Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Hitchhiker II: Motorcycle Vs Car (顺风车)

May I ask you?

“What is the difference between a motorcycle compare to a car in view of ghostly passengers?”

Still cannot get the joke?

“Well, a motorcycle can only carry one, but a car can carry many!”

If you still do not believe me, then below are two stories about ghostly hitchhikers, the first is mine and the later told to me by another taxi driver:

Story 1: Free Ride On Honda 70

When I first graduated from a technical college in Ipoh some 20 years ago, I got a job in Ipoh Industrial Estate as a project coordinator. I rented a house in a housing estate off the Perak state ministry of education. At that time, I couldn’t afford a car, so I bought a second-hand Honda 70 motorcycle as my transportation.

Every day I would need to pass through a small road between a secondary school and a Malay cemetery before turning into the Kuala Kangsar Road proper. Everything was just routines except that I didn’t like the feeling when passing through the cemetery in the midst of the night especially during raining when I was on night shift. Some intelligent folks would call pass mid-nightshift as ‘graveyard’ somehow…

Everything was okay until a few months after I started my work. The experience always happened at night when I returned from my nightshifts and on entering the road beside the cemetery. Just a few seconds after my bike entered the road, I could feel something or someone suddenly jumped onto my back or at times my shoulders. I could feel it because I could hear a ‘tub’ sound as if something suddenly landed onto the bike or my shoulder. At the same time, my shoulder or bike would suddenly feel heavy and I would instinctively swing my bike handle to balance off the load.

At first I thought I was sick as that was the feeling whenever I am coming down with flu until one night…

That was just any other night that my bike has just ‘taken load’ and I was trying to balance the motorcycle. Suddenly, Ahmed who was the factory technician suddenly drove past me and gave me a queer glance. After that he hinted me to stop by a coffee shop for a cup of tea. It wasn’t anything unusual as Ahmed and I used to go out for lunch.

A few minutes later, Ahmed stared at me for a while as I was sipping my tea. He finally broke silence:

“Do you believe in ghost?”

“Why do you ask this in the wee hours like this?”

Ahmed continued:

“Well. One just rode on your shoulder just now. I was following your bike about 20 feet away and there was a white object just at the entrance of the cemetery. It suddenly became elongated and veered towards your bike and finally landed onto your shoulder! It was lucky that you didn’t fall.”

Apparently Ahmed’s words was a little premature, a few days later, I fell from my bike and broke my limbs. Upon recovery, I resigned and left Ipoh.

Story 2: Free Ride On A Taxi

This is a story told to me by a former taxi driver named Lee now self made Feng Shui master.

Lee was a taxi driver used to ply between Ipoh and Taiping. Unlike other taxi drivers, Lee would bring his passengers to small and isolated locations between the towns. One evening, just a few days before the Chinese ghost month; Lee dropped a few passengers in Liman Kati, Kuala Kangsar. As when his taxi passed through a Chinese cemetery, an old lady stopped him at the entrance of the cemetery and asking for a ride. She wanted to go to Kuala Kangsar town and Lee agreed and the old lady hopped on.

After driving for a few hundred yards, an old man with two small children waved at Lee’s taxi. As usual, Lee stopped for the passengers. At this point, Lee thought that it would be too cramp for 4 people to sit at the back, so he invited one to sit beside the driver’s seat; all of them somehow declined. Though Lee felt strange, he didn’t insist.

So, Lee continued to drive and started to chat with his passengers. At first the conversations were pretty good but as the taxi exit the cemetery area, Lee found that he was talking to himself; whatever questions Lee threw to his passengers, no one responded.

After a while, Lee felt strange and he looked in his rear mirror. To his horror, there was no one there in the backseat!

Of course, I didn’t believe Lee’s story but choose to share it with you. Perhaps you too have similar experiences?

Magic Is Not An All-cure (法术无绝对)

By Barry

I have two persons whom are really close to me. Just call them Jeanny and Tania (not their real name). One day, two of them got into fight because of some reason... It makes me confused and sad, since both of them are good to me... So in order to make a peace between them, I tried with all of my might to cast a spell on behalf of them. My master knows my intention. He asked me, "Are both of them really wanted to be reconciled?" I didn't know that actually my master was trying to hint something to me at that moment...

After several months, it looked like there is some result to my effort. Somehow two of them could meet under some complicated circumstances, and they make peace at last... Whether this occurrence is a coincidence, or is it the result of my spell casting I also didn't know... Or so I thought...

But the peace is only a temporary occurrence... Not so long after, two of them began to fight again... This time is even worse than the last... After observing them for a while and the situation couldn't get any better, I tried to cast a spell again...

