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Ghost in the Doorway
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  1. #1
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    Ghost in the Doorway

    Here is a little tip for Farangs making their first trip a Village in Southern Isaan:

    When you go to a house in the village it is important to remember not to step on the threshold of the front door. Many families believe a ghost lives at the threshold and it is considered rude (if not risky) to step on it. If the ghost gets offended, then bad luck can come to the house.

    It is not necessary to raise your foot high to avoid the threshold; just step through it normally.

    If anybody has similar tips on getting around in the village, then please start a thread or add a post. The best part of the Isan culture is appreciating how old it is and how many of the little things there translate into the cultures in other countries.

    Don't walk under any ladders and have a great day.
    Last edited by pclev; 17-01-08 at 03:34 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    Is it a ghost or is it a House Spirit/Guardian? (Bearing in mind the "Spirit House" outside the house is the home of the spirit of the land and there are beleived to be 9 spirits that live in or around the house)
    I am also aware in some Wats -noticeably in the open and empty courtyard rooms of Wat Bo in Bangkok- you will also see a raised step-about 4" high in line with the door frame -usually painted red-which again should be stepped over rather than on. You will also sometimes see a sign in such places saying something to the effect of "Please step over the threshold"

  3. #3
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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    I've never heard this before in Thailand (but I am not doubting it!), I had been familiar with this belief from Taiwan.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    People always kept reminding me not to step on the threshold... I memorized that one so well that I still step over them!! (and yes, sometimes people do look at me in a strange way then )
    life is wonderful!

  5. #5
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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    As soon as I read Khon Don's post all kinds of places came to mind that have the Raised Thresholds you have to step over (no signs though). Many of the old Khmer ruins in Isan and Siam Reap, Cambodia have the same thing. I guess good design ideas are truly ageless.

    I was thinking it was to keep the water out but this actually makes better sense.

    What is that bight light that just popped on above my head?
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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    Come to think of it "ghosts" might after all be the right word-I now recall reading at Uni that what are called house spirits in some parts of Thailand are considered the spirits of ancestors in other parts-such may have a shrine in the house. Sadly I can not clearly remember what parts-but would not be surprised if in parts of Isaan

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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    If anybody has similar tips on getting around in the village, then please start a thread or add a post. The best part of the Isan culture is appreciating how old it is and how many of the little things there translate into the cultures in other countries.
    I think this is a great idea for a thread, remembering though, too, that there are villages in all of the regions. Maybe you should start one?

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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    Oops, sorry...just saw that you did start one, and since it's for the Isaan guidebook, I see you just want to focus there. Sorry for the confusion.

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    Re: Ghost in the Doorway

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    I've never heard this before in Thailand (but I am not doubting it!), I had been familiar with this belief from Taiwan.
    There is something similar in Viet Nam too where the ground floor is rarely the same level as the outside, usually a step or two up. I was told that this was so that the bad spirits can't get in and the good spirits can't get out.

    This seemed logical to me until you see that many buildings such as hotels have a ramp built in to the steps so people can get their motorbikes in and out easily.

    David
    My new travel blog: https://www.weekender.blog/

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