Tuesday, October 26, 2004

UMS, Bukit Orang Bunian

Chancellory Posted by Hello

Pic: The Chancellory building atop the hill in UMS.

Continuing my fright fest, I’m sharing with you a little urban legend tales of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). Heard ramblings from my Tamadun Islam and Asia lecturer (I swear this is from the horse’s mouth), there is more than meets the eye to the area where the current campus is situated at. The tale began that the area near the Yayasan Tun Mustapha Building (formerly known as Yayasan Sabah Building) used to be entirely a mangrove swamp area. The road network connecting the place to major towns like Kota Kinabalu and Indah Permai was non existent before the construction of the Coastal Highway. Tongues wagged that the bukit (hill) where the Chancellery building and hostels is present were the homes of orang bunian (spirit people). These beings have inhabited the forest and hills before people even settled around the area. When the idea for the setting up of a site for UMS was mooted it seems that the orang bunian would have to go lest they cause havoc to then campus populace. Thus recalled the lecturer, a bomoh was asked to come and menjemput (invite) the spirits to find a better residence away from their current home. Ceremonies and rituals were carried out to appease and compensate these home owners while the bomoh bargained with the folks for a settlement. Soon an agreement was achieved whereby the spirit people would move to another area (of which I can’t recall where). Busses were procured and again the spirits were ‘dijemput’ to ride in luxury to their new abode. Thus the land now belongs to us humans without the contesting of the orang bunian.

No campus is replete of its ghost stories as well, and many have said they have seen strange sights in campus while working through the wee hours of the night. The funny thing is that often the two faculties that is said to be visited by other worldly beings often contradict each other by stating that the incidents took place in each other’s school. The Engineering and Information Technology School have been much rife with tales of spooks. One that has been disseminated around is that there is a ghostly janitor that can be seen at certain hours of the night carrying out his duties and that wherever he went the room would grow eerily cold. Other tales was by a friend that said the moment he entered the toilet there, it was flooded and after the stepped out and re-entered the scene was back to normal. Another friend living in the dorm in campus once woke up in the middle of the night and was taken aback as he saw a shadowy figure hovering on the ceiling, he quickly ran out of the room and only came back the following day. Days later he asked to be transferred out into one of the other hostels. Another supposedly true tale is that certain parts of the campus were built on a Kadazan Dusun graveyard and maybe this is the source of some of the mysterious sightings. Should we believe such tales? I can’t well confirm it as mostly this was third party hearsay and should be taken with a grain of salt. It is up to you to judge but they do make campus life more interesting, imagine having a ‘hantu’ (ghost) sighting expedition as orientation activity :)


Kimberlycun said...

How weird. Haunted IT dep and ghostly janitor. Sounds like my college too. Probably all the stories created by disgruntled students/staff, haha.

Jeremy said...

I don't care what people think but I do believe in the existance of...things. Spirits, ghosts, poltergeists, whatever. I haven't yet *seen* any, but their presence can often be palpable.

I've lived in 5 different places over the past 4 years. One of them, my first dorm, was perfectly OK. I spent many weekends and two Christmases in an almost empty bulding and I felt altogether unaffected.

But I have also lived in a fraternity in Karlsruhe, and there wasn't a single night that I went to bed without sweating in fear. I would just sit there on my bed, and I could feel my heart beating like crazy and I'd be looking all around me. And I know they are there. There, all around me. Probably staring at me, wanting to touch me. It sounds crazy, but that was how it was every night for the 6 weeks I stayed there. Not a single night they'd leave me alone.

I returned to the fraternity half a year later for another stay -- but this time in a different room. In that room, I happily read GEOs and National Geographics and Playboys from the frat's excellent library late into the night and couldn't feel happier. I slept like a baby.

But one night, I felt kinda hungry so I went into the kitchen on the second floor to boil some spaghetti. So I stood around the stove staring at the pot when my heart beat like crazy again and I was stiff and sweaty and looking all around the kitchen. They were *there*. I told myself "Jeremy, this is insane. Look, just boil your spaghetti, pour some sauce over it and get to your room and the stack of 3 years worth of Playboy, OK? Besides, everyone knows there aren't such things as ghosts!"

But I could not. I turned off the stove and fled to my room, leaving the spaghetti in the pot. I scrambled up the stairs, I tell you. It was that bad. I felt something ominous would happen if I stayed any longer.

In my present abode, which I've been in for two years, I have not had the slightest whiff of the supernatural. I strut around even the in the wee hours of the morning when my housemates are away and feel I'm the emperor of the house.

Kervin said...

Hehe guess every institution has their ghosties. Maybe from overworked or bored students. Or is it something they put in the meals from the cafe I wonder? :)

Adam said...

Visiting your blog for the first time. Its great. I guess all Universities have their own ghost/ supernatural stories. Haven't experienced any myself even though I have gone through 3 different Universities.

Bustaman said...

Has anyone asked for 4 ekor numbers?

heekheen said...

wow.. i never know that my uni is this spooky... i've never encounter these 'supernatural' events though :)

hyelbaine said...

hhmm..the whole plot and idea is almost similiar to the stories i heard when i was in college....hhhmmm......

Cheers!!! :D

Jeremy said...

I should probably add that the frat townhouse is in the center of Karlsruhe, once belong to a bourgeois family that had servants, and had seen both world wars. Lots of stuff has happened in it.

zeeyen said...

Amazing. Never expected to see a student of UMS posting here. Sorry if this post is kinda out (though I have my fair share of story about "ghostly" occurence during my tenure in UMS (yes, me too - was the pioneering batch there).

Keep it up. I will drop by from time to time and be reading your post.