So one day, I met with Tania. Out of nowhere, with anger upon her eyes, she said to me, "Do you know, somehow since this month, I often dream about Jeanny... Do you think she want to make peace with me?" And coincidently, it also starting that month I began to cast spell again... I just pretend I didn't know a thing about it and keep silence...

Another day, I met again with Tania, she still said that she often dreams about Jeanny... But then she also said angrily, "Even if she kneel down before me and apologize, I will never forgive her!" Even worse than the last time I met her... That moment I understand, no matter what I did, I couldn't make them reconciled through magic... And before everything get worse, I stopped casting spell... Even I stopped praying for their reconciliation...

And last, I understand what my master tried to hints me... If deep down in their heart, they didn't want to be reconciled, no magic in this world could grant them true peace like I wanted... The karma between them is too deep... Last I could do, I only pray for their own personal happiness... I already tired to meddle with others' problem anyway... Even if they are my family...

Liew’s note:

I was asked if I have dropped all of my magical practices. Well, the answer is yes and no.

The reason for ‘yes’ is same as the moral of the above story: you can’t change if people don’t want to be changed!

The reason for ‘no’ is that I have found that magic works in another way: if your way of living is what you enjoy most; then the magic will work wonder for you! If you don’t like your ways of living and wanted to change into another way that doesn't suit you; then no magic in this world can help you. This is my 30 years of experience with magic! Believe it my friends.

Encounter With A Lady Gnome

By Barry

This is a story from when I just move to a new living place.

My first night there, I dreamt a lady, who was really angry at me. She said, "Do you want to pick a fight with me!" When I woke up at the morning, I thought it is just an ordinary dream because I was too tired moving things. But then, another day, I dream the very same lady who was always angry at me... This occurred for three days straight... Then I know that something really wrong happened...

I pray in front of my altar to my lineage master for some hints of what actually happened to me... So through dream again, a man in white come to me and told me, that somehow I offend this land's earth god subordinate, and she is the lady in my dream... Actually at that time I didn't know what I did that has offended her...

So next morning, I recite some spell to invite the earth god of my place, and I ask him/her to bring his/her subordinate that I offended. I didn't posses yin-yang eyes though, so I didn't know the gender of the earth god in my place. I only know his/her presence through the feeling in the atmosphere... When I sense they have come, I apologized for any inconvenience I caused upon them, and asked them to protect me instead of bothering me. If they would do so, I'll dedicate some merit to them as often as I could...

So next time, I dream about the lady-gnome, she show more benign face and smiled to me...

When I met my master and told him this story, he said that maybe she was offended because I open my altar immediately after I come to my new house without asking any blessings or permission to the earth god first... Some spell could make some beings cannot enter my room, which they could do it easily before...

Liew’s note:

Perhaps the norm for folks in Asia to make offerings before moving into a new place is no nonsense after all. Incidentally, I performed smoke offering at my friend’s haunted house and I was not disturbed in anyway; but a few people who stayed there before me suffered severe migraine. Strange but true!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Uniquely Thai Child God: Look Thep (泰国鬼娃)

In case of you are not aware; there is a new kid on the block in Thai occult circle. It is called ‘look thep’.  a ‘look thep’ is a form of cute plastic dolls of any sorts said to be able to bring the owner luck. Perhaps you can buy one of this so-called ‘child god’ or ‘child angel’ in your nearest Thai amulet shop by the time of writing. Some masters also tug in real human bones and amulets in the dolls to increase their power. Of course, these dolls must be blessed by senior monks to be effective.

I am told that the price can range from MYR300 to MYR1000 or so. Some people event go to the extent of bringing their ‘child god’ to watch movies, restraints, shopping and they even book air ticket for their child gods.

A ‘look thep’ to me is no difference than a kumanthong or a Taoist or a Buddhist idol in their making. If you like, you can even tug your kumanthong statue into a plastic doll and call it a ‘look thep’. Anyway the choice is still yours if you have spare cash to burn.

A look thep looks just like any plastic doll in the toy store.

On closer look, amulets or even human bones can sometimes be found inside the doll.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Hitchhiker I (不速之客 I)

If you are a Malaysian driver used to do night travels which ply between two isolated locations, then you would probably have a fair share of ghostly experiences; or at least some ghost stories to tell. Most of my Malay friends who travelled at night have one kind of eerie experience or another.

Old road that led from Kuala Kangsar to Lenggong in Hulu Perak was dimly lit and street lights were far and between. Many drivers who drove at the dead of the night would have a taboo as not to look at the rear mirror no matter what happened.

Pak Ali was my old neighbor when I stayed in Talang, Kuala Kangsar. He was a taxi driver and he frequently travelled from Kuala Kangsar to Lenggong at night fetching his old customer who was a businessman in Lenggong. He usually returned to rest early in the morning after dropping his customer. That was when I stepped out of my house to school. When he was free, Pak Ali too would give me a lift and told me many strange tales along the way. In Malay, a ride is called ‘tumpang’.

