Monday, April 4, 2016

Perak Waste Tin Mine Pond (霹雳废锡矿湖)

Tin mines were once in abundance in the state of Perak in Peninsula Malaysia. In fact, the word ‘perak’ refers to ‘silver’ which is a misnomer of ‘tin’ since both of them are silvery in color anyway. Many towns in Perak were founded along with the flourishing of tin mine industry. For example: Taiping, Ipoh, Kampar and etc. However the tin mine industry started to decline in the 80’s and very few still in operation now days.

What are leftover by tin mine are big and small waste mine ponds scattered across the state. Many of these waste ponds are refilled to give way to new housing projects and many others were left alone or larger ones being developed into recreational areas.

There are many inherent problems with these refilled areas and one of them is because the loose ground foundation that some of those houses built on refilled lands were ‘swallowed’ by deep holes after 10 years or so. Such news still surfaces until fair recently but due to more precautions being carried out; there are lesser incidents these days.

Another problem with a waste pond is that wherever there is water, there are bound to be fatalities of drowning. Almost all waste ponds take one life or two every year especially during school holidays. So locals believe those people drowned would become water spirits (水鬼) and trapped inside the ponds forever or until they are delivered through religious rituals.

Of course, not many modern housing developers believe in spooky nonsense and these waste pools are normally refilled and houses built on the refilled area quickly during the booming of housing industries in between 1970-1990. Sealed underneath those houses were those restless water spirits turned earthbound spirits.

While I was staying in Ipoh in the 90’s, a newly house built on a previously waste pond in Ipoh South was said to be haunted. The house owner known as Wong said that his bedroom floor would suddenly become wet and water would seem to ooze from underground until a pool of water is formed.

At first Wong thought it was the pipe leak or even the air-conditioning condensation that have caused the accumulation of the water. So he has spent a lot of money to perform inspections and he even changed his piping and drainage systems. But the problems persisted.

Gradually, Wong noticed that there was some kind of presence in his house and that every time this entity materializes; the place would be very wet. So much so that Wong’s house become so moist that fungus started to develop and strange patterns started to developed on walls; some of those patterns were said to be resembled the agony faces of boys!

Last time I heard was that Wong’s has finally decided to abandon his house and move out. Strangely speaking too, his neighbor has never experienced any odd encounters.

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