Monday, October 15, 2018

The Skull 7: Socializing (骷髅7:妖精打架)

Believe it or not? When you have a little too many human skeletons around, they will start to socialize around...

In the early 80's and probably up till very recently until eBay started to ban the selling of 'human parts', human skull can fetch up to USD1,000 and a set of complete human skeleton can go up to USD2,500 and more.

So while others are afraid of those spooky human remains, there are people who actually collect them either for black magic purposes or to resale them as precious commodity. Nowadays of course such trade is overtaken by smart phones and some other electronic gadgets.

I have told you the story of 5-ghosts created havoc in my Kelantan friend's shop which burnt down half of his shop. Now another friend of mine who also stayed in Kelantan near Malaysian - Thai border collected human remains for trade and this person was Uncle Sam.

Uncle Sam initially worked as a grave digger but when he learnt of the value of human skeletons, he started to dig up bones from those abandoned graves around his area. Gradually he employed other village folks to do the job or buy from others instead.

Needless to say, Uncle Sam has many human skeletons stacked in his house waiting to be sold. He has no problem to stay with these valuable commodity as most of these human remains would change hands fairly quickly too and the profit margin was extremely high too.

I visited Uncle Sam on one occasion on the request of a friend who wanted to purchase human skulls for his 5-ghosts practice. We arrived at Uncle Sam's place in a sunny March morning. Though outside was hot, it was relatively chilly inside Uncle Sam's house. There was a mist like aura filled the entire house, I didn't like it but had to go in with my pal anyway.

Uncle Sam greeted us and he immediately brought us to his human skeleton stock. There were around 15 to 20 skeletons laid quietly on the floor. While my pal squatted down to inspect the human remains, Uncle Sam and I started to chat.

"I can see that you must be pretty lonely with these bones Uncle Sam!" I jokingly said.

Uncle Sam: "Oh, just to earn a living... But you are wrong my friend! Those skeletons will come to life at night to socialize, fight and even making love if you believe me? In fact, I don't stay here. I will leave once you guys left."

I was curious and hinted Uncle Sam to continue. Perhaps that has triggered his long hidden urge to tell stories, Uncle Sam said: 

"Young man (then, not now), I have eaten more salt than you ate rice... Human souls will remain in their bones long after they have passed away, that's the reason why you sorcerers are so fond of using real human bones...

All of these bones you see in front of you must be fumigated with benzoin smoke everyday as their food or else they will make noise. Once my nephew passed through this house at night when I went away for a few days, he heard sounds of bones cracking as if many pieces of bones were hitting each other.

Fearing that bugler had broken in, he peeped through the seems of the window to investigate. Instead to his shock, he saw though it was quite dim in the house, the whiteness of the bone was quite outstanding in the dark.

There were many human skeletons walking about the house, some were swinging about while others were hugging. Those cracking sounds were produced from those human skeletons when they 'hugged' each other...

My nephew was so scared that he quickly ran home and he fell sick the very next day. I learnt about the story from my brother when I returned from outstation..."

I became speechless for a moment then I blurred out: "Why don't you get rid of them as they cannot be kept in the house?"

"Are you kidding son!? They worth a lot of money to me!" Uncle Sam exclaimed.

I immediately shrugged and shut up when it comes to money matters. We left Uncle Sam's place after my pal has made his purchased.

A few years later, I returned to Uncle Sam's place but the caretaker became another person. According to the new landlord, he was Uncle Sam's nephew who just taken over his uncle's old house. Uncle Sam has passed away one year back, unfortunately his remains were dug out by some `tomb raiders' and his grave was empty when he visited his uncle's grave.

Perhaps Uncle Sam's skeleton has fallen into some magician's hands or perhaps it is still dancing somewhere with its newfound skeleton girlfriend? Only God knows...

The Skull 6: Bitch (骷髅6:母狗)

He met his soul mate at night never thought she could be ...

This is perhaps the modern version of '聊斋' or classical Chinese strange stories. This case happened to to my brother in Maoshan Taoism. Let's call him Eric for his privacy and my personal safety...

Eric was my senior in Maoshan school who has engaged in Maoshan magic much longer than me except that he only specialized in Maoshan while I learnt almost all schools of magic that I could put my hands on. So, Eric used to be very proud of his Maoshan magic and he vowed to spend remainder of his life in Maoshan in China though I doubted he meant what he said very much.