According to Pak Ali, he always sees a white figure under a banyan tree just off the junction of the road heading to Lenggong. At first, Pak Ali thought he was presbyopia due to aging. But after many encounters, he has somehow grown accustomed to the sighting.

This was one of those nights that Pak Ali has an unforgettable ‘tumpang’ (ride) from the other side. As usual, Pak Ali drove from his house to Lenggong just pass midnight alone. When he arrived at the junction where he used to see the white figure, suddenly his taxi halted right in front of the banyan tree. No matter how many he tried, the engine just wouldn’t start.

Just as when Pak Ali continuously restarting his taxi, suddenly he heard his left rear door opened and a breeze of wind coupled with the smell of perfume entered his taxi. Strangely speaking, right at the time when his taxi door slammed closed; the taxi engine restarted.

Instinctively, Pak Ali turned his head and to his surprised he saw a very beautiful lady in white sitting at the back seat. Though surprised, Pak Ali politely told the lady that his taxi wasn’t for hired. But the lady pleaded that she would get off just before the junction turning to Lenggong. Since it was pretty late then, the good hearted Pak Ali thought it would be awful to let the lady alone out there in the wilderness. Who knows what would happen if she came across some bad folks? So, Pak Ali didn’t say second words and continued his journey.

As usual, Pak Ali would start to strike a conversation with his passengers, but no matter what he said, the lady just kept silent. After some round of chatting alone, Pak Ali suddenly stopped talking and it was a dead silent in the taxi. At this point, Pak Ali inadvertently stared into his rear mirror. To his horror, the reflection in the mirror showed that his hitchhiker wasn’t look like near anything human! The ‘creature’ has long straight hairs, a half decayed face with eye balls popping out and fangs protruding out from mouth with missing lips…

It was indeed a ‘culture shock’ for Pak Ali and instinctively he turned his back but to his surprised, the beautiful lady in white still sitting politely in the backseat while smiling. The lady finally opened her mouth and said:

“Aku cantik tak?” (Am I pretty?)

Pak Ali thought he was hallucinating and again he turned forward and quickly caught a glimpse of the mirror reflection, and the ugly demonic creature was still in the backseat!

Though Pak Ali wasn’t a superstitious person, he at once recalled that the lady was some sort of demonic spirits. So, he just kept silent and continued his journey towards Lenggong.

Right before the taxi was to turn at the junction to Lenggong, Pak Ali heard a sweet voice and said:

“Ada turun. Terima kasih!” (I am getting off. Thank you!)

The taxi automatically halted and the backdoor opened and then slammed. As before, the taxi engine can be restarted and Pak Ali drove on without turning back.

According to Pak Ali, since the incident; he has a few similar experiences at the same locations until he finally retired to be a taxi drive. That is the strangest tale I have heard from Pak Ali. I have a few more tales of strange hitchhikers to share in future too… So whatever you do, please don't look back at night! You are warned!! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Making Of Pelesit & Polong

I can assure you that the below info is exclusive and hard to come by these days...

Basically Pelesit and Polong have the same characteristics. The only differences lie in the form and the gender of their owners. A polong works for a male owner and a pelesit works for a female owner.

The functions of a pelesit and polong are the same: for stealing of money and to destroy the enemies. Except that a pelesit has an additional edge that is it can make its lady owner look young always.

It is believed that a pelesit and polong can transform into the form of their owners; which is the same of a ‘hantu raya’ or a wandering spirit or a great spirit if you will. In old days, people in Selangor, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah and Trengganu used to be knowledgeable of the ‘arts of pelesit and polong.

 Pelesit and polong feed on chicken eggs that have been poked a hole with a sewing needle. As I heard that this egg is placed near the feet of the owner at night when the owners sleeping at night. During mid-night, the pelesit or polong will protrude its elongated tongue from the roof down to suck the contents of the egg. In another version, I was told that a pelesit or a polong will transform into an insect and sneak to the toe of its owner and bite on the toe to draw blood. Hence people believe that if a people look extremely skinny, he/she might be a possible candidate for owning one of this spirits. In another version of the story, a pelesit/polong is kept inside a small bottle and it is fed with the owner’s blood drawn from ring finger during full moon night. However, if a pelesit/polong is not fed amply, then it will venture out of the house and disturb the neighbors.

Local believe that when the owner of a pelesit/polong dies, the cloth covering the face of the deceased would show signs of moving. And when the cloth is removed, people would find the tongue of the deceased protruding and wriggling out from the mouth; while the eyes rolled back.

