How to summon a ghost in Thailand


Thailand’s horror stories are renowned for sending shivers down your spine and even causing you to lose sleep for a week – we know this from experience. If Shutter wasn’t terrifying enough for you, you can try your hand at summoning Thai ghosts using these tried-and-true methods that local “supernatural experts” swear by. 

Remember, though, that it may not always turn out the way you expected. So, try these eight ways to summon ghosts at your own discretion – the techniques are ranked from least to most dangerous. 

Some images may make you shiver down your spine and trigger some insomniac episodes, so you may want to go through these tips with someone next to you. 

Thai superstitions and spooky stories:


1. Comb your hair in front of a mirror at midnight


First up is a method that has been used in many Thai ghost programmes and by internet influencers looking for a thrill. 

According to Thai traditional beliefs, staring in the mirror around midnight may allow one to witness someone else’s reflection. But, combing your hair sends an invitation to ghouls so creepy that seeing them could cause you to lose your bearings, hopefully temporarily, as written by Gang Beauty.

summoning-ghostsA thriller night special stunt – brought to you by a Thai YouTuber.
Screenshot: 555INFINITY

Here’s what to do if you’re looking for a fright. 


Instructions


  1. Wait for midnight to strike
  2. With a lit candle, turn off all the lights in the room
  3. Comb your hair in front of the mirror until the candle dies
  4. Take a closer look and see the reflection of the person(s) that aren’t you 

summoning-ghostsThis is comparable to “Bloody Mary”, where she appears in a mirror when her name is chanted three times.
Image credit: Rumah Misteri

In order to reverse the spell, carefully follow the steps below.


Spell reversal


  1. Quickly throw your comb away as far away as possible 
  2. Turn away from the mirror to drive the entity away
  3. In Thai Buddhist beliefs, you need to make merit and pray for the spirit at a temple afterwards to protect yourself from bad spirits and lingering ghosts 

If these steps aren’t followed, the spirit is said to linger around. 


2. Look between your legs


No, this isn’t a yoga pose. Even though this summoning technique involves more legwork – bending over and looking between your legs – it’s definitely one of the more popular ones. 

21 out of 50 people claimed to have really encountered a ghost whilst using this practise, according to Sanook

summoning-ghostsImage credit: LINE TV


Instructions


  1. Head over to a grassy area, like a field or a yard
  2. Grab a fallen leaf from any tree nearby
  3. Stand near the tree whilst facing towards the east
  4. Slowly rotate yourself counterclockwise three times whilst chanting Put-Tho-Ta-Ya three times. 
    1. This Buddhist chant translates to “Divine Dharma”, and saying the words allows divine light to enter one’s soul and mind.
  5. On the third rotation, stop when you’re directly facing the west
  6. Calmly bend over forward between your legs with your eyes closed
  7. Once you open your eyes, you should be met with a ghostly companion

Note: Make sure not to run as they may end up following you.


Spell reversal


  1. Dispose the leaf immediately 
  2. Rotate yourself clockwise thrice without any chants
  3. You may go home afterwards, but do not run back because the entity will follow you.
  4. Blow on tap water three times, then chant Phut Tho, which means “Dharma”, thrice.
  5. Splash your face three times with the same water
  6. Make merit afterwards to the ghost

3. Sleep in a coffin


Coffins are a respectful space reserved for the deceased. It can be hard to imagine ourselves laying in this confined space; for some it’s considered their worst nightmare. 

The coffin method is said to bring thrillseekers to meet their personal guide to the underworld, so the rules require that the “traveller” hold a coin in their mouths. This is  similar to Greek folklore where any valuables that are on the person at the time that they perish are taken into the afterlife, according to Sanook.

summoning-ghosts

According to Isaan folklore, it works almost the same way. Instead you’ll be laying in a coffin with a coin in your mouth.


Instructions


  1. Place a coin in your mouth before entering the casket 
  2. Lay in the casket holding a lotus flower in between your palms, like you’re doing a wai
  3. Simply close your eyes and focus on trying to summon your guide 
  4. Open your eyes and you should be met with a spirit
  5. To be guided into the afterlife, you’ll need to give them your coin

To get yourself out of this, you only have to leave the coffin and make merit for your guide.


4. Play the the Thai-version of the Ouija board


The Ouija board is a classic way to communicate between our world and that of spirits. Thais have their own version that is popular among schoolchildren, many of whom will say they’ve talked to ghosts through their “Ouija board”. 

Those interested in summoning ghosts through this method need a piece of paper, a pen, and an empty glass or a coin. 

Note: This method can only be used by those who can read and understand Thai. The players must remain composed. If you exude negative or nervous energy during the ritual, the spirits you meet may follow you consistently.


Image credit: Onumamkawimal

Here’s what you need to do. 


