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Public health officials, including a doctor and psychologists, have been dispatched to a tambon in Nong Kung Si district in Kalasin province following rumours that a “porb” ghost has killed four men recently.
The rumours prompted the action by Kalasin chief public health officer, Dr Prawit Sriboonrat, to try to pacify the frightened villagers.
But the move was apparently a little late, as the villagers in Moo 3, Moo 8 and Moo 11 villages of Tambon Nong Suang had already taken their own action by hiring a “hermit” to perform a superstitious rite to chase away the ghost.
The villagers believe the ghost has eaten the internal organs of the four men, causing them to die.
Prasit Singhamat, head of Moo 3 village, said the rite calmed the villagers and they appeared to have stopped worrying. Most of them returned from the rite with smiles on their faces.
Regardless of this, the head of the public health team, Dr Pairat Songkhram, who is a preventive medicine specialist, said officials would continue to look into the scientific causes of the deaths, and psychologists would interview the families of the four men.
Pairat said he has instructed team members to avoid saying anything that would ridicule or belittle the villagers’ beliefs.