While Buddhism is no doubt originated from India, Although Buddhist diet and medicine is heavily influenced by Buddhism and local customs, its main structure is still faithfully adhere to the Indian Ayurvedic system. So said, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Buddhist medicine is quite different in their theory and complexity.
Interestingly speaking, as with various Buddhist schools; there is no single topic of so-called 'Buddhist medicine'. As we shall see, the Hinayana Buddhist would have a different set of unique technique compared to the Mahayana Buddhist. Likewise, the Tantric Buddhist would have a different set of technique to the Sutrayana.
For example: Just like the Ayurvedic medicine, tantric diet and medicine make use of foods in the balancing of our chakras and energy flows. This unique feature is not seen in Thai medicine though there is a set of physical exercise known as 'Rusei Dutton' or 'Thai Yoga' which is said to be very effective in healing physical body pains.
Also unique to the Thai and Tibetan medicine is the use of 'kata' or 'mantra' for curing illnesses and making medicine. The use of mantra is not widely used in the Chinese Buddhist medicinal systems now a days.
Just like the Islamic medicine and Taoist medicine, Buddhist medicine make use of some of Buddhist doctrines to explain the origin of illnesses. This is perhaps a stumbling block by those non-Buddhists to understand Buddhist medicinal systems.
Hidden under the carpet of Buddhist medicine are many varieties of herbs and animal products employed in this treatment system. Of course, this medicinal ingredients varies according to places as well.
Thai medicine makes use of many different plants compared to the Tibetan medicine, and the Chinese Buddhist medicine has another set of unique herbs to follow.
It is practically impossible to compile a complete work of Buddhist medicine in a new blog that I would start working. But my concentration would be on the theory and practice of Thai medicine including some other systems such as Tibetan and Chinese system.
Unfortunately speaking, Buddhist medicine maybe lost in time as there are fewer and fewer practitioners out there, so it is just my effort to record what is out there and while the material is available.
Since Buddhist diet and medicine blog is of special interest and research nature, and that the materials can be daunting, I do not plan to open the materials to the public at this point. This will be a very long project to handle.
I would at this point take a break to recollect more information for the next writing.
30 years period is a long time in our human life and that I think I have enough information to make a conclusion about magic overall.
This post is just to say that I am still out and about perhaps running in forests looking for herbs.
For a change, if you send me emails, I shall try to answer them in this blog openly whenever possible including Feng Shui and Astrology reading requests.
Due to my personal commitments, I cannot promise that I will be able to answer all those mails.
Again, I cannot handle requests for TD empowerment or related requests due to my busy activity schedule.
This blog is not closed and when I feel that I have something to post, it will appear in this blog. If I do post then, it would not be as frequent as before perhaps,
This and other blog materials maybe edited or removed over time as I deemed fit.
As for now, business shall be as usual.
For the time being, please continue to enjoy the material.
Please feel free to send me suggestions if you so wish desired. If you do write, you can send me mail in English or Chinese.
Last but not least, thank you for visiting.
People say that beauty is only skin deep. This is perhaps true for no matter how pretty a lady is, she will not be able to become popular consistently over time. What one needs is to be 'charming'. If a person is charming, then even he/she is 80's years old; this person will remain as popular as before if not more.
Unfortunately, not everyone is born charming although a person can still go to perform plastic surgery and resort to makeup techniques to look pretty.
Among all animals and spirits, Taoists believe that the fox is the most charming of the all. This belief is accepted by Chinese generally speaking and the one who became a third person in other's relationship is called a 'fox spirit' (狐狸精).
Generally, being called a 'fox spirit' doesn't ring a bell in the West but a Chinese lady would be at most upset when being labelled as such.
Let us push so-called 'ethical' issues aside as without 'charm', one is an outcast in our appearance-centric society. So, the question is how to become charming like a fox?
The below ritual requires one to get a piece of fox item: the whole fox fur, the tail or anything like that. Since this ritual originated from Chinese Taoist magic, it is perhaps best to get an Asian fox. Though foxes from Europe or America may also be used.
To begin with, for a lady or a man deemed himself as a lady; he/she should get a complete fox fur with head and tail. Then this person should get a beautiful doll or the 3D sculpture of the artist he/she desires.
Then he/she also need a clean table or altar to put first the fox fur and then the sculpture on it. Now we also need some fresh flowers, some makeup items and an incense burner.
The most important thing is that this altar must be constantly be kept clean and that the flowers offered must not wither.
After this altar is set up, the practitioner should perform visualization exercise twice daily: the morning and evening.
The visualization is very simple: he/she must first invoke the fox spirit into his/her body and make the necessary changes so that he/she become more charming.
There is no fix way to practise. For example: if you are a sales person and you want to increase your charm, then just think of the face you want to become and that your customer base increased.
If you are still single, then you can do the visualization accordingly.
People followed the above ritual will find themselves become more attractive and attract attentions and make friends easily. A sign of initial success is that the person's eyes will become a little elongated and slanting upwards towards the end, just like a fox.
For a more advance level, the practitioner can increase his/her charm by absorbing the energy of sun and the moon once a month. I would just leave this part out for now.
The above ritual is safe if it is kept as it is and that no deep meditation involved.
Perhaps where the Chinese is, the banana spirit follows.
