Monday, October 19, 2009

The story of a Car...

This is a true story; based on a recent incident which happened to a dear friend of mine who is probably reading this blog as well.

This is a story which involved the car; and I would like to hear the thoughts of everyone.
Perhaps the decision to post this story in this blog indicated that there is some supernatural force at work, but it is just from my point of view.
I would still like to hear whether there could be any other logical/rational/scientific explanation to clarify on the incident which happened.

My friend has recently purchased a used car; but it's a luxury car all the same.
Anyway, this incident happened 3 weeks ago.

He had just come back from buying his dinner and parked his car in the usual parking spot designated for each unit in the condominium (you know how condominium car parks are like)
He got down from his car, and locked it, heading up to his condo as usual.

The next morning, he woke up, and he found his car missing from the spot!
It was really missing!

Being his new baby, he panicked and had already imagined the worst; that his car was stolen!
He tried to convince himself that it could be a prank played on him by his housemate.

He tried clicking on the remote button to locate his car; and then to his relief, he heard the beep of the alarm. Following the sound of alarm, he found his car which was parked a distance away from his original spot!

It was pretty weird, for he could have sworn that he parked it in the usual parking spot the night before.
All sorts of thoughts ran through his mind; could it be a thief, a ghost, etc?

When I first heard the story, I came up with two assumptions:
1. He was probably too tired, and he parked his car in a different parking spot and forgot all about it.
(Not valid and seems feeble though; as this is a condominium carpark and it's rare that we make this mistake as there's not much parking space for us to play around with anyway)

2. A thief probably tried to break into his car and then realized that he does not have the access card to leave the premises and decided to abandon the car at any available parking spot.

Well, my friend checked his car and noticed that there were no signs of break-in.
We figured it could be a professional thief but then it would invalidate the 2nd assumption; that a professional thief is not armed with the gear to steal a car and leave the premises safely!

Anyway, this incident plagued his mind for some time and then I advised him to notify the management of the condominium to keep an eye on his car/car plate in case of any suspicious activities.
At the same time, it would be good for him to request to view the video captured by the condo's CCTV facilities.

I joked that another possibility could be that his car is haunted.
There is a car phantom in it; that probably shifted the car because it did not like the position where it was parked.
He told me that he was thinking along the same line; and he suspected that the car was haunted.

I told him to cleanse the car; and apparently, he revealed that there were already charms and amulets placed inside the car.
Well, I joked that the ghost/phantom was probably of a different belief and he should probably try charms, holy stuffs from other religions.

Anyway, a few weeks passed and I forgot about it until he told me a few days ago that he had seen the CCTV recordings.
He had lodged a police report and used the report as a basis to request for the viewing of the CCTV recordings and he saw what happened.

When he showed me the video, I was expecting to see one of the two assumptions I made earlier.

Guess what, I saw something which I found it hard to believe had I not seen it with my own eyes.

I don't have the video with me; but I can briefly describe what I saw in the short 1-minute plus video captured.

It showed my friend getting down from his car (I think it was about 6+ in the evening where he just got back from getting his dinner).
The car was parked in the usual parking spot.
He got down and closed the door; then locking the car behind him.
(I saw the car lights blinking when he motioned towards the car with something he was holding in his hand; a remote control like what we all have)

He walked away from the car.
(From the CCTV, we could see his car on the right side with all the cars parked next to his and facing each other from the left)

Nothing happened for a while until 1 minute later...

The black car which belonged to my friend, moved towards the bottom right!
It just slid and moved by itself!!

I had my eyes on the car during that short video, and I did NOT blink.
NO ONE got into the car; neither was the car unlocked or anything like that, but it just MOVED!

Now, if you're thinking of the same thing as me when I saw it, that the hand gear was probably not in the right place and that the car somehow slid, well, let me show you the illustration of how the car moved from its original position to the new position.

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Now, logically, when a car slides due to the gear in Neutral position, etc, it should be parallel to its original position.
Also, there's a possibility of it hitting other cars along the way or any object, right?
Bear in mind, this is a car park in the condominium premises; which means there are cars all around that place and it's almost IMPOSSIBLE for a car to slide without hitting other cars along the way.

SO, SO, HOW else could you explain the shifting of this car's original position to its new (not straight) and slanted position?

Oh my, dear God this for REAL?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts

It is now the month of the Hungry Ghosts; the 7th month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar
Yesterday was the 14th; the day which marked the main festive celebration for the departed souls.

There will be make-up stages observed along the road and in residential areas; which will be the stage for performance troops, singing or acting for the entertainment of the ghosts/spirits (brothers and sisters, as the Chinese call them)
At the same time, observe that there are sometimes Puppet shows as well.
The stage will be facing a huge tent which houses a huge deity and also long tables of food offerings.

Also, there will be lots of burning of papers and food offerings by the roadside and junctions.

It is a month where most Chinese are particularly cautious about; and there will definitely be lots of superstitions or Do's and Don'ts coming from the elders.
It is a month full of superstitions and traditions; and a month where the Chinese pay homage and respect to the dead and wandering souls as well.

I shall be preparing a documentary-article on the festival soon, please stay tune

P.S: I was not allowed to take any photos of the celebration or whatever people are doing during this month due to the superstitions as well - to be explained in the soon-to-come post:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The last day of the 6th month

Today is the last day of the 6th month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar
This signifies that the 7th month; which is the month for the Hungry Ghosts will be here at the strike of midnight tonight where the gates of Hell will be opened and the spirits will be released to roam the earth for a month.

