Last year, during a transit I visited my former university in Thailand with a Thai friend, and again we talked about tree spirits and ghosts in Thai folklore. I took a photograph of a broken statue of a former Thai kind in a banyan tree and promised myself to learn a bit more about this phenomenon. Like today.
Broken statues of kings and Buddha
Thai people’s ways of life and traditions from birth to death are related to ghosts. My Thai friend told me this topic is always under discussion, so what I write down here is for sure not the absolute truth. She told me that buddhist and hindu Thailand’s believe in spirits. If one statue is blessed as a representative of Buddha or a former king word, Thais believe there is a part of their spirit inside the statue. You should never throw away the statue, because it can make the ghost angry. Instead you can place it in a holy tree, a temple or a shrine.
Not only statues, but also spirit houses and dolls (yes, I saw some of them when I lived in Thailand and they creeped me out the most) could be ‘dumped’ close to trees. This can lead to sometimes interesting situations. Tree years ago, an unsightly pile of discarded broken and unwanted spirit houses, shrines and various kinds of spirit dolls on the side of a rural road in Sankhaburi district near a large tree horrified many local residents that they did campaigns to ask the government to fix this. (Bangkokpost 28 March 2017)
Please share some more interesting stories about ‘broken statues, spirit houses, dolls’. Is this only a ‘Thai thing’ or did you also see such phenomenons in other countries?
Wanna read more about tree spirits in Thailand? Please visit this page: … in Thailand. Today I updated also this page with more information about the different sort of tree spirits.