Below banana ghost story had been introduced before by Singapore paranormal show: "Incredible Tales'. For the benefit of those who has missed this series, I would just run through it briefly:
A desperate man heard that it was possible to get 4D lucky numbers by the help of a banana ghost.
So, he went to the forest and found a potential banana plant.Then on the trunk, the man stabbed a pair of iron scissors and then he tied a piece of red string on the handle of the scissors while the other end the other end of the red string is tied on his left middle finger.
After performed what was required, the man just laid down under the banana plant and waited until night fall.
Not long after dark, the man heard a very loud eerie cried came out from the banana plant. A blob of glowing greenish mist was seen emitted from the banana tree which gradually took the shape of a pretty naked young lady.
The lady begged the man to pull out the iron scissors as the scissor was hurting her.
Holding that as ransom, the man requested that the banana ghost to give him sure win 4D lucky numbers to exchange for her freedom and pain relief. And the banana ghost complied.
After satisfying what the man had asked for, he became greedy and continued to press for more 4D numbers but refused to release the banana ghost.
Soon, the man became very rich and due to his arrogance and unscrupulous, he has offended many people.
One of his enemies found the secret to the man's success, the enemy then went to the banana plant and pulled out the rusty iron scissor.
The next day, this rich man was found dead in the most horrible way by his maids. Perhaps the banana ghost has finally sought its revenge after all.
There are a few variations to this story but the ending is the same. The tale I heard is slightly different from the Incredible Tales.
Unlike ghost stories of Taiwan which are secretive, and unlike the Japanese ghost stories that come with tradition; ghost stories from Indonesia are full of demonic entities...
The Indonesian ghosts are normally capricious and they can easily be transformed into demons.
Now, please be seated and listen to Putri's banana ghost story from Surabaya, Java.
Java is located in the tropics and many household would plant one banana tree or more at the back.
Javanese also believe that if a banana tree is constantly smeared with blood, then over a period of time; a 'spirit' can be fostered. This possible as it is quite common that local folks would use urine to fertilize banana plants, and a lady's urine during period contains a small quantity of blood.
This type of spirit came out from banana plant is fond of transforming itself into handsome man or pretty lady. Let us just label it as 'banana spirit' for ease of story telling.
This banana spirit when formed like to mate with human to absorb their energy so as to become more powerful.
A distant relative of Putri, Pak Kevin was originally a tall, macho and vigorous man. After he met a lady 3 months ago, Pak Kevin transformed into a pale and skinny person.
Pak Kevin's friends thought his new found girlfriend was questionable but Pak Kevin didn't want to believe what others said. So, he continued to befriend the lady.
One of Pak Kevin's friend finally said to him: "It is okay that you want to befriend the lady. But please do just one thing; and only once we will not trouble you anymore."
Pak Kevin heard what his friend has to say and thought the request was harmless and agreed with the suggestion.
The friend took out a piece of sewing needle with a piece of red string attached to it. He asked Pak Kevin to attach the needle on the lady's clothing the next time they meet.
On that night, the lady came and before she left, Pak Kevin quietly attached the needle on the lady's clothing.
The next morning, Pak Kevin's friends came to visit again and they followed the red string to a banana plant just outside of Pak Kevin's bedroom. To their surprised, the needle was plugged into the trunk of banana plant.
The crowd decided to ax down the banana plant and when they did that, sticky brown color liquid substance with disgusting bloody smell splashed all over the place.
Pak Kevin and his friends became panicked and call out for the villagers. The folks then burnt down the banana plant into ashes.
Pak Kevin's mysterious girlfriend has never appear since and he recovered as healthy as before.
People still believe tall and huge banana plants in Indonesia are likely to be possessed by ghosts. So, it is not advisable to enter a forest grown with banana plants or just simply touching those banana plants.
Borrowing money from loansharks would be the worst thing you want to do that I can assure you. It does not matter if you have fully paid your debt or not because they can find all sorts of excuses to ask you to pay several times... even after they are dead!
Ah Long was a fisherman living in Medan, Northern Sumatera. He was also a loanshark who lent out money to the needy city folks.My pal, Budi used to borrow money from him as his interests were quite reasonable unlike those rates charged by Malaysian loansharks.
One day, Ah Long was found drowned in Strait of Malacca. Of course, many of his debtors were happy because they thought following the death of Ah Long, all of their debts will become void.
However, before they can celebrate, Ah Long returned from his grave to haunt the debtors at night...
This ghost would knock on the door of whoever owed him money after midnight in turn. When people opened the door, they would see expressionless and soaking wet Ah Long standing by the front door asking for money.
Ah Long would leave a pool of sea water at the location where he was seen. Many debtors went to his grave and buried whatever sum they owed Ah Long so that the ghost can rest in peace.
Unfortunately speaking, Ah Long continued to haunt his neighbors and also his family members. The ghost continued to return to his house and sleep with his wife. Whoever touched by Ah Long's ghost would find himself/herself sticky wet.
Gradually, people felt impatient and annoyed. They asked the help of some religious folks to exorcise the restless ghost.
After some efforts, Ah Long's spirit was said to be apprehended and finally laid in peace.
