Sunday, October 31, 2004

True ghostly encounters

Boo! Posted by Hello

Happy Halloween everybody!

Reading Russell Lee’s True Singaporean Ghost Stories got me thinking back about the few tales I’ve heard in my youth. Me myself, I have not encountered anything out of the ordinary in my life, maybe due to the fact that it is believed that the first born child in a family is protected from being disturbed by the other realms. Certain people have the extra sense to notice the other spirit world that some say exist in our midst, the degree of which differs from person to person. We sometimes feel the hair of our back stand out but can’t really say why, other has seen with their eyes things that are not of our world. How do we explain such occurrences? These stories are true to the best of my knowledge as the person involved is no other than my aunt and cousins.

When I was young and staying in my aunt’s house in Petaling Jaya, I was told that my aunt had the third sight. A cousin told me she was born with the membrane still enveloping her head and thus this was a sign that she was able to see and interact with the spirit world. At first I thought he was joking and at that age (figure I was about 8) I was a bit at awe. Pestering her, she would not tell us anything and that got me a bit sour thinking her a spoil sport. But later I found out that she thought we should not know the facts because children being curios would set out to explore and she said “The spirits and ghosts have their own world and mostly they are benign and would not disturb you if left alone. But if we poke about and disturb them, they might decide that they would disturb you as they crave attention, and there are so few that actually are able to see them”.

Though I didn’t get these tales directly from my aunt, a piecing of accounts from aunts, uncles, my parents and cousins did bring about a few clues as to what apparitions were present at the place I stay (I shall not disclose the actual location for fear that the estate price would devalue due to added “bonuses” for the buyers). Here are a few accounts:

Ghost story 1
My aunt and family were living in the house in PJ since I was young. Though I’ve been there for quite a stint whenever we visited my grandmother during the holidays, I never really felt any ill feeling when I was there. Yet my cousin told me that her mother has ‘seen’ things that others are oblivious to. She confided in my father even that at one time she saw through the corner of her eye in the master bedroom a woman combing her long dark jet black hair in the dresser mirror. The catch is, it was none of the residents there and upon closer look she deduced that the lady in question had no face, just a blank look. The apparition took no notice of her and after a while faded away, but from hearsay she said that at times she would be seen in the midst of the same act at the same place. Other common apparitions seen by her include a man sometimes seen standing by a corner of the house and a lady in white who at times stare open mouthed by the road a few blocks away from ours.

Ghost Story 2
One cousin who was usually sharing the room I was in used to live near Maluri. As a child, my aunt (his mother) describes an incident where at times he would laugh and speak aloud even when there was no one in the room. They found it strange but discounted it. Soon after a while it seems that strange bruises were beginning to appear on his body as if he was pinched. This worried them and they brought him to see a sensei and he prescribed a ritual concoction for him to drink and handed over a few charms. After that the incidents stopped. As a teenager, he and I were of the same age. Once he confided in me that during an especially fitful night he was about to go out and have a drink but as soon as he opened the door to the living room, he felt as if he was transported into another world, the scene was aflame and in the middle was a ghostly aspect, shadowy but radiating sinister. Quickly he began to say mantras my aunt taught him and slowly slammed the door and went straight to his bed. All night he said he could not sleep and felt as if the eyes were still looking at him from the windows. My aunt later asked him to place a picture of the Buddha by the bedside and if ever troubled say the mantras.

Ghost Story 3
Another occurrence with my aunt was one day when the cousins in the house heard her shout aloud to someone. Peering into the room, she was all alone but still ranting away. She saw them and asked them to go out and not to be afraid. Closing the door, she continued the loud tirade. When she came out, she confided that she saw a malicious spirit in the house and it looked like it was up to bad intentions. The thing with my aunt is not only is she able to see apparitions, she was strong enough to interact with them. She said she was afraid but decided to confront it and was persuading it to leave the family alone, after a tense moment arguing she exclaimed it was a close call as the spirit acted as if he wanted to harm her but in the end agreed to leave.

