How Hong Kong Citizens Have Embraced Thai Occult Charms!

Widespread belief in ghosts and influence of celebrities such as Jackie Chan wearing Thai amulets lies behind spread of shops in Hong Kong selling occult objects such as human bone fragments for financial and romantic success.

Off a dusty corridor in an industrial block in working-class Kwun Tong, a self-proclaimed spiritual guide, sells amulets laced with human bone fragments sourced from Thailand, and tends to her makeshift shrine.

Children’s toys hang next to religious statuettes among droplets of wax and incense ash. An open box of pizza with congealed cheese lies on the floor next to fruit that has begun to rot: these are offerings to the ghosts and spirits believed to reside here.

Hong Kong has plenty of ghost stories. With ancestor worship woven deeply into the social fabric of southern China, and real estate prices affected by fear of hauntings, belief that the boundaries between the living and the dead are porous is pervasive.

The region has always been a melting pot of spiritual beliefs, with Thai Buddhist deities and Japanese atonement practices – a tradition of making a sacrifice to make right a wrong – incorporated in the very southern Chinese methods of appeasing ghoulish forces trapped in the living world.

But Thai occult stores such as the one in Kwun Tong are a relatively new phenomenon, and one that is gaining popularity in Hong Kong. They offer a window into a murky, complex world of Buddhist and animist beliefs with a strong flavour of black magic.

With a disarming smile, the spiritual guide – a Hongkonger in her thirties called Cat – pulls out one object after another from her glass cabinet. A golden amulet shaped like a skull with red eyes, a small tin containing a fragment of a human skull, a vial of oils she says were extracted by a monk from the chin of a corpse, a key chain with an illustration of a fetus on the front.

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About Andrew

Co-founder & lead investigator of Paranormal Encounters. I've experienced the paranormal all my life, having encountered ghosts, angels and demons. I live in a haunted house and when not exploring and researching the unknown, I enjoy single malt Scotch whisky & potato chips (though not necessarily at the same time).