Farang ghosts haunt local Thais in Phuket, Phi Phi, Khao Lak
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January 20, 2005: Local people on the Thai island of Phuket as well as the Phi Phi and Khao Lak resorts claim that the local beaches are being haunted by the ghosts of Western foreigners killed by the tsunami triggered by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. According to local beliefs, after someone dies a relative has to cremate or bless the body so that the spirit can find rest - which hasn't happened with the bodies of the dead foreigners, many of which have not been found yet.



Game and Story Use

  • Maybe there is something special about the spirit world of Thailand that even the spirits of foreigners are effected like native spirits would. Thus, dying in Thailand will prevent the spirits of foreigners from reaching their "proper" destination.
    • See the entry under hungry ghost for "getting the local afterlife" in Alan Brennert's Ma Qui.
  • This would be an interesting trope for anyone who wants to run an "all myths are true" campaign setting - the rules of death and passing on vary depending on where you are.
  • If the unburied/unburned dead in your setting can become undead, you can lift this in the wake of a natural disaster.
  • A lot of (South East) Asian traditions hold that victims of accidental deaths can become "hungry ghosts", haunting the site of their demise until they can find someone else to take their place or until they are properly exorcised (some traditions also allow proper funeral rites for the deceased to prevent this sort of haunting and only assign hungry ghost status to those who are left unburied).
  • Besides proper funeral rites, summoning an appropriate psychopomp might be a good idea. Of course, a substantial portion of westerners are, to put it politely, godless - who is the correct guide to an afterlife that you never believed in? And in a lot of traditions, haunting Thailand for ever might be a lot better than what comes next for someone who didn't have their priorities right in life.
    • Still, encouraging relatives of the dead to make pilgrimages to the beaches, conduct ceremonies of remembrance and then take home mementos might create enough of a sympathetic link that the dead can follow home.
  • Even if the Thais are mistaken about the rules of death, their belief could be creating mythago ghosts that are a lot harder to get rid of - this might well be where large public ceremonies help by changing the narrative to allow the Thais to believe them away again.
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