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A Facebook group has triggered an online mayhem in Thailand after ridiculing the placing of statues at dangerous road spots to ward off evil spirits, in a country where belief in the occult and supernatural is deeply held.
The photo, which went viral minutes within posted, showed a man’s foot standing on a row of zebra figurines at a busy road junction in Bangkok known locally as ‘Kong Roi Sop’ — the curve that claims 100 lives.
Zebra statues are a common sight at locations where road fatalities occur under the belief that their stripes — which remind people of pedestrian crossings — will fend off the ghosts that many believe cause crashes.
The Thai founder of a Facebook group called ‘Fuckghosts,’ which has more than 200,000 likes and posted the picture, said he wanted to challenge those beliefs.
The man who declined to give his name fearing reprisals said, there are far too many superstitions or instances of people being besotted in Thailand that annoys him.
The photo has already become popular as it has been picked up and shared thousands of times on social media.
Many Thais have expressed their support, but others were less than impressed by the image in a country where superstitious beliefs are deep rooted — and stepping on something sacred is considered hugely disrespectful.
Superstition and belief in ghosts is commonplace in Thailand, a nation still deeply influenced by pre-Buddhist animist beliefs.
Drivers often wear amulets to protect themselves on the country’s notoriously dangerous roads while leader of the ruling junta, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, last year accused his opponents of trying to wield black magic against him.
The founder of the Facebook group said superstition caused real harm, with people preferring to put their faith in a statue than take their own safety precautions.