A Thai airline has given haunted dolls the privilege of their own seats and the right to be treated like living passengers by flight attendants after a boom in passengers carrying Luk Thep dolls that, according to superstition, contain the souls of dead children.
This benefit doesn't come cheap though — those who want to travel with their possessed darling will have to pay Thai Smile Airways a full fare for the seat, just as if the dolls were living, breathing children.
The Bangkok Post stated that Thai Smiles decided to accommodate the Luk Thep owners when people traveling with the dolls refused to remove them from their laps during takeoff and landing and violated safety regulations — also probably because you can make some mega bucks flying a significantly lighter plane when everyone is still paying for tickets.
According to a UPI report, increasing numbers of Thai people (mainly women) have been purchasing the lifelike and wallet-devastating Luk Thep dolls (also known as "Child Angels") after seeing them being promoted and coveted by media celebrities in Thailand.
Although the premise behind these dolls might sound like an ancient tradition, they are a much more modern beast that were all lovingly created by Mananya “Mama Ning” Boonmee who claims each of her precious babies is "infused with a child's soul." Those who can afford to purchase a Luk Thep will then lavish the effigy with expensive offerings in the forms of expensive clothes, jewelry and toys as a form of offering to the tiny spirit that resides inside.
Of course, "Mama Ning" didn't dream up this bizarre concept on her own. These dolls play a similar role to the Kuman Thong — a traditional effigy thought to bring good fortune to it's owners' home — that traditionally contains the remains of an unborn fetus.
I guess it's good to know that these effigies no longer contain actual human remains, but you still wouldn't catch me booking a flight with Thai Smile anytime soon!
Would you sit next to a Luk Thep on your flight?