We will be expecting more rain during this month; as I have heard, which is a sign of yin energy.
We will be seeing worships and joss sticks or burning of papers, offerings, food outside some of the houses and shops for the entire month as this is the typical Chinese custom to pay their respects and to appease the wandering souls.

They believe that in doing so, the spirits will not disturb them and grant them peace.

Our elders will remind us that it is best to stay at home when night falls during this time to avoid any supernatural encounters which can scare the younger ones or even lead to any mishaps/accidents.

Whether you believe it or not, it is best to listen to your elders and just take extra precaution yourself.

Some things are better left unknown and unperturbed.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

UN-auspicious months for the elderly

I have noticed that recently there are a few funerals or wakes (obviously seen from the temporary canopies set outside some of the landed houses).

In fact, in my area alone, there's more than 3 already since last week.
When I drove around town or the island, I've seen a few too.

I remembered my mummy and granny used to tell us, that during certain months in the Lunar calendar, the elders are particularly sensitive towards them; especially those who are believers.
Those are considered 'dangerous' months for the elders; even more so if they are very ill and are admitted to the hospital.

I am sure many of us have heard of how stubborn our grandparents are about being admitted to the hospital or even going to the hospital to consult a doctor at one point or another in our life.

Why is this so, and what are the dangerous and so-called unauspicious months/time of the year?

According to Chinese superstition, there are two months in the Chinese Lunar Calendar which are the most risky.
The third month and the seventh month (in the Chinese Lunar Calendar)

The Third month is often known as the All souls or also known as Ching Meng month; where we go to the cemeteries and pay respect to our ancestors. (Christians and Catholics go to their annual cemetery pilgrimage in November; according to the normal calendar)

During the Third month of the Chinese calendar, it is believed that the souls are released and are allowed to roam around the cemeteries to see their loved ones.
However, they are only confined within the vicinities of the cemeteries and no further; although, it is not inevitable that some of the lost souls may wander further which is why the elders often take extra precautions.

If there is any elder in the family who is sick at this time, they are often cared for diligently and with extra precaution as their yang energy apparently is weaker at this time, which could result in their lives being taken away.
I remembered that I lost both my paternal grandparents during this time too; despite me not knowing this at that time.
I was told by my aunt and granny when they heard of the news and they mentioned that the Third Month is always very risky for elders; especially if they have been admitted to the hospitals.

It seems that the myth that hospital is dangerous for sick elders is backed up with the explanation that the Angel of Death and the 'Pun Kun' (the one who is responsible to lead those who have died to their next respectful destination) roam the grounds of this place which heals the sick.
Maybe most of the time, most of the names on their list is often stated as dying in the hospital or will be in the hospital as their last location?
The risk is when these netherworld officers are doing their job, they could spot another sick and ailing person in their bed and would check and decide that it's time for them to go and pick them up at the same time.
This was one of the explanation on some of the sudden deaths of the sick people in the hospital; despite them having recovered following their illnesses or their surgery.

Those who have underwent or are to undergo surgeries are even more at risk.

The other month which is even more feared is the Seventh month. Comparing the two months, the Third month is actually considered a mild risk as the souls are only allowed around the cemeteries' vicinity.
The Seventh Month; as we are all aware, is the month of the Hungry Ghosts Festival and it is the time where all Hell breaks loose! (not to be taken literally).
It is said that all the souls/spirits are released for a month's vacation and to roam the earth freely.

They are allowed to go anywhere they want for the whole month; giving them the opportunity to visit their loved ones.
It is a full month of freedom; of course, under the watchful and fearsome guard of the guardian officers who will be everywhere to control the situation and to ensure that no harm is done to the living.
Those who break the rules will be dragged back to hell; and will be punished severely.

It is also due to this fact, that the 7th month is considered so dangerous to the sick elders.
Usually a medium who predicts that the sick elder who can survive through the 3rd month may not be able to survive the 7th month.
The free roaming of the souls could lead to them dragging the sick folks to their deaths so that they are subject to reincarnation (sort of a headcount replacement thing)

That is the explanation for the higher number of deaths during the 7th month; not just among the elders, but also among those careless ones, i.e.: drowning, car accidents, etc.

If an elder is very sick and is in the hospital during this month, and they are advanced in their age, chances are they may be leaving their loved ones soon.

There are also plenty of taboos and strict rules to follow; as passed down by our elders for the 7th month which I am sure most of us have heard of.
(I will share more in an upcoming post)

Now, you know why our grandparents or old folks hate going or even the mere mention of the hospital?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

He came to see her...

In the year 2002, my paternal grandmother suffered pelvic injuries as a result of a bad fall and was admitted to the hospital for a minor surgery.

Shortly after her surgery, she was discharged and was allowed to go home again.
She often complained of pains and she had to be confined to bed rest most of the time; and a maid was hired to attend to her needs.
The maid slept in the same room as my grandmother since it was a larger room and also, because she had to be close to my grandmother to care for her.

Unknown to the maid, the room used to be the bedroom where both my grandparents stay; and the place where she is occupying was where my grandfather used to sleep.
My grandfather had left us 8 years before that.

My grandmother used to tell us that she sees 'Ah Kong'(what we call our grandfather) but since we were kids, we did not paid much attention to horror stories.

Shortly, grandmother did indeed pass away as she was found dead in her bed one morning and soon, arrangements were made for the funeral.

During this time, the maid came up to my mum and my aunt as they were chatting casually.
She mentioned that grandmother sometimes would mutter in her sleep; and she said, she did see a man sitting by her bedside.

She thought it was my uncle; who was probably worried about grandmother late at night.
Aunt was surprised and said, when was the last time she saw the guy and the maid replied that she recalled seeing him there for the longest time the night before her death.

