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Ghost of Singapore

Mysterious Hindu Priest
The House

 

Mysterios Hindu Priest
I am Chinese, an Apek , if you will. The young call me Apek as a form of respect. Apek means uncle.

A friend recommended that I write this letter to you, for you feature many such stories. My English is bad for I am not English educated so I write to you in broken Malay. I hope that you will translate my story into English and publish it.

A friend and I, both retired and bored, meet at a coffee shop near Yio Chu Kang daily. We like slouching comfortably on the plastic chairs, and rest our feet up on other chairs. It so happens that the soles of our bare feet would face an Indian Temple situated just by the coffee shop.

As usual one evening, we sat at our spot, and the soles of our feet facing the Hindu temple. Suddenly, appearing from nowhere, an old frail Indian man, with three strips of white ash across his forehead, stood to the left of us. His right arm shivered as he tried to hold his weight with a cane. In his other hand, he clasped his white dhoti so it wouldn't hinder his walk.

The motionless old man stared at me. I stared at him back; I wasn't going to let an old frail man intimidate me.

"Apa? " I said coarsely to him. ("What?" in Malay.)

He stared at me, his face turning angry. Then he turned to look at the Temple , he faced me again and pointed with his chin at my elevated feet.

"Itu kaki bawah taroh ." He ordered. ("Put your legs down!")

"Who the hell is this man to tell me what to do?" I grumbled as I stood. " Wah! Lu mau cari galoh ah? " I said angrily in my limited Malay. ("You looking for trouble?")

As I towered almost a foot above him, he backed away, cursing as he turned to walk. I sat back down and faced my friend. My friend, Ah Kau, laughed but reprimanded me.

"Why do you want to scare an old man?" Ah Kau said. Then he turned to look at the old man.

"Eh! Where did he go?" Ah Kau said in a start.

There was nowhere the old man could have gone besides straight on. The five-foot way he was walking on did not have any opening, or way out-just straight ahead.

The Old Indian man had vanished in thin air!

Ah Kau and I exchanged looks. Cold sweat began pouring from my forehead. Ah Kau too was sweating. The air suddenly became cold-I mean, freezing cold!

Quickly, we slipped on our foam slippers and got the hell out of there.

That night I could not sleep. The old Indian man kept creeping into my head. I tossed and turned so many times that I finally sat up at the edge of my bed and cried.

"Why do you haunt me? Whatever I said to you, I take back. Please leave me alone."

Miraculously, after saying that, I felt dizzy and lay down. I fell asleep immediately.

The next morning, I called Ah Kau and invited him to the coffee shop for breakfast.

"What? You still want to go to the coffee shop?" Ah Kau said with a raised voice.

"Don't worry, nothing will happen." I assured him.

Instead of heading straight for our chairs at the coffee shop, I went to take a closer look at the Indian temple. I stood at the temple gate and watched. Ah Kau was amazed.

"Oi, what are you doing? You okay or not?" He said in a worried tone.

"It's so peaceful inside." I said, without taking my eyes of the Indian deities. Then, I pointed at one of the colourful statues.

"Look, that is Hanuman. And there, that is Krishna . That one is Kali; oh she is one you should not mess around with."

I don't know how I knew of the names of the deities, but I just knew. Without thinking or saying another word, I removed my slippers and stepped into the temple ground.

"Hey Lim, Are you alright or not?" Ah Kau pulled at my shoulder.

Without stopping, I walked on. Ah Kau followed. He too removed his slippers. We walked around the temple looking at all the marvelous figurines. Suddenly, Ah Kau grabbed my right shoulder and pointed to the front.

"Look! That's the man we saw yesterday!"

It was a glossy statue of but one pious devotee worshipping one of the many Hindu gods. Our eyes popped; the statue transfixed us.

"Oh hell, you are right, Ah Kau."

I walked over to the statue and stared at it; it seemed to stare at me too, as if it were alive.

"Whatever I said to you yesterday, I didn't mean. Please forgive me." I bowed before it.

Ah Kau was left unsure and uncomfortable that I saw him do the same. Then, when we looked up, the statue was no longer a statue-it was alive! My eyes became wide open and my jaw fell. I didn't see how Ah Kau reacted, but I presume, the same as me. Strangely though, we didn't feel any fear. In fact, I even began to smile and looked at him with wonderment.

Without asking, priest dabbed his thumb into the palm of his other hand and smeared white ash on my forehead. He did the same to Ah Kau. With palms together in a praying gesture, we thank him with a bow. He smiled, turned, and walked away.