This is the end of Budi's story concerning a loanshark. While Ah Long is rest in peace, many other Ah Longs are still out therer. If you have engaged with any one of this Ah Longs, then other than crossing your fingers and run. Whatever you do, just leave your innocent parents and relatives alone please.
Just fairly recently, I had a farewell dinner with a Chinese social escort who had earned enough to make a decent living back home.
During the dinner, I have noticed that this lady let's call her Alice for now made some kind of hand gesture on her plate of rice and murmured some mantra.
Perhaps Alice noticed that I have fixed my gaze on her seemingly strange action, she told me that all her doings was for her 'protector spirit' which has helped her to clear her debt and brought back another handsome some.
Alice attributed her success to her protector spirit as during a few years' stay in Malaysia, she could make somewhere between MYR20k to MYR40k every month! Can you imagine how to earn this sum of money tax free every month as a Malaysian or Singaporean?
Of course, I didn't believe in the power of her so-called protector or guardian spirit or any sort of nonsense. Instead, I would attribute to her attractive figure of perhaps 38-24-36 that has attracted the lustful Malaysian and Singapore uncles to donate handsomely to her.
I have no dealing with Alice but my pal Eric was her loyal patron who has been donating MYR150 every week to contribute to her enormous wealth together with others. While others need to pay income tax, Alce was somehow exempted.
So, forget about those hantu raya, khodam or even kumanthong; find the one similiar to what Alice possessed: i.e. the figure of 38-24-38 and the money will rolling towards you!
Of course, Alice is not the only money magnet here in Malaysia, there are many more in those metropolitan city across the country. I am sure you will be able to pick up one and donate to their well beings too!
Maybe the actual 'protector spirit' is in fact my pal and all those have patronized her over time! This is indeed a very cleaver lady... Eat your hearts out! Ha! Ha! Ha!
I would say that the below case is one of the most interesting ones I have come across over the years:
This event occurred in the end of 1989, the protagonist is the Chung Chung Restaurant of Tai Po Village.
One day, there was a phone call to order 4 take away meals to the west side of Tai Po Tin villa. So the waiter sent the meal order to the address as per the instruction.
In front of the villa, the waiter pressed the doorbell. There he waited for a long time to have a person come and opened the door. After receiving the money, the waiter returned to the restaurant.
On the same night when the boss was closing his account, he found a few sheets of 'hell notes' hiding within other notes. Feeling frustrated, the boss called his workers to interrogate, but no one would admit having any knowledge of those 'hell notes'.
The next day, there was a phone call to send a takeaway; it was the same address as the previous day.
Again, on the evening during book closing, the boss found a few hell notes. The boss was furious,
and he interrogated his workers, but he still has no clue. Finally, one of his worker told the boss about the take away orders. Though disbelieved, the boss decided that if the same order arrive again, he would send the take away personally.
Sure enough, on the third day, another take away was to be sent to the same address. This time, the boss decided to go outside to send the order himself.
At the location, the boss pressed the doorbell. The opened and someone in the villa paid the money. This time, the boss personally examined the money on hand is real enough. But for the sake of insurance, he put the banknotes in a separate box.
In the same evening, after the end of the business day, the boss as usual counted the banknotes received for that day. He took the cash out of the box but found that those money in the box has changed into hell notes!
Soaked in cold sweat, the boss decided to lodge a police report.
Upon received the boss's report, police officers went to the address to investigate. After they pressed the door bell many times but received no answer. They decided to break into the building.
After broken into the villa, the police found 4 dead bodies lying on the floor apparently died a few days ago.
Very strangely too, when the police investigators inquired the neighbors if they knew anything about the deaths, all of them unanimously said that none of them were aware because they could hear people talking loudly and playing mahjong in the house.
Later, according to forensic report, the cause of the deaths was over inhalation of carbon monoxide.
Interestingly, no one has any clues why those dead did not know they have died a few days back...
Rangsit University is located in Bangkok, Thailand and it is believed to be pretty haunted because the university is located in swamp area and that the university is surrounded by many abandoned houses. People believe that swamp area is not so auspicious and that empty houses attract ghosts.
There are many ghost stories concerning Rangsit University but I only have two in hand:
1. The lift of the 3rd school building
It is said that the 3rd school building is the oldest building of the Rangsit University.
The lift of the school building functions perfectly normal, but this lift always give troubles upon night fall. The weird thing is that this lift will never arrive at the correct floor after dark. For example if you press on the button of the 6th floor, this lift will never get to the 6th floor; instead you may be brought to the 5th floor or somewhere else.
My friend's son once attended night class in the 5th floor of that building and he was the last one who left the class.Everything was perfectly normal as he waited in front of the lift lobby.
When the lift came, he entered and pressed the 'G' button to go down to the groundfloor. The lift descended as normal at first but stopped at L2. So he thought that no harm done to walk two floors down.
Since the lift didn't move, he walked out of the lift compartment and in front of him was a total darkness.
The young man became scared and he wanted to go back to the lift but the door had closed. Given no choice, he continued to walk in pitch dark and he saw a small candle flame floating in the air in front of him.
Somehow enchanted by this candle light,my friend's son continued to walk and walk...
Suddenly he felt pain on his cheeks as if something was slapping him hard.And then he heard the voice of someone yelling from afar to near: "Hello! Hello!"
