Four men from the Nong Kung Si district in Thailand’s Kalasin province have died “mysteriously,” leading some residents to believe they were killed by a “porb ghost.”
As Thailand’s The Nation reported on November 6, villagers believe the four men fell victim to a cannibal spirit that ate their organs, something of a recurring theme in their culture’s folklore. Despite reassurances from public officials, the villagers took it upon themselves to hire a local “hermit” to get rid of any possible evil ghosts.
A later report brought more details. Preventive medicine specialist Dr. Pairat Songkhram, investigating the deaths, has found at least two of them to be ordinary — one man suffered leptospirosis, the other of “blood-pressure problems.”
The other two deaths are still being investigated.
Villagers, however, apparently aren’t convinced. They have, in fact, accused a local widow of being responsible.
Back in June, I shared another story involving Thailand’s cannibal ghosts, and pointed out how the number four seems to be a recurring factor in several of these cases.
In 2007, four other “mysterious” deaths were reported in the Kalasin province, followed by a similar panic involving evil spirits. In June 2017, four cows died, and four police officers fell ill, also leading to ghost fears.
And now, four more.
In many Asian cultures, the number four is thought to be a bad omen, because their words for “four” in their languages are very similar to their words for “death.” In Japanese (and Chinese), for example, the pronunciation of one of their words for “four” (shi) is the same as their word for “death” (also shi).
The people of Vietnam apparently hold certain superstitions regarding the number.
I’m not sure if the same goes for Thailand. There’s at least one superstition I’ve come across which states that hearing a gecko cry four times signals familial trouble. Perhaps existing superstitions involving the number four cause locals to take special interest when these things seemingly happen in groups of four.
It is an odd coincidence.