Sunday, October 30, 2016

Conversation With Drowned Ghost (与水鬼谈天)

Kids now and then love waters. Where there are lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and seas; traces of kids can be found. Since open natural water bodies are not monitored by anyone, drowning cases amongst kids are very frequent especially during school holidays. Hence give forth the belief of drowned ghosts dwelling these water bodies.

Life in rubber plantation can be quite boring for kids especially when the adults either went out to work or busy in the kitchen preparing for dishes. So, times in between meals were indeed a kid’s happy hours. As a kid then, I always go fishing at a pond known as Golden Pond by the locals. The pond was once rich with tilapia fish, carps and snakeheads. I have seen an angler dragged a 3ft giant snakehead out from the pond myself.

Other than fishing and swimming, there are some games meant to be played in the evening or night. Normally dinner was served around 5pm by my grandma and after dinner we the kids would then play some games either to summon a spirit with an Ouija board, or listening to grandpa’s old time story. There were another types of ghost hunting games meant for older and bolder kids too. Oh, TV and video games were out of reach to us then…

First, there was the ‘watching drowned ghost’ game where two kids would sit near the waterfront of Golden Pond holding a piece of newspaper. Two small holes would be poked on the newspaper for one kid, so four holes are required for two kids. Before starting the game, some food offerings normally rice, sweets and biscuits would be placed in front. A pair of candles and some incense are burnt to attract the drowned ghost in the Golden Pond.

The kids would sit quietly near waterfront while holding the newspaper. They would peep through the holes from the newspaper towards the water surface for possible sightings. It normally takes 30 minutes or so to see some reflections on the lake. If the players can keep cool, then nothing would happen to them as no further contact would be made with the spirits. I have seen a shadow that resembled a friend drowned in the pool some years ago.

Second, there is another game to ‘hear voices of drowned ghost’. It is a simple game as the player only needs to find the most haunted spot of the lake and then either by standing or sit down; he/she should put his/her hands around his/her ears as if trying to hear something. If this person is persistent, then after a while; some noise could be heard. The person should just listen and he/she should not try to communicate.

The third game is a more advanced game. A player should get a piece of green bamboo and some joss papers. He/she should pick a spot he/she thinks where the drowned ghost is. Then, this person should plug the green bamboo into the water and then he/she should throw some joss paper towards the sky. After that, he/she should bow down and inclines his/her head so that his/her ear is parallel to the surface of the water.

Now, the player shall hear some kind of voice. At first the voice would either be blurred or high-pitched. Slowly he/she would be able to make sense of what the voice means. One can respond to this voice by physical speaking to it. This conversation can go on for a few minutes. Whatever it may be; please do not promise the voice anything. Before the person goes back, he/she only needs to throw another round of joss paper into the air. One thing to note is that, this player must not look back!

As far as I know, no one would play these types of monotonous games nowadays anymore. After all, computer games are much more exciting than conversing with ghosts…

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