Villagers in Thailand Blame Deaths on Organ-eating Ghost
Rumors surrounding a 'porb ghost' killing four men in the Nong Kung Si district of Thailand's Kalasin province have resulted in public health officials being dispatched to the region, according to the Asia News Network. Kalasin's chief public health officer, Dr. Prawit Sriboonrat, dispatched the officials, including a doctor and psychologists, in an attempt to quell unrest among the frightened villagers.
Residents in several villages of Tambon Nong Suang had already hired a "hermit" to perform a ritual to drive away the ghost, which they believe ate the internal organs of the afflicted men.
Local tradition holds that a 'porb ghost' is an often-female spirit that slowly devours the internal organs of its victims until they die.
The ritual appeared to calm the villagers and most returned with smiles on their faces, according to Prasit Singhamat, the head of the Moo 3 village.
Dr. Pairat Songkhram, a preventive medicine specialist, said that officials would continue to examine the scientific causes of the deaths, while psychologists interviewed the four mens' families.
"At this point, we have found that one of the four men died of leptospirosis and another of blood-pressure problems," Pairat said.
Health checks will be provided to all village residents, while health officials target the houses of the four deceased men to check on the health of their family members.
Team members have been instructed by Pairat to avoid saying anything that might ridicule or belittle the villagers' beliefs.
A widow in the village had been accused of being the ghost, said Dr. Nattakorn Jampathong, head of the Khon Kaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital, who emphasized that authorities need to provide help to improve the villagers' quality of life.