Part I – Origin of Krasue


Origin Stories

Krasue (กระสือ – Thai, Penanggalan – Malaysian) is believed to be a female spirit that lives by having filthy diet (Thailand, K, 2011). Commonly the spirit will possess only women. Krasue is not only common in Thailand, the story of this spirit is well known throughout South East Asia. Such spirit has been told via folklore in many countries such as Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam, and so on (Ghost and Ghoul, 2013). There are many stories about Krasue depends on where the story is told, for example in Northeast of Thailand or Esaan, Krasue is a cursed soul of people who can’t discipline well enough on the dark magic; they end up losing control of the power and that power comes back and lives within them.

Another origin says that Krasue is a woman who got cursed by shaman. In order to be chosen, the woman must be innocent and beautiful. During the ceremony, she will be tied up to the pole or the bed, and then the shaman will say the spell and draw a mark on her forehead. When the ceremony is done, the woman’s head will detach from the body along with the internal organs and will be serving the shaman for the rest of its cursed life.

Buddhism also holds a story of Krasue. In Buddhism, Krasue is believed to be one of those people who reach the highest level of meditation. When reaching the peak of meditation, it is said that the soul will be free from the body and can travel to any places as they please, heaven or hell, lands beyond imagination or even go back in time to see their past lives. However, Krasue is somehow a soul that can reach that level of mediation but still has something worrying the mind of the body, so it appears in the form of the head with some internal organs. In other words, the soul can’t completely detach freely from the physical form.

Krasue is also believed to be immortal spirit; it can’t die or be destroyed. Once the possessed body is too old, Krasue will spit its saliva into the water and pass it to other people. A woman who drinks that water will become a successor of the cursed life. If Krasue can’t find another person to take over its spirit, it will stay in that body forever (Teenee, 2002). The only way to kill it is to destroy the body it possesses.

Even though the story and the origins may be different but its description is the same, in some countries it may have slightly differences. However, all of the stories talk about the same thing, a woman’s head floating in the air with her internal organs hanging down from her neck (Dek-D, 2009). In some countries believe that Krasue has green light glowing from its organs. Some countries believe that it is only a head of a woman with a ball of green light under her neck. The reason it appears so is because of what it had done in its past life. The karma will punish the soul and force it to live in the body of those who are doing the same thing it had done. So when it appears at night, it’s only in the state of mind and can’t have any physical form and that’s why it takes shape in the form of light. The shade of light is representing how bad it karma is, for example, if it’s red, it means that it had done some huge terrible thing in its past life (Thai Ghost, 2010).

There are two different types of Krasue, those who become Krasue from its saliva and those who are cursed. Those who become Krasue unwillingly will usually live their lives like normal people as much as possible even though they can’t fully do that. At night, when the spirit of Krasue is forcing them to detach their head from their body, they will only fly low or deep in the forest to only eat insects and some dirty things like stools, spit, urinal and so on. Another type of Krasue, on the other hand, appears to be aggressive, hungry and beastly. It will mostly pose threat to everyone it may come across. It will be attracted to pregnant women in particular in the mean that it wants to eat their baby’s umbilical cords. After finishing eating some filthy things, Krasue will be flying around to look for something to wipe off the dirty stain from its mouth, like hanging clothes. It is also believed that if Krasue has wiped its mouth on someone’s clothes, it will leave a mark with disgusting smell, it means that that person will be in danger from the threat of Krasue. There is also a belief that if they boil that clothes with stain with some holy water from temple, they will be able to identify whom Krasue possesses (MUBI, n.d.).

Even though a story of Krasue is only appeared to be just folklore stories, yet its origin and background seem to be something touchable. Some believe that it is a story told to scare children and warn them to not do something they shouldn’t and behave the way they should. Still, many people, many tradition still believe it its existence. Krasue is real or not; there will be no certain answer. However, it’s easy to say that its story and its appearance are very interesting and I believe there is more to discuss about Krasue.


Ghosts and Ghouls,. (2013). Ghost Around the Globe: Thailand’s Krasue. Retrieved 23 Januray 2015, from

Thailand, K. (2011). All Ghost – กระสือ: Thailand. Retrieved 23 January 2015, from

Teenee (2002). ประสบการณ์ผี:ตำนานกระสือ. Retrieved 23 January 2015, from

Dek-D. (2009). ตำนานผีกระสือ และวิธีพิสูจน์ผี! น่ากลัวมาก. Retrieved 23 January 205 from

Thai Ghost. (2010). ประวัติผีกระสือ. Retrieved 23 January 2015 from

MUBI. (n. d.) Burn the Witch(‘s Entrails): A Krasue, Leyak, Penangalan, and Arb Bestiary – Movie List. Retrieved 23 January 2015 from


3 thoughts on “Part I – Origin of Krasue

  1. Pon This is intere3sting… but we are fast heading to week 6, next week and you have not made any appointments to see me. THis one essay is not enough! You need to be expanding the research to explain what it is you are exploring. What more you want to add in to the discussion and what potentially you will produce from it. On the assumption that you have been working on this can I ask that you post updates. These should be at least every two weeks, even every week. To demonstrate progress. Can you arrange a time we can meet next week?

    • oh I’m sorry for the inconvenient and the delay I have caused. In my defence I have been so busy in the past two weeks working on the exhibition research and going for location scout for the coming thesis exhibition. I’m mostly free on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon but if you’re only available on Monday and Wednesday I think then maybe I can get to see you on those days. And lucky enough my class for Monday morning has been cancelled. So what do you say if we meet on Monday, February 9 at , like 11?

  2. Pingback: Part V: FINALE | Independent Animation Projects

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