After a while, she hesitantly paused and said, the man who was sitting by her bedside looked like the man in the photo sitting on top of the dressing table in the room.

Upon hearing this, both aunt and mum were quiet and the maid, who had already sensed it whispered, "Is he her husband?"

They nodded and told her gently, "But he's dead for more than 8 years now"

The maid was dumbfounded but she also added, "He must have loved her a great deal"
Both my aunt and mum agreed to this, as my grandfather has always been doting on my grandmother and I have never heard Ah Kong raised his voice at my Ah Ma.
He is a patient and mild-tempered man who rarely say much.

Needless to say, the maid refused to sleep in that room again although Mum assured her that grandfather meant no harm.
However, with grandmother's demise as well, I could really understand her pressure of facing TWO at the same time!!

Anyway, whatever they say about reincarnation, grandfather definitely did watch and guard grandmother all the time.

They are truly a good example of "Loving someone to the end of time"
It was an UN-dying love (no pun intended)...

I pray that Grandpa and grandma may rest in peace...

They can see dead people?

Is it true that people who are dying can usually see dead people/ghostly apparitions/spirits/lost souls?

I have often heard spine-tingling stories how people who are very sick and yet claiming that they can see some dead relatives or spirits around them.
After that, they just pass away.
Can this be explained?

Some say this is due to their approaching time to the end of their lives; and to join the netherworld.
Some say that when a person is about to die, their soul lights dim and are more approachable by spirits who often roam the earth.
Some say it is the decreasing yang energy and the increasing yin energy which leads to this phenomenon...

But what is the truth?
I am not sure myself but I have some stories to share as well....

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Bull Head and Horse Face

As mentioned in the previous post, the Angel of Death comes in many forms according to the different beliefs and religions; and as believed by the religious folks themselves.
The Chinese version of the Angel of Death is the more popularly known Bull Head and Horse Face; the two soldiers of these appearances who appear with a trident in their hands and probably some heavy metal chains when they perform their duties to collect a dying person at their deathbeds.
The Chinese called them 'Ngau Tau Ma Min' (cantonese), 'Gu Tau Beh Bin' (Hokkien), 'Niu Tou Ma Mian' (Mandarin)

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They were believed to be the messengers from the King of Hell (Yan Luo Wang); and follow the orders from his majesty himself who guards the book of life and death and gives instructions to his soldiers or messengers to perform their duties when the inscribed person's name appears when their time is due.
(This is from what I have heard from my grandmother and some elderly folks)

After the messengers have collected the dying person back to Hell, they will await their judgement by the King before deciding their next location or their reward/punishment. There are 10 judges who are also known as the Kings of Yama where the sinful person will need to go through if they are found guilty, etc.

I have shared on the stages of hell earlier in this blog; which was based on my visit to the famous Haw Par Villa in Singapore.

Now, how true is this about the two messengers? Let's see in the following story I am about to share...

This story came from a close colleague of mine; who told me about her close friend's story which fascinated me.

Her friend was a Christian as was her sick mother who was lying in the hospital at her deathbed.
Her mother was gravely ill and she was really worried and anxious about her mother's condition.

Deep down inside, she had that same fear that her mother is probably not doing so well already as mentioned by the doctor.

Late one night, as she was sleeping by her mother's bed during her night watch and accompanying her sick mother, she awoke to some sounds of bells and metal chains clanking.

When she opened her eyes, she saw two tall figures; bearing the head of an ox/bull and with the face of a horse standing at the end of her mother's bead.
They were ringing the bells and suddenly, she saw her mother waking up from her bed and followed them.
She could not believe her eyes, as she saw with her very own eyes how her mother followed the two figures and slowly disappeared from sight.

She turned back and saw her mother still lying down next to her; and instinctively, she touched her mother's hand which was right beside her.

To her shock, it was icy cold and when she held her finger nervously to her mother's nose, she realized that her mother had stopped breathing.

She called for the doctors and nurses; and her mother was confirmed dead a few minutes ago which coincidentally was the time she saw the two figures.

She could not believe this till this very day; especially when she is a staunch Christian as is the case with her whole family.
She has heard of this story of the Ox Head and Horse Face from her Buddhist and Taoist friends and she never did take much notice of it as she was skeptical of their beliefs, but now when it happened to her personally, she could not understand it anymore.

In Christianity, we believe that when we die, our souls go to Heaven and reunited with God.
It is natural that we would have imagined an angel or God who came to bring us along on our way (if we are dying).

This is a strong contrast to both beliefs and religions; perhaps we have been wrong in what we believed or assumed we believed?

My friend suggested that probably the messengers are the same in collecting the dying person to their judgement and they are brought to a place (probably Purgatory or limbo) while they are sorted out by their religion, before they are sent to their respective judgement places by their God?

But there is only ONE GOD; as all religions perhaps, there is a truth to this after all?
Anyone who has any further explanation?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Angel of Death/Grim Reaper

Angel of Death; also known as the Grim Reaper is often associated with death; as the name indicated.

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They are the messengers of Death; and they arrive to take those who are about to leave this world to their rightful place to await their judgement.
It was often told in forms of tales and imaginative stories that the Angel of Death/Grim Reaper is the cause of one's sudden death, and can be bribed or persuaded to lengthen one's lifetime.

There are various versions of the Angel of Death; according to the different beliefs and cultures based on their respective religions.
However, they are all connected to the same theory; which is Death itself.

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We all know that birth and death is beyond our control; it remains a divine mystery which we should all respect.
Death is unpredictable; no one can predict when or how they are going to leave the world (not unless you're a seer; but I still feel that God's powers far supercedes that of the mortal human being)

It is most feared of; probably because most of the people (us) are afraid to leave what we have now; our belongings and most importantly, our loved ones.
We are afraid of something that is unknown to us; which explains why most people feel so scared of darkness.

