Glass-eyed, over-sized and possessed with the soul of a child, the dolls of our nightmares have become wide-spread symbols of luck in Thailand and it's pretty fucking creepy. They're dressed in designer goods, pampered like real children, taken to dinner and even get their own plane seats.
The 'Luk Thep' dolls are all the rage in Thailand right now, so much so that one particular Thai airline treats them as actual customers - they're delivered snacks, meals, drinks and buckled in during take off and landing!
According to the Bangkok Post, there's a monk named Phra Ajarn Vinai Thitapanyo who blesses hundreds of Luk Thep dolls every day, some visitors coming with multiple dolls each. He spends around 10 minutes with each person and scrawls "something on them that no-one understands.”
The dolls are 'infused with a child's soul' via a spiritual ritual (which explains the whole monk bit), and may have roots to an ancient tradition called Kuman Thong - a child-like figure containing an unborn fetus.
Airlines don't seem to be the only ones financially benefiting from this new fad, drug traffickers seem to be cashing in on the deal too. Earlier this week one of these Luk Thep dolls was found with 200 tablets of a methamphetamine-based drug called yaba stuffed inside it.
Although these dolls are considered sacred, some observers of the trend are less than enthusiastic and claim they make their owners look a little unhinged. Or rather, the trend
“makes Thai people appear like they have only half their brain functioning.”
I don't know about you but this is all sounding a bit Pernicious to me...