What is a Phi Phop?

A Phi Phop (ผีปอบ) is a parasitic cannibalistic spirit being from Thai folklore.


A phi phob is a spirit that can enter the host body and consume the internal organs. It does not leave its host body until the victim has died. The fear of being identified as Phi Phob drives some infected people to fake a disease. Occasionally, however, they are caught stealing uncooked meat to eat it.

The Phi Phob is a spirit that is said to be able to infect magicians who have acted immorally with the power of their spells. The infection can occur, for example, when the occultist gives up his profession, uses his spells to the absolute detriment of others, charges excessive fees, does not respect his ancestry or breaks the taboos associated with it. The Phi Phob is said to disfigure the magician, make him sick and curse him with bad luck. In some cases, the spirit is supposed to drive the magician crazy.

It is also said that if a Phi Phop has taken possession of someone, he can continue in the family line and cause problems for others. There are examples of whole families in Thailand having to move because of an obsession with a phi phob.

In Thailand, there is a belief that Phi Phop occupy people’s bodies and make them sick or cause mental disorders. According to popular belief, the Phi Phop does this by consuming the inner essence of its host. Therefore, Phi Phop are often associated with mental illness and exorcists or spirit healers can be called in to exorcise them. In some cases, the Phi Phop is confused with a normal person who only suffers from a mental or neurological disorder.

Alleged origin

According to tradition, the origin of Phi Phob goes back to an old legend about a prince who was devoted to magic. He found a way to invade people’s bodies and take control of them. He then also learned the incantation formulas that allowed him to occupy animals. As he practiced, his servant, who had memorized the words, repeated them and suddenly entered the prince’s body. As a result of his actions, the servant became a prince.

The real prince, who in turn had taken control of a bird, flew to his wife and told her about the accident. She then destroyed the servant’s body and persuaded the false prince to take over the body of an animal to demonstrate his abilities.

The real prince returned to his own body, but the servant was unable to regain control of his body. Today’s Phi Phob are supposedly the result of this original wandering spirit.

Phi Phop phenomena from the point of view of Saiyasart

From the point of view of Saiyasart, a Phi Phob is a folkloric paraphrase of a cast, without necessarily having to be a specific spirit. Such obsession is a state in which a person has been occupied by a foreign vibration. This entity can exist separately from the person’s conscious personality or gradually overlay it.

Depending on the quality and progress of the reprogramming, it is able to overwrite the person’s thoughts, language and actions, thus displacing the original character. Obsessions, therefore, often involve an involuntary change of identity, in which the possessed person assumes the characteristics of the entity. Often this happens through a creeping process and in many cases actually affects those who improperly handle magical phenomena and vibrations (keyword: sorcerer’s apprentice).

Depending on the severity and circumstances, it may well be possible for a Saiyasart practitioner to reverse or at least contain such an occupation.

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