At the same time, everyone is not prepared to leave a place where they are comfortable with and they are reluctant that they need to leave before everyone else, hence the fear always remain.
Everyone; is afraid of death, due to the HOW question as well.

We have heard of all sorts of stories and read of them in papers of deaths which occur almost every day, every hour, every minute; in fact, every second and could be anyone and anywhere.
Some die painfully; some die in terror, some die unwillingly, some, their lives are just taken from them unprepared, and there are also some of the fortunate ones who died peacefully, knowing of their own time.

But, HOW can we predict in which way we will die?
The answer is NO, no one can ever tell the manner in which their life will be taken from them.

Even if we do know, does that expel the fear of death from ourselves?

We have heard of some near-death experiences from people around us; some from people who have been gravely ill, some who have escaped death in a very close encounter, and some who claimed they have been to hell/heaven and were sent back.
Some even claimed that their deceased loved ones came to them in their dream to describe how they died and how they encountered the Angel of Death at their very own deathbeds.

Angel of Death is a myth or reality?

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I chose not to be skeptical as this is something I cannot answer and verify; and I chose not to question the existence.
I leave it to you to decide as I shall proceed to share true stories as told by some close friends who shared their family or personal experiences with death or Angel of Death...
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Stay tune for the upcoming posts...

Disclaimer: Photos do not belong to me and are entirely used for illustration purposes only. Please do not credit me for them; they are taken from the web.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Camping Stories: 1, 2, 3...What do you See?

The same camping ground in Rawang seems to be breeding most of the stories I have heard about campsite. Most of my friends, regardless of race and religion, seems to think that this site is really haunted.

I can't really blame them anyway; after all, they have heard countless stories passed down from their seniors or their own troops; and some even had personal experiences/encounters which left them converted to a believer from then on.

Now this guy who told me the story was not really a skeptic; nor was he a believer but he could not figure out what happen then either.

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(Image taken from web; not a real depiction of actual location)
There was this area in the forest where there is a staircase leading to the top; probably to the site of the waterfall (that is the area most likely to spawn a stairway, right?)
As he climbed the stairs, he started counting the number of the steps.
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He counted, "1, 2, 3......." aloud all the way.

When he reached the top, he saw a very very bright light...and the rest was history.

Why history?
He could not recall what happened after that.
He only remembered counting all the way to 7 or was it 49...and then his memory just blacked out
There was no trace of what happened at that time

Some said they found him resting at the foot of the stairs which meant he never climb the staircase
Some said he came back on his own and mumbled some numbers...

What really happened?
Nobody knows; not even he himself

What is wrong with the counting which caused this?
Is it a taboo to count the steps in the forest; or in that particular forest where something probably happened before then?

What is the mystery?

Camping Stories: The Doppelganger

The forest is indeed a mythical place; home to the flora and fauna and also the source of many myths, legends, and amazing stories waiting to be told.

It is a sacred place to be honored and respected; and I have shared the Do's and Don'ts in the forest to avoid any misconduct of behavior which could land us in trouble when we are there.

As a sequel, I would like to share some stories from the camp which I have heard from some of my friends who are great fans of camping and most of these happened during the school days......those good old days...
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This story happened in one of the camping grounds near Rawang; a place which was pretty popular among the scouts in my school.
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They were all camping as usual on the site; and then split into groups for activities.
One of them led the group; and then they started on their task and trekked through the forest.
It was some time, and they were panting from the strenous journey.
Their leader was far ahead of them and they were trying their best to catch up.

They then saw their leader on the opposite of the river and scratched their heads as they thought he was right ahead of them.
They saw him; and was surprised how he managed to get to the other side so soon. As they tried to catch up, they bumped into their leader who was staring at them at the front of the line.

They were once again surprised, they just saw him across the river, how did he get back to this side of the river so soon?
As they threw him the question, he puzzled them further with his answer
"I was all the while here; I never got to the other side of the river. Besides, it is still a long way to find the way to cross the river. From here to the opposite side, it is almost impossible to even wade across, so how could I possibly be there when you saw me?"

Thinking it was probably an illusion, they didn't say anything although each had an uneasy feeling at that time.

On a separate occasion, another girl scout is involved this time.
They have woken up from their sleep the previous night and went down to the river to freshen themselves up and to enjoy the feeling of cool water on their faces.
As they made their way down to the bank, they noticed one of the girls was already there and she had her back towards them but they could make out her size and outfit.
They called her loudly and jokingly, they reprimanded her for coming out alone so early and did not even invite them.
There was no reply from her and as they were busy cleaning themselves up, they ignored her.
When everyone was done cleansing themselves, they noticed that the girl was gone and was surprised, how could she leave so quickly and so silently; under everyone's noses?
She had to somehow make it through them to get back to the campsite.
They felt that it was really odd; and made their way back to the site to check on her.

As they approached the campsite, they saw her getting out of the tent and marching towards her, they reprimanded her once again
"Hey, so arrogant ar you, down by the river. You've already gone on your own and don't even invite us, and then when we called you, you didn't even bother to acknowledge us. Then you just came back here on your did you manage to do it without anyone of us noticing you ar?"

The girl looked genuinely puzzled and her answer freaked them out, "I just woke up from my sleep, I thought I was late this morning. I have not even gone down to the river, I just came out of the tent. How could it be you guys saw me down at the stream then?"

The group was seriously freaked and all could have sworn that they saw her; just like how the other group saw the guy across the river.