The owner of a pelisit/polong is said to be void of descendent because the spirit would kill all children in the house if it is not being well taken care of. A locol bomoh (shaman) told me that when a person is possessed by a pelisit/polong; the only way to coax out the owner is to bring a red onion and 3 grains of black pepper seeds. The items are then pressed onto the thumb nails.

Another sign of a person possessed by a pelisit/polong is that the possessed person dare not look into the eyes of others. The bomoh also told me that it helps to fumigate the victim of a pelisit/polong with ‘kemayan’ (benzoin) smoke. It is said that when one of the above method is used, the person will utter the name of the owner. Of course this method has caused many innocent folks to be accused and harmed for many personal reasons. Perhaps this resembles some sort of ‘witch hunt’ in the medieval Europe…

It is not difficult to detect if a pelisit/polong is present as it would make the sound of ‘sat… sat… sat’ and if people would perform a search, they shall find a grass hopper with the head similar that of a person. If this grasshopper is caught and its head being pluck, in addition three breathes are blown onto the grasshopper with added cursing and swearing before letting it go (provided that if the poor creature still lives…). If a grain of yellow rice or a piece of hair is found after the head is plugged, then it is said that this pelisit/polong has an owner.

Another method to kill a grasshopper believed to be a pelisit/polong is to strike it with a broom while saying: “it is not that I have killed you, it is the broom!” This is to avoid the revenge of the pelisit/polong. This is due to the belief that a pelisit/polong is afraid of a broom. Old Malays believe that when they believed that a pelisit/polong is making noise, they would strike a broom onto the floor; and the pelisit/polong would become silent and flee from the place.

If a grasshopper believed to be a pelisit/polong being caught and put into a bottle, its owner will wandering about like insane finding his/her pelisit/polong within two days of the creature being caught. This bottle should be thrown into a river that flows into the sea. Would it help to get rid of a pelisit/poling by killing the grasshopper? Well, no. People believe that the owner can always generate another grasshopper to replace the lost ones.

Folks believe that a pelisit/polong can be summoned in three ways:

Method 1:

An old green coconut which stem is being bitten off with teeth and that his green coconut should be carried down while holding in one’s mouth. After that this coconut husk is shredded and then the coconut flesh is used to produce coconut milk. Then the coconut milk is being boiled to make coconut oil. The coconut oil is later filled into a terracotta urn together with 3 pieces of white or black chicken eggs. This urn is then sealed and then buried in a 3-way crossroads for 40 days.

When the time is up, this container is dug up and it is then hung in the center of the house beam. This urn should then be fumigated by smoke produce from burning 7 pieces of coconut ‘lidi’ (leaflets) taken from the same midrib during Maghrib time. It is believed that thousands of grasshoppers will come to enjoy the feast. Only one of the grasshoppers will transform into pelisit/polong.

Method 2:

The dead body of an eldest baby of less than 40 days whose mother is also the eldest in the family is the main ingredient for making a pelesit/polong. The corpse of the dead baby should be dug up during mid-night usually a Friday night. After that, the corpse is placed on an ant hill and subsequent conjuration is made until voices came out from the corpse with its tongue wriggling. The person should approach the corpse and bite off this tongue.

This tongue should be placed inside a coconut shell. This tongue and coconut shell is then burn with slow fire until oil is produced. It is then buried in a 3-way crossroads for 3 days consecutively. The coconut shell must be collected from an isolated coconut tree. It is said that on the fourth day, a pelisit/polong will present inside the coconut shell ready to be deployed.

Method 3:

A much simpler method is to comb one’s hair at dusk for a consecutive of 40 days in front of a mirror. The person should wear the clothing worn by a previous owner of a pelisit/polong. It is said that this way enables one to recall a pelisit/polong from the previous owner.

Whatever method one uses, the pelisit/polong should be fed with blood at an interval of at least once a month; and that it should be kept in a small bottle filled with coconut oil.

The telltale sign of a pelisit/polong owner is that he/she would have small and red eyes; and that he/she would avoid direct eye contacts. When he/she sleeps, he/she will sleep facing up with mouth opening and producing sounds of a cat drinking water. Another way of testing if a person keeps a pelisit/polong is to hide a small piece of monkey bone under betel leaves. If the person consumes the betel leaves and moan in pain, then he/she is the keeper of a pelisit/polong.

I am not sure if anyone still keeps a pelisit/polong in that matter to date, and I have not personally tried the making of pelisit/polong ritual. If you have tried and successfully produced one; then please do let me know.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy Year Of Monkey (猴年快乐)

The Chinese Lunar New Year is just around the corner. This year's New Year will be celebrated on February 8, 2016. I would like to convey my Japanese friend's wish of Happy New Year to everyone who visits this blog. Incidentally, this is my first new year card in 10 years... So I guess my luck will change for coming year of monkey :)))