In Thailand, the Ghost Business Thrives

Kapol Thongplub has been listening to ghost stories for two decades as host of “The Shock.” Credit Guilio Di Sturco for The New York Times

The belief in the supernatural, ghosts and otherwise, infuses daily life in Thailand. Ministers inaugurate their offices at auspicious times, and powerful generals have been known to consult seers before a big decision, such as launching a coup — a relatively regular occurrence in Thailand. Fortune tellers are consulted by everyone from business executives forging multimillion-dollar deals to students facing uncertain careers and couples wanting to conceive.

Thailand’s political elites appear to be among the most superstitious. When the image of a former prime minister, Samak Sundhornvej, suddenly appeared on a large screen in Parliament shortly after his death in 2009, the speaker of Parliament opened an investigation and found no terrestrial explanation for it.

THOMAS FULLER, “In Thailand, the Ghost Business Thrives,” FEB. 10, 2015, NY TIMES, URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/11/world/in-thailand-the-ghost-business-thrives.html