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-BunyianI think it will be fun hantu spotting at the Halloween launch this Friday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .)