Phi Pret (ผีเปรต).
There is still another kind of 'phi of the above, category which is very well known to all. Its name is phi pret. The word is of Sanskrit origin from "preta" which means a departed spirit or a hungry ghost. According to the belief of the Hindu, a person after death becomes a hungry ghost. If no oblation in the form of a ball of rice and water is offered daily for its nourishment during the first ten days after the person's death, the spirit of the dead man will suffer a great hunger and becomes a wandering and restless phi. The preta has been elaborated in Buddhism into twelve classes of its kind; but in the popular belief of the Thai there is only one kind of preta or pret The Thai pret is a very tall and very lean phi in human form. "As tall as a pret," "as lean as a pret", and "a neck as long as a pret" are common similes in Thai used in describing tall, thin individuals. With dishevelled hair, long neck" sunken Checks, deepset eyes, and a very small mouth, the phi pret is ugly in the extreme. It feeds on pus and blood and even that does not sat its hunger for its mouth is no bigger than the eye of a needle. It emits a shrill cry like the long drawn - out sound given by an air raid siren, and its arrival is heralded by such a noise. It Iikes to put out its very long tongue and protrude its eyes. This is characteristic of most kinds of phi who want to frighten any man in their human form. The phi pret usually inhabits a cemetery or a desolate place, and occasionally appears at night to frighten people.
A person who during his or-her life-time has done a great sin will become a phi pret when he dies. Many stories relating to phi pret are current among the people and reinforced by an episode in the above-mentioned romance "Khun Chang Khun Phaen" which is a very well-known story. The heroine Wan Thong died and became a phi pret. She transformed herself into a beautiful girl to inform her son, who commanded all army on a war expedition, of his impending danger.
The phi pret is always in a hungry state. It will be relieved of its hunger only if-someone will make merit by offering food to the monks and ritually transfer the merit to the benefit of the pret. When a man asks for something as a pittance, such as a starving man begging, for food, it is said he is "asking for a share of merit like the phi pret". If people scramble for something we say they are "grabbing like a phi pret". When accosting someone in a familiar way but vulgarly, or addressing a man as a joke in an insulting manner, he is addressed as "phi pret" but with the word "ai" (อ้าย) as a prefix. "Ai" in the original Thai means the eldest son, but its meaning has degenerated in Thai to use as a prefix to masculine names when addressing intimately an inferior or addressing a person contemptuously.
In the South down the Malay Peninsula there is ail annual feast for phi pret peculiar to that area. The feast is called "ching pret" (ชิงเปรต). It perhaps means literally "contesting of pret". This' feast occurs in late, September when people in a body present food, fruit, and sweetmeats to monks and -leave behind certain quantities of these edibles somewhere or the benefit of poor people who will scramble for them like phi pret. This has an indirect relation to the Autumnal, Feast 'and the Feast of the Dead as observed in India and China.
We now come -to a different class of phi which are 'not in human form and whose forms are difficult to' determine. One of the best known of this group is the phi ha.