Gradually he saw the face of a man in security officer uniform in front of him. Before he could ask, the security officer asked: "Young man, what are you doing walking round and round on ground floor? And why are you running when I asked you to stop!?"
Staring at the young man's blank face, the security guard brought him to the university clinic for a precautionary checkup.
The young man was then picked up by his father a few hours later. He told me his bizarre encounter. I told him this is called the 'ghost maze'and he was lucky as didn't fell over the 5th floor!
Many people claimed to have seen the reflection of a lady in white inside of the lift compartment in dark but there is no mirror in the lift. Perhaps the lady in white has played a joke on my pal's son?
2. The female toilet of the 5th school building
This is a real case. Many years ago, a lady student was being dragged by her boyfriend out from examination hall into the toilet. After an extended quarrel, her boyfriend gunned down the poor girl and then he too committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Since the incident, passerby would hear the noise of people quarrel and followed by a few gunshot sound.
If a person is lucky, then he would be able to see the shadow of a man dragging the girl into the toilet.
Some lady students claimed to have seen the reflection of a long haired lady appeared in the toilet mirror when they were washing their hands.This reflection seemed to beg for help and when the students turned their head, there wasn't anyone at their back. When they look into the mirror again, the image was gone.
Perhaps that was the restless spirit of the murdered poor girl?
I have talked about my bizarre incident with lift in Bedok area. Talking about Bedok, Singapore, we should not have missed out mentioning the infamous Block 99, Bedok North Avenue 4 suicide case where a mother threw her toddler down from 25th floor.
Incidentally, this case has become the subject of 'Incredible Tales' a local paranormal series aired a few years ago.
It was said that the husband was seeking divorce because he owed some 'ah long' (illegal loanshark) a lot of money coupled with he was having affair; but the wife refused to a divorce. Consequently the couple engaged in constant quarrels until the wife decided to end her and her toddler's lives together.
This case was classified as suicide by the authority.
The most eerie of the case was that the wife worn her red wedding gown when committing suicide. Although she didn't leave any suicidal notes, she did use her own blood to inscribe one horrible sentence: "Dear, it is not over yet!"
After a while, the husband wanted to sell the flat but there was no taker. Not long after that, his mistress became pregnant. Naturally the she now married to this man and became his wife; and moved into the flat to stay together.
Some time later, when this child reached 3 years old, strange things started to happen...
This 3-year-old kid would start to giggle and play with an imaginary friend. When the maid went to investigate, the kid would be observed to talk and laugh at one corner; and he told the maid that he was playing with his 'brother'. When the father is told about his child's behavior, he just brushed aside that was a child's normal behavior.
On the same night, the kid suddenly walked into the master bedroom and told his father that his 'brother' was bullying him. The man scolded his kid but the kid would not return to his own room.So, they slept together.
A few nights later, the man heard some kid's crying sound coming from his son's room. He thought that crying sound was a little too familiar... it was too close to the crying of his deceased kid.But when the couple went to investigate, they found nothing.
Then one day, a panic cry from the maid brought the parents to the master room. There they saw their only son stood by the brim of the opened window. When the kid saw his parents, he appeared to be very happy and said to his parents: "Goodbye dad, mom! I will fly with bother superman..."
After the final words, the kid gave his parents a flying kiss and off he jumped out of the window; and disappeared from his horrified parents' sighting.
Both the mother and maid immediately fainted...
The next day, when police investigators came to investigate; both of the couples were speechless due to extremely horrified. The police found some writings inscribed with marker pen: "This is for mummy!"
The police has classified the case as unnatural death. Of course the culprit has never been apprehended.
I am not sure if the flat is still empty now. But people in the neighborhood claimed to have heard laughing sound of woman and kid...
Lift is an indispensable utility for high-rise buildings such as HDB flats. It is indeed an unique dimension of its own; an eerie space at night that can gain access to the spiritual dimension...
Once I was visiting a friend who stayed on the 10th floor in a flat in Bedok at night.
Since he was on the 10th floor, there are only two options: by stairs or by lift.
Just a few steps before I found myself in front of the lift, a lady carrying her baby rushed into the lift compartment and the lift door closed.
I felt a little disappointed as I hate to wait for few more minutes for the lift to come down so I started grumbling: "Damn! Can't you even have the courtesy to wait for me for a few seconds..."
While cursing, I start pressing the up-button and waited for the next lift to come down.
At this juncture, the lift door opened again...
My jaw dropped and my eyes wide opened, the lift never moved and there wasn't a single soul there!
My ex-girlfriend is a nurse in hospital.
Once she was on night duty and as she took her midnight round, she came to the lift lobby and saw a little girl sitting in a wheel chair seemingly waiting for lift too.
So, my ex asked her why was the little girl up and out in the lobby at this wee hours: "Young lady, why are you here at this hour? Where are you staying?"
My ex's intention was to send the little girl back to the nurse-in-charge of the sick ward. After a while, the little girl replied: "I am staying in the 8th floor..."
So, she pressed the up-button and the lift arrived. As soon as the lift door opened, she pushed the wheelchair in the lift and then pressed the 8th floor.
Then the indicator light showed someone has pressed the 5th floor and the lift stopped, the door opened. A nurse stepped in and the lift door closed again and moved upwards.
