Southeast Asian Supernatural Bibliography (In Progress)

A significant part of my work as a writer is the research, and my focus tends to be on speculative literature and art in Southeast Asia with a focus on Laos, naturally enough. I’ll be expanding this page regularly, but for those of you doing academic research or seeking articles to give you a deeper understanding of key supernatural traditions and beliefs in Laos and Southeast Asia, hopefully this will provide you some leads that will be useful for your work.

Adler SR (1995). “Refugee stress and folk belief: Hmong sudden deaths”. Soc Sci Med. 40 (12): 1623–9

Anan Ganjanapan (1984). The idiom of Phii Ka: Peasant Conception of Class Differentiation in Northern Thailand. Mankind. 14 (4) 325-329.

Ancuta, Katarzyna.(2017) Beyond the Vampire:  Revamping Thai Monsters for the Urban Age. ‘Tropical Liminal: Urban Vampires & Other Bloodsucking Monstrosities’ Special Issue. eTropic 16.1. 31-45.

Andaya BW (2002) Localising the universal: Women, motherhood and the appeal of early Theravada Buddhism. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 33(1): 1–30.

Anuman Rajadhon , P. (1954), “The ‘Phi’ (ผี)”. Journal of the Siam Society, 41(2), 153-178.

Baron RC, Thacker SB, Gorelkin L, Vernon AA, Taylor WR, Choi K. (1983) Sudden death among Southeast Asian refugees. JAMA; 250:2947-51

Baumann, B. (2016) The Khmer witch project: Demonizing the Khmer by Khmerizing a demon. In P. J. Bräunlein & A. Lauser (Eds.), Ghost movies in Southeast Asia and beyond (pp. 141-183). Leiden: Brill.

Baumann, B. (2014) From filth ghost to Khmer witch: Phi krasue’s changing cinematic construction and its symbolism. Horror Studies, 5(2), 183-196.

Baumann, Benjamin (2013) Tamnan Krasue – Constructing a Khmer Ghost for a Thai Film Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia (14)

Bha Nyunt (U), 1981, Mran ma mi rui: phalâ dale nat sa muin: (Histoire des nat coutumiers et traditionels de Birmanie) Burmese enlarged edition of the work of C.Temple, Yangon.

Big Brother Mouse Staff (2012) The Cave Guarded by Spirits, Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang, Laos.

Bizot F (1981) Le Don de soi-meme: Recherches sur le Bouddhisme Khmer III. Paris: Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient.

Bock, Carl (1884) Temples and Elephants: Narrative of a Journey through Upper Siam and Laos. London: Sampson, Low. Marsden, Searle and Rivinton.

Bounyavong, Outhine (1999) Mother’s Beloved: Stories from Laos (Phaeng Mae), University of Washington Press, Seattle, Washington

Brac de la Perriere, Benedicte. (2008) “The Spirit-possession Cult in the Burmese Religion”. Draft, not to be quoted.

Brac de la Perrière, Bénédicte,1989, Les rituels de possession en Birmanie: du culte d’Etat aux cérémonies privées: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations, ADPF, Paris, 227 p. + 15

Braun, Kelly (January 15, 2001). “Syncretism in Burma and Thailand”. Axis Mundi,  University of Alberta.

Buakham SM (2001) Preachings of 108 Anisong. Vientiane [in Lao].

Center for Disease Control (23 September 1988). “Sudden Unexplained Death Syndrome Among Southeast Asian Refugees” MMWR, Washington DC.

Colani, Madeleine (1935) Megaliths du Haut Laos, Publication de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient XXV-XXVI, Paris.

Conboy, K. (1995) Shadow war: The CIA’s secret war in Laos. Boulder, CO: Paladin Press.

Condominas G (1975) Phiban cults in rural Laos. In: Skinner W and Kirsch T (eds) Change and Persistence in Thai Society. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, pp. 252–273.

Crooke, William (1896), The popular religion and folk-lore of northern India, Volume 1, A. Constable & Co.

Curtis, Lilian Johnson. (1903). The Laos of Northern Siam. London and New York: Fleming H. Revell.

Davis R (1984) Muang Metaphysics: A study of Northern Thai Myth and Ritual. Bangkok: Silkworm Press.

DeCaroli, Robert (2004). Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism. Oxford University Press

Derks, Annuska (2015) Stars, Spirits and Coal: Materiality and Immateriality in Northern Vietnam, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 16 (1), 1-16

Deydier, Henri (1954). Lokapâla, génies, totems et sorciers du Nord Laos, Plon, Paris, France.

Dooley, Thomas A. (1960) The Night They Burned the Mountain, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, NY.

Do, Mattie (Director) (2013) Chanthaly (film) Sleepy Whippet Productions, Vientiane, Laos.

Do, Mattie (Director) (2016) Dearest Sister (film) Lao Art Media, Vientiane, Laos.

