Boy Dies From Drinking 18 Litres Of 'Holy Water'

(8 October) A 16 year old boy has died from drinking 18 litres of water, which was claimed to possess magical power, during an exorcist ceremony in Songkhla province.

According to the father of the victim, the boy and his twin brother had joined their family members in a religious ceremony which was held inside the rubber farm owned by the family in Mueang Sadao district on 28 September.

Ms. Karnchana [surname unclear], 36, reportedly led the ceremony, telling the participants that the rituals would cleanse their souls of sinful elements.

The participants are said to have mediated in the morning and afternoon, consumed vegetarian diet in the mid-day, and engaged in an exorcist ceremony in the evening which took place from 16.00 to midnight. 

According to the victim′s father, Ms. Karnchana instructed the pilgrims to drink a barrel full of "holy water", 18 litres in capacity, before midnight of each day in order to release the evil spirits from their bodies. The participants were also reportedly instructed to drink the water until they vomited.

The older twin said the victim suffered seizure after he drank the barrel of water on the first night, but the leading necromancer, Ms. Karnchana, managed to revive him and told his relatives that the spirits were attempting to flee from the boy′s body.

On the night of 5 October, the older twin said, the boy suffered another seizure and fainted as he drank the water. He was later revived by other participants, who were convinced that a "tiger ghost" was leaving his body, and forced to drink more holy water once he regained consciousness.

The boy reportedly fainted, and was revived to drink the water, for three times before he eventually lost his consciousness for the final time around midnight. After failed attempts to resuscitate him, the family members finally brought him to hospital at 03.00, where the medical staff pronounced him dead.

The older twin was also sent to hospital for injuries he suffered from the holy water consumption. His father said Ms. Karnchana slipped past the family members to visit the boy, reportedly telling him she had seen his twin brother "dressed in beautiful garments" in heaven.

Doctors at the hospital said the deceased victim suffered from lung flooding and heart failure which was caused by excessive water consumption.

Pol.Cpt. Pawich Ritthamnark of Sadao Police Station told our correspondent he is seeking for further evidence that ties Ms. Karnchana with the boy′s death, in order to issue arrest warrant against her.

He said he had interrogated the necromancer but she had insisted that she did not coerce anyone to drink the holy water throughout the ceremony.

Millions of Thais of Chinese descent are observing the holy season during which they abstain from meat and dairy products, and engage in various religious ceremonies.

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