Sunday, July 22, 2007

Longest Cemetery on Earth

I recently started reading my True Singapore Ghost Stories vol 14 which I have purchased like more than a few months ago and I was in for a shocking discovery when I stumbled upon one of the stories revolving one of the Wonders of the World.
I couldn't believe my eyes and yeah, laugh at my naive mind, I just couldn't believe it and this has led me to numerous researches and readings (yeah, including looking up my own encyclopedias) on this.

The Great Wall of China (aka Wan Li Chang Chen in Chinese which means a Thousand Miles) was a historic structure which stood tall as the defender from Mongolians and invading parties from the province and borders of China; one of the giant powers in Asia or the world.
Established during the reign of the first and notable emperor in the history of China, Qin Shi Huang, this was an amazing structure which remains one of the wonders until this day. The origins of the wall actually started in the Spring, Autumn during the warring periods and was a fort of defense by the 3 states at war; which include Yan, Zhao and Qin. Following the continuous and endless modifications, the wall was finally joined together - hence the birth "Great Wall" today as the brainchild of the mighty Shi Huangti in his efforts to defend the country against the Huns residing in the northern borders of China.

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The complexity of the structure and also the drawback in technology back then was not a deterring factor from a solid barrier to shield the country from attacks and this is one of the main reasons this wall earned its place in the World's Wonders' list.In fact, the wall itself took more than centuries to complete and in the process; it has also gone through re-structuring, re-building, and also relocating of the wall which span across several regions; from the boundaries of Korea all the way to the Gobi Desert. In fact, this wall was also the joint combination of several local walls built by the warring states.

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The structure of the wall resembled that of a dragon as it winds in a wave of upward and downward shape due to the platform it was built upon; ranging from deserts, pastures, hills, mountains and plateaus and boast of an astounding distance of 6,700 kilometres; which is about 4,163 miles all the way from the East to the West of China.

The wall has gone through numerous remedifications; renovations and extensions across the succeeding dynasties as well until forming most of what it is today in the Ming Dynasty; (source from Webster)
1. 208 BC (Qin Dynasty - the origin)
2. 1st Century BC (Han Dynasty)
3. 1138-1198 (the Five Dynasties and the 10 Kingdoms Period)
4. 1368 (Ming Dynasty)

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Stretching all the way across all the warring counties; a total of 100 counties and 9 provinces, the Great Wall starts from the eastern end of the Shanhai Pass, Qinghuangdao in the Hebei province next to Bohai gulf; and traverses through Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Ningxia;ending at the Jiayu Pass in the Gansu province which was also the opening to welcome the Silk Road travellers.

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The glory of the Wall stood; defending the country from harm until the invasion of the Manchus through the same great wall.
The wall fell to the hands of the Manchus who succeeded in entering China after convincing the general guarding the Shanhai pass and hence, the whole troupe of Manchus came into China where they ruled the throne thereafter.
Following the admission of Manchus, the wall lost the original value it was built for - which was to guard against the biggest foe who were the Manchus themselves.
Thus the wall became a legacy and a landmark in the China history.

Besides the history of the purpose and the strength of the wall, the basics of the foundation of the wall was built by human. Yes, with the bare hands of the men back then who knew no day and night and most of whom have perished in the process as well.
The marvellous works of the men despite the limitations in the construction technology back then attributed mainly to the status of the structure (the Wall) being one of the Wonders in the World.
However, this also contributed to one of the tragedies; the loss of the human lives in the process of the building of the wall.
The labour then comprised mainly of convicts, prisoners, political criminals, and slaves who were forced to work on the wall. It was a strenous and tiring process and as history states, the wall building spanned over a period of century and thus, most of the workers perished along the way.
Furthermore, the burden and the exhaustion had also caused most of them to collapse and their remains were buried along the way; beneath the sand and bricks which build up the wall.
Besides this, it was known that most of the men in the workforce were so tired and they could not take it anymore that they attempted escape.
However, any runaways or any attempts to escape will be caught immediately under the watchful eyes of the soldiers guarding the wall. The punishment for some of them will be a live burial; yes, these people attempting to escape will be buried alive with the sand and the ingredients under the wall.
It's pretty scary back then and it is a misery to hear those cries of agony.
With regards to those incidents and the number of deaths; with the length of the wall, it is understandably that the building of the wall had also claimed numerous lives; and this has linked to the Wall's nicknamed as the 'Longest Cemetery on Earth'; a fact to prove that more than the number we ever imagined were buried along with the wall and as part of the building structure.