Endres, Kirsten W. (2008) “Engaging the Spirits of the Dead: Soul-Calling Rituals and the Performative Construction of Efficacy” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute,14 (4) 755-773

Enthoven, R.E. ; Arthur Mason Tippetts Jackson, (1989) Folklore Notes – 2 Vols., Asian Educational Services

Evans, Grant (ed.) (1999). Laos: Culture and Society. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books.

Evans, Grant (2002). A Short History of Laos: The Land in Between. Crows Nest, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin.

Evans, Grant (2009). The Last Century of Lao Royalty: A Documentary History. Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books.

Evans, Grant (1998). The Politics of Ritual And Remembrance: Laos Since 1975. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Fadiman, A. (1997). The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. New York, NY: Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

Ferguson, Jane M. (2014) Terminally Haunted: Aviation Ghosts, Hybrid Buddhist Practices, and Disaster Aversion Strategies Amongst Airport Workers in Myanmar and Thailand, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology 15(1) 47-64

Ferguson, John P. and Mendelson, Michael, 1981, “Masters of the Buddhist Occult: The
Burmese Weikzas”, in Ferguson, ed. Essays on Burma: 62-80.

Fjelstad, Karen and Nguyen Thi Hien (2006) Possessed by the Spirits: Mediumship in Contemporary Vietnamese Communities, Cornell University Press. Ithaca, NY

Forbes, A. & Henley D. (2011). Ghosts and spirits of Lan Na. Ancient Chiang Mai. (Volume 4). Chiang Mai, Thailand: Cognoscenti Books.

Gehan Wijeyewardene.(1977). Matricians or Female Cults: A Problem in Northern Thai Ethnography. Mankind. 11 (1) 19-25.

Gunn, Geoffrey (1990). Rebellion in Laos: Peasants and Politics in a Colonial Backwater. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado.

Gustafsson, Mai Lan (2009) War and Shadows: The Haunting of Vietnam, Cornell University Press. Ithaca, NY

Heinze, Ruth-Inge (1982) Tham Khwan : How to Contain the Essence of Life. Singapore University Press, Singapore.

Ho, Tamara C.; Discourse (Fall 2009). “Transgender, Transgression, and Translation: A Cartography of Nat Kadaws”

Holt, John (2009). Spirits of the Place: Buddhism and Lao Religious Culture. University of Hawaii Press.

Htin Aung (Maung), 1959, Folk Elements in Burmese Buddhism, Rangoon.

Irvine, Walter (1984). Decline of Village Spirit Cults and Growth of Urban Spirit Mediumship: The Persistence of Spirit Beliefs and the Position of Women and Modernization. Mankind. 14 (4), 315-324.

Irwin, A. J. (1907). Some Siamese ghost-lore and demonology. Journal of the Siam Society, 4(2), 1946.

Ivarsson, Soren (2008). Creating Laos: The Making of a Lao Space Between Indochina and Siam, 1860–1945. Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

Johnson, C. & Yang, S. (1992) Dab Neeg Hmoob: Myths, legends And folk tales from the Hmong of Laos (2nd ed). St Paul, MN: Macalester College.

Keoumpay, Sithan  and Manyvone Bounyoung (2017) Phiiphong, Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang, Laos.

Kingsleym Jeremy (2017) Dynamics of Religion in Southeast Asia: Magic and Modernity, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthroplogy 18 (3)

Kislenko, A. (2009). Culture and customs of Laos. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Kwon H (2008) Ghosts of War in Vietnam. Cambridge University Press.

Kwon, H (2007), “The dollarization of Vietnamese ghost money,” Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13 (1), 73-90.

Ladwig, Patrice. (2015). Ontology, materiality and spectral traces: Methodological thoughts on studying Lao Buddhist festivals for ghosts and ancestral spirits. Anthropological Theory. 12 (4). 427-447.

Ladwig P (2000) Relics, ‘representation’ and power. Some remarks on stupas containing relics of the Buddha in Laos. Tai Culture: International Review on Tai Cultural Studies 5(1): 70–84.

Ladwig P (2009) Between cultural preservation and this-worldly commitment: Modernization, social activism and the Lao Buddhist sangha. In: Goudineau Y and Lorillard M (eds) Nouvelles recherches sur le Laos. Paris/Vientiane: Ecole Franc aise d’Extreme-Orient, pp. 465–490.

Ladwig P (2012a) Feeding the dead: Ghosts, materiality and merit in a Lao Buddhist festival. In: Ladwig P and Williams P (eds) Buddhist Funeral Cultures of Southeast Asia and China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 119–142.

Ladwig P (2012b) Visitors from hell: Hospitality to ghosts in a Lao Buddhist festival. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18(s1): s90–s102.

Lewis, P. & Lewis, E. (1984). Peoples of the Golden Triangle. London, England: Thames and Hudson.