Anyway, Eric was already at his 40's and I was in 20's then. I liked to visit Eric's place because he has kept many curios such as antique furniture, porcelain plates etc. The one fascinated me most were actually his Maoshan magical items. He had many human skulls too for his 5-ghost rituals; and many spares to be sold to other sorcerers.

So said, Eric was still single and strangely speaking, the quite well to do Eric has no luck in his love life. He had a 3 year old bitch to keep him company. The bitch was very protective of its master too. It would bark furiously at strangers and I was quite scared of this bitch but as I got more acquainted to the bitch, it started to show lesser hostility.

One day Eric told me that he started to date a fair lady by the name Rose and they could only meet at night after Rose had finished her work. Eric's love affairs went on for 6 months or so and I kept instigating Eric to introduce his newfound girlfriend to me and the rest of the Maoshan brothers but Eric kept giving excuses that Rose was busy with her work.

A few weeks later, Eric had to travel to China to make some business dealings. So he entrusted me to temporarily take care of his home and his beloved bitch. I was happy to obliged as I could look see at his curios.

One evening, I was at Eric's place again and heavy rain started to fall. So I thought I would just spend a night at his house. No harm done I thought and perhaps Eric don't mind either. He had an antique opium bed made of rosewood that I like to lie on. 

The rain halted around midnight. Since it was around 15th day of Lunar Month, the moon was extremely big and round in the sky. As I laid in the bed I stared at Eric's bonsai plants in his garden through a glass sliding door while trying to sleep. Unintentionally, I saw Eric's bitch was pushing a human skull with its nose and after a while, it started to wear the skull on its head and after that the bitch stood with its hind legs while it held together its hind legs as if in prayer's position. Looked like the bitch was performing some kind of moon worship.

This is not a surprised to all Taoists as it is known that some animals of intelligence such as foxes, dogs and even snakes can do such a thing if a human skull is available. I was quite surprised to see Eric's bitch could done such a thing... perhaps it has mimic what Eric has done as one of the Maoshan rituals to absorb moon energy.

I watched attentively at the bitch until it finally lowered its fore legs and pushed the skull away. I kept what I saw to myself and pretended nothing had happened.

Eric returned about a week later and he was happy as his business dealings were also went very smoothly. As a sign of gratitude, he invited me to his house again to have a simple dinner while introducing Rose to me.

I agreed but while Eric was tending to his bitch, I quietly went to the place the bitch hid the human skull. I retrieved the skull and put it inside of a wooden cabinet outside of Eric's house.

Two days later, a few of Maoshan brothers and I went to Eric's house according to invitation. Everything was set and dishes were served on time. Everything was ready but Eric's newfound girlfriend Rose was no where to be found still.

Eric was anxious and his bitch was restless in the compound as if searching for something...

Needless to say the dinner had to start without Rose. Everyone hesitantly finished the dishes and made excuses to leave in view of apparent bad mood. Of course, I had no courage to tell Eric what I suspected of his bitch.

I visited Eric again during Chinese New Year and his bitch was no more there instead another lady was there. He introduced the lady as his fiancee, May. Eric said that his bitch died a month ago without any apparent reasons. It just refused to eat its favorite food and the condition of it aggravated when May came into the house.

Now Eric has abandoned Maoshan magic all together and he only wanted a normal life. Last time I heard Eric has converted to Christianity. 

Perhaps I have done Eric a favor by hiding the skull from his bitch. I can't imagine what would happen to him if he mated with Rose... or should I say the bitch!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Skull 5: Missing Bride (骷髅5:失踪的新娘)

When the man came to see the skull...

The background of this story said to be happened before WWII and told to me by an old British sailor, Neil in a pub. The sailor said that what he was about to tell me really happened to his distance relative.

According to Neil, his cousin Mary was about to get married soon but she went missing and she did not appear in her wedding ceremony on that important day. Her fiance was heartbroken but after people in the village searched everywhere, Mary still nowhere to be found. The heartbroken fiance later left the sad place to be a sailor so that he could forget about the lost of Mary.

Then about 10 years later, Mary's old house was sold and the new landlord started to clear the land for agricultural purposes. The new owner chopped down an old oak tree beside Mary's old house and in the hollow section of the tree, he found the remains of Mary with her familiar clothing.