I came across this featured story in the TSGS whereby a man was possessed by one of the spirits trapped here and he related to the miserable and pitiful spirits who died an unjust death and still begs for freedom.
It is really a pain to discover that a wonder is actually constructed of pain and tears but yet, gazed at in awe by visitors and history enthusiasts today.
This is a realistic depiction of the Chinese saying " Of blood and perspiration"....
Let us just admire and be solemn as to respect the perished souls involved in the labour process of the Wonder of the World and the pride of the people who have contributed not their hands and strength but also their lives for a legacy which stands until this day.

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Sources: Travel China Guide, Webster

Ghost Tree in Malaysia?

I am not sure how many of you have read about this but it seems that Malaysia has her own spot in the paranormal sightings and stories among the other spooks in the world.
An old article in 2006 (September), revealed a pinang tree found in one of the villages in Kepala Batas; located in the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia.
The tree; was said to have an unusual shape formed on it and that it resembled a scary-looking face which has been drawing crowds to the exact spot where the tree stood.

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The face was located at the base of the frond.
The owner of the tree was amazed but quoted that this was the 2nd time that the 10-year old tree has sprung up with an unusual shape on it; whereby the first time, the shape resembled that of an eye.
Unperturbed, the owner even quoted that the this shape will last for an approximate of 2 weeks in which it will shed naturally.
With the attention garnered from the tree, the villagers have also taken the opportunity to sell off the photos of the face on the tree at the price of RM2 per copy.
At the same time, while most have termed the tree as a "ghost tree", the elderly community in the village have passed some words to the visitors as not to make any comments on the tree.
Here are more links to this:

I find this really amazing and yet at the same time, I must say it is really baffling as to how this formation could happen. I may have missed out any scientific explanation related to this...
However, there were also numerous claims on the different types of sights they are all viewing and some even quoted that it does not resemble anything and is just a form on the tree.
Well, perhaps some can see it some just can't; just as in see what you want to see or what your mind/perception tells you to see.
Whatever it is, I find this a rather interesting happening in my own country....
I wonder what formation the tree has on it now?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Friday the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th, the famous superstition in the Western culture that it is deemed a very unlucky day and that unfortunate events may occur or misfortune may befall anyone.
How did this folklore or story originate?
In Eastern culture, on the contrary, particularly in the Chinese community believe that the number 1 and 3 are good; in fact, the combination is an auspicious number and brings the meaning of livelihood.

I have done some findings through various sources; including Wikipedia to Urban Legends, and I have compiled some of the myths and stories that were linked to how Friday the 13th came about...

It seems that this belief goes all the way back to the time of the Last Supper and also stems from the Christianity roots of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, etc.
At the famous Last Supper, it seems that there were 13 at the table; Jesus and his 12 disciples.
Thirteen gathered in the upper room on the night of the Last Supper. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.
And on that night itself, Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples...and during dinner, he has famously uttered these words, "Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me.' (Mark 14: 17-18).
Jesus answered them, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spoke of Judas Iscariot . . for he it was that should betray him. (John 6: 70-71).