The nurse saw my ex and asked: "Why do you go to 8th floor at this wee hours?"
My ex replied: "Oh Fiona,it's you! I found this young girl in the lobby so I want to send her back...
Fiona, if I am not mistaken, you are the one in charge of the 8th floor right? Can I pass her to you instead?"
Fiona stared blankly at the wheelchair and at a lost she asked: "What little girl?"
My ex turned her head and dumbfounded. The wheelchair was empty!
No wonder people said that the lift is one of the most haunted place in this metropolitan city!
There are some words just best to be kept alone. For example, one should not comment on a tombstone unnecessarily.
The below story is told to me by Uncle Tan, who was a 'saikong' or Taoist specializing in deliverance service.
One of his friend, Ah Beng assisted Uncle Tan in a funeral rite some 10 years ago.
When Uncle Tan was blessing a paper made maid, Ah Beng suddenly jokingly said: "Did you aware that the body feature of this paper maid is very sexy?"
Around 12 midnight, the funeral rite ended for that day and everyone returned to their homes except the host.
Ah Beng lived in a HDB flat. He waited in front of the lift and just as when the lift door opened, a beautiful lady came along and both of them entered the lift.
In the lift compartment, Ah Beng stared lustfully at the pretty lady.
Now that the lift has reached the 9th floor and the lady still yet to press the floor button. Feeling strange, Ah Beng looked at the lady's face and asked where she intended to go.
At this point, the face of the pretty lady turned into the face of the paper maid that Ah Kow had jokingly referred to.
A few hours later, unconscious Ah Kow was found by a security guard who went out for rounds.
The next day,Uncle Tan brought Ah Kow to the front of the paper effigy to apologize.
Even though the paper maid has not reappear since, Ah Kow had become some how insane and he constantly talked to thin air in front of him.
I have seen Ah Kow at a later date and didn't find any spirits near him. Perhaps Ah Kow has in fact scared himself into madness.
I believe that the Malaysian langsuir somehow refers to the 'raksari' or female demon in Hindu mythology. The langsuir is sometimes described as owl-like or bird-like figure, while raksari is believed to be of bird-like nature in its original form.
However, both langsuir and raksari can transform themselves into extremely pretty ladies.It is said that no man can resist their beauty and not fallen pray to them.
Langsuir is sometimes confused as a 'pontianak' among the Malaysian. Personally, I think langsuir and raksari are not of human nature while the 'pontianak' is actually the vengeful spirit of a pregnant mother.
There are many stories about raksari that I heard and perhaps seen in the wilderness:
I have many times walked in the wilderness at night or dusk and saw some very big 'bird' flew over my head accompanied by heart rending shrieking laughter. Of course those might just be big birds for heaven's sake, but those night birds were just too weird to be ignored.
Once I hiked up the Bukit Jambul Hill near dusk and as I approached a booth built for the convenience of those hill hikers at hill top, I thought I saw a very pretty lady in green in the booth.
But as I approached the booth,the lady suddenly flew out of the booth into the evening sky.
I turned my head and asked my friends but they just said that I was seeing things due to stress.
My grandma told me a story that happened in Guangxi, China that she heard many years ago:
A young man living in the same village of grandma like to drink and womanize.
One night after he had a cup too much, he staggered alone to him house. In the middle of his returning journey, this man met a very pretty lady in green.
This young man started to molest the lady and asking her to sleep with him.
At first the lady ignored the young man but after his persistent engagement, she agreed.
So the couple returned to the house and spent a night.
One day past, the young man's parents felt strange as they had not seen their son. The father then peeped through the door seam and to his horror, he saw only the severed head of his son in the bed.
Frantically, the father summoned a few villagers to force open the bedroom door...
As soon as the door is opened, a giant green bird flew out from the door and disappeared.
Similar story about langsuir in Karak Highway:
A couple was travelling along Karak Highway just past midnight during a foggy night.
The car suddenly broken down on the roadside.
The husband decided to seek for help while the wife sat in the car waiting.
After a long wait, the husband has not returned...
Then a police petrol car came by and it stopped at a distance from the out-of-order car...
Out came a policeman swiftly and gently approach the wife and then quickly pulled the lady out from the car while saying: "Quick! Follow me!"
Though the wife felt strange, she complied.
As she came out of the car and walked towards the police car, she turned her head and saw the severed head of her husband with an owl-like creature eating what was left of her husband...
Hence I think langsuir and raksari is the same creature. Unfortunately, I cannot catch one of each to compare!
Old Chinese believe that the life after death of a person is just like the living. So one needs houses, cars, money and in some instances, servants too. This belief gave forth the profession of paper craftsmen. These master craftsmen can make just about anything: mansions, houses, cars and human manikins.
The most human shapes are the pairs of servant and maids. These human manikins are just human manikins before empowerment ritual. Once they are empowered, then these effigies are deemed to be 'alive'. So, experienced Taoists would only empower these paper crafts right before they are burnt. This is to prevent these inanimate objects from wandering about and scared innocent folks.
I myself have seen half Merce moving in the middle of the night when I was in Padang Rengas when I was small. Later, my grandma told me that it was the half-burnt paper made Merce taht I saw. Apparently someone's offering wasn't burnt completely.
