Spirit Worship, or Animism, has survived the passing changes of time. When Buddhism was first introduced to Southeast Asia, it did not dispel of these beliefs, but developed side by side with the ancient spirit religion. Many of the old animistic beliefs are intertwined with modern Buddhism and some animistic practices still exist in Thailand. Perhaps the most popular practice of spirit worship is the use of the Spirit House.
As you tour through Thailand, you will see these Spirit Houses everywhere, and even some in odd locations that will seem to make no sense at all.
The Spirit House can be seen at conspicuous spots outside every business establishment in the Kingdom, on pedestals in front of every hotel, decorating the corner garden area of a restaurant, at the front of a bar or club, and even in outdoor food markets. They are built on the grounds of Buddhist temples, outside caves in the mountains, near fishing ponds in the valleys, and occasionally in the middle of an uninhabited forest. Most importantly, however, the Thai Spirit House is built in the yard of every home, hotel and villa property.