Home Sweet Home

This is a story from across the sea, East Malaysia. My house is being shared with an ancient spirit or “Penunggu” as the Malays call them and my deceased auntie whom had commited suicide more than 10 years ago. I shall tell you how we come to this conclusion but first, let me just summarised (the best that I could) all the weird happenings.

1) Once I was watching TV alone at our living room. It was around 6pm and it was dark (it gets dark early in Sabah unlike in Singapore or West Malaysia). My mom and a relative of ours were in the kitchen. As I was too engrossed watching TV, I didn’t switch on the lights. Suddenly, the arm chair that I was sitting in began shaking. I remember it shook for about 1 minute. I thought it was one of our cats scratching itself and leaning against the chair, hence, the shaking. I wanted to shoo away the culprit but when I stood up (still in the arm chair) and my eyes scan the surrounding area, you guess, no cat! All the while, the chair was still shaking and only the chair whilst the rest of the furnitures were not. Funny thing was that I wasn’t afraid but just continued watching my TV. I simply found it odd. That’s TV over matter to you.

2) Occasionally, we will hear someone or something opening our main gate. It wasn’t the wind. Our gate was cast iron and the sound we heard was a loud clang.

3) My brother in-law was feeling a bit hungry in the middle of the night. So he went to the kitchen to cook himself a packet of maggie. While cooking, he could feel that someone was standing next to him as though overseeing the cooking and from the corner of his eye, he saw a shadow. When he turned to see who it was, he saw a Malay fellow with a beard, wearing Batik shirt staring at him. He ran straight for his bedroom. He kept this to himself and only told us few months later. Poor fellow. Things you marry into.

4) My sister and another relative of ours (on different occasions) swore that someone was occupying the other side of the bed when they were sleeping. Well, they saw a shadow of someone lying next to them.

5) Once I heard a woman’s voice calling me at night, asking me to hurry up while I was brushing my teeth. It was very clear. Freaked me out!

6) My late grandfather whom was infirm hinted to my mom that whenever he was left alone at home, he could hear the others.


Now to the matter of how we came to our conclusion. Well, the weird happenings came to head sometime in the middle of year 2000. There seemed to be no peace in the house at all. There were always family quarrels over the most trivial of matter. In one incident, my brother and sister in-law had a fierce quarrel. When everyone cool down, my mom asked my sister in-law on what was the cause of the argument. My sis in-law said that she didn’t know. She didn’t remember why they were fighting. Anger just came to her.

Things started disappearing and were moved mysteriously. Once, our medicine kit ( which is a wooden box with glass panel – very sturdy ) which was nailed to the wall, ‘flew’ or was flung across the room. Poltegeist?!

I’ve always complained to them ( my family ) that our house was a bit too damp and gloomy for my liking especially the room that I occupied previously before I moved to Singapore. I’ve always felt sadness, anger and sense of helplessness that was so depressing when I stayed in that room. Now I know why.

One day, my sister in-law happened to make a passing remark about the on-goings to her sister whom was visiting her from the state capital. The sister recommended a Taoist priest to her. My brother and mom didn’t care much ( so am I but I wasn’t there then. This was relate to me when I went back last year )for all these mysticism but they didn’t object for not wanting to hurt the in-laws feeling.

Anyway, so the priest turned up. Did his stuff, said that he sensed something ( just like in the movies ) and brother like thingking, “yah, yah, yah,…. Mumbo jumbo. Wonder how much I’m going to have to pay for this?”. Then the priest asked him a question which raised my brother’s heckles ( mine too when he told me the story ). The priest asked whether we have an auntie who killed herself ( My family didn’t tell the priest of this fact. It’s not like something we like talking about ). He said that he could see my auntie standing next to my brother as they were talking. Then my brother saw that one of our dogs was suddenly ‘staring’ at him, it’s ears ‘pointing up’ and making those sound that dogs do when they are “crying”. Really freaked him out.

Apparently, our late auntie chose to make herself one of the residence for reasons unknown to us but claimed the priest, her spirit came because we kept ‘old stuffs’ in our house. Stuffs as old photos, old picture frame, things that were familiar to her (Don’t ask me why. Everyone keeps old stuffs too but doesn’t have the problem or have they? ). I guess the things were conducive for her spirit to have a hold on the living world. Hers was a tragic death. The priest said that her spirit resides in the cracks of our house and IN MY ROOM! Though her spirit was harmless, the priest said that she is trying to drive away all the MALE occupants of the house. We didn’t tell the priest that one of the impetus to my late auntie’s trouble was a man.

But why the sudden increase in her ‘activity’? It gets interesting here. A Toyol had been visiting our house. This toyol stays in the ‘disused’ rubber estate (quite spooky place. More like a jungle now with all the vines and tall grass) next to our house. This toyol escaped from its master and decided to play pranks in our house. Mr Toyol and my late auntie’s spirit were not getting on well with each other. Maybe she was trying to protect us too. Anyway, my late auntie was very ‘distressed’ by Mr Toyol’s invasion of her private dormain and sent S.O.S to us via whatever means that she had. Discord, flying medical kit etc…

The priest made some arrangement to rid of these problems. Banishing Mr Toyol and appeasing my late auntie’s spirit and arranging for her to be reincarnated. Believe it or not, things had settled down with my family. Quite and peaceful since then. However, the priest told us that there is one spirit which he could not displace because this ‘being’ has the ‘right of way’. This being is the bearded batik attired Malay man that my brother in-law encountered. Apparently, he has been around even before our house was built. So in actual fact, we are the ‘trespassing’ on his land ( in a manner of speaking ). His ‘house’ is located in my mom’s garden. There’s a tree there which bears white coloured flowers. I don’t know what you call them in English but back home, they called it ( literary translated ) ‘Dead man’s flower’. Funny thing about that tree is that, we have tried ( I personally hacked it down to a stump ) to destroy it but it always grows back?

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