Between The Teeth – From Thailand To Hell

My buddy Jeff Carter’s taking over the blog today to talk about the inspiration behind one of the stories in his new fiction collection BETWEEN THE TEETH.

Heeeeeeere’s Jeff! – –

My new collection features a short story, GHOST TOWER, which is a strange travelogue through Bangkok’s darkest corners and the Buddhist afterlife. Here is some of the inspiration and research that went into the story.

My first inspiration came from my honeymoon in Thailand.  It is a wonderfully surreal country steeped in history, religion and superstition.  I saw magic everywhere: Yan sigils painted on the insides of cars, mystical amulets for sale on every corner, and saffron robed monks traveling between countless temples filled with golden Buddha statues.

A major piece of inspiration was an article I read about the ‘body snatchers’ of Bangkok.  The city is infamous for being crowded, and with that comes nightmarish traffic.  Unfortunately there are also lots of very bad drivers and far too few ambulances.  It falls to the ‘body snatchers’, groups of volunteers, to prowl the city for accidents in the hopes of assisting the injured and dead.

body-snatchers1

Doing The Lord (Buddha)’s Work

As I said, Thailand is an extremely superstitious country.  Many Thai have an intense fear of ghosts, and the unhappy ghosts from high velocity car crashes are thought to be extremely powerful.  A volunteer can earn spiritual merit for rushing a wounded driver to the hospital.  The real reward, however, is in handling the haunted corpses and taking them to be cremated.  The spirit of the deceased is believed to be released from its body and free to move towards its next reincarnation.

Thailand is rich in ghost lore. Here are five to watch out for:

Phi Krahang – This ghost appears as a man with feathers and a tail like a bird. It eats filth and glows at night.

Phi Poang Khang – A spirit in the shape of a black monkey which likes to suck the big toe of people sleeping in the jungle.

Phi Hai – Hungry, amoral spirits associated with places where people have died an unnatural or violent death. Phi Hai are easily offended, and take every opportunity to possess people.

Phi Pob – The head of a beautiful woman that floats through the air, dangling its internal organs and intestines. This type of ghost is probably more feared than any other species in Thailand.

Phi Kee – After waking from a bad dream and going to the toilet you should ask your excrement to go peacefully before flushing so the spirit can take away any bad luck.

How do superstitious people go about handling angry ghosts? Some people wear amulets for protection, others wear magical tattoos. Sak Yant tattoos are hand engraved by Buddhist monks in the form of special patterns and Sanskrit prayers written in the Khmer language. They are believed to bring luck, wealth, strength, even invulnerability.

Sak Yant tattoos

There are annual festivals where those with Sak Yant tattoos can have them recharged with spiritual power. It is common for people to become possessed or overwhelmed with power during the ceremony.

Yak Sant Festival

I knew my story would involve body snatchers, ghosts and tattoos.  It was another news article that really opened my eyes to the widespread belief in ancient black magic.  In May of 2012, a man was arrested with a suitcase of roasted baby fetuses.  He was trafficking in Kuman Thong, an ancient form of necromancy in which the spirits of babies are enslaved to bring wealth and protection to their owners.

kumanthong

A plastic kuman thong. You don’t want to see a real one.

Authentic kuman thong came from children who died in the womb. Ancient Thai necromancers surgically removed them and enacted a ceremonial ritual. The baby would be roasted before dawn in a cemetery. Some are soaked in the extract of a dead child or a person who has died a violent or unnatural death. Finally, the baby was painted with lacquer and covered in gold leaf. “Kuman thong” means “Golden Baby Boy”.

To read “Ghost Tower”, check out my new collection, Between the Teeth.

BetweentheTeethCover.jpg

Between the Teeth collects 16 tales of horror and science fiction from author Jeff C. Carter that will sink their fangs into you and won’t let go.

– A serial killer ends up in an emergency room, but a heart attack may be the least of his problems.

– A researcher hunts a rare spider in the jungles of Myanmar.

– A greedy dentist gets the most interesting client of his life.

Witness soldiers trapped in a crocodile infested swamp, a preacher hunting demon outlaws, and karma catching up to a Bangkok body snatcher. Whatever flavor of the macabre you crave, you will find it Between the Teeth. Buy it now!

I want you to try this book, so I’ve set the price as low as Amazon allows.

  • Print – $5.44
  • ebook – 99¢
  • Kindle Unlimited- $0.00

I’m also running a special promotion.

Between October 14th and 18th, my book is free on Kindle.

If you’d like a free preview, check out the mailing list.

Enjoy the book, and have a Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Published in: on October 8, 2019 at 2:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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