What is the explanation behind this?
Is there a doppelganger at work; and how did they attract a doppelganger?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do's and DON'Ts in a Forest

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I'm sure most of us have gone camping at one point or another (especially those who are into adventures).
Yours truly is never a big fan of staying out there in the wild; not because of the spooks but more of hygiene and lots of other reasons which I can't point here (just call me a brat).

Most of those who have been a boy scout/girl guide, camping is a norm and practically part of their routine.

How many of us have not been to a forest before anyway? Perhaps the younger generation who are too engrossed with the technology playing in their eyes are the only exception?
How many, even frequent campers truly know the rules of the forest grounds?

True, the forest is the land of the beautiful flora and fauna and the natural habitats for the creatures of the wild; born free and living free.

However, have you heard of the divine living among the creatures and the lush greeneries of the forest?

For centuries, there are stories passed down from generation to generation; especially by our forefathers who have seen it all during their days of exploring the forests.
There are countless experiences and encounters in the forest which they have shared; are they true or not?
I leave it to you to judge, however, I have done my little research and found that most of the stories have been shared by our Malay counterparts, who are mostly forest rangers and hikers back then.

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Besides, I have also compiled the beliefs and superstitions from other races; and in general to share with you on a simple guide on the Do's and Don'ts in the Forest:

1. Do NOT Whistle in the forest
It is believed that your whistling could attract the ghosts or even wild beasts (man-eating ones) and either way, it is not a favorable return to you.

2. Do NOT Shout/Yell/Scream/Wail or talk in LOUD voices
You will be attracting various forms of creatures; genies, jembalang (devil), and again wild beasts
Furthermore, if your cries are heard by the devil, you are more prone to get lost in the forest.

3. Do NOT Sleep on the Trees
You will be setting a trap for yourself; it will be hard to escape the clutches of the devil if you were found on the trees. There are various forms of the beings; and some are the flying ones. If you sleep on the trees, you could be offending the genies or incur the wrath of the host.

4. If you are going hunting, do not get astray from your friends/group
You can risk getting lost, and also at the same time, you may be misled by the illusions and could end up killing your own friends through the divine transformations of the beings.

5. Do NOT sleep by the river if you have lost your way
This is a Malay belief that you can be eaten by the ghost that dwells in that area or the one responsible to elude you to that path.

6. If you hear your name being called, do not Answer or Turn Back
This is a popular belief among everyone. It is best not to answer as it could be the call of the other being to lure you into their trap.
Chinese believe that you should not even turn your head to look behind you; as a human being has the guidance of the three lights on their head and shoulders which the ghosts are afraid of.
Therefore, they will resort to tricks to put out the light.
No matter what happens, don't turn your head around. If you have to, make sure your whole body turns around with you.

7. Do NOT call people by their Real Names
Make an agreement with your friends to give each other nicknames in the forest at the beginning of the trip. This is related to Rule 6; avoid being called by your real name ensures that your soul is not fully taken by the devil when you are called.
If your friend calls you by your name, do not answer.
This is to ensure your safety not just in the forest. When your real name is known, the ghost may hunt you all the way even back at home.

8. Do NOT pick up things in the forest for keeps
The phrase "Finders' Keepers" definitely do not apply here! No matter how tempting it is, do not simply pick up things unless it's your own and keep it for yourself. Those things could belong to someone else; or something else.

9. Do NOT make any comments/remarks if you were to see anything queer in the forest
If you smell something funny or heard any noise, just keep quiet about it and don't make passing remarks such as "What's that smell?", Why is it so noisy here?
These could incur the wrath of the other beings living there.

10. Do NOT be arrogant
Do NOT make statements such as "I will never get lost", "I know the forest much better than anyone else"
Such statements could lead to unexplainable events which pursue; and you could find yourself getting lost (no matter how expert you were)
These could be the work of the genies or the spirits in the forest.

11. Do NOT pee/do your business everywhere
If you have an urge to take that nature's call, try looking for a loo. If you have no choice, do ask for permission and say "Excuse me"
It's best if you were to go to a loo, for it is dirty to pollute the environment (for nature's sake) and you could offend some of the spirits who live there if you were to accidentally/fatefully dirty their living place.

12. Do NOT make too much noise in the forest
Too merry of an environment not just disturb the animals; but also the spirits who may not welcome such impolite behavior in their residence.

13. I don't think this needs to be told; for it is common sense NOT to sleep on a walkway or a path
The paths we use to walk are also the same paths used by the spirits. I don't need to tell you what happens when we walk another's path?

14. Do NOT bring meat/pork into the forest
I've heard of this from a friend. It is dangerous to cook meat in the forest; you could be luring a beast to your campsite, or those hungry pontianaks.

15. Do NOT sing in the forest
Same as do not make noise

Anything else from campers out there?

Whether to believe it or not, it's entirely up to you.
However, it is no harm to keep these guidelines in mind when you are at the forest anyway, right?
You don't have to pay a cent to be extra careful...

Enjoy your camping!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Queer Queer Dream

I debated for a while on which blog to post on this and I've decided that this is the blog for it, for the following reasons:
1. It happened at night, while I was asleep (obviously!)
2. It's really queer with a scary twist as well which just fits the notion of this blog perfectly!

I was not feeling very well yesterday and decided to tuck in early.
I hit the sack at about 9.30-10pm and knocked off immediately.

I awoke somewhere in the middle of the wee hours of the morning to hear the sounds of rumbling thunder and then the heavy downpour of the rain almost after and sleepily went back to sleep.

I think it was somewhere near the morning (about 4am) when I had this long and queer dream which never seem to end.
In it was a dream where I saw a few of my friends and people around me, who were 'possessed'!
They seemed to be at it; one after another immediately after each one recovered!

