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Spirit Houses (San Phra Phum)
Written by Wadee Kheourai   
Friday, 09 February 2007 21:14

Many Thais believe that when a Thai family builds a new house, there is always the possibility that it has disturbed the spirits who live on the property. In order to protect their new home from retaliatory harm or mischief, some Thai families put up a little model house on a pole for the spirits to live in. The spirit house must be located somewhere on the grounds where the shadow of the human house will never fall on it. Offering of incense, fruit, flowers and rice will be placed here, because the spirits must be kept happy at all costs. Amazingly enough, though they look like houses and are temptingly stocked with food, the spirit houses are almost never occupied by birds. Perhaps even the birds respect these invisible being. Some tourists may see at a curtain curves of the road, a small spirit house built there by hopeful drivers. Their theory is that if the spirits who haunt the place are given a home they will not spitefully endanger the drivers who must pass this way. Some spirit houses on to road were built to pacify the tormented spirits of people who have died violent deaths in crashes at that site.

An old spirit house

Information from: "Thai Studies Through Games" Book 2 by Assist. Prof. Wadee Kheourai.
Pictures copyright: Panrit "Gor" Daoruang.