Mary's remains were later sent to her sister's place. Mary's sister, Alice decided to display the skull of Mary with her long hair still intact in her shop and tell the already lifeless skull to seek revenge on her killer wherever he or she might by.

Mary's eerie skull display did attracted some attentions in the community and Alice's business boomed due to that reason too. Though the visitors were many, but the killer was still at large...

Three years later, a stout young man came to Alice's shop to see the skull... As soon as the man came face to face with Mary's skull, the lifeless skull suddenly jumped up from the display cabinet and shrieked: "Killer! Killer! Killer!..."

The young man's face turned pale and he collapsed onto the ground. A crowd hastily rushed to prop him up and someone in the crowd shouted: "Hey! This gentleman is Michael, Mary's former lover..."

The commotion also drew the local constable to the scene and still paralyzing Michael was sent to police station to be interrogated. Perhaps Michael was too tired to disguise himself after these years in fugitive, he confessed that he was Mary's killer.

According to Michael, the day before Marry was to be married, he visited Mary in the hope to persuade Mary to cancel her wedding and escape with him to other county. But Mary refused and a heated argument broke out and in a gust of fury, Michael strangled Mary to death. 

After Michael has committed the crime, he tugged the lifeless body of Mary inside a hole of a large oak tree and fled the crime scene. He later traveled to the Far East and became a successful merchant only to return to Britain a few week ago. It was not his plan to come to Alice's shop but some mysterious force drew him in claimed Michael.

Since Michael has became a murder suspect, he had to be locked up until trail. However, Michael had hung himself in the cell with his belt perhaps to redeem his long outstanding guilt.

Mary's skull was later laid to rest with the rest of her remains.

I was curious of what had become of Mary's fiance. So I asked Neil: "I don't supposed you were Mary's fiance Neil?"

He just raised his mug and said to me: "Bottom's up mate!"

I thought I already got the answer.

The Skull 4: Tree Roots (骷髅4:树根)

Believe it or not? Tree roots can cause mysterious pains to descendant of a deceased...

I visited Mr. Anh Dung in his mansion in Hanoi, Vietnam as for a reason otherwise people like me would not have a chance to meet this rich businessman. According to Anh Dung that he and his siblings were attacked by strange illness where all of 5 folks were having severe migraine and eyesore almost at the same time.

His brother who was in the USA had the same problem while his eldest sister in Australia also had the same symptoms. Likewise Anh Dung's two brothers residing in China and himself also suffered from the same mysterious migraine and eyesore; specifically the pains were concentrated on the left side of the skull.

After exhausting all available modern diagnostic technology, Anh Dung had a very strange dream. In that dream his late father came to him and said that something pierced into his left eye and brain and the old man was suffering. He asked Anh Dung to help him get rid of his nagging problem. Felt clueless to what his father was trying to tell him, Anh Dung suddenly awakened in his dream by the crying sound of his 3 year old son.

Still bewildered of his pa's message, Anh Dung tried to consult spirit medium and fortune tellers in Hanoi but received no satisfactory answer until one day he had a lunch meeting with one of his Hong Kong business partner, Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee invited Anh Dung to have a drink in a local pub but Anh Dung declined on the reasons of migraine and eyesore. Lee's natural response was to ask Anh Dung to consult a specialist but after Anh Dung relayed he and his siblings' nagging issue and his strange dream, Lee suggested to Anh Dung that his problem might be caused by ancestral grave Feng Shui and not medical related.

Anh Dung was curious but he wasn't too believe in Chinese Feng Shui but Lee said that it is no harm to ask someone to have a look as he will introduce an acquaintance to Anh Dung. And you have guessed that the person was me. And that was how I ended up in Anh Dung's house.

After looking around Anh Dung's mansion, I suggested to him that we should visit his father's grave. Anh Dung agreed and we started our journey first thing in the next morning. 

It took us slightly more than 1 hour to reach the grave of Anh Dung's dad. There were many huge trees surrounding the grave and the place was quite tranquil. 

I took out my compass and took some readings but nothing too unusual as Anh Dung has hired a very famous Feng Shui master to do the site selections and auspicious timing selections.

Finding no clues of what went wrong, I started to frown and Anh Dung could be seen giggling beside me as he didn't expect me to find faults with the grave. So after pondering for a while, I suggested to Anh Dung that we should exhume his old man's grave as the problems must be in the grave.