This story may be hard to believe but I swear it's true. From that day onwards, Ah Kau and I have become unofficially Hindus. We go to the temple every morning before taking our breakfast at the coffee shop. Yes, of course, we never put our soles up towards the temple anymore. Frankly, we feel great and our wives too notice our difference. They say we treat them better. How? I am not quite sure.

Lim Kan Chuay, 52, Lorry driver.

 
 


The House

I am a Bruneian, and was studying in Singapore at the time this incident happened.

During one of our block school holidays, my three Singaporean classmates and I decided we would do something more adventurous than the usual hanging out at the malls, so we went to the beach and set up a tent. I can't remember which beach this was, but we found a secluded spot where we thought was great for pitching our tent.

Setting up the 4-man tent was a breeze for Feldman and me, but for Michael and Kai Li, it was a daunting task. They often pulled and pushed at the same rod on both ends and complained the rod was stuck. Seeing them befuddle like that was hilarious.

After the tent was set up, we relaxed outside and watched the sun go down. It was a warm, but beautiful, sunset that evening of 4th August 2006. The cold wet cola bottle was perfect as a cooler; I rubbed and rolled it over my face, before gulping down the rest of the black fizz it contained. No sooner did I belch than Feldman did a louder one. Hearing Feldman's, Kai Li did one too. Thank goodness, there were no girls around or they would surely have fled in utter disgust.

I can't remember what else we did to pass the time but soon it was nearing one o'clock in the morning. We realised then that we had chosen quite a warm spot, and it was hard to get to sleep, so one of the guys suggested we go for a walk on the beach.  

We were new in Singapore and did not want to get lost, so we took the local map and a compass along. Michael had a video camera, which he liked to bring everywhere. As he walked, he swung the camera precariously about. It was dark so the camera viewing screen was mostly black. I was observing from behind when suddenly I saw a glow in the viewing screen.  

"What's that?" I exclaimed.  

Michael turned to me with a blank stare. I snatched the video cam from him and started to aim it where I though I saw the glow. There was nothing. Then I pointed the camera in all directions, still nothing. I realised that the tape was rolling and the camera was on record mode so I stopped it.  

"What are you doing?" Michael asked.  

"I saw something, a white glow of some sort." I said.  

I rewound the tape and replayed it.  

"There! There! See the glow?" I was excited.  

"Yeah. What is it?" Michael asked, as he pulled the camera from me.

"I don't know but it came from that direction." I said, and pointed to the trees on our right.  

"Gosh, it's cool, man." Kai Li said. "Shall we go look for it?"

Surprisingly, everyone agreed. So, we walked out of the sand and into the foliage. The foliage got thicker and thicker as we trundled in.

"Hey we are going to get lost, you know?" Michael said.

Michael appeared scared but threaded on nevertheless. He turned on the camera's night vision feature and looked through the screen as he walked. As we went deeper into the foliage, the night became almost totally dark, save for some moonlight seeping through the tree canopies above us. Feldman, the bravest one of us, led the way, followed by Kai Li, then Michael, then I. Suddenly Feldman stopped and Kai bumped into him, who then had Michael bump into him, and then I bumped into Michael.  

"What the hell!" Michael uttered then groped his way to Feldman.

"Wow! This is cool, man! An old rickety house." Michael exclaimed as he filmed the baleful looking house before us.  

The rest of us exchanged glances, even though we couldn't really see each other's faces. We couldn't believe, the timid Michael saying what he did, so we dared him.

"Michael, why don't you go in and shoot. That is if you dare." We giggled. We knew he would never.

"That's okay, this is good enough." Michael replied.

Declining the dare made us even more resolute to tease him further. So we did. Then suddenly, he walked forth. We turned to each other in surprised again before following suit.

I must say, we were actually more scared to be alone outside than to go into the house as a group. We crept stealthily toward the house. It seemed more ominous from the far than near. We couldn't see the sharp protruding planks at the sides of the house anymore, the broken roof tiles and dark patches all over the walls became less obvious, and the windows stopped looking like eyes of hell.

We reached the entrance door and pushed it. It creaked open. There was a plank nailed across the doorway, so we ducked underneath it and entered the house.

"Oh, the smell is awful." Feldman belched out, as he covered his mouth and nose.

Our noses sucked up the strong musky warm air and nearly made us throw up. No sooner had we reach the centre of the hall than we became drenched in sweat.  

"Gosh, the humidity in here." Kai Li stated.  

