Sunday, November 27, 2016

Hearse Drivers (柩车司机)

Another source for ghost stories would be the hearse drivers for these professionals are tasked to transport dead bodies throughout the countries days and nights.

John is an experienced hearse driver for 15 years and though he admitted that it is most of the time just mind over matter. However, once he was tasked to send the corpse of an old nanny back to her hometown in Sitiawan, Perak from JB. The whole journey would take almost 9 hours and John started his journey at around 10pm the night before so that he could reach Sitiawan in the morning. So happened that the nanny’s 20-year-old grandson, Jimmy wanted to hitchhike along and John was just too happy to comply because he dreaded to take up this long travel alone perhaps due to boredom.

The hearse reached Batu Pahat at around 12 midnight, John wanted to take a short break and stopped the hearse beside a food stall. He invited Jimmy to join him for a tea break and both of them alighted the hearse and enjoyed themselves. About half an hour later, John thought it was time for him to resume his journey and he signalled Jimmy to go into the hearse.

Before John started driving, Jimmy who was sitting beside the driver seat suddenly wanted to move to the back seat where the casket was placed. Though that was odd and a little scary for a living person to sit beside a corpse; John thought Jimmy just want to sleep more comfortably as it was indeed more spacious in the back.

About an hour or so after departing from Batu Pahat, somewhere approaching Seremban; John suddenly heard the sound of moaning and groaning came from backseat where Jimmy was supposed to be resting. So, John stopped the hearse by the roadside and turned his head to find out what had happened. There he saw Jimmy who was supposed to be sleeping suddenly opened his eyes wide and said in an old woman’s voice: “I want to go home… I want to go home now…”

After murmuring a few words, Jimmy suddenly opened the backdoor and ran out from the hearse. Worrying something bad might happened to Jimmy, John gave chase and he was able to catch hold of Jimmy and secured Jimmy onto the ground. The commotions of them struggling by a house woke the tenants out. A man came out to investigate as he thought two drunkards were fighting beside his house.

When asked, John told the man what had happened. The man then returned to his house and returned with a bottle of cold water; and he subsequently poured the water onto Jimmy’s head and recited some mantra. After a while, Jimmy calmed down and he was himself again. Somehow he was curious as what he was doing out of the hearse in the darkness.

Another hearse driver, Pak Haji told me that once when he was sending a deceased lady from KL to Penang at night alone, just somewhere before reaching Kuala Kangsar; he heard the voice of a lady weeping very sorrowfully. He immediately looked at the rear mirror but he found nothing unusual. Then he suddenly noticed a presence in the passenger seat beside him… It was the figure of a black-faced, long-haired women in white. She just stared straight without any facial expressions.

Pak Haji knew it was the restless soul of the deceased he was despatching. So, he slowly said to the eerie figure: “Calm down mam, I am trying to send you home for prayer in the morning.” According to Pak Haji, the lady in white sat beside him for a few minutes or so and vanished.

In another incident, when Pak Haji was despatching another deceased to Teluk Intan; he heard the moaning sound of an old man came from the gasket in the hearse compartment. Then some knockings on his side mirror and he saw a puchong moved parallel to the hearse. Pak Haji knew that perhaps the deceased was some kind of ‘bomoh’ (shaman) in the possession of a Hantu Raya (big ghost). Because the bomoh failed to release his kept ghost; it has nowhere to go but to follow the lifeless corpse.

So, Pak Haji stopped the hearse by the road again and invited the pochong to go into the hearse. He said to the pochong: “Please come into the hearse and join your master. Let God make the judgement later.”

Very strangely too, after Pak Haji has said those words; the pochong vanished into thin air. According to Pak Haji, we should not be afraid of those supernatural beings for the more we are afraid; then the more likely they would disturb us.

If you care to speak to those hearse drivers, maybe you will hear their side of the stories. The question is: It may be a person’s first time and last time to see a hearse driver!

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