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I don't believe in ghosts

... however, I believe they exist.
(There's a fine difference in how it's phrased, IMHO)

And when I say ghosts, I also mean spirits and whatnot. I'm not gonna get technical, it's not like I'm studying them, LOL.

But I *have* been having a particularly demonic week or two, book-wise: Apart from having made my way through three Harry Dresden books (Harry being a wizard in Chicago, who has dealt with a storm-tapping wizard, a whole bunch of werewolves and most recently an elaborate plot by vampires to eliminate Dr Dresden) and The Historian (exploring yet another take on the Dracula tale - with fantastic results! review soon!!). Maybe that's put me in the mood for this topic?

So let's share some ghostly stuff, shall we?
What might have been my first ever sight of something "out of this world" was when I was maybe 10 years old. Chatting with the kids of our neighbourhood out in the driveway, I saw something large and white yet transparent whizz through the end of the garden. This was like out of the corner of my eye, so when I turned to look directly at it, I didn't see anything. Hmmmmm. Sure it could have been a trick of the light or whatever, but me, I'd never seen anything like that, so it stayed with me.
A common "interaction" people seem to have with spirits here is waking up to find yourself being "crushed" as if someone is lying on top of you (kena himpit) - and no not in a sexual way. Usually there's a lot of pressure on your chest, making it hard to breathe. It's usually accompanied by the feeling of being wrapped by your blanket like a cocoon such that you just. can't. move. your. arms. Your mouth and tongue and lips seem unable to move, so you can't even utter any prayers or whatnot that you think may help get the thing off of you. It's usually a minor thing tho, and then you drop back off to sleep and all is okay.

Unlike that experience in a hotel room over on the East Coast of Malaysia, in ~1999.
Okay, so maybe it was the fried popiah I had before going to bed. Or the fact that I hadn't showered before hitting the hay, despite having been to the gym that evening and was therefore stinky and sweaty. Or both? Or something else?

I woke up feeling like I had been wrapped up so tightly I could not move a muscle. I certainly felt a presence in the room, and it didn't seem friendly. I struggled to ucap some Koranic verses, but my mind had gone blank. Felt like I my thoughts were wading through mollasses, my head filled with cotton wool. I dug deeper, managed to remember one. Forced my mouth and tongue and lips to work, and hoarsely started reciting it. I stumbled over some words. I felt the presence move in closer! There was like an air of expectation, waiting for more stumblage, then it could really "get to me". No kidding. Scary! I struggled to continue reciting, through numb mouth tongue and lips.

I don't know how long this went on - felt like forever!

I was exhausted, I was starting to stumble more and more...

Then... maybe it masuk waktu subuh / it was dawn / prayer time?

I felt like the tide had turned. I swear I heard someone (male) assist me reciting the verses. The pressure on me reduced. I no longer felt all wrapped up. I could breathe again. My voice grew stronger and more confident. I felt the threat diminish.

Then. I heard jingling, like that of a belt that's looped on a pair of jeans, as the jeans are being put on. I heard the sound of a zip, as if said pair of jeans were then being zipped up. And i *swear* I heard a female voice way "geee, you're no fun!"

Then it was gone.

I sat up in bed, head pounding, hands frozen.

Hopped into the shower. Got dressed. Packed. Got outta there.

Went to the front desk, and told the gal at the counter that I wanted another room assigned to me when I got back later that day.

No questions asked.
No surprise expressed.

This got me thinking - had I been assigned a room that was known to be keras? (literal translation is "hard", but it's an euphemism in Malay for places that have strong otherworldly presence/activity). They'll never admit it, so I didn't bother asking.
Apart from that, I've had:
  • a pseudo-himpit experience, dunno if it was a dream or I actually woke up, but i had the impression of a female presence lying down next to me, on her side, one arm bent supporting her head, as she looked at me an smiled an all-too-wide, distinctly predatory smile. Perhaps a premonition of sorts for a relationship of mine about 8 years later? Who knows....

  • this person's "guardian spirit" supposedly attach itself to me and give me grief, because I was the subject/victim of that person's ire / jealously / blame. Went though an "exorcism" process half-believing, half-"yeah right, whatever"-ing. Nuff said.

