A village has been living in fear of an infamous “Widow Ghost” blamed for deaths of at least ten men since last month, and their method of combating the paranormal monster is usually known for getting people killed, either by angry bulls or extraterrestrials with phasers: red shirts.
A spirit medium hired by the village of Tha Sawang to investigate the mysterious death of almost a dozen “strong, healthy men” since December, has come to the conclusion that they were killed by a terrifying “Widow Ghost”, or the pee mae mai, a vengeful spirit out for blood. She warned that those homes with only one son risk a higher chance of an unwelcome visit from the angry spirit, and offered up a method of combat that involves hanging a red shirt outside the home, a gesture said to repel evil.
The ghost has caused such a panic in the area that even those who might not believe in such things have felt pressure to comply with the medium’s demands for the sake of their neighbors.
“Some of the men who died did not show any sign of sickness, they were perfectly fine. When I heard about the rumour, I respected people’s beliefs and put a red shirt on my front door as well,” a 42 year old villager told The Bangkok Post.
The entire series of events is further complicated by the political pressure group United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), a group set up to oppose those who supported the 2006 coup staged by Thailand’s Royal Thai Army, which the vast majority of citizens (84% or so) supported. Why is this a problem? Because the UDD’s support symbol is a red shirt, which makes a whole lot of the ghost-fearing public seem like they’re supporters of a widely disliked former government. Makes you wonder if the mysterious spirit medium had any ulterier motives.
The latest news is that the “Widow Ghost” has spread to at least two other districts, which could mean a lot more red shirts hung on a lot more front lawns.
Perhaps the American Tea Party should start telling ghost stories?