Below is a story of my distant relative happened in the early 60's.
Uncle Kow was a distance relative from my father's side.
At that time, Uncle Kow stayed in a rubber plantation in Kuala Kangsar. Houses were built scattered across the rubber plantation on private owned lands. It took the 10 year old me to walk 15 minutes from my grandparent's house to Uncle Kow's.
Uncle Kow was single then and lived alone. He tapped rubber trees in the morning and sell fruits at night in the Kuala Kangsar town. So, by the time he returned from town, it would normally be after 9pm.
One day, Uncle Kow returned home at night as usual. He passed through a household holding a traditional funeral rites.
Without thinking too much, Uncle Kow hastened his pace as though he wasn't too superstitious; he didn't like to look at the deceased's photo displayed right in front of the altar.
After about 50 yards away, there Uncle Kow saw a young lady wearing maid's attire. Though feeling surprised, he approached the lady and asked:
"May I know what are you doing walking in the dark alone?"
"Oh, I just came out to take a breath of fresh air." The lady answered.
So both person started to chat and the lady said that she was Ah Moy, a maid of the deceased's family.
As they talked, both of them reached Uncle Kow's house.
Since both of them felt that they have much to talk about still, Ah Kow invited the Ah Moy into the house and they spent an intimate night.
Later, Ah Moy told Uncle Kow that she would be travelling the next night. Reluctantly, Uncle Kow gave Ah Moy his heirloom necklace and she returned the favor by giving him her red handkerchief.
When Uncle Kow awoke in the morning, Ah Moy was no where to be seen.
Missing Ah Moy, Uncle Kow decided to visit the deceased's house first to pay respect and more importantly to look for Ah Moy.
Uncle Kow wasn't a stranger to the deceased's family. After some casual talk, Uncle Kow asked about the maid, Ah Moy.
To his surprised, the answer from the deceased's son was: "We have no money for maid. The only one is this paper manikin for my late old pa!"
Uncle Kow looked at the direction of the finger point, there he saw a life size paper manikin of a maid. Strangely speaking too... it was wearing Uncle Kow's necklace!
Due to extremely fright, Uncle Kow yelled out loud from the bottom of his lungs and fainted.
Since then, he fell ill and passed away a few years later managed to tell his story to me.
According to old literature, this 'sha energy' (煞气) is transformed by those gases released from corpses.
My friend, Wong has so-called 'psychic eyes' and he can see ghosts. He told me his very strange yet untold encounter:
Wong attended a funeral service, the host were in the process of putting the deceased into a coffin while other mourners were waiting in the main hall.
At that time, Wong was sitting in a corner of the main hall. In that position, Wong was able to see the corpse and the coffin. Suddenly something attracted Wong's attention.
The thing looked as if a blob of green mist lingered at a distance of about 3 feet above the head of the corpse... This of course, can only be seen by Wong alone with his special capabilities.
After the deceased is fitted into the coffin, it was the turn of mourners to pay him the last respect.
One of the deceased's close friends approached the dead and lowered his head to look at the face of the dead with the intention to express his condolences. Then all of a sudden, Wong saw this blob of mist suddenly sped toward this mourner and wack him in his face.
The man immediately fell onto the floor unconscious and he was subsequently propped up by others to take a rest. People thought the man fainted due to overly emotional stress. Of course, only Wong knew who or what was the culprit.
Hence according to Wong, unless someone is of close relatives of the deceased or professionally related; it is better to keep a distance when a corpse is being fitted into a coffin. If one is experiencing bad luck, it is even advisable not to attend any funeral services for his/her own good.
Having said so, the choice is still yours of course!
During my stay in Singapore, I have heard and experienced some very strange things:
I rented a room in Bouna Vista during my on the job training. Once the landlord family went out for a week's tour to Taiwan leaving me alone.One evening I was sitting in a sofa reading newspaper and the TV set is just opposite me.
As I was flipping the newspaper, my eye sight suddenly cough hold of a long haired figure stood by behind me from the monitor reflection. This has shocked the living daylight out of me and instinctively I turned my head. But there wasn't anyone there!
I turned my head again to look at the TV monitor, there the figure was! It still stood silently behind me.
What else? I knew I have seen things... quickly and quietly, I put down the newspaper and went to bed early. Since I was alone, it is better safe than sorry. I didn't want to offend any ghosts as yet.
Before I moved out of the place, I asked my landlord if he has seen anything strange lately. And he said: "Ah, you must had seen my heirloom spirit as it would show itself to people at times..."
In another incident...
It was around 2am when my pal and I returned from pub hopping. As we was walking and chatting, we suddenly saw an old nanny burning joss papers by the road side.
At first we were not bothered but suddenly we thought that it was lunar 7th month and further... who will burn anything during this wee hour? Further,the old nanny has no feet....
So, we both shouted out: 'Run!" and we ran as fast as we could.As we ran, we turned our head and looked back. There weren't anyone there, not even traces of ashes!
One night, I returned from my training and as I walked to the front of a lift and found my shoe string has loosened.So I moved aside and bent down to tie my shoe lace.
At this time, a figure walked passed me and walked towards the lift.I instinctively raised my head and saw the lift door opened, and the figure entered the lift compartment.