Leungtakoun Visone (2014) Phiiyakvai Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang ,Laos.

Livo, N. J. & Cha, D. (1991). Folk Stories of the Hmong: Peoples of Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Long, Douglas (2015) “The Ghost Guide: 6 Terrifying Ghouls of Myanmar,” Myanmar Times,  Yangon, Myanmar.

Long, Douglas (2014) “Favorite Haunts,” Myanmar Times, Yangon, Myanmar.

Louksaomeuangphuan (2009) Phiiyamoi, Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang, Laos.

Marsh, James (26 September 2013). “Fantastic Fest 2013 Review: Chanthaly is A Haunting Portrait of Modern Day Laos”. Twitch.

Maung Htin Aung (February 1958). “Folk-Elements in Burmese Buddhism”. The Atlantic Monthly

McGilvary, Daniel (1912). A Half-Century among the Siamese and the Lao: An Autobiography. New York: Fleming H. Revell.

McDaniel, J.T. (2008). Gathering leaves and lifting words: Histories of Buddhist monastic education in Laois and Thailand. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press.

Mixay, Somsanouk (2000). Treasures of Lao Literature Vientiane Times Publications, Vientiane, Laos.

Munger RG (1987). “Sudden death in sleep of Laotian-Hmong refugees in Thailand: a case-control study”. Am J Public Health77 (9): 1187–90.

Murdoch, John B. (1971). “THE 1901–1902 “HOLY MAN’S” REBELLION”  Journal of the Siam Society, 62 (1) pp. 47-66.

Naowarat, S. (Producer). (1973). Krasue Sao (Ghost of Guts Eater) [Motion Picture]. Thailand: Sri Siam Production.

Nash, June C., 1966, “Living with Nats: An Analysis of Animism in Burman Village Social
Relations”, in Nash, ed. Anthropological Studies in Theravada Buddhism: 117-136.

Newman, P. (2012). Tracking the weretiger: Supernatural man-eaters of India, China and Southeast Asia. New York, NY:  McFarland.

Ngaosrivathana, M. & Ngaosrivathana, P. (2009). The enduring sacred landscape of the naga.  Chiangmai, Thailand: Mekong Press.

Osborne, M. (2000). The Mekong: Turbulent past, uncertain future. New York, NY: Grove Press.

Panyasouk, Somountha (2009) Life in Hell, [Lao Language] Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang, Laos.

Patamajorn, R. (2007). Spirit mediumship in Thailand: A performance theory approach (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Heidelberg).

Pho Kya (U), 1973, Sum: chay khu hnac man: (The Thirty-Seven Lords), Yangon.

Phonepadit, Phoufayveha and Bouaphan Vanpaseurt (2017) Phiipop, Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang, Laos.

Pisanthanakun, B. & Wongpoom, P. (Directors). (2004). Shutter. Thailand: GMM Pictures.

Pollock, Sheldon (1985/1986). Rakshasas and others, Indologica Taurinensia 13, 263-281

Poree-Maspero E (1950) Ceremonies des douze mois. Fetes annuelles Cambodgiennes. Phnom Penh: Institute Bouddhique.

Pottier R (2007) Yu di mi heng, Etre bien, avoir de la force. Essai sur les pratiques therapeutiques Lao. Paris: EFEO.

Reynolds, Frank E., ed. (1982). Three worlds According To King Ruang: A Thai Buddhist Cosmology. Berkeley, California.

Rhum, Michael R. (1989) The Lords of Ava: Spirit Rites in Northern Thailand, Crossroads: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 4 (2), 53-62,

Rhum, M. R. 1994. The Ancestral Lords. Gender, Descent,and Spirits in a Northern Thai
Village. Northern Illinois University, Center for SEAS, Special Report n°29.

Robbins, Christopher (1987). The Ravens, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, NY.

Rodrigues, Yves 1992, Nat-Pwe. Burmese Supernatural Sub-culture. Paul Strachan,
Kiscadale, Scotland.

Rovedo, Vittorio (1997). Khmer Mythology: Secrets of Angkor. New York: Weatherhill.

Salek, Kira (May, 2006). “Myanmar’s River of Spirits”. National Geographic Magazine. pp. 136–157.

Schuster, Nancy (1981). Changing the Female Body: Wise Women and the Bodhisattva Career in Some Mahāratnakūṭasūtras, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 4 (1), 42-43

Shirkey JC (2008) The moral economy of the Petavatthu. Hungry ghosts and Theravada Buddhist cosmology. PhD thesis, University of Chicago.

Simms, P. & Simms, S. (1999). The kingdoms of Laos: Six hundred years of history. Surrey, England: Curzon Press.

Sippapak, Y. (Director). (2006). Krasue Valentine (Ghost of Valentine) [Motion Picture]. Thailand: Sahamongkol Film International.