Oh my, I could barely remember but I remembered feeling so freaked when I was confronted by my own friends who seemed demonic when they stared at me!
I was praying so hard; Our Fathers, Hail Marys, and Glory Be's when I saw their eyes which were just so freaky.

Some just went berserk and tried to lung at me, and some were just so hard to hold back
(I had friends around me who tried holding them back as well)

The dream went on, with me praying and feeling anxious

Then I awoke suddenly at 5.30am, my usual time but as I was a little groggy, I sank my head back into the pillow and dozed off again

Guess what, the dream continued and it took on new people
I was still the one running one after another
Those freaky people who tried to chase after me

And I remembered trying to shut them out by running into those rooms
But they were telling me that as long as there's holes or space underneath the doors which they can creep in (spiritually), I can't get away

I kept praying and praying
Then I managed to wig my eyes open and I awoke to 7am, birds chirping outside

I realized with horror that it was a nightmare
I woke up, said a quick prayer and made my way to the washroom (that's what grandma and mum used to say, if you've had a really bad dream/nightmare, go to the washroom to spit or get it out)

It was really terrifying and I still felt tremors
I prayed to God and calmed myself down

I will share the interpretation of the dream later on
In the meantime, I pray to God for strength and his guidance
to deliver me from all evil

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Knock! Knock!

You were sleeping (or maybe not) in your room at night, or in the middle of the night and suddenly, you hear
maybe a third KNOCK!

(Number doesn't matter now, as long as you hear a knock)

What do you do?
Will you open the door?

To open the door or not to Open, that is the QUESTION!

This was inspired by a friend (a blog follower) who recently shared a story with me.
It got me doing a quick check and research on this topic; which was not too easy as there were not too many sources sharing on these superstitions.
The following are the theories:

1. According to the friend's elders, when someone knocks on the door, we should ask
"Who is it? Who are you looking for?"
If there is no answer, do not answer/open the door.
If you have to open the door, do not stand directly at the door, stand sideways

2. My own elders told me, if someone knocks on your door in the middle of the night, it is usually not advisable to open the door (of course, unless it's your own family but they wouldn't knock at that time anyway, right?)
Just stay put and pray, and it will go away

These are the two main and common theories from my interviews with various people.

However, my research soon brought me to more interesting theories on door knocks, or knocks in general and superstitions around the world:
1. When you hear knocks (3 times) on the door and no one is there, it usually means that someone in the house is about to meet their death soon.
This superstition is known as The Three Knocks of Death
Source: Victorian Funeral Customs

2. A Filipino shared his tale on how he heard a knock at night (late at night) and his own father's voice calling him 3 times, each time with a higher sense of urgency and the 3rd time, with anger.
Trusting his instinct, he proved to be right when he ignored the knocks that night
He related his tale to his grandfather, who told him the following words:
"grandchild, do not answer, do not look. That's the way it is, child.":)
Source: Your Ghost Stories

3. Knocking three times on a wood can ward off evil spirits
This practice sort of originated from Romans, there are sources which say it is Celtic too.
In Celtic belief, the tree is always a sacred symbol. Therefore, knocking on wood/tree itself is a form of seeking the Gods for guidance or assistance.
That's why, we always yell "Touch Wood!" when we say/hear something inauspicious!

In general, I would also advise to just ignore
As most would say, spirits will not come unless invited
When there is a knock, and you are in doubt
Pray to God (whichever religion you belong to)

Usually doubts are inner voices which tells you something is wrong
Of course, don't be overly superstitious that you start to ignore knocks from your parents and siblings even in broad daylight!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Types of Malay Ghosts

I have recently came across an interesting story of a pregnant Malay woman who had to ward off a fiery and fearsome Hantu Penanggalan in her sister's house.
It got me wondering, and I have stumbled across a list of Malay ghosts which I found it worth to be sharing on my blog.

Penanggal (pronounced as Pe-Nun-Gal) is a female ghost; with a very beautiful appearance which is obtained through the means of black magic or supernatural ways.
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They are also in a way, associated with the term of Devil's Disciple/Apprentice and at the same time, they are the living dead who lived among the living.
There are different versions of the origins of this Penanggal; and the following are the other versions:
1. A midwife who made a pact with the devil to gain supernatural powers and in return, she is not to eat meat for 40 days. She broke the pact and she is cursed to live forever on sucking blood.
2. A beautiful woman/high priestess who was bathing in vinegar and a man startled her, whereby she turned in such haste that she detached her head from her body; and the internals trailing from the opening at the neck and she flies after the man for revenge.

The Penanggal is typically illustrated as a flying creature with the internals trailing after her head and there is also reportedly a strong scent of vinegar with her.
The Penanggal preys on pregnant women and newborn babies; on whom she sucks the blood. She is like a banshee who appears at childbirth and she perches on the rooftop of a house in which a pregnant or expecting mother resides and screeches when the woman is in labor. She will insert a long tongue into the house to lap the blood of the new mother; and this could cause the mother to sink into weakness and inrecoverable fatigue.
Also, the entrails of her internals could cause deep wounds on whoever she brushes past and will not heal unless with the help of a bomoh.
The Penanggal is said to fear sharp objects; and to fend her off, the traditional way is to scatter the Mengkuang thorny leaves to trap her internals and at the same time, pregnant women/expectant mothers should keep scissors or betels at bay and under her pillow as the Penanggal is afraid of this.

It is somehow more commonly found in the old Malay kampung where the houses are built of wood and stands on stilts; where the Penanggal would most probably try to enter from. As such, some of the methods used were also to plant pineapples or sharp plants underneath the house to prevent the Penanggal from entering the house.

