Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Secret Of White Candle (白蜡烛)

In Chinese culture, white candles are normally used in memorial service or as offering to the deaths and ghosts. There is one occasion that care must be taken as not to extinguish a burning white candle: that is when a white candle is lit outside of a house to guide a lost soul back home. This soul calling ritual is normally for those people who died of violent causes outside of their houses. A normal situation is an automobile victim who died on the road.

I always wonder: would a ‘gui lou’ (westerner) communicate well with a ‘gui’ (Chinese ghost)? Perhaps the below story would give us a telltale sign…

Elma is a German expatriate working in a MNC in Penang. Though he was only 3 years here, he already had an encounter with a Chinese ghost.

Elma and I met in a few occasions but we weren’t very close. One day he gave me a call and asked if we could meet somewhere. So we fixed the appointment in a local German restaurant:

Elma: “Hey, I feel funny lately… seems that I got a feeling I am being watched and someone is stalking at me…”

Me: “I thought you German are not so superstitious?”

Elma: “No. I don’t believe in that sort of things… but a few times in the middle of the night, my TV in the living was switched on; so was my computer!”

Me: “Have you visited a psychologist to check out?”

Elma: “Yes. But the psychologist said I was too tired and needed rest.”

Me: “Have you done anything spiritual such as attending a séance or visited a funeral parlor or something like that?”

Elma: “Why did you ask that?”

Me: “Well… I am seeing a young ‘man’ covered with blood, with broken limbs and bulging eyes… and he is just standing behind you…”

Elma pondered for a while and finally said:

“Hmm… I don’t know if this related… but a few weeks ago, when I returned from work at night; I saw someone has left a white candle burning outside of his gate. I am very careful about unattended flames, so I sort of extinguish the candle to prevent fire mishap…”

Me: “In case you are not aware, the white candle left outside is meant to guide a lost soul back… since you have extinguished the candle flame, the spirit has nowhere to go but stick with you!”

Elma: “What should I do?”

Me: “Beats me! I thought a ‘gui lou’ can communicate with a gui?”

(Of course, I eventually sent the lost soul back… apparently a ‘gui lou’ cannot communicate with a ‘gui’.)

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