Setting up the board


  1. Write all of the Thai alphabet – including tone markers – on an empty sheet of paper
  2. Ensure that you’ve placed an exit panel on the board before starting the game – meaning have good-bye written on it.
  3. Have an empty glass or coin 
    1. One of these will be used as a communication tool between you and the otherworldly beings

Once all this is set up, you may begin the game accordingly.


Playing the game


  1. Every players’ fingers need to be on the communication tool
  2. Chant Put-Tho-Ta-Ya
    1. If this is being done in a group, members must chant this in unison.
  3. The object needs to move by itself after someone has asked questions from the summoned one.

Image credit: Post Jung

When you’re ready to end the game, follow these measures. 


Spell reversal


  1. Place your communication tool on the good-bye panel
  2. Remove the communication tool from the board
  3. Apologise to the spirit for disturbing and summoning them 
  4. Make merit and pray for them at the temple

If these instructions aren’t followed accordingly, the spirit will follow you for days. We’ll tell you again: you need to go to the temple to make merit.


5. Leave offerings for ghosts


Tourists may have noticed plates of food with incense sticks along pavements while walking around cities in Thailand. Similar to how Thais make offerings to spirit houses, they also feed spirits that live along the streets, which is what those little meals are for. 

Leaving offerings out and inviting spirits to have a meal together is actually a popular summoning method.

To get instant results, you have to follow these instructions.

summoning-ghostsThe caption reads Wan Gone, which is a Buddhist Day that releases spirits
Image credit: Wat Tha Mai via Pantip 


Instructions


  1. Go to a place that’s known to be populated with spirits
    1. This could be a graveyard, a temple or the site of a tragedy
  2. Place the platter of food on the ground 
  3. Hit the plate of food with a utensil repeatedly
  4. Once you’ve hit the plate, wait for the entity to appear


Image credit: Painaidii


Spell reversal


If you’ve decided that it’s time to part ways with your guest, you could walk away. Though, that’d be a little rude. So, the best way to end your meal is to thank them for making the effort to join your meal, and making merit for them later. 


6. Swallow your saliva in front of a mirror


This method is similar to the hair combing technique, but involves swallowing your saliva. 

The steps are also slightly different and more specific.


Instructions


  1. Face away from the mirror
  2. At exactly 11.54PM, start swallowing saliva one time a minute 
  3. After the sixth gulp at midnight, slowly turn towards the mirror with your eyes closed
  4. Then swallow your saliva for the seventh time – the entity will be there once you open your eyes


Image credit: เด็กฝึกงาน


To drive off the ghost as you must


  1. Close your eyes
  2. Swallow again for the eighth time 
  3. If they’re refusing to leave, apologise and promise to make merit to them
  4. Go to a temple and make merit for them

7. Cover yourself with a blanket and chant


Remember many of us believe that hiding under blankets is going to save us from the spooks? Well, that belief was promptly debunked by Japanese horror movie, Ju-on, where the ghost surprises characters underneath their blankets.

Well, this is how you summon ghosts Ju-on style.

summoning-ghosts


Instructions


    1. Close your eyes and cover yourself with the blanket
    2. Chant Ma-Ah-Ooh seven times and open your eyes.
      1. The recite means “Lord Buddha is the highest form of dharma”.
    3. Boo! You’ll find yourself accompanied by someone else

summoning-ghosts
Image credit: The Unaffiliated Critic

Unfortunately, there isn’t a direct way to reverse the spell. Just pray very hard and make merit to the entity later. 


8. Play hide-and-seek at night


Playing hide and seek at night is the simplest but most dangerous summoning technique on the list. 

The method ties back to Thai legend that say spirits come out at night and are more confident lurking in the dark. There have even been instances of spirits cloaking players.

Some seekers have even witnessed mysterious shadows that they mistook for hiders.

summoning-ghosts
Image credit: Zpore

In one case, some players were possessed and required an experienced exorcism to drive the entity out from the victim’s body, reported Petmaya

If you want a sure way to reverse the spell, you’ll need to have a black cat handy. 

summoning-ghostsImage credit: Jessica Wolfel Sperger


Instructions


  1. Play hide-and-seek at night until you experience supernatural activity.
  2. To reverse these effects, a black cat needs to walk past you.
    1. So, unless you have a trusty black cat, there’s no sure way to drive the entity away.

Summon Thai ghosts if you dare


Thais see a very thin border between the supernatural world and our dimension. Many believe that these spirits are not only present in our daily lives, but can also take action that either works in – or against – our favour. 

So, assess carefully before undertaking any of these summoning rituals. 

For non-ghost believers, you may not want to try and put yourself into the unknown because these stories have been told for a reason.

Have you personally encountered a ghost before? Let us know your experiences.


Cover images adapted from (Clockwise from top left): Pai Naii Di, Sanook , เด็กฝึกงาน 

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