How many ‘ghost kings’ are there in Penang if you ask? Although I am not very sure of the actual numbers because as one so-called ghost king died, another one emerged automatically. Most of these famous ‘ghost kings’ are dubbed by people outside Penang. Hong Kong entertainment medias had a role to play too to bring up the names of Penang ghost king.
While I cannot comment on the ‘current’ Penang Ghost King, I do have a story about former Penang Ghost King Tek.
Ah Tek was a famous character who was said to have fostered hundreds of ghosts and people would just call Ah Tek as ‘Uncle Tek’. Uncle Tek was said to be famous in 70’s and 80’s. Old Penang folks would remember this special character. Many famous Hong Kong stars had witnessed the power of Uncle Tek. It was said that in the mid of 70s, the notorious haunting of former location of an emporium at Nathan Road, Hong Kong was settled by Uncle Tek alone. Besides that, many movie stars were also once faithful customers of Uncle Tek.
However about 10 years ago, a Hong Kong TV station tried to search out Uncle Tek for a special edition. When they finally managed to find Uncle Tek at his temple, the originally stout 6ft physique of Uncle Tek became thin as a lath. According to Uncle Tek that he was a victim of Thai black magic and he would die soon. It was said that when this special edition was finally aired, Uncle Tek already passed away.
A famous story of Uncle Tek was that one night he was having dinner with some visiting Hong Kong stars. It was around midnight and the group was having supper at a hawker center at Gurney Drive.
One of the lady actress asked Uncle Tek half jokingly that if Uncle Tek can really ‘show’ them some real ghosts in front of their naked eyes. And Uncle Tek agreed without hesitation.
After the supper, the group travelled to an old Chinese cemetery nearby and Uncle Tek performed some incantations. It was reported that most of the members of the group actually saw many white orbs raised from surrounding graves as Uncle Tek was chanting.
In a state of panic, many group members scrambled into their van and to be found in horror that the van was already ‘filled’ with ‘people’!
I didn’t have a chance to meet Uncle Tek, but I supposed he was only expert in ghost magic otherwise he would not be harmed by Thai magic. Anyway, that was the story told to me by a Hong Kong friend and not a local. Funny but true that the locals don’t even recognized their own ‘ghost king’!