Update: Thai secrets about ghosts in Chiang MaiLast night we went out with two friends to eat the best pizza in Chiang Mai. We were discussing my post about the haunted White Lion House, and lo and behold one of our friends, a Thai lady (we'll call her Nam), had more to say. Whilst I still don't (think I) believe in ghosts, what she told us was really interesting.
What you didn't know about ghosts in Chiang Mai
Remember how my work colleague seemed reluctant to talk to me when I asked her about White Lion House? Nam told us that at some offices, employees aren't supposed to talk too much about ghosts to foreigners. This is for the same reason that, despite the many ghost stories in and around Chiang Mai, there is no ghost based tourism. Thai people believe that if the foreigners don't respect the ghosts, bad luck will haunt both the foreigner and the Thai informer... and their families, too - especially if the Thai person is making some money from it.
The Ghost of Bua Tong Waterfall aka Sticky Waterfall
Previously I have rated this waterfall in Chet Sii National Park as the second best in Thailand. I love it there. Now, I know there's a dark story behind this beautiful place...
Not so long ago, a man built a house near the sticky waterfall for his wife and family. They were happy there, living peacefully in the jungle, playing with their children in the water. Until, one day, the husband and wife were enjoying a romantic evening at the waterfall alone. Suddenly, a storm burst forth from nowhere, and lightning struck a tree above the wife. The tree fell, and a branch slit her throat. She bled to death in the water. Consumed by grief, the man took his children and fled. Entrance to the waterfall was closed, and has only re-opened three or four years ago. It is said that the wife still haunts the waterfall during stormy weather.
If you'd like to check out this waterfall for yourself, you can stay over in a guesthouse at the Chet Sii National Park, right near the falls, or at the amazing Rabeang Pasak Tree House Resort which is twenty minutes away by motorbike.
The Ghost of Huay Kaew Waterfall
This waterfall is at the base of Doi Suthep. It's a popular place and can get pretty crammed on hot days. Go on a weekday morning and you'll probably only have to share the place with butterflies. Whilst you're there, dwell on this romantic ghost story.
The daughter of a rich family fell in love with a poor boy. Her family didn't approve, and made arrangements for her to marry someone of their choosing. Meanwhile, the girl and boy would secretly meet each other at Huary Keaw waterfall, trying to figure out how to be together. On the eve of her wedding day, she met the boy at the waterfall. They couldn't bear the thought of not being together. In their desperation, they held hands and jumped off the top of a high waterfall.
Ghost Hunting: How To
Nam told us that if you go looking for ghosts, you should make an offering to the ghost at a temple early the next morning. Go with a Thai person for help. If you don't do this, expect to be haunted!
She said that according to Thai superstition, if you're born on a Wednesday you will be able to see ghosts easily. I was born on a Tuesday which apparently means I'm argumentative and Andy was born on a Thursday which means he is likeable and easy to get along with!
If you're a girl, there's an easy way to see ghosts. You have to go somewhere you know is haunted and then bend forwards and look between your legs. Nam assured me that if you do this and there is a ghost there, you'll see it.
Should we go looking for ghosts?
Nam knows of a cafe where ghosts live. A woman hanged herself on the fourth floor. Nam told us that students at Chiang Mai University go there to see her. She said she could take us to the cafe, but she wouldn't go to the fourth floor herself. What do you think, should we go?