Folk Beliefs

The Golden Child

Every April, it is common that Thai people go back to their homes for a big family gathering, as it is Thai New Year holiday. The informant detailed on her personal spiritual encounter back then.

“I went to stay with my uncle after a family gathering night at his place during Song Kran (Thai New Year). His house was in the countryside and quite isolated from the city itself. It was perfect sized for our family of 7.

Our whole family stayed together that night. I couldn’t sleep that well as I kept having nightmares. It was weird as I don’t usually dream at all. I thought it was one off. However, my whole family seemed to have the same problem as we discussed in the morning about our restless night. When I learned my family shared the same sort of dreams. That made me doubt if the whole thing was just a dream anymore.

When I was falling asleep, the doorknob was making so much noise as if someone was trying to get in.  I thought it was my maid (as I usually sleep with her). The door creaked open, but just a bit, not fully open. I was in such state that I couldn’t care less, so I just ignored it. As the night went on, I started hearing noises. It was so much like several kids were giggling and playing catch. I woke up to it for a few times but I didn’t see anything so thought it was just a dream. At some point I even felt someone was trying to pull my cover away. It was a bad night sleep for me.

In the morning, my mother and sister made a complaint that there were kids playing outside her room for the whole night so she couldn’t sleep.  That was when my uncle, the owner of the house, brought us to light – he told us he has this girl in his care, and she was not human.”

I have heard of this story many times, people, usually in the countryside of Thailand, would feed this type of child ghost in return of its protection, depending on how they use it. For example, there was this nurse I met at a hospital and she claimed that she owned one of these ‘golden children’. She also claimed the golden child helped her family protecting the shop (small supermarket her family owned) from bad spirits.

“It was no doubt we were kid by the golden child in his care. At first I was terrified by the thought of being haunted some spirit. But then my uncle pointed out how pitiful these kids must be. Usually, the golden children come from dead babies that didn’t make it through – they didn’t even get any childhood. That is why they wanted some attention. They wanted to play. They wanted some love that they never received.”            

Unlike many other ghosts, the golden children often visit harmlessly; just like other human children- they want attention and care. The idea of having some inhumane visitor is scary for me. I, myself, never encountered anything like this before and would never wish to. But in this case, if I ever got a chance to experience something similar to the informant, the least I could do is to give these children some sympathy.

“Few days later I went to my uncle’s house again and put some children toys on the shrine (they usually have some sort of residential shrine). I hope it brought her some entertainment and she wouldn’t feel as lonely anymore.”

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