Also, Jesus's death and crucifixion falls on a Friday....the Good Friday now becomes an unlucky Friday? Well, it was a mourning day as our Lord died on that day but it is also coined with the origins of the bad luck that comes along with that day, termed as the sixth day of the week.
In fact, this belief was so profound that any child that was born on a Friday is predicted of a bad life; doomed to misfortune. Courting and marriage should also be avoided on this day; at all costs, and one should not consume butter and eggs that were churned and laid on that day. Even moving house or starting a new job (reporting to a new office, etc) should not take place on that day.
And of course, travelling is forbidden as well.....following the fishermen's saying, "A Friday's sail, always fail"

Such strong were these beliefs on the date and day itself that Western folks would not stay in room No.13 or a house numbered 13 (rather 12 1/2) and even hotels and inns will not number their rooms or floors with the number 13. One of the famous examples was the Cavendish Hotel in London which was completed in the year 1966, where there was no 13th floor to be found.
Some people will go to the extent of refusing to go to work on this day for fear of mishap or bad luck to befall them.

Another source; or rather, one of the main sources was the famous story of the Knights of the Templar which originated from the King of France; King Philip IV of France who carried out a mass arrest and forcing charges down those innocent people; causing a public and nationwide humiliation which remains strong in the memories of the county until today. That date was infamously the Friday the 13th; October 13, 1307.
*Knights of the Templar - was the famous legendary order of monks...or warriors in the holy serving who gathered together during the Crusades war; as part of the Christian army to battle against the Islams. They gained their fame and respect through their invasive and undying fighting spirit and were renowned as a strong force and fighter team for more than 200 years.
Such strong was their influence that they were viewed or treated as political threats to kings and the monarchs,popes or government in power by 1300s.
The fall of the Knights of the Templar was caused by the conspiracy kindled by the church-state political struggle.
Back then the King of France was King Philip IV, also popularly known as Philip le Bel, the Beautiful who ruled the kingdom and constantly running into financial problems which led him to resort to all sorts of methods to obtain money for his needs; including swindling and even stealing money and properties. He has also acted on arresting the Jews which in turn return a degradation in his currency, and as a result, everyone suffered for the economy crisis.
The King then later resorted to taxing the church; run by Pope Boniface VIII at that time.
War broke out openly between the roal and the Churhc at that time, whereby the Pope forbade the tax on the church by declaring and signing a dictum.
Subsequently, the King put a halt on Rome's financial supply when he drew the line and closed the borders; banning the export of gold bullion to Rome.
If that's not enough, he decided to disgrace the Church through the arresting of the bishop of Pamiers on the charges of blasphemy, sorcery and fornication.

In retaliation, the pope issue a bull which was in turn burnt in public by the King.
Soon, the King charged the Pope with the same allegations of blasphemy and sorcery and also topping it with another accusation of sodomy.
The war soon got worse when the Pope then compared the French to Dogs and their lack in spirit and strength in soul which soon affected the peasants.
The King reacted and forwarded an army to Anagni, the Pope's residence and placed him under house arrest.
The local neighbours rescued him but the 86 year-old pontiff passed away in a month where he was claimed of being shocked at the rage and others even said he killed himself.

The Pope was then succeeded by another and France's economic problems ensue. When the Queen died in 1305, King Philip took a shot to join the Knights of Templar but was rejected and due to his previous doings, they even blackballed him and denied his intentions as being genuine to join them.
When the grand master of the Knights Templar returned in 1306 in a luxurious show with 60 knights and a baggage train of gold and jewels, the King was raged and desperate due to his own finanical condition, he raised the prices of everything in France by a triple fold in just one single night; revoking a massive riot immediately; in the streets where they want to overthrow and assasinate the King who in turn had to run in disgrace to seek protection from the Knights.

Following his fall, He arranged a state action and sealed orders to every bailiff, deputy and officer in France through a secretive mass mailing on September 14; with the punitive and threathening order that they should only read the mails before the October 12th; which was a Thursday night.
On Friday morning, before the break of dusk at sunset, an estimated of more than 2,000 or even 5,000 Knights Templar were imprisoned; with an exception of 20 who managed to fled the imprisonment. The charges were not stated clearly but they were described as despicable and due to the foul happenings and injustice, the Knights Templar's supporters cursed the day; the Friday the 13th.

