Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Undead Danny Lim

Some of us may not believe in the supernatural world but we are always curious about it.
Malaysia is blessed with kinds of ghosts the rest of the world has never heard of (as I mentioned once before, here). And being such a multicultural land, every race has brought their own ghouls along to add to the cultural mix.

Danny Lim (left) talks to Bissme S. in the Sun about his new book The Malaysian Book of the Undead .

Here's a guide to some of the fellows you will find among the pages :

Hantu Bunyi-Bunyian
Ghosts that are only heard but not seen. They like to confuse people in the jungle. In Malay folklore, they could marry humans and even bear invisible children. Marriage with such a ghost can grant the human spouse magical powers.

Hantu Gerasi
A gigantic ghost accompanied by its spectral hounds, believed by the Ibans, to have a voracious appetite, especially for human beings. When hungry, the ghost is said to bring sickness. Whenever an Iban village experiences an epidemic of sorts, a special hut will be erected and food offered to appease it.

Hantu Balung Bidai
An evil spirit that lives in water, resembles a mat and with a mouth at each corner. It wraps itself around victims and drown them.

Hantu Langut
This hunter ghost with a dog’s head on a human body originates from Pahang. It tells of a father and son who went hunting with their dog in tow. A leech bit the father’s foot. He sliced it in two but was amazed to see the leech reattach itself and become whole again. The father thought if his own head were cut off, it could be reattached with leech blood. He asked his son to do it but alas, the head rolled into a crevice in the rocks. Panic-stricken, the son cut off the dog’s head, fixing it on his father’s body, and smearing it with leech blood. The father was revived but was so ashamed of his appearance that he remained in the depths of the jungle as the Hantu Langut.

Mohini Pisasu
A seductive female ghost in Indian folklore, this temptress dressed in white with anklets roams the night seducing unsuspecting bachelors. She leads them into the jungle and kills them.

This male counterpart of the Mohini Pisasu is fond of occupying the bodies of young female virgins who begin to display male behaviour like smoking cigarette. The Vellaisamy-possessed girls can finish a cigarette in a single, long drag without any smoke coming out of their mouths.
I think it will be fun hantu spotting at the Halloween launch this Friday.

Psst - Amir is offering some free copies to bloggers, but I'm not going to tell you about that, because I want one myself.

(Right - an illustration from the book about a ghost with big boobies called a churel .)


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Danny. I had a good look at the book and I must say that I really like the illustrations. They're awesome :)


My Raison D'etre said...

Hiya Sharon,

The book wouldn't be complete without the "Hantu Panjang" - one which I had the unfortunate opportunity to chance upon one night many years ago in Malacca.

Fascinated I was definitely NOT! :)

God bless.

Anonymous said...

and hantu tetek?


bibliobibuli said...

my raison d'etre - please tell us!!! give us some halloween shivers.

i have never seen but have heard ghostly voices ....

GUO SHAO-HUA said...

Danny Lim rocks! Matahari rocks! Amir ... er, Amir, er ... ok lah, Amir rocks! hehehehe. (jokez jokez)

actually i never understood our possessiveness and our pride at our "diverse" collection of hantu. really, all cultures of the world have interesting hantu, not just us.

i'm really looking forward to this book.

X said...

Someone should read Phantasmagoria for Halloween this year :)

X said...

"Congrats to Danny. I had a good look at the book and I must say that I really like the illustrations."

Talk about damning with faint phrase. "I read your book.. and I.. um.. well I liked the illustrations :)"

Anonymous said...

I said I had a good look at the book; the cover, the binding, the paper, the pages, the illustrations etc.

I did not say that I've read the actual text... Yet.

Will do so once I buy myself a copy. Didn't want to steal Danny's.

See you at the launch :)


X said...

Sorry SNAil, but I can't see how you can take a good look at everything but the text and still say you haven't read it. I mean, the text is on the pages, you can't see the pages and not read the text. It's impossible. I mean it's mostly text right, I don't think anyone picks up a book with the express purpose of viewing the illustrations, so you MUST have read it.

My idea of a good book is one that grabs me. If I pick up the book, and I can't put it down, then I have to buy it. If I can put it down, then I can't have liked it. I don't know why people buy books and force themselves to read them.

Anonymous said...

x, I'm an illustrator. I LIKE looking at illustrations. The illustrations in the book were done by a friend of mine. So what's the big deal?

Now if YOU want to pass judgement on how good Danny's book is, then please go ahead. Just don't assume that I would think the same way as you do. Cheers.


Amir said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amir said...

X got up from the wrong side of the coffin. The good news is that this is going for the 2nd print run today!

bibliobibuli said...

snail - don't worry about mr. X since he is deliberately setting out to be contentious. glad i am though that at last he's using an identity.

and x - please just be a bit friendlier, yes, or i'll rap your knuckles.

X said...

Gosh, that's a first for me. What would you do if the book didn't have illustrations? :)


If you do that I'd just be anonymous again. That's why free speech and human rights are so much fun :)

Anonymous said...

Dunno, maybe I'd learn the alphabet or buy myself a dictionary, you know, just in case I need to read the book instead.