This is based on a real life story in Koosang Koosom Magazine, by Komsuk Pravitoun, Chiang Rai, written in Thai Language, translated by Ginger.
Photo by Vincent Tan at Flickr
Around 1996 (Thai year: 2539), I had a chance to visit my friend that works at Thum Luang, also known as Big Cave, which is situated in Chiang Rai Province of Thailand. It is a tourist attraction place where there are educators, cave experts, and tourists that visit on a regular basis. It is surrounded by mountains, and at the foothills are about 6 natural caves, and one of them is Thum Luang (Big Cave).
My friend told me that at one time, there were educators and foreign cave experts that were there examining the caves and got lost, they were in there for 5 days and couldn’t find their way out. When they finally came out, some said that the distance in the cave is as long as 20 kilometers (approximately 12 miles.)
That afternoon, I drove to the cave conservancy place, as I was driving there, I thought it was rather odd that I didn’t meet any traffic coming the other way, I was expecting to see at least one, or two tourist vehicles passing me, but there were none. I drove up to where my friend works, Lek and his wife came to greet me and the 3 of us were very closed since we’ve known each other for a long time, I bluntly asked him,
“Hey Lek! Is this the place of Buddha Shrine or what? Why is it so quite?”
Lek said that the other workers just went home, so there were only him and his wife left. There was a sense of solemness in the atmosphere, it was very quiet, almost dead silent, Lek took me over to Thum Luang (Big Cave) area. The mouth of the cave is very steep; it was cold, damped, and was pitch dark inside the cave. I could see bats flying back and forth. Lek switched on his flashlight, and leads the way into the cave. I was not afraid of bats, but more afraid of the snake or cave critters crawlers because I don’t get a long with them very well, and after walking about 20 meters into the cave, I asked Lek to come back out, I felt uneasy being inside the cave.
Lek lives behind his work place in a row house that has about 10 rooms, and it is situated along the foothills. Lek and his wife occupy the first room, then some of the remaining rooms were used to house work equipments.
After dinner, we sat and talked until 9 pm, and then I excused myself to my cabin that Lek has prepared for me, which is on the right hand side of his work place, and situated about 50 meters from Thum Luang (Big Cave).
It has been a long day for me, with all the driving, and cave touring, I was worn out by the time I got to my room. In the still of the night, the only sound that I could hear was the sound of the crickets, occasionally I would hear the sound of Nok Sack, which we often referred to it as the ghost bird, and it was flying back and forth. I laid down on the rice bed on the floor, I’m not sure how long time has lapsed but I was awaken from a sound sleep by the noise outside, it was as if someone or something was walking, no, more like dragging feet outside. I reached for my gun that I placed under my pillow before I went to bed, slowly I got up and looked through the curtain to see if there was any moving shadow outside, to see what it was, there were lights from a distance coming from Lek’s work place, and some from the moonlight.
I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, and the noise of feet dragging had also died down. I went back to sleep, but before I drift off to sleep, I heard the Mahori song.
- Lao Damnern Sai
I lay very still and listened. I thought to myself, this is a forestry area and far from any village and I was sure that there is not any special event in the area. I listened to see which direction it was coming from, and was positive that it came from the direction of Thum Luang (Big Cave).
I broke out into a cold sweat; I felt it on my face, then cold sweat streaming from every pore in my body. That sound of dragging feet came back, louder than ever; it even sent chills down my spine. I gathered up my courage and reached for my gun once more, got up and went to the front door. I opened the door, didn’t see anything, and ran behind Lek’s work place, went straight to Lek’s room and started banging on the door. Lek and his wife came to open the door, I rushed in and sat down. This startled Lek, and he asked me if I was okay, did something happen to me? I didn’t dare tell them the whole story because I didn’t want them to think that I was a coward and only told them that I heard someone walking outside the cabin.
They didn’t want me to worry, so Lek prepared another room for me, he let me stay in one of the rooms in the row house, the 7th room down from Lek and his wife. The front of the room is facing the back of Lek’s work place, and on the left hand side is the cabin that I stayed earlier, might only be about 10 meters apart. I looked around my new room; everything seemed normal, I turned off the lights then lay down but couldn’t fall asleep.
As I was trying to think of what just happened, I didn’t think I was hearing things, and before I could complete my thought, I felt something pinning the lower part of my body down, it was heavy and I couldn’t move. I tried to get up, but I couldn’t move my arms and legs, I started to call for help, but I couldn’t produce any sound either. My heart started racing when I saw a huge dark shadow right in front of me, I’m not sure what it was but it has a huge body, pitch black with big head, and it was sitting on top of my legs. I tried to fight that thing off and reached for my gun under the pillow, but the more I tried, the tired I became, I was helpless.
At that moment…I realized it was a ghost.
I closed my eyes and started my prayer, I said all the verses that I could remember, and when I opened my eyes, it was still sitting on top of my legs. I was so afraid and in a state of shock, then it gradually moved to the left side of the room, and disappeared into the darkness. I laid there for a moment and took a deep breath, gathered all my might and got up. I opened the door, took off running toward Lek’s room, screaming at the top of my lungs
As soon as Lek opened the door, I ran right in, all I could say was “Ghost!” Lek took off his necklace with a Buddha image, and then placed it on my neck. We stayed up all night, needless to say, Lek and his wife didn’t get any sleep at all. They’ve never encountered anything like this, so they suggested that I take 7 incense sticks and asked ‘Son Jour’ (sacred shrine) for forgiveness, I might have done something earlier to offend the ghost or stayed without asking permission.
I swear that I didn’t dream of the incident, it really happened to me. Since then, I have not gone back to visit Lek and his wife at Thum Luang (Big cave).