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Spirit Medium

The house of a Spirit Medium can feature an impressive altar with statues, garlands, big candles...
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium

Spirit can be called "Poo" (ปู่) or grandfather. Believers are called children (ลูก).

Spirit Medium
The Spirit Medium is able to make sacred water with mystical properties. Believers are seating in a row with their legs straight. Consecrated water is poured on head and body.
Spirit Medium

Spirit knowledge is still strong in Thailand. It is severely fought by some Buddhist monks.



When leaving the village for a long trip and coming back to the village, it is preferable to come to pay respect to the spirit.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium

Some people argue that spirit belief is linked to people's lack of education in Thailand.

Spirit Medium
The Spirit Medium is able to make specific powerful medicine to cure any kind of deceases. Of course medicine power is linked to belief strength. Some people happy with the results give rewards to the medium. Rewards can be food offering, money donation, electrical appliances and up to a house...
Spirit Medium

During the decade 1960s, when a Thai horror movie was shown in theaters, the owner has to pay respect to the spirit in order to avoid problems.

Once a year, a ritual (ยกครู) is celebrated with abundant offering including food (chicken, fruits, alcohol, coconut...). This ritual allows the spirit medium to honor and reconfirm relationship with his spirit.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium

Spirit belief is often seen as superstition in our modern world.

Spirit Medium
The Spirit Medium is able to connect with the spirits and to be possessed temporarily. It can then give advices and be able to see the future. Once the trance session is over, the spirit medium always forgets what he said.
Spirit Medium

Such spirit medium (คนทรงเจ้า) can have other names such as bonesetter, Psychic Medium or healer.



The Spirit Medium, when entering in trance, then becomes the channeller of spirit. When in trance, the healer can have a complete different voice and behavior. He can even shake if possessed by an old spirit.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium

Such behavior is often seen as violation of Buddhist teachings but in Thailand animism and Buddhism always live together since ages.

Spirit Medium
The channeller of spirit is often a middle age woman wearing white clothes. She has to take a bath before the possession and cannot perform such duties during her periods. She is normally of high morality so she does not perform on holy days or does not perform bad things such as supporting a woman (เมียน้อย) to steal another woman's (เมียกลาง) husband (white magic against black magic).
Spirit Medium

Thai people often say "Mai Cheua Yaa lop luu" (ไม่เชื่ออย่าลบหลู่). If you don't believe, then don't show disrespect!

For many Thai people, such services are seen as a psychologic assurance and comfort towards future in a difficult modern world.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium

The Spirit Medium can lead a large group of followers and provide various advices related to health, family and business.



Spirit Medium
Some spirit mediums can be possessed by famous spirits (เทวดา, King Rama V...) or more simple local spirits (ผี or ปู่). Several medium spirits claim to be possessed by King Rama V!!
Spirit Medium

Since decades, Buddhism has faced many crisis such as commercialisation, moral decline (crime, corruption, drugs, monks behavior) happening in local Buddhist temples.

Thai people visit spirit mediums regarding issues related to husband extramarital affair, illness, curse...
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium

Due to rapid industrialisation and changes in the Thai society during decades 1970s to 1980s, a big increase of home-based professional spirit mediums happened. In 1990s it was estimated that 100 000 mediums were established in Thailand.

Spirit Medium
Before requesting anything from the spirit, incense and candles shall be lit. Once the spirit has given an advice, the commoner can give a donation (ค่ายกครู) or a future reward (แก้บน) if the wish is performed.
Spirit Medium

The surge in urban-based spirit-medium is due to people moving from countryside to cities. Those deities and spirits also act as protectors and sponsors of Buddhism.

This home-based altar features some local deities and spirits such as Kinari, Nang Kwak, Reusi or Kuman Thong.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium

Those two altars located into a specific room show religion syncretism in Thailand.

Spirit Medium
This home-based altar features numerous Buddha images and famous monks statues.
Spirit Medium
This small altar features King Rama V. Some royal spirits such as former Thai kings are often worshipped.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium


Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium often have posters featuring Indian deities. Brahma, Vishnu and Indra are designated as deities or angels (Thewada - เทวดา).
Spirit Medium
Popularity of of major hindu deities (Brahma, Siva, Ganesh...) is important. This is due to Hindu community presence in Thailand and to the fact that some deities were also revered during Royal rituals.
Spirit Medium
Spirit Medium


Spirit Medium
Thai movie (คนทรงเจ้า) was released in year 1989. It is worth to be seen by those interested in Spirit Mediums in Thailand. The Culture Ministry registers 25 Thai classic films each year at the National Film Heritage Registry. This movie is part of the 25 films heritage list announced on 04 October 2014, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.
Spirit Medium


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