What is a Phi Tai Thang Klom?

Phi Tai Thang Klom (ผีตายทั้งกลม), Tai Thang Klom (ตายทั้งกลม) or Tai Thong Klom (ตายท้องกลม) is the Thai term for a pregnant spirit.

Background

Thais believe that if a pregnant woman and her child die during childbirth, usually due to complications, such a pregnant spirit can arise.

Phi Tai Thang Klom are considered the most violent and vindictive manifestation of Phi Tai Hong and have probably already brought many inexperienced exorcists to their knees. Not because they are necessarily stronger or more evil than other spirits, but because this type is not just a simple accident spirit, but a dual spirit being. The fact that this is thus a more or less schiziode spirit being is a circumstance that can be quickly overlooked, not only by beginners.

Tai Thang Klom are said to haunt abortion clinics, hospitals, and other places where pregnant women could die. It is said that they can cause miscarriages and stillbirths and cause terrible injuries to mother and child during childbirth.

From the point of view of Saiyasart, such Tai Thang Klom try to complete their failed births with the help of living mothers to complete their experience cycle. However, because they were not able to experience how to give birth to a child during their lifetime, their attempts to complete this cycle can lead to increased birth accidents. The tragedy of this spirit form thus lies in the irrepressible desire to give life to a child, while at the same time being unable to ever complete it.

Phi Tai Thang Klom in Thai Necromancy

Phi Tai Tang Glom amulets are highly sought after in Thai occult circles because they are said to have great power. Phi Thai Thang Klom, which were created by drowning, are considered particularly powerful. In Thai culture, these spirits are believed to be particularly powerful and can give a number of benefits to those who wear amulets made from their remains. The mother spirit is said to be particularly good at giving the attributes metta (loving kindness) and maha saneah (serenity), while the child spirit is said to bring happiness and wealth (see also Kuman Thong). Therefore, amulets made from the remains of forcibly deceased pregnant women are highly sought after by occultists.

Historical mention of Phi Tai Thang Klom

According to the writings of Jeremias van Vliet, a director of the Dutch East India Company in Ayutthaya in the 17th century, pregnant women buried alive under city fortifications and buildings became guardian spirits rather than destructive Tai Thang Klom or Tai Thong Klom. It is said that these spirits haunt the places where they were buried and that they can be appeased with food and offerings. In some cases, they are kept to protect the people who live in the house or building where they are buried.

Source: Guelden, Marlane. (2007). Thailand : spirits among us. Guelden, Marlane. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions. ISBN 9789812610751. OCLC 173273339.

Phi Tai Thang Klom in Popular Culture

The motif of the Phi Tai Thang Klom has been taken up in various Thai stories, books, films and in Thai comics.

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