That suggestion was not a welcomed one as digging out the remains of someone of status is still a big deal to his descendants for the fear of disturbing the already good Feng Shui. Seeing that Anh Dung was indecisive, I decided to pack my bag and go.

But before I even ventured to take a step, Anh Dung took out a pistol and pointed at my head and said: "Do you dare to bet on your life? I will shoot you at point blank if there is nothing wrong underneath the grave?"

Though I can see ghosts but I have no six senses, I could only guessed. It was a case of damn if I do, and damn if I don't. I had to do something so I bit the bullet and said: "Just pull the trigger if there is nothing wrong."

Mr. Anh Dung was a powerful man in Hanoi and he immediately summoned a few diggers to the site and start digging the grave.

Soon the diggers reached the coffin cover and tree roots were seen entangled with the cover and it took the diggers great efforts to lift the cover. And as soon as the cover was lifted, the old man's remains were largely buried within the tree roots leaving the old man's skull that could still be seen. Even so, the old man's skull were already very tightly grasped by tree roots making it very difficult to be separate out.

Anh Dung was satisfied with my prediction and as it will take hours to separate his pa's remains from tree roots, he decided to leave the job to the diggers and we returned home.

There was no need for me to remain in Anh Dung's house so I excused myself and took the next flight back to Malaysia.

One month later, I received a letter from my pal, Mr. Lee. There was a cash check and a note with message: "Payment for your Feng Shui audit. Anh Dung's migraine and eyesores were gone. You are always welcomed to visit Anh Dung! TQ."

I liked the generosity of Anh Dung but not his hospitality... no one can enjoy when a pistol is pointing at his head, or can you? This is the first time and last time I performed Feng Shui audit under a gun point. Ha!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Skull 3: Bonsai (骷髅3:盆栽)

If you have tired of ordinary bonsai, try this one and you will be surprised...

So far I have only seen a few real specimens of this special bonsai in the secret altar of a sorcerer in Vietnam but this method can be traced from Song Dynasty. There is a description that instead of bonsai plants, beans of 5 colors should be planted in a skull collected in the wild. I believe this is the predecessor of Vietnamese Ngai magic but more studies should be done and this will be another interesting comparison.

This skull with beans should be kept in a shady spot in the house until it started to grow. If the ritual is successful then the beans will germinate and grow with minimum sun light. Incenses and food offerings should be given to the skull and seedlings twice a day.

It is best to vacate a small room specifically just for this skull based bonsai as this specific bonsai will give rise of a type of very fierce spirit that cannot be worshiped together. I was lucky enough to visit another very rich Vietnamese of Chinese descendant who has a special room just for skull bonsai. No one except the owner was allowed inside, children were especially forbidden to play close to it in the fear of their weak souls being attacked and devoured by the skull bonsai spirit.

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to this skull bonsai while I performed Feng Shui audit for the house owner, Mr. Anh Dung. According to Anh Dung, this skull bonsai must be fed with an egg twice a month: once on the 2nd day and the other on the 14th day of Lunar Months. Whenever Anh Dung has any unresolved problems, he would enter the room and meditate in front of the skull bonsai to get guidance. Up until then, the skull bonsai has never disappoint him.

Anh Dung also admits that his grandpa owned fairly big business in old China before the civil war during the end of 1940s. His grandparents fled to Hanoi, Vietnam in early 50's penniless. An old Vietnamese taught Anh Dong's grandpa to perform this skull bonsai ritual and fortunately with half faith, the old man followed the Vietnamese's advise and the luck of Anh Dung family took a sudden change until they started to do import and export business and became millionaires.

When I met Anh Dung, he was the only one left behind to look after the family business and this special skull bonsai. All his relatives and sisters have migrated to either USA or Europe. Perhaps it is Anh Dung's wish to spend the remainder of his life with this eerie heirloom skull bonsai but I didn't venture to ask him.

So, if you want to get rich, then try this special human skull bonsai! Don't take my words for it as the risks are all yours! 

The Skull 2: Conversation (骷髅2:谈天)

"Skull, skull what can you tell me?"

Poking a skull for answers is a very ancient game when there were not so many entertainments around. I am not sure when this game started but a record from Song Dynasty (宋朝) mentioned something similar:

Poke the eye sockets of a skull with weed and hang it up, and it shall talk.

