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Not a ghost of a chance

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Not a ghost of a chance | Thaiger

THALANG: When police cremated an unidentified murder victim without first conducting a religious ceremony, their actions came back to haunt them – literally. Fishermen discovered the body in the waters off Ao Por on the morning of December 10 – and it was not a pretty sight. Pol Maj Anan Jingjit of the Thalang Police Station said that they could tell from what was left of the body that it had been stabbed six times in the chest, blasted in the head and chest with a shotgun, and struck in the face with a heavy object that knocked out three front teeth. After this, it was weighed down at the legs and waist with two 15-kilo stones and dumped in the sea. When the police pulled the body from its watery grave, there wasn’t much left to help in identifying the victim – the face had been eaten by sea creatures. There was, however, enough tissue left to identify the corpse as a male, about 160 centimeters tall. Maj Anan estimated that the man died at least three days earlier. With the help of local villagers, the corpse was brought ashore on a rubber raft and taken to Thalang Hospital, where officials said it was too rotten to be stored. Rather than take the unidentified victim to Wachira Hospital, which deals with all of the most horrific cases on the island, they instead took the rotting corpse to Pranangsang Temple, also in Thalang, where it was cremated and reduced to small pile of bones. Wrapped up in a small white cloth, the bones were stored next to a filing cabinet in the interrogation room of the police station, where they would be held until relatives came to claim them or until they were needed in the investigation to track down the killer. Another day’s work done, Maj Anan went home that night and tried to sleep. But as he lay in slumber, the ghost of the victim appeared to him in a dream, asking for a drink of water. Maj Anan’s subconscious replied to Thailand’s version of Freddie Kruger by saying, “Get it yourself! There’s plenty of water in the ocean.” After that, he woke up in a panic – and with a rank odor of decomposing human flesh in his nostrils. When he came in to work the next day, Maj Anan told his fellow officers about his nightmare. At first they laughed, asking, “Why didn’t you ask the ghost for the winning number in the next lottery draw?” But it wasn’t long before other officers started having strange experiences, too. Pol Cpl Suthep Songserm also reported seeing the faceless apparition in a dream. He said the ghost pressed on his chest, trying to suffocate him. Other officers working on the night shift reported hearing strange noises in the station’s interrogation room, but when they opened the door, there was nothing except the bag of bones. The haunting was not limited to the police. A number of Ao Por villagers who had seen or been involved in the recovery effort called in to report hearing loud eerie noises late at night. Others said the spirit came to them in dreams, asking to borrow 430 baht. At last report, nearly every member of the force had been totally spooked and many were too afraid to show up for duty. They said that if the haunting continued they would have to think about finding a new place to keep the bones, make merit for the soul of the deceased – and speeding up the investigation so they could find the killers as soon as possible.

 

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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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