  • the sight of a shadowy "warrior with a sword" standing behind Joe - supposedly *his* guardian spirit as a result of his "royal bloodline". I might have caught sight of that shadow once more another time - wasn't too sure about that.

  • the usual "office experience": hearing the tap of someone typing on the keyboard a few cubicles away, when you KNOW you're the only person in the office at that point in time. In my past life, I used to pull lots of late-nights, even some all-nighters, at the office mah!
I'm sure there's more I could say on this topic, but I'm kinda all typed out at the moment.

Anyone wanna share their own experiences?

Hat tip to those who triggered this topic: Ari and his ghost revue, and neome with that Hotel Istana email who then requested *my* hotel tale. Cheers, y'all :-)


  1. Never had the pleasure of meeting an out-of-this-world presence before. It'll be cool if I did, I don't know how I'd react though...

  2. a friend was sleeping in her office surau. when she woke up, she saw a pontianak on the ceiling, smiling at her. she swears it's true.

  3. Thanks for the hotel encounter. Thru my experience Most hotel and hostels usually ada. Offices, houses, by the road side..everywhere..if its your unlucky day or maybe lucky day ( experiencing it - have story to tell:) ). Tips - before entering any hotel rooms, hold breath and slowly let it go and recite any Koran verses..usually ayat kursi before entering, then enter confidently..and not being too cautious - u end up not sleeping pulak..but you never know what and who was there before and the kind of activities people had in that room..

  4. "I don't believe in ghosts ... however, I believe they exist" well stated.

    But again... your stories are scary! Bloody hell. Your pseudo-himpit experience scares me! It's freaky!!! eeee...

    and oh, thx for the link back.

  5. Wow - them's some experiences you've had!

    I personally believe in Ghost, Spirits, Spirit Guides AND Guardian Angels.

    Ironically enough I don't believe in "God" nor am I religious. However, I am Spiritual, which basically means that I believe in an afterlife and I try to get in touch with my Spirit Guides through various means such as Meditation, and Automatic Writing. The meditation doesn't sit too well with me as of now, but I've had some success with Automatic Writing,resulting in a message given to me from my baby Nephew who died 3 years ago at the age of 20 days old.

    At the end of the day, it's each to their own, and we all believe what we want to and what feels comfortable to each of us. It's what makes us unique and different to everyone else. I would never try and force someone to accept that which they don't want to - same as I hope that someone who doesn't believe in the same as me, would never try and force me to accept their way of thinking.

  6. I've had the whole "being crushed in bed" experience, but I never attributed it to ghosts, spirits, etc. I just thought it was sleep paralysis. A half-awake REM sort of state. Scared the hell out of me.

    I do, however, heavily believe in ghosts and spirits, both good and bad. Blogged about it, too.

  7. Waaa, scary man! Had cold shivers running down my spine and goose bumps reading this entry ;-)
    Maybe you are a "sensitive" like that kid in that movie with Bruce Willis who sees the dead, though not to that extent. Or a medium. Any mediums in the family?
    Never had such experiences myself. Or, if I did, never attributed them to the supernatural and promptly forgot about them. Must be as "insensitive" as they get (well, I am sure my ex-girlfriends will agree to that).
    It is a dark and stormy night, I think I'll sleep with the light on... ;-)

  8. Hhmmm.. may be forgetting the incident of "tempias" from Mitch's place?

    I still remember the incident when the needle stubbornly stayed afloat in that bowl of water... and the egg yolk with bite marks,... spooky...


  9. from Allie

  10. what you wrote memang betul la beb...been in such spooky situations maaaany times myself....kena himpit....banyak kali!

  11. Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog! Oh, you have this 'kena himpit' experience in a hotel room? Scary!

    But science explained this as some sort of feeling or sensation some people felt when they were very tired when they go to sleep.

    For me, I don't know - I've never experienced it, thank God! But there were times when I experienced feeling weak and unable to wake up even though I'm already awake. It's like a helpless feeling but it usually ends with me going back to sleep. Maybe I was not really awake, but still in my dreams, yet knowing that I was dreaming!

  12. Great stories! What is interesting is how similar a lot of these stories are...the common elements. Also, some people seem more sensitive to otherworldly presences then other people. An encounter with a ghost is a good thing! Not everybody will ever have that chance.


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