What is a Phi Phong?

A Phi Phong (ผีโพง, also ผีเป้า, Phi Phao) is a spirit creature from northern Thai folklore.

Background

Phi Phong lives in dark places under the vegetation. It is believed that the black magic power of a plant called “Wan Phi Phong” (ว่านผีโพง; literally: “ghost herb”), which can glow in the dark, causes phi phong.

At night, Phi Phong takes the form of a ghost, during the day he is a normal person. Phi Phong is known for its nostrils that glow like a torch. It is said that Phi Phong, similar to Phi Krasue, Phi Krahang or Phi Phop, look for food such as frogs, fish, dung, carcasses or placenta under the cover of night.

Phi Phong rarely attacks people unless they are threatened. It is said that the ghost can be transferred from another person to another via spit or saliva.

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