Haunted Village & Naga
Season 1, Episode 2
Phaya Naga
Air date June 13, 2007
Episode guide
Iguanodon & Ri
Ropen & Chupacabra

"If you're gonna find a ghost in Thailand, this is the spot."
-Josh Gates

Haunted Village & Naga is the second episode of the first season of Destination Truth and the second episode overall. Josh joins a team of paranormal investigators in Thailand's Khon Kaen province to hunt ghosts reported by villagers, and later he hunts for the Phaya Naga, a nāga-like serpent lurking in the Mekong River near the Laos border. This episode originally aired June 13, 2007.

Haunted VillageEdit

The ResearchEdit

Josh Gates and his team reads about a haunted village in a province in Thailand. Josh usually leaves the paranormal investigation to the Ghost Hunters team, but decides to put his paranormal hunting skills to the test. His team flew all the way to Thailand. During the flight, Josh learns that supernatural sightings in the village range in various forms: from apparitions to eerie glows, and that the provincial government brought in professional ghost hunters to battle the evil spirits.

The AdventureEdit

After landing in Bangkok (there were no flights to Khon Kaen), Josh takes a tour of the famous Asian city. After the tour, Josh visits the Shock Gallery and speaks with Tom, his translator. He learns that the supernatural is very famous in Thailand, and that the Gallery hosts the most famous photographic evidence of ghosts. The next day, Josh, Tom and his team flew to the village of Kudwang, in the Khon Kaen province. Josh first interviewed the chief of the village, Boonchoo. The chief said that people usually see headless ghosts, and in the process, gets sick. Next, Josh meets up with the professional ghost hunters the government hired, Vimolrat and Somkovy. They show the team the Thai way of capturing a ghost: by scooping it into a tube, and covering its only entry point with holy cloth. Josh thought this was not the most scientific way of capturing a ghost, but decides to not question it. Their next stop was a monastery with a graveyard in the end of Khon Kaen, which has the most paranormal activity. The monastery's monk allowed the team to investigate the graveyard and gives them his blessing.

The InvestigationEdit

At 9:15 PM, the investigation starts. Josh firsts explores the mausoleum with the Bullard thermal imager. He opens the crematorium but finds nothing. At 10:45 PM, the team hears the sound of howling dogs, the first sign

The crematorium.

that a spirit is nearby, then they hear some sort of disembodied noise. At 12:17 PM, Josh and cameraman, Marc, explore the cemetery but finds nothing. Back at base camp, Josh hears, through the tram mic, a noise that sounds like someone's moving. Afterwards, a stinky odor hangs in the air, the second sign that there's a spirit nearby. They then again explored the crematorium, but still found nothing. They started packing up camp, and then they noticed Tom, their translator, is missing. They found him in the city, looking shaken and scared.


The ResearchEdit

Before heading back to the U.S., Josh investigates another Thai legend. It's about a serpentine creature with a dragon's head known as the Phaya Naga. Josh learns that the Naga is Loch-Ness-famous in Thailand and that the creature blows numerous orbs into the sky from its home in the Mekong River. He also learns that a woman has video evidence of the Naga.

The AdventureEdit

The team extended their plane tickets and heads to a Naga expert and the Thailand's former minister of agriculture

The tracks.

, Pongpol Adireksarn. He learns, from the minister, that there are many "happenings" in the Mekong, and also video evidence and "Naga fireballs", which were still not proven scientifically. Next, Josh and his team travel to a market, not for the Naga, but for monkey business. The next day, the team travel to the Nong Khai province, to a witness who was believed to have Naga tracks in a stone floor. They talked to the witness named In who believes that the Naga exists. In showed them pictures of the tracks on the floor. At a team meeting, they learn that the Naga is worshipped in Buddhist religion. They then visited Malini, a witness who saw the Naga. She led the team to spot where she saw the serpent, around a floating pagoda. He then visited Satit Kaew, a marine biologist. He explained that there may be a Naga, and that giant catfishes calls the river home, possibly leading to a state of misidentification. They then visited Chanarun, the woman who shot the infamous two videos of the supposedly Naga. She believes in the creature's existence and gives the team the videos. The Destination Truth team sat down together at a temple to look at the videos. The first video shows something serpentine moving in the water. The second video shows a head coming out of the water. They then ventured into the Mekong on a boat and headed for the floating pagoda where Malini spotted the creature.

The InvestigationEdit

At 5:32 PM, the team's lead researcher Eric swims at the river (thanks to Josh, who pushed him) carrying a

Josh pushing Eric into the Mekong.

fathometer, or "fish finder sonar" and an Underwater Housing camera. The fish finder finds only small fishes and Eric. At 7:42 PM, the fish finder sonar still detects everything but the Naga. They haul up the Housing camera, but it only recorded nothing but muck. The team then strapped numerous night vision cameras on the sides of the boat. They then placed a Dolphin Ear microphone in the water. At 9:15 PM, the microphone is 20 feet deep but records nothing. At 10:44 PM, they see something in the water but dismiss it as only a reflection. Then, the river suddenly became noisy when bumps and creaks were heard. The fishes detected earlier were now gone, and the noise was the same when they started. The team then hears a loud, splashing sound, but the cameras didn't record it. They thought it was only a large, freshwater fish. Twenty-two minutes after midnight, the team detects or sees nothing. At 2:33 AM, they wrapped up their investigation.

The ResultsEdit

First, Josh emails the mysterious photos of the allegedly Naga tracks to Dr. Andrew Engilis, a zoologist. Dr. Engilis dismisses the idea that a snake made the tracks and says that this is "something that I'm not familiar with". Josh then visits Steve Buller and Gregg Stutchman, audio and video forensics specialists to look at the two videos showing the Naga. Buller dismisses the first video as nothing more than ripples. Meanwhile, Stutchman agrees with Josh that the second video contains something organic, due to them seeing an eye on the head. Josh sends the second video to Dr. Engilis for further analysis, but debunks it as a catfish under the water. Back at the audio & video specialists, Josh lets them analyze the disembodied noise the team heard in the haunted village. After a little isolation of the audio, Josh hears something strange in the audio. The specialists amplified it and Josh hears what sounds like speech. Since none of the specialists speak Thai, Josh sends the audio recording to Molly Maioum, a translator. She said that the voice was saying aawk bpai hai moht which means in English, "Everybody get out of here". In the end, Josh concludes that the Naga is a connection between the mythological and physical world, and science debunks it as misidentification for catfishes. Regarding the monastery, Josh concludes that the monastery is indeed paranormal, and that that whispering voices (and watching Eric flailing in the Mekong) will remain with him as he "pushes on to the next dark corner of the globe".


  • 1st video of the "Naga"
  • Josh pushing Eric into the river
  • The crematorium
  • The alleged Naga tracks
  • 2nd video of the alleged Naga
  • The monastery


  •  The team used a white van to travel around Thailand.

    The van.

  • To travel around the Mekong River, the team boarded a traditional Thai boat.

The boat.


Josh: As much as I relished the thought of a giant serpent with no arms diligently tidying up after himself, I had a hard time imagining how he picked up a broom.