I decided to pick one of the houses and go for a visit – and why not start at the top? The “scariest house in Thailand” (a country obsessed with ghosts as it is) is in Ramkhamhaeng, a lively Northern neighbourhood better known for its universtity and sports stadium of the same name, and also (although I didn’t know it then) for its own collection of gay bars in the district called “Lamsalee”.
I must have been around the corner, but I only had one thing on my mind mind: the Spanish mission house on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 32. First though, I got off the bus waaaay too early and had to trek a solid couple of kilometres down the traffic-choked main road, lined on one side with student-y fashion stalls and on the other by the university campus.
By the time I had got to the right street, an hour had passed and I was already starting to feel the effects of the sun.
Maybe it was my semi-delirious state, but there did seem something creepy about the street. There were black, dead vines crawling over the power lines, swings creaking in the empty yards of cracked concrete ranch houses and a dead rat stuck to the road.
But try though I might I could find no sign of the Spanish mission house. It was here that a maid had once been murdered by bandits in her employer’s absence. According to the “scariest haunted houses” website her ghost still hovered, and the house’s owner had moved out, leaving the mansion desolate and abandoned.
I didn’t see it though. I looked and I looked but – nothing. I did see blocks of shiny new condominiums – surely not built on the site of the razed house? ( Although, I rationalized, it had been standing empty for 20 years).
Apartments of the damned?
But with the sun now out in dizzying, head-throbbing full force, and having walked seemingly hours to get here, I decided it was time to turn back before I became a ghost myself.
I’ll save myself for the next round: the parking garage for buses that have been involved in fatal accidents, or the industrial estate where a shoe-making machine once exploded killing workers, and sending phantom shoes still flying through the air….