Spiro, Melford, 1967 (1978). Burmese Supernaturalism. A Study in the Explanation and
Reduction of Suffering. Philadelphia : Institute for the Study of Human Issues.

Spurrier, P. (Director) (2005). P [Motion Picture]. Thailand: Creative Films Siam.

Sprenger, Guido. (2009a) Invisible Blood: Self-censorship and the public in uplander ritual, Laos. Asian Journal of Social Science 37, 6: 935-951.

Sprenger, Guido. (2009b) Cultivating the split: The institutionalization ofdissociation in modernity and among Rmeet shamans, Laos) Curare  32,1: 64-77.

Sprenger, Guido. (2008) The problem of wholeness: Upland Southeast Asian cosmologies in transition. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 133, 1: 75-94.

Stewart, Pamela J. and Andrew Strathern. (2004) Witchcraft, Sorcery, Rumors and Gossip. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.

Stuart-Fox, M. (2006). Naga cities of the Mekong, Singapore: Media Masters.

Suwanlert, S. (1976a). Phii pob: Spirit possession in rural Thailand. In W.P. Lebra (Ed.), Culture-bound syndromes, ethnopsychiatry, and alternate therapies (pp. 68-87). Honolulu, HI: The University of Hawaii Press.

Suwanlert, S. (1976b). Mental health of phii pob: A phenomenon of spirit possession in Northeast Thailand. Journal of Psychiatric Association of Thailand, 17(1), 21-24.

Swearer DK (2004) Becoming the Buddha: The Ritual of Image Consecration in Thailand Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Tambiah, Stanley,1970, Buddhism and the Spirit Cults in North East Thailand, Cambridge,
Cambridge University Press.

Tanabe, S. 1991, “Spirits and the Ideological Discourse of Female Gender. The Phra Meng
Cult.” In M. Chitakasem & Turton A. Thai Constructions of Knowledge. London, School of
Orient and African Studies.

Tatsanavivat P, Chiravatkul A, Klungboonkrong V, Chaisiri S, Jarerntanyaruk L, Munger RG, Saowakontha S (1992). “Sudden and unexplained deaths in sleep (Laitai) of young men in rural northeastern Thailand”. Int J Epidemiol. 21 (5): 904–10

Thwe, Pascal (2003) From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey, Harper Perennial, New York, NY

Tossa, W. (1996), Phya Khankhaak, the toad king: A translation of an Isan fertility myth in verse. Lewisburg, PA:  Bucknell University Press.

Tossa, W., Nettavong, K., & MacDonald, M. (2008). Lao folktales. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Tu, Sein. (1999) “Traditional Myanmar Folk Beliefs and Forest and Wildlife Conservation”. Perspective

Turton, Andrew (1972) Matrilineal Descent Groups and Spirit Cults of the Thai-Yuan in Northern Thailand. Journal of the Siam Society, 60 (2), 217-256.

Vang, Lue and Judy Lewis, (1990) Grandfather’s Path, Grandmother’s Way: Poj Rhawv Kab Yawg Rhawv Kev): Oral Lore, Generation to Generation Vang & Lewis: Rancho Cordova, CA.

Vilaipong, Chittakone (2011) A Fantastic and Frightening Place [Lao language] Big Brother Mouse, Luang Prabang, Laos.

Viravong, Sila (1964). History of Laos (trans.). New York: Paragon Book. pp. 50–51.

Vogel, J. Ph. (1926), Indian serpent-lore; or, The Nāgas in Hindu legend and art, London, A. Probsthain

Walker, Andrew (2006) Matrilineal Spirits, Descent and Territorial Power in Northern Thailand. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 17 (2). 196-215.

Warner, Roger (1995) Backfire: The CIA’s Secret War in Laos and Its Link to the War in Vietnam, (Alternately Shooting at the Moon), Simon & Schuster, New York, NY.

Warner, Roger (1996) Out of Laos, Southeast Asia Community Resource Center, Rancho Cordova, CA.

Watson, C. W., and Roy Ellen. (eds). (1993) Understanding Witchcraft and Sorcery in Southeast Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

Whittlesey, Peter and Bai (2015). Sixay: A Lao Thai Epic Hero. Sinxay Publishing. Sacramento, CA.

Wijeyewardene G (1986) Place and Emotion in Northern Thai Ritual Behaviour. Bangkok: Pandora.

Yongcharoenchai, Chaiyot (2016-01-16). “As cultures come together, it’s all in bad spirits”. Bangkok Post

Zehner, Edwin R. (1996) Thai Protestants and Local Supernaturalism: Changing Configurations. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 27 (2). 293-319.

Zehner, Edwin R. (2015), Memories of Phii Ka Accusations in Northern Thailand Assimilation into Matrilineal Traditions (in Thai) Walailak Journal of Social Sciences. 8 (1). 15-34.


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