Thailand A Land of Spirits, Demons and The Ghost of Mae Nak

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Thailand is arguably the most spiritual country in the world.
Every house, shop, hotel, garden or even tree will have its own sacred mini "Spirit House", respectfully erected where it doesn't fall in shadow, where the spirits live.
If this spiritual thoughtfulness is not enough, every morning the spirits that live in the spirit house are brought breakfast (or at least some other symbolic offering).
It's often puzzled me that in a land that is so dripping with spirituality...
where every house and garden is blessed by Buddhist monks...
why it should be crawling with Christian missionaries.
I can only assume that it is the "wrong" kind of spirituality.
The longer I live here the more I see how everyday life is intrinsically interwoven with spiritual life.
The spirit world is every bit as real and important as Premiership Football, Pizza Hut or winning the lottery.
Important decisions regarding everyday life, such as whether to get married, have children, go to university or which lottery ticket to buy is guided by a large extent by the spirit world.
There are endless daily consultations with the spirits in the spirit house or other notable shrines.
If you are lucky enough to be able to spend a few days in Bangkok, as well as seeing the Grand Palace and the usual tourist round, it is well worth setting an afternoon aside to take a trip to the end of the Sukhumvit Sky Train Line at Onnut, and pop down to see the incredible shrine to Mae Nak or Mother Nak as you or I might have known her.
If you get off at Onnut station and walk down Soi 77, which is also known as Onnut Road, or Soi Onnut, a little way down on your left you will come to a small sign, (which is very easy to miss as I found out after marching for miles through the Bangkok hinterland) which points down Soi 7 to Wat Mahabut.
The shrine to Mae Nak is at the bottom of this little lane next to the temple.
The shrine is visited around the clock, mostly by young mothers, or couples trying to have children.
Although the legend, and ghost story of Mother Nak is at least 200 years old, her blessing and counsel is still eagerly sought.
She sits in her own lounge attended by a full time platoon of ladies who arrange the offerings of clothes in front of her and switch the channels on her TV.
The last time I was there I counted over 50 people arrive in just under an hour, and this was on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.
While you are there, apart from finding out more about the spine tingling ghost story of Mae Nak, which was recently made into a hugely successful major Thai horror film, there are plenty of other surreal distractions (as if offering clothes and toys and talking to a TV watching life size model of Mae Nak is not enough for you).
There are lots of stalls selling all different types of water animals, from catfish to water beetles, in order for you to make a wish as you let them go into the adjacent canal.
There are also birds in cages that for a small fee you can free, thus gaining the favours of Mae Nak herself.
And if all this isn't enough...
you can see if you can spot the footprints on the ceiling that Mae Nak left 200 years ago where she appeared, upside down, to the congregation of terrified monks.
If Thailand is not the spirit and ghost capital of the world, I can't think where is.
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