of days ago and when the coroner opened them up, their organs were gone! Also a couple of days ago, the two possessed people came to a school nearby, but fortunately word got around fast and "nobody die", I was told.

The police arrested the two and put them in handcuffs, but while their attention was elsewhere, these strange beings vanished, leaving only the handcuffs (I am told that some monks learn how to turn invisible and in fact one monk from the temple in Nondu can do this).

Apparently these two can assume many different appearances. Since their appearance at the school, they have been seen walking together as a dog and cat in the village next to ours. The residents of that village hid from them in their houses and waited for them to leave town.

The small villages around here are often little more than clusters of houses along the roads, surrounded by rice fields. There are no street lights and no commercial activity at night. For the most part, the streets are dark and empty, save the occasional frog hunter, flashlight in hand.

Only the night before last, the ghostly lady was seen on the road near our house. She was calling to the villagers in another house to come out and talk to her ("Hello...hello...hello..." in Thai, but the villagers stayed in their house until morning, once again foiling the deathly spirit.

Now people are wary of strangers because these beings can appear as anything or anybody. Some houses have some kind of tree branches tied near the front door up as some sort of defense against entry of ghosts. People wear strings blessed by monks on their wrists as a similar shield against unworldly harm. You may have encountered some superstition when you lived in Thailand, and so had I in the past, but this was the first time I had seen this on such a large scale. It reminds me a little of first chapter in Dracula when Jonathan Harker first arrived in Transylvania and received a warning from a local:

"It is the eve of St. George's Day. Do you not know that to-night, when the clock strikes midnight, all the evil things in the world will have full sway? Do you know where you are going, and what you are going to?" She was in such evident distress that I tried to comfort her, but without effect. Finally, she went down on her knees and implored me not to go; at least to wait a day or two before starting."

Its that spooky here.

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