Demon drink: exorcism ends one-man hostage show

PHUKET: A recent incident in Baan Bangjo, in Phuket’s Thalang District, recently highlighted to police and local residents the extent of disorientation alcohol can induce.

Police officers and members of the Kusoldharm foundation responded to late-night reports of a public disturbance near a place of worship in Srisoonthorn subdistrict.

Arriving at a private residence behind Baan Bangjo Mosque, they found 32-year-old Pichai Plubplueng drunk, holding a knife to his own throat and threatening to bash his head against a wall if anyone approached.

Mr Pichai, originally from Si Sa Ket province in northeast Thailand, was alternately singing Isarn and Cambodian songs.

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Neighbors gathered to watch, adding to the drama.

After an hour of unsuccessful negotiation, officers asked Mr Pichai’s wife what led to the unfortunate situation.

She divulged that her husband had sworn to his mother that he would stop drinking, but earlier that day he drank with friends. When he returned home, his strange behavior began without warning.

Police asked Mr Pichai’s wife to speak with him. He instructed her to place five flowers, five incense sticks and five candles before him, then pay her respects.

After she had done what he asked, Mr Pichai abruptly lost consciousness.

Police rushed in to remove the knife from his hand, then volunteer rescue workers revived about five minutes later.

Upon waking, Mr Pichai claImed no recollection of what had transpired and asked the crowd what they were doing there.

Individuals holding themselves hostage is a strange yet relatively common occurrence in Thailand, but the event frightened neighbors and onlookers as it appeared as if Mr Pichai had been possessed and that the “spirit” only left his body after his wife did its bidding.

Cases of “possession” are quite common in Thalang. In November, 2005, pupils at the Cherng Talay Witthayakom School were given a three-day holiday following a case of mass hysteria involving some 100 students, some of whom suffered from shock and had to be hospitalized.

The event followed accidental damage to a spirit house by a backhoe working on a construction project behind the school.

Thailand News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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