Spirit houses, or san phra phuum, are common throughout Thailand. The Lonely Planet Guide says that they are erected so that the spirits that once lived where your house now stands will have their own place to live. This is better than having the spirits, mischievous and potentially malevolent, living under the same roof as you and your family. One attracts the spirits to the house and keeps them happy by daily offerings; incense, fruit, flowers, bright green Fanta and little Buddhist totems are the most common enticements. My adult students expressed similar ideas, though it sounded less like extortion in their telling. Daily offerings should be made to bring blessings upon your household. The idea of mindfulness and gratitude for having a home came up in our discussions as well.

an old, abandoned spirit house found in Songkhla in front of an old, abandoned house