Ghost Story 4
My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in her later years and was also a diabetic. Life was hard for her as she could not take most food and had to be taken care of from the feeding to toilet visits. My aunt and family were staying with her to take care of her needs. A few months before she passed away, my cousin who often helped her awoke one night and saw out of the window my grandmother sitting on the kitchen chair by the table (even now she was already having difficulties walking and uses a stroller to aid) chatting to someone, the thing was there was no one there! The household comprised of my aunt and her three children. He went out curious and asked grandma who she was conversing with. Her reply was one of happiness, she stated that grandpa (he passed away a few years after I was born from lung cancer) was there and they were catching up on old times and he told her there were a lot of people waiting for her on the other side. This disturbed my cousin who asked her if she wanted anything. She replied a cup of Milo, so he made that for her, sat for a while then accompanied her to bed. Strange thing was she hardly remembered that she was awake the night after being questioned in the morning.

Ghost Story 5
This took place a month after my grandmother passed away. A rite according to the Buddhist tradition was that the soul of the departed would once again visit her previous home at the end of a month long furlong. All the relatives were supposed to be present in the house to greet the spirit, offering prayers and food stuff to appease the visit. At night the males and females would be segregated and lock themselves in separate room. No one was to see to departed on her visit or else memories would lead the departed to take the person’s soul back to accompany her. The night went past, one of my female cousins said she heard something after the clock struck 1 but my aunt asked her to forget about it and go back to sleep. Another uncle almost went hysteric and wanted to go out but was persuaded not to. The next morning, inspection of the food found a waxy coating on the fruits and also small bite marks!

Ghost Story 6
This occurred at the new place my aunt moved into after leaving my place, it’s near USJ. I exclaimed that my aunt has a strong third eye. Walking about in her house one day, she stopped and felt as if the whole area she was in turned freezing cold, the chill that freezes the very bone in a person. She had a nagging feeling in her and knew something was up. Walking steadily to the upper floor, she opened the door to her daughter’s room. Aghast she saw a figure floating above her sleeping daughter. The atmosphere within was the same chill eerie feel and she could sense the thing was up to no good. Shouting for her daughter but not wanting to alarm her, she asked her to slowly come to her and leave the room. She went in, closed the door and shouted for the thing to leave. A long spell later, she came out and said whatever it was has left.

Ghost Story 7
A few friends of mine were enjoying their holidays at the Poring hot springs. The hike to one of the famous waterfalls there took a while but before they could reach the place, one of the guys and his girlfriend urged the others to bypass the place and move towards another route. Later confiding in them, they said that they felt the path had a presence of evil, though they could not see anything, the sense of it was so disturbing that they thought it better to leave it alone. Anyway this waterfall is visited by various people and is a popular tourist spot so beware hehe.

Ghost Story 8
In my previous post I mentioned that there were certain houses that are said to be haunted by spirits. Well in Kuantan there are a few famous places as such which the locals know about. Mostly these places are forever for rent as tenants who shifted in often do not linger long before re-selling. One famous one can be found at Kubang Buaya. It is a semi detached house, partially wooden and painted all green. From my youth, ownership of the house has often changed hands in short spans of time. It was said that people could hear voices and at times shadowy figures were seen from the windows. Some time ago a fire broke out and the place was partially burnt and now lies abandoned. Another is located new the Kuantan Specialist Hospital and is now turned into a second hand car sales office. People spending the night there would often find themselves placed in front of the porch by daylight with no recollection of how they got there as if the spirits wanted the place to themselves. Another which I heard but cannot confirm is that of the Tunku Kalsom Cancerlink Center, previously the house was left abandoned and not many people would buy it. Of course in Pahang the most famous one is the Ria apartments in Genting which many people has said is unclean and often strange things happen during their stay there.

These are just a few of the accounts I have of the chilling happenings around my relatives and friends. My aunt no longer states if anything is amiss nowadays. But somehow at times she acts as if she sees or at the very least feels something nearby but never told us aloud, just urging us to quickly bypass a certain place or ask us to leave a while. Have anyone out there experienced such phenomena or heard about it?

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