An interesting story which again relates to the origin of the Friday the 13th.
But how many more sources are out there to nail this day which is considered so doomed that many will go all the way out to avoid it and even skip the number to avoid mishap?
Most sources point the key origin as biblical; directing the misfortune of this day to the death of Christ on this day and the Last Supper....
Is this really the fact?
Will Friday the 13th in fact bring only tragedy and mishaps?
Is Jesus's death on the cross on a Friday bringing death and misfortune on Fridays?
Is the Last Supper such a condemnation to the people at a dining table where there should not be 13 people at a table?
Hosts go all the way out to ensure that the list of guests should not be 13 and the planning should go in such a way that even with fall outs and absences, the number should not fall to 13 or anyone can replace in desperation to avoid that number at the table.
In fact, there was even a superstition that with 13 people at the table, the first to rise from the table will die first; followed by one each every year.
In relation to the bible, Judas was the first to rise from the table at the Last Supper.

The number 13 is also termed as the devil's dozen and many more surround this unique number.
Isn't it weird how things seem to vary between the East and the West?
If it is really a case of real misfortune, then why do Chinese particular like the No. 13?
People will still be staying in the 13th room despite it being numbered as 12a or 12b, and even if the floor is numbered as any other number, will it change the fact that it is still level 13 when it is counted from the ground level?
You see, it is not the fact that matters; it is the number that is playing these mental games on their minds....where they will run away as soon as they see any occurrence of this number.
Similarly, Chinese hate the number 4 so much that they will do anything to avoid this number on their cars, house, etc....

It's all in the mind.....wonder what will happen one day when East really meets West....willl the number 4 and 13 be unlucky or auspicious?

That being said, just keep your mind's all in the mind...
The mental games are sometimes so powerful that it can create reality and that's where you start the association again.
In short, live life the way you want it....:) Whether it's 13th or not, still, Thank God it's Friday! :D

Monday, July 02, 2007


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The latest Thai horror movie to hit Malaysia which dwells on the horrific truth about Siamese twins besides the facts which we have known on their low survival rates.
This movie depicts the bond of these unique pair of twins in a scary way that even death cannot part them.

Siamese twins are labelled as they are often born attached to each other; not just emotionally but physically as well as they share organs. Some are even more unfortunate to share vital organs such as heart or liver and require major/risky operations to separate them; which can sometimes lead to death or even upon success, does not guarantee a high or long term survival rate.

This movie is about a lady, Pim who appears to have it all, a great life and a good husband until one day, a family affair requires her to fly back to her old home which soon brought back memories of her childhood and a past which came back to haunt her.
I personally have not watched this movie but I have seen the trailer and it truly spooked me out.

I am not writing this post to review about this movie; and similarly about my other posts in this blog, dwells on the supernatural part and also the thoughts behind this.

Does the truth behind this movie that Siamese twins cannot be parted stand?
I will not truly defy the truth of this; as in my personal point of view, the birth of Siamese twins are indeed a unique occurrence and not one to be encountered out of a populated sample of infant births.
Folklores and myths have often linked these rare births to the lack of care during pregnancy and also the disobeying of the elders' advices on the prohibited food/exercise which could lead to deformed/distorted/abnormal births.

Siamese twins are given the term because of their joint at one part of the body; sometimes simple ones like limbs to complicated ones such as the heart and the liver.
The past history has revealed the pessimistic survival rate of these twins either at birth, after, or even after surgery and mortility rates were not encouraging based on the data. Sometimes, one can survive but not the other and in worst case, both may not be able to make it.

Is it the emotional bond?
Is it the physical detachment?
In this movie, Pim was haunted by her past; her twin who was separated at birth and died later after the surgery and now, she is trailing Pim; everywhere she goes....
Do share your views for those who have watched the movie....
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