Residents of Bangkok‘s stately Dusit district fear the demolition of a derelict army prison to build an apartment block could wreck the tone of the exclusive neighbourhood.
According to Niphon Rohitsathian – described by the Bangkok Post as ‘a fortune teller popular with army personnel’ – the Tuk Din prison is seen by senior Army chiefs as ‘hell’.
In his view, demolishing the building could be extending a welcome to some very unwelcome visitors.
Mr Niphon told the Bangkok Post that the prison had been used since the Ayutthaya era – a kingdom lasting from 1351 to 1767, whose architectural ruins amaze tourists in the abandoned city of Ayutthaya.
Now, said Mr Niphon, evil spirits could well see the razing of the prison to construct a 20-storey apartment block for senior officials as an invitation to travel from hell into Thailand.
Army officers hope a ritual to pay homage to deceased kings and release the jail’s ghosts should head off the supernatural influx.