Pontianak (Porn-Tia-Nuck) is also a female ghost who died at labour and is out for revenge.
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They are also considered as one of the undead beings in the supernatural world
Pontianaks often prey on men; and they disguised themselves through the soft and gentle cries. Sometimes they do appear as very beautiful ladies to seduce their male victims as well.
According to folklore, if the cries of the Pontianak are soft, it means they are very near and if it is loud, they are far away.
A pontianak will attack their victims by ripping out the male reproductive organs.
To ward them off, the Pontianaks are also reported to be afraid of sharp objects; particularly long nails.

Langsuir; is another version of Pontianak and they are desribed as the scariest and deadliest of all. They are those who have suffered the death of their children at labor and then died themselves after, and they will possess the victim and suck their blood.
They are often described with red fiery eyes, long hair, sharp claws and long hair (similar as Pontianak).
The Langsuir was also described as one with a hole in the neck.

Hantu Pocong

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Ghosts which are wrapped in white cloth (commonly used at a traditional Malay burial/funeral). They appear to be ghosts who are trapped, and they hop around to warn people to release their bonds.
Due to the ties on their feet, they are often seen hopping around.

Kuntilanak, same as Pontianak

Typically an aborted or stillborn child or a foetus, and this ghost child appears as different versions in most of the culture.
The baby child or the foetus are often used by the bomoh through black magic to perform tasks for them; and is usually associated with stealing money/valuables from others.
The toyol is just like a child and is often depicted as one with a big head and small limbs. They are mischievous and must be fed with blood every day. The amount of blood is incremental with time; and if the owner forgets to feed it for a day, it will cause havoc or steal the owner's stuffs.
Typically, the toyol could eat of its owner eventually when its appetite grows and there is no way to satisfy it.

Hantu Galah
These are very beings which appear at a normal height in front of you, but as you approach them, they grow to be taller and taller; and they can even be as tall as a coconut tree.

Orang Minyak
Known as the oily man and his body is covered in oil while he runs around raping virgin women. There were speculations that this was actually a man in human form.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Passion of Christ

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As we approach the Holy week which also coincidentally also ends the Lent season, it is a solemn week as we observe the last days of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God before he submits to his fate to save us all from our sins.

I felt compelled to write about this great Lord who is always present in my life; and also to share with you my insights on what he has done for us.
* Disclaimer:
Please feel free to read this without any religious obligation if you are of a different religion.

All Christians know of HIS great name, and we praise him in glory and songs.
Jesus Christ, is the only son of God, who has redeemed us from our sins and given us a new life by his sacrifice.

We proclaim him the King of ALL Kings and praise him endlessly, worshipping HIS holy name in churches and our homes.

We are so proud to know Jesus Christ and announce and accept HIM as the Son of God.

However, was it the SAME in the past, many many centuries ago; during the A.D times in the Bible?

Jesus Christ was then a living man among the people; he has descended to Earth to live among his people.
He has led a life full of good deeds, preaching to the people, healing them and comfort them in times of grief and pain.

He was so noble; and although he has won the hearts of many, he has also stirred the jealousy among those who were in power at that time.
In reality, they were also afraid of HIM, who proclaimed himself the Son of God.
They fear that they will run out of power one day and HE, will replace them on their throne.
One such ruler was Herod; who had been foretold that the Messiah would come.
He banished all the newborn boys from his Kingdom to rid his mind of the bestowing of the prophecy.

Jesus Christ was very much a human being like you and me, and various questions have been asked when we were kids and also by most of you who were not of a Christian family background.
"Had Jesus Christ ever sinned?"

We have been led to understand that Jesus had never sinned; although he had been tempted so many times throughout HIS lifetime.
BUT Jesus Christ is a MAN with emotions and I personally remembered the story particularly when he was a young boy of 12, and he was so angered by the sight of all the people selling things in the Temple of God that he lost his temper and threw all the things to the ground.

That was one of the time that I could relate that Jesus was very much like us, as young teenager, who could be angry as well.

People then were so skeptical of him as the Son of God and even those, who initially believed in him, then turned away from him in times of distress or when they were influenced by others.

HE knew his Mission on earth, and what he had to fulfill of HIS father's will and per the scriptures.
At the same time, do you think that he had not had his moments of fear, anxiety and doubt?

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It was depicted in the last moments after the Passover meal/Last Supper with his apostles/disciples.
It was heart-wrenching that he even knew about the betrayal by one of his closest ones.
Mark 14:20 And He said to them, "It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl.
They were not just followers, but they were like brothers.

If you have felt the pains of betrayal before, you would understand the feeling of despair and that was exactly how Jesus felt on the night of the last supper; which was his final meal with all his apostles.

Mark 14:21 "For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."

It was already fated that Jesus had to face his fate, and to submit to his Father's Will, but alas, HE was more disappointed in the one who had chosen to betray him.
After all, whether he was betrayed or not, HE would still be leaving for his awaiting fate.
It was painful that in the process, HE had to be given away by them.

Imagine if it was any of us, knowing what our fate awaits us in front, would you be happy or worried at this point of time?
Jesus was feeling the same and HE brought all 12 with HIM to the Mount of Olives, where he prayed for strength and courage during his last hours.
At the same time, Judas Iscariot (who was the one to betray Jesus) was leading the soldiers, chief priests and the whole lot to hand Jesus over to them.

Jesus was also sad when he found most of his disciples sleeping.
Their willpower was weak, and HE was worried about them.
Peter was the One who assured Jesus that he will always be by HIS side, and he will never leave Jesus.

