Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mah-jong Ghosts (麻将鬼)

Talking about mah-jong ghosts of Tun Mun Road, that made me think of ghost stories concerning mah-jong…

Mah-jong is a means of gambling originated from China and flourishes in Japan, Southeast Asia and throughout the world. Proponents think mah-jong can train a person’s mind and make the mind active. Some companies in Japan even judge their potential candidates by their Mah-jong playing skills. Perhaps these mah-jong players do not aware that their enthusiasm for mah-jong carries beyond this life…

It is not a surprise that people likes mah-jong. It would be out of the blues if I say the ghosts also like mah-jong.

If you don’t believe me, try asking four persons playing mah-jong in a known haunted place be it in a hotel or in an abandoned house. Wherever you have chosen, don’t do it in your house and definitely don’t try this during the 7th month of Lunar Calendar!

In order to attract ghosts, a white candle should be lit in all four corners of the mah-jong table. Instead of real money; joss paper should be used instead. When everyone is ready, then the game can begin. After a few rounds of playing, each player would have different sensation: some would feel heavy shoulders, numbness on the shoulder or chillness at the back. These are signs of some presence around the players. If the players continue to resist their fear and push on with the mah-jong game, then more strange things could happen amongst the players including spirit possessions.

I would not encourage anyone to persist, but if you do try; then let me know what did you see…

George is a Hong Kong actor whose grandma passed away a few year ago. George’s grandma was a mah-jong fan and she had a few mah-jong pals whom she used to visit for overnight mah-jong games. Normally, grandma would be dragged back if she was out for a little too long with her mah-jong pals. Once George’s grandma lamented that she even wanted to die while playing mah-jong…

Seven days after George’s grandma died, his family prepared for her ‘soul returning night’ (回魂夜). The next morning, George’s mom went down their apartment to de her routine morning exercise. She met one of granny’s mah-jong pal, Aunt Mary after her exercise in a local wet market. Aunt Mary suddenly asked George’s mom: “How is your mother doing? She came to us asking to play mah-jong throughout the night. She said that this is her last mah-jong game. I am a little worry as her face didn’t look so good…”

Stunned, George’s mother replied: “Are you sure? The old lady passed away a week ago; and last night was her soul returning night! I thought it was strange that she didn’t give me a dream… Unexpectedly that my mom went for her mah-jong game with you!!”

I heard of similar story when I was staying in that old rubber plantation in Kuala Kangsar…

In old days, rubber tappers would wake up at around 3am and start working at 4am till 10am the latest. Because once the sun shines, latex would be hardened and it would be difficult to process good quality rubber sheets. So, most of the afternoon time would be free. Some rubber tappers would do other jobs such as planting vegetables, tobacco or even rearing poultries and cattle. Well, those were the hardworking ones. For others however, gambling would be the majority options.

There was a small sundry shop at the road junction of the rubber plantation where many of those free rubber tappers met after lunch. A hut was built for those rubber tappers to play mah-jong in the afternoon and the night.

Four very good buddies: Mark, Jack, Richard and Tom were local rubber tappers and mah-jong fans. These four buddies were always sighted to be together wherever they went and sharing almost anything except their wives (just joking). Since 4 is a magic number for mah-jong; these four best buddies naturally became each other’s mah-jong buddy too.

One day, after Mark had a mug too many and he fell into the Golden Pond and drowned. Following Mark’s death, the other three buddies stopped playing the mah-jong games as they found it very difficult to get another player who could play with them.

Then three months later, Jack dreamed of Mark. According to Mark, he was very lonely in the underworld and he longed for a mah-jong game. Further, Mark wanted all his three buddies to accompany him for the mah-jong game.

Had Jack just purchase a set of mah-jong and three paper manikins in lieu of the three buddies, then the story would stop here. But after hearing Jack’s story; Richard and Tom brushed aside as Jack’s own vivid imagination.

A few months later, Richard and Tom was diagnosed with cancer and less than a year later; Richard and Tom kicked the bucket in the local hospital. Before they died, they yelled out: “Please don’t lock the door, I want to go out to join Mark!” My grandpa was in the hospital visiting them at that time so he heard the two buddies’ scream.

After Richard and Tom’s funeral, Jack was feeling pretty scared and unhappy for he knew his days maybe numbered. One evening after dinner, he suddenly told his wife that he must go to join his three mah-jong buddies as they are waiting for him outside of the house. Of course, Jack’s wife didn’t heed his hubby’s hidden message well. The next morning, she found Jack hung himself on a rubber tree in front of their house.

Now that the number of mah-jong players is met, the four good mah-jong buddies can start playing their beloved mah-jong again. These four would be seen playing mah-jong in the hut behind the sundry shop after dark especially during full moon. Their mah-jong games lasted until the hut was mysteriously burnt down a few years later.

So, if you too are crazy of playing mah-jong; then beware that your mah-jong games may last for all eternity…

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