Call it what you will, but the talent to see, feel and perceive ghosts is still very strong amongst Asians. The power to perceive the mystical in every human being manifests itself so much more subtly yet blatantly in Asia. I suspect this is shaped strongly by the culture itself; the Asian culture emphasises respect for everything around us, to hold ourselves as tiny, small manifest parts of the Universe, and thus we have a healthy respect for the things that cannot be seen.
Among a number of South East Asian countries, there is a belief that sacrifices must be made before large, mega-construction projects are begun. These sacrifices are not the “slay a bull and say a prayer to the Gods according to your religions” kind of rituals. No, they are much, much more darker. They have their origins in the days when humans were finally beginning to understand the world around them, when shamans still ruled.
These sacrifices involved (depending on the version you hear) just the heads of your enemies or the innocent, or burying others alive. Still some say that the bones of the dead must be mixed with the cement. Which is it? I do not know. All I know is that the tales I’m about to relate take place over various parts of Peninsular Malaysia.
The Thirsty Highway
My college moved to a new campus when I had been there for two years. This move was marked with general dissatisfaction by the student body; we were moving to a place where amenities were almost non-existent and almost a ghost town. However, we had more things to worry about much after when we finally moved there.
The spiritually sensitive among my friends all remarked that driving along a certain turn gave them the chills. On the surface, this was not without basis. That particular turn was quite sharp and as the roads were wide and mainly empty, it was also quite a popular spot for the many rich and “oooo new sportscar/new cars” drivers to speed.
Within weeks we heard of many friends who had gotten into horrific accidents in that place. None though, were as bad as this one guy whose car turned turtle while he was passing by that turn (apparently he was keeping to the speed limit, but the roads were slippery as it had been raining earlier). There were four people in the car. Only the driver and one passenger had survived. The other two, one of whom had just became a father, was killed instantly.
It was around this time that I started hearing rumours of the ghosts. To build such a town, one of the pride of Malaysia, required money and sacrifice. Apparently, the ghosts that inhabited that particular town were very thirsty. Their choice of drink? Human blood. They would continue drinking, and by drinking, causing accidents in that area until they were satisfied.
Doesn’t help the fact that my college even had quite a few scary religious icons lying around (for those with the eyes to discern them). *shiver*
Tip tap tap on the car roof
I’ve been told that this particular story apparently is quite popular and has its routes one of the highways to the East Coast.* There are variations of it floating on the Net, and I have seen it in the True Singapore Ghost Stories, so I guess it is very popular.
A married couple was once driving along this highway when they got into an accident. They skidded off the road and into a tree. Both of them were shaken, but they were not hurt. The husband decided to go for help, and told his wife that unless he had returned or if the police came, she was not to leave the car for ANY reason. No reason at all. The wife agreed.
About half an hour later, she began to hear some tip-tap sounds on the car. It was a steady drip, like rain, but there was no rain. Remembering her husband’s admonition, she stayed in the car like that for a few hours, till a patrol car passed by. They called to her, and she answered. When the policemen asked her to come out of the car, she did so, but they told her to not look back.
She got out of the car and walked all the way up to the side of the road where they were waiting for her. Just as she reached them, she turned back.
Her husband’s body hung from a tree. The dripping sound she had heard was not a drip, but rather the gentle thud of his head hitting the car’s roof.
On a semi-related note, I’ve been told to warn all drivers using the KL-Seremban highway, especially girls, to NEVER stop for a couple if you see them waving you down at the side of the road. If you do, and you step out of your car, you will see the wife holding her husband’s severed head.
* The story above does NOT take on the KL-Seremban highway.
The Town that did not exist
This group of friends had travelled from Johor Bahru to Kuantan to meet their friends. Despite the advice of their friends, they insisted on making the trip back to Johor Bahru at night, budgeting to reach the city by morning. Their friends relented, as they were going in two cars, thinking there would be safety in numbers.
“Remember,” their friends cautioned, “Just drive on straight. Don’t stop anywhere till you reach Johor.”
As you can guess, they didn’t listen to the advice. After several hours of travel, the two cars stopped by this roadside stall for a ciggie break, piss and a quick drink. They then continued on their way.
After some time, the first car turned into a small sidestop. They figured they still had quite a bit of time, and it was time for a ciggie break and perhaps a light meal. There were a few other people at the rest stop too, so they figured they were safe. While they were eating, they wondered where the second car was. Looking at their phones, they realised, “Alamak, no signal here!”
Still, they had stopped for only 20 minutes. Figuring out they could still catch up, they paid the bill and quickly left. It wasn’t long before they reached the appointed meeting place (just before Johor Bahru the town).
“Where the hell have you been?” the other driver asked as they pulled up.
“We just made a quick stop at the this rest stop, la. It was only for 20 minutes, what’s gotten into you?”
“Are you sure it’s only been 20 minutes? Check your watches.”
“I’ve been waiting here for more than three hours!”
He was right. The stop had cost them three hours, but they couldn’t understand how it had happened. Asking around, they soon discovered, that the place where they had stopped, and the town associated with it, did not exist. Some say these people had been lucky; the bunians* had not kidnapped them as they would have done so, once a long time ago.
* Bunians: fairies or pixies