However, Jesus even knew that Peter would not be able to do that
Simon Peter said, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.”
Peter said to him, “Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
“Lay down your life for me?” answered Jesus.
“I tell you most solemnly, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.”

When Judas brought the soldiers, he made a secret signal pact with them that the one he walked up to kiss will be Jesus.
Jesus was arrested and HE was betrayed by his trusted apostles' kiss!

It was then the beginning of his torturous ordeal when he was mocked and taunted by the soldiers.
HE was brought to Pilate who found no case against him, but yet all the chief priests and scribes threw false accusations at him to which Jesus did not defend himself.

(I'm sure most of us would have screamed in agony at false accusations and yell Bloody Murder!)

Pilate tried to release him but he was pressured by his people to release Barabbas instead, as they wanted Jesus who called himself the Son of God dead, yelling all the way, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him"

Pilate succumbed to their request to please them.
It was another show of weak willpower.

Jesus was then humiliated as they stripped him naked and even casted lots to divide his clothing.
He was continuously whipped and was even given a crown with thorns which those cruel soldiers thrusted onto his head.
He is a man, remember, imagine the excruciating pain he had to go through.

I could not bear to think how much he had to go through; it was all so much pain and humiliation!
HE was the Son of God, and nobody refused to believe him.

Even the 2 prisoners who were to be crucified with him made fun of him,
"If you were the Son of God, why don't you save yourself and us??"

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He had to carry his own cross to Golgotha (The Skull), and remember, he had all those fresh wounds on his back and all over his body.
He is already weak and fragile; frankly, it really pained me to imagine the amount of pain and the scourging and the crown of thorns were already so much pain that it could have killed a human being instantly.

Jesus still stood up weakly and carried his wooden cross, which he fell several times along the way.
OF COURSE, imagine if you had deep cuts after the scourging and whipping, would you still be able to walk straight??

He was bleeding all over and yet they were so cruel to HIM!!

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Frankly, whether HE is the Son of God or not (where the people did not believe HIM), I still think they were really inhuman to do something like that to another human being.

I break down and cry when I read about this; and I definitely could not watch the Passion of Christ.

He was NAILED to the cross; to be crucified to HIS death.
I can tell you, if you felt the pain when a needle or a sharp object goes through the palms of your hands, imagine if a BIG nail went through it!

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It really made me shudder to my bone and the sadness crept in when I thought of how he suffered during his last hours.

Clouds have darkened and the veil of the temple has broken into two before Jesus breathed his last.
He cried so loudly, "Eloi, Eloi, La Mech Sabathani?? (My God, Why have you forsaken me?)"

It is a clear depiction that even Jesus are like us, in times of despair and pain, will call out to God (furthermore, it is HIS father) to ask for help.
He knew his fate and his Father's will, but yet, he must have been so much in pain that he wished HIS father would be there for him and take it all way from him.

With that, he breathed his last.

Imagine, HE suffered so much for ALL of us, for our redeem us and to give us another chance of a NEW Life.

It showed how much GOD loved us that HE wanted us to live by sacrificing HIS one and ONLY son.
It was painful and yet, it was also the greatest mysteries that we marvel at.
We praise the Almighty God to the highest and we sing of Jesus in songs of glory and praise.

We are now here today because of this CHANCE.

Had we been reciprocating and remembered what GOD wanted of us?

Do we invite God into our lives and live the way God wanted us to?
Do we hurt other people or do we listen to God, We must love one another?

Sinners were redeemed by Jesus Christ's blood - the amount of blood which cannot be measured by any standard of his wonderful LOVE for us.
He Suffered and bear everything because he WANTED us to live...

Jesus never refute his Father's will because he LOVED us...

ARE We worthy of HIS LOVE?
Will anyone else do something like that for us?

We always claim that we could die for each other when we are in love, but how many are really willing to go to that lengths (the same humiliation and pain that Jesus went through for us?)

Yet, we seem to have lost ourselves in this materialistic world and care more about those material things that we have lost track of being with God.
Some of us don't even remember God, one hour of prayer is often reciprocated with "I am too busy today"

We can spend hours chatting with our friends/family/boyfriend/girlfriend on the hour or in the lounge, but one hour to talk to God is not something achievable.

We can spend money buying a new suit for a company's formal function or an event, but we do not even waste time/money to dress up when we go to church or to attend the FEAST of God

I could think of many more, but the fundamental is I do not want to be judgmental.
It must come from our hearts...

Is GOD worth your time after all he has done for you?

We are not perfect people; neither are we God or living saints, and we may not be totally sinless.
But the very least is we can stop and think before we do something and ask ourselves, "Is this something that God would want me to do? Is this something that God himself would do?"

Remember, Jesus died for our sin, if we were to sin, it is just like squeezing salt or lime/lemon juice onto his wounds....

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Thus begins the HOLY WEEK....

I am sure most Catholics around the world has participated in Palm Sunday yesterday; which is always the significant day in the Lent season approaching Easter.
It is the Sunday before Easter and is also the initial point to marking the beginning of the HOLY Week after almost a month of abstinence and fast during the Lent season.

Why is Palm Sunday so important in the calendar and what is the significance of it to the whole celebration?

Well, the reason why Palm Sunday is significant and how it relates to beginning the whole Holy Week is due to the significant entry of Jesus Christ; which was a triumphant one into Jerusalem to face his fate and it is also the days before his Passion.

Palms were often associated with triumph and victory in the Jewish tradition and thus so, to mark the entry of Jesus Christ.

When the Holy Week begins, we participate and observe the honorary Passion of Christ; and together we pray and reflect on ourselves.