July 17, 2008

Are you afraid of ghosts?

An Indonesian writer who lived in France once wrote in his journal that he could sense there was a ghost presence in his apartment in Paris. Being a religious person, he tried to let his rational side take over, but it was not always easy! Sometimes he couldn't sleep at night because he thought he was hearing voices! Later on he found out the source of the problem was a pair of keris (Javanese dagger) that was bestowed to his son-in-law from somebody. For some people who are interested in the world of spirits, they believe there are 'mahluk halus' (unseen creatures) living in the daggers. Just like human-beings, there are good and bad spirits.

In Indonesia it is common when someone feels that his/her house is haunted by spirits, they would ask for a help from shaman (dukun) to get rid of the disturbances. My late parents also did that kind of ritual whenever they built an extended room in our house. I recalled dad also sticked some papers in Chinese writing that he got from the temple in the entrance and some other places he believed was occupied by the spirits. When my youngest brother had a seizure, both my parents were panic and thought he was being possessed. Since then mom never forgot to attach a small red color triangular shape cloth into my bro's shirt. Inside the cloth there was a paper in Chinese writing from the temple to protect my bro from any disturbance of bad spirits. I didn't feel anything weird or scary around our house. Even though I admitted I couldn't walk down our house long corridors without a shiver. Especially when it was my turn to shut down the genset (generator set). Back then we didn't have electricity supply from the PLN, so every household usually owned one genset which would be run around 5pm to 11pm. Well, I'd never seen one, but that doesn't mean they're not there. When I lived in the dormitory, there were stories about a headless nun and other spooky things. I remember even going to the toilet at night became a problem...LOL!

What's your story? What are your experiences with the spirits? Have you ever seen a ghost?


Anonymous said...

I'll probably get scared at first and later get used to it if I have to live in that house. There was "something" at my parents' house in Surabaya too and I learned to live with it. No big deal :)

Lorraine said...

My dad passed away in 1999. A year later, in 2000 I came home after work, opened my appartment's door, at the hall I smelled his favourite cigarettes (Jarum Merah Kretek). I started to cry & called on my husband. He too, smelled that too. This rokok kretek stayed the whole night till I went to bed. So, I didn't see his ghost but could feel that he was there checking out on me.

That's the only ghost experience of mine, except if you count several moments when I passed bamboo trees and felt the presence of an unseen spirit behind me. Ngeriiii!!!

sima said...

a corner at my old office was said to be haunted by spirits.
my colleague who sat in that spooky corner told me that at night, when he was alone, he sometimes heard someone typing or murmurirng in english. it's interesting as i've never heard before about ghosts in ind who speak english.

Koko said...

Except in tv, i don't want to experience anything related to ghost.

rimafauzi said...

I have so many experiences with ghosts, the first time being 7 years old. funny enough, all the sightings disappear the minute i stepped on Belgian soil. I still hear things, but never see. I dont know why, maybe because the people here are sceptical?

Anonymous said...

@Rima: Do tell your ghost stories in your blog please, I love them! HEHE this is a request :)

Finally Woken said...

First ghost experience, was in Jakarta when I started working. People in the office call her 'si manis', and the legend says Jakarta Stock Exchange is 'angker'. Usually si manis will start showing her power if we work late (taking over her party time), or work at weekend. One sunday, I went in to work until late in the afternoon, and when I was busy on the phone, suddenly I heard a girl singing. I could clearly pictured her in my head she was sitting at my boss' corner. At first I thought it must be a cleaning lady, but then I realised no cleaning lady on Sundays! I tried to ignore it, telling myself I was hearing things, but it got louder, I could even hear it word by word! Packed my bag and left immediately. But I had to stop at the loo and this naughty manis humming in my ear while I was doing number one, dammit!

At least she just sang, she once threw a piece of wood to my boss who came back after meeting at 11.00 PM and typed the secretary's keyboard. There was one time she was so disturbing we called both several 'orang pintar'. But they said it's better to leave her there and as long as we didn't work overtime too much, she won't bother us.

colson said...

Alas, no story of my own. But.

Apart from nightmares and anxieties and being afraid of weird animals under my bed, when I was a toddler (probably caused by the frightening bombings by allied airplanes), I can't produce a single, even remotely related, experience in which ghosts occur.

There is a lot of "Indische" literature I read however, set in Indonesian Tempo Doeloe, in which these kind of mysterious unseen powers do play a role. Some of them really beautiful stories at that.

I guess you have to have a talent - or a lot of creative imagination - for the metaphysical. Which I obviously lack. But I do appreciate a well told story which makes it it's central theme.

Toni said...

First ghost experience : someone without a face (no eyes, ears, lips, etc) watching me in the empty house. Scary.

therry said...

It seems that every famous bloggers here have their own ghost stories!!! I feel so left out lol

Elyani said...

@the writer : I'd never seen a ghost either except some goose bumps.

@Lorraine: I don't mind having my late parents checking on me either. As for walking past the bamboo trees, I think the sound of the rubbing leaves created a scary atmosphere esp. in the middle of the night.

@Sima: hehehe...that is because the ghost is reading too much of the English newspaper in your office, LOL!

@Rima: echoing the writer, please do tell us your ghost stories. Would love to read that.

@Anita: I think si Manis is quite temperamental...LOL!

@Colson: I'd never have an encounter with ghost either. I guess they didn't like me.

@Toni: a headless ghost? ewww...are you sure it was not someone covering his head with his sarong? :)

@Therry : ditto...either we're insensitive or the ghosts just do not like us seeing them :)

Ecky said...

I was visiting my aunty and we're gathered at her porch, from my angle I can see house opposite of my aunty's and then I see a girl peeking out from the window (I assume bedroom) as if she wants to check who's making noise and disturbed her nap.

When I ask my cousin who's the new neighbor (I know the previous family has moved out) they all look at me with shock because that house still empty! Damn... so who was that girl? Mystery