Another similar game is to find a skull in wilderness and wash it with flowers and water. After it is cleaned thoroughly, then put it on a stool and light a piece of incense stick. Then poke this burning incense stick into the eye sockets of the skull and murmur some words such as: "Skull, skull tell me about yourself..."

Repeat the words until the incense stick is burnt half way. After that go to sleep and the spirit of the skull will appear in your dream and have a conversation with you.

If you do not intend to keep the skull, then either bury it or leave it where you found it and the game is over. Otherwise, you can keep this skull for further use as when you are more attuned to the spirit of the skull, it can be your informant on the forthcoming affairs.

For example, the skull will make noise or it will jump up and down if it is placed on a table if a very serious disaster is approaching. So said, not many decent people like to keep a skull in their homes not to mention that real skulls are extremely difficult to find these days... In some countries, the possession of human remains is illegal too.

When I was a kid and staying in a rubber plantation, human skulls could be easily found in bushes in between rubber trees then. Kids then especially in rural areas have nothing good to do and they can play with just about anything they can find.

Human skulls naturally became one of targeted games after dinner for kids. The adults too may sometimes make use of this little game to ask for lucky numbers and my late grandma won a few thousands of ringgit once after she asked for lucky numbers from a skull I picked from a bush behind her house.

I had played such games many times in my granny's rubber plantations and indeed, all sorts of spirits came into my dreams to talk and tell their stories. Some were just talking while others demanded food offerings, yet some asked me to help them find their survived relatives.

My skull game halted when my granny became an ardent Buddhist. She forbade me to play with skulls instead, granny coaxed me to accompany her to the temple when I was a little too free. So I gradually lost interest with human skulls. Furthermore, when old rubber trees were being chopped down for replanting; most human remains were exhumed and cremated. With the end of skull supply, I was forced to convert to do other stuffs else.

The Skull 1: Hunters (骷髅1:猎人)

The skull started to say: "Hot! Hot! Hot!..."

This is another story told by Albert and it came from his late old man who was also a keen hunter. The time was right after the WWII, somewhere around 1946. That was when the time of chaos and every thing was lacking. While others need to worry about sources of meat, not so for those hunters as they can find plenty of small animals in local tropical jungles.

According to the story, Albert's pa, Senior and a few other hunters went to hunt in a jungle and after roaming in the jungle for deers. After roaming around for hours, they decided to stop by under a tree to have dinner. Since it was around 4pm and the environment in the jungle darkened very fast.

So said, the gentlemen gathered around and took out their respective rations, sat down and start eating. One of the hunters known as Boy found himself a human skull and sat on it as if a stool. He was having some green chili meat with rice. So Boy and the rest of the folks chat while eating their food.

After Boy had finished his food, he suddenly plugged some whole green chili pieces into the mouth of the skull he sat on and jokingly said to the skull: "If you do not complaint, I shall treat you accept and enjoy these green chilies! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Although someone among the hunters cautioned Boy to show some respect to the dead, he just brushed aside the advice given by his seniors.

Since the sky was turning dark, the hunters figured that they must make a move to return home. No one wanted to spend his night in the jungle which was then scattered with landmines leftover by either Japanese Imperial Armies of the Allies.

Just as the group turned their back headed for home, the skull which Boy has sat on suddenly being lifted up by an invisible force and started to scream: "Hot! Hot! Hot!..."

Everyone was shocked but those were seasoned hunters and some had fought in the war, so instead of ran away, one of the hunter aimed his rifle at the skull and fired some shot. The skull was broken into pieces and dropped onto the ground.

Even so, the sound of 'hot' still lingered in the air...

A few days later, Boy again joined another group of hunter to hunt in the jungle again. When he passed through the same place he sat on the skull, he suddenly tripped and lose his balance; and his head subsequently knocked onto a boulder in front of him. This impact has caused serious injuries to Boy's skull and he fell into comma.

Boy was subsequently carried back to his home for treatment. Unfortunately, Boy died a week later. According to his wife, on the night Boy passed away, some eerie laughing sound could be heard echoed in the middle of the air... "Ha! Ha! Ha! Hot! Hot! Hot!"

So people were taught to respect human remains and not to play with those human parts whenever they gone into wilderness. I supposed we should respect the deceased regardless if the above story is true.