It was quite normal and I continued tying my shoes.But after I finished tying my shoe lace, the lift didn't move at all. Feeling strange, I watched and watched and the lift stay put at ground floor still...
Feeling curious, I pressed on the door open button and to my surprised, the compartment is empty. In a state of shock, I rushed up the staircase two flights at one time!
This story is from my friend, Jane:
When Jane first came to Singapore, she rented a room in Commenwealth area. One day, she went out with her landlady to shop in Orchard Road.
Opposite them came a figure cladded in white robe. As they were approaching, Jane looked at the figure's face and to her shock, she saw the festering face of an old lady with a lot of pustules...
Before Jane can have a second thought, her landlady suddenly dragged her hand and ran as fast as they could while shouting: "Run! That thing is a ghost... it has no legs!!"
This is perhaps the most simple money magic specific to Singapore only. Of course, only those brave and desperate ones can perform this ritual.
According to local belief, ghosts need a large quantity of salt to prevent their bodies from further decomposing.
The method is the brave heart must first pack many small packets of salt to make sure that the salt supply will not stop. Otherwise, very things will happen.
Then before dusk, he/she must find a suitable place in the cemetery and squat down comfortably with his/her head stooped while waiting patiently for his/her potential 'customers'.
A note worthy thing is that this person must not raise his/her head or must he/she fall asleep too. In addition, he/she must not leave the cemetery before dawn; or his/her life would be in jeopardy.
In the event of transaction made, when the 'customers' put their money in the seller's hand and taking the salt; the seller must resist the temptation to peep at the 'customer's face (or very bad things will happen...)
Upon the first ray of morning sun, this salt seller must quickly pack up and picked up his 'hard earned' cash; and leave the cemetery before day breaks (or very bad things will happen...)
It is said that the money thus earn will not transform into 'hell notes' as the stories of mid-night taxi drivers.
Practically speaking, if you try this method in Singapore or Malaysia now a days; you may be robbed or be arrested in suspicion of drug addict! Of course, I could be wrong... Ha! Ha! Ha!
Mount Pleasant Cemetery is situated around Upper Thomson Road and it is said to be one of the most haunted places in Singapore, definitely a place for the brave and the bold ghost hunters.
This cemetery was originally part of 86 hectares Bukit Brown Chinese cemetery, but the pan island highway cut the cemetery into two.
The Mount Pleasant Cemetery does not live up to its name 'pleasant' as the place is covered by shrubs and always dark and gloomy. Many passerby didn't even notice there is a cemetery located there.
There is one winding path lead to the cemetery entrance and many old graves are already in a decaying state.
It gets more eerie as the place is surrounded by Malay paduak (pterocarpus indicus) trees after night.
Of course the scariest of all is not those folks resting under the graves, but seeing pontianak flying from one tree to another accompanied by those eerie shrieks that could make anyone tremble with fears.
Legend has it that the predecessor of Mount Pleasant Cemetery was a Javanese village and many bomohs kept and controlled these pontianaks for their magical deployment.Although the village is no more in existence, those scary pontianaks still linger on and watch over the place.
Rumor has it that mutilated dead bodies with internal organs and reproduction organs were being scattered around the said cemetery. People believed that was the work of pontianak. Or perhaps the work of some meat eating animals since tigers were found and killed in that area some dog gone years.
About a decade ago, when I was posted to Singapore, I joined a friend to visit the Mount Pleasant Cemetery at night.
As we walked among the graves carefully, suddenly a white UFO whooped over our heads with shrieking sound.The incident happened so fast that by the time we lifted our head, the thing was gone. But we can still hear those scary crying sounds surrounding us for quite a while.Perhaps that was some kind of giant night bird we thought later.
I have not revisited Mount Pleasant since then. Perhaps the pontianaks or whatever they might be are still there. If you dare, do go and visit this place sometime and try your luck.
This is a story told to me by a Thai friend and he assured me that this is a true story:
A very handsome sales person has successfully pursued the daughter of a rich businessman. Despite objected by her parents, this lady decided to marry the handsome guy of her choice.
However, a few years after their marriage; the man started to date other ladies. The wife eventually learnt of her husband's affair with other woman and she threatened that if her husband does not return to her side, she would commit suicide.
At first this man yielded to his wife's threat but after a while, he started to see other women again.
Again, the wife repeated her threats but this time the husband decided not to return to his wife no matter what she said. In despair, the pregnant wife decided to commit suicide by jumping out of her apartment's balcony.
Now that this sales person is single and available again and he thought he would be able to fish any chicks as before, but almost all women he met would be attracted to him at first, then after chatting for a while, they would just turn their head and flee from him in a haste.
Not only the man's love life turned sour, his career as a sales person also being affected. Not only he failed to attract new customers, his old customers also started to shy away from him.
Gradually this salesman became lonely and out of job. Then one morning, after breakfast, he walked aimlessly in a street and a monk came towards him asking for alms. He gave the monk what was left in his wallet.
The monk paused and then looked at the man's face for a while; then the monk opened his mouth: "Generous donor, I am not supposed to take your donation as you need it more. But the Buddha is compassionate that led you to me.
I can see a lady spirit holding a baby following close at your back with hatred and sad stares. May I ask what had troubled you?"
