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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Ai Khai Rising: Cult of prankster ghost boy explodes in pandemic Thailand

In the 1980s when the Cold War still raged in the kingdom, a unit of paramilitary rangers was sent south to Nakhon Si Thammarat to crack down on the communist movement. Once there, they set up a temporary base camp inside an ancient temple.

All through their first night, the rangers were unable to sleep as they were vexed by a formless poltergeist. It pulled their arms and legs. Knocked their heads. Move their guns. By morning, their weapon racks were toppled, and they were convinced some very mischievous spirit was at play.

The next morning, locals heard about their miserable night and let them in on their secret: Their juvenile tormentor had a name, “Ai Khai,” a spirit they said had guarded the grounds for hundreds of years, since the late Ayutthaya period. They said it was occasionally spotted in the form of a boy, about 9, running naked around the temple.

The boy,…

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