As soon as Kai Li said that, the air temperature dropped. It started becoming cold.  

"Oh shucks, I don't think this is a good idea, guys." Feldman said suddenly, his voice quivering.  

We thought if Feldman was afraid then something must really be wrong.

Even with the chills penetrating into out bones, none of us truly felt like leaving anytime soon. We were strangely attracted to the house-I, more so. It is hard to explain what we felt at the time. All we wanted to do was explore. We crept deeper into the house, avoiding stepping and tripping over the debris of broken planks, glass, and other shinny things that we could barely see. We then reached a narrow corridor that led to a couple of rooms. We peered warily into the first room. Our fear and common sense nagged, "LEAVE QUICK!" But we acted against our better judgments.

The room was pitch-black. We groped about like blind mice, except for Michael. With his night-vision-capable camera, Michael scanned the room like a space-age investigator.

Suddenly, CRASH!

Michael shrieked! His shriek made all of us jump. Feldman franctically pushed everyone aside and ran out of the room into the hallway. I followed suit. As I ran, I turned. I saw nothing but the curving streaks of light made by the moving camera in Michael's hand.  

"Eeeeeeee..." Came a creepy wail.  

"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!" Feldman yelled hysterically.  

I grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him violently.  

"STOP! FELDMAN! FELDMAN! LISTEN TO ME! IT'S PROBABLY A CAT!"  

Suddenly, Feldman stopped. He panted and squeezed me tightly.  

"Hey, hey, take it easy Felds, I already have a girlfriend back home." I joked, but there was no laughter.  

"Seems like it's coming from the kitchen." Kai Li said. "Michael, what do you see?"

Michael peered about but could see nothing. "Maybe Azim is right. It could have been a cat." Michael replied.  

We all agreed, it did sound like a wailing cat or something. We then turned warily and began walking towards the exit, ready to scoot at a moment's fright.

Suddenly a whiff of sweet flowers surrounded us, and we felt compelled to go to the source. In a perfect line, we walked towards the kitchen. No one talked. We simply walked, calmly. Everyone seemd to know just where to go-straight to the kitchen.

In the kitchen, we were startled by a horrific sight. We stared with mouths opened wide and bones rattling in the chill. We couldn't move no matter how hard we tried. We were screaming in our heads but no sound came out. All four of us just stood there watching this frightening thing before us.

The whitish glowing smoke floated in mid air, amidst the darkness. It glowed and danced for several minutes before becoming still.  

Suddenly, I could move my head. I turned and saw that Michael's camera was still running on 'record mode.'  

"I hope it's taping the thing." I said in my head.  

Suddenly the smoky thing moved again, and we watched in horror as the white glowing smoke took a form of a woman. It became scarier by the second. I saw from the corner of my eyes my friends trembling and fighting to scream. Their eyes nearly popped out of their sockets and mouths gaping wide but there were no screams. I thought we were surely going to die that day. We could no nothing but stare in horror at the smoky figure. Our hearts raced faster by the second, and it was only a matter of time before one of us died of a heart attack, I thought.

Then I felt faint coming forth. I thought I was going to be the first one to die. I held my breath and began to pray. But it didn't help; the figure was still there and it started to become, clearly, a woman. Her flesh and clothes glowed blindingly. When the glow finally simmered, we saw clearly what it was-a VAMPIRE!

Two sharp fangs hung down from her upper mouth. Her claw-like fingers menacingly pointed at us, and her eyes, so deep and emotionless, made my skin crawl. Her white gown fluttered violently even though there was no wind.

We could do nothing. We were DOOMED, I thought! Then, I did the only thing left; I promised God that I would make the pilgrimage to Mecca that very year if he saved our lives. I started to recite some verses my father had thought me. I recited them in my head, over and over, louder and louder every time.

Suddenly, a loud thunder exploded! It didn't sound like the usual thunders we normally hear, it was a sharp and piercing boom, almost like it was happening right at the front of the house. I know it was thunder because it came with lightning.  

POOF! The vampire vanished instantly and we were thrown down to our butts. We rushed out of the house as fast as we could and never looked back. We gathered our stuff and left the beach immediately.  

I truly believe we would have perished that night if God hadn't saved us.

All I know of the house is that a lady had hanged herself to death before it was abandoned.  

And about the video? We were too scared to watch it, so we kept it in the camera. When we returned to Brunei , I told my dad about the tape. He took it from us and burnt it without even watching it.

Azim, 12
Student

 
   

 


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Ghosts of Singapore