On hearing the words, the sales man raised his head and look into the monk's face for quite a while and burst into tears: "That must be my wife... hadn't she let me go? I am broke and lonely... everything gone very wrong!"
The monk nodded his head and said: "Young man, your wife is full of hatred right now. You can only pacify her by engaging in dharma act and repent for your life..."
The salesman now on his knees and asked: "Can you show me the way?"
The monk subsequently brought the salesman to his temple and before long, he too became a monk.
If you would ask, this salesman turned monk is precisely the story teller.
After telling his story, he asked: "Is she still around?"
I pointed at his back and said: "Perhaps you need to work harder..."
Santau has been over-publicized and misunderstood over the years in Malaysia. It has became the collective noun for black magic and almost everything supernatural falls into this category; most of all a tool for some party to spread rumors and persecutions.
I believe the Malaysian Santau technique originates from India. As described in the book 'Malay Poisons and Charm Cures' by John D. Gimlette, Indian added poisons while making earth-wares to cause slow poisoning. While the old Malays smeared poisons on their keris so as to kill their enemies.
Many ingredients used in making santau are described in the above mentioned book. The technique of making santau is much more advance and lethal than the Indochinese Phi Phop (琵琶鬼) or the Chinese 'mountain-wind poison' (蛊毒).
As with all systems, a spirit is required as an agent for transmitting poisons although the actual one who drops poisons is still the sorcerer himself/herself.
As mentioned before, the purpose of administering santau or related techniques is for money mainly and revenge secondary.
Many stories told of travelers and especially merchants in isolated locations in Southern China and Indochina were being killed by unscrupulous rest house owners for their money. It is believed that the souls of those killed by santau type of poison are forced to serve the santau practitioner. Similar rumors were also went viral earlier in Malaysia that certain restaurant owners would drop santau in their dishes to poison their customers.
It is believed that a santau practitioner must 'sacrifice' one life in 3 years or his/her santau spirit will devour the master. But I think the main motivation is for money than for keeping ghosts to serve the sorcerer.
Since materials for santau making are irritants: glasses, bamboo hairs, caterpillars etc., once this mixtures are consumed; it directly attack the digestive and respiratory systems. Thus causing coughing, vomiting or difficulty to breathe. If lethal poisons are added, the victim may die in relatively short time.
So, logically speaking; the effects of santau are purely physical and nothing spiritual. Until today, I am not sure why spirits such as Hantu Raya or Phi Phops are employed in santau sort of systems.
I have major headache when people blamed a person of different characters a potential santau caster over some perhaps their own health problems, or even of jealousy in nature. Now you know what santau really is, stop persecuting others please.
Below is a story from a friend, Minah suspecting her friend of casting 'santau':
"Previously, I am a factory worker staying in a hostel with 5 other friends. So, there are 6 of us and two persons share one room. I stayed with my old school mate while others only known after I start working with this factory.
Just for the purpose of telling story, I will call my 5 other friends as: Alice, May, Jess, Joy and Mary. Among the 5, Alice is know of her special ability to 'see ghosts' at all times. She is quite weak and her family also said to possess a 'saka' (heirloom spirit) and they are also victims of 'santau' by their neighbor.
Alice and I were roommates. One day, Alice was seriously ill. According to Alice, she returned home to receive treatment. Before Alice leave, she told me that there one of our housemate was the culprit of casting 'santau' on her due to jealousy.
In addition, all 5 of us also suffered from consuming 'foreign material' except Mary. It was a fact that Mary was the one who was so willing to cook for us.
Alice said that she saw a spirit in our hostel all the while but she just ignored the spirit as it seemed harmless. No wonder Joy kept complaining that the toilet door was being knocked when she was in the toilet!
I was curious as why Alice suspected Mary was the culprit and her reason was that one of her visiting relatives was possessed by this spirit. This spirit spoke through the relative's mouth that it hated Alice because of her beauty...
Alice's father quickly brought Alice and the possessed one to see a 'bomoh' (witch doctor) and after some treatment, the spirit was captured.
Strange thing during the same night, Mary became restless and quite jumpy compared to her normal calm self. When I looked at Mary's face, she looked as if someone was seriously sick panting for breathe.
I remembered Joy once told me that Mary acted strangely talking to thin air every evening in the kitchen. When asked, Mary only answered that she was just greeting her grandmother... Strangely speaking, Mary's grandma has gone to the other side for many years as far as Joy knew...
Personally, I pity Alice as she has suffered a lot. According to Alice, once she almost fell from the 2nd floor workplace. As the story goes, while Alice was working, she heard someone called her name. Due to curiosity, Alice went out to investigate. Suddenly, Alice saw her father called her at ground floor.
Just as when Alice was walking towards her father, her supervisor shouted at her and all of a sudden; Alice suddenly awakened and her father was no where to be found..."
When asked to comment, I told Minah that the symptoms are not signs of 'santau'. Basically, santau is meant to take lives through poisoning. The purpose of casting 'santau' is for revenge and the sure sign is vomiting of foreign objects or blood. It is a means to 'kill and rob' travelers' especially merchants' goods or fortunes while keeping their souls as servants of black magicians.
Minah's story is only product of active imaginative minds unfortunately speaking...