Every part of the world is plagued with the existence of ghosts and ghouls, each one as unique as their surroundings. Singapore is no different. In fact, I believe that the ghosts and ghouls of South East Asia are by far more scarier than those floating white spectres of the West.
Here are just a few ghosts and ghouls we have here.
This is a spirit which is kept in a jar with a foetus and some special liquid to preserve it. The toyol is kept by people to do their bidding, but the price for keeping it is you HAVE to feed it your own blood EVERYDAY. Some toyols have special ‘needs’ as well. If the spirit is that of a child, you’d usually have to provide it with a couple of toys to play with. If money goes missing and white ants (or termites) are found where the money should have been, the toyol has just done its bidding for their master.
This is perhaps the most frightening of all ghosts and ghouls of South East Asia. It is said that the pontianak is the spirit of a woman who died of childbirth. Sometimes she can look very beautiful, but most of the time she has razor teeth and stalks the night in search for men or pregnant women (it is said she could not bear the thought of other women being able to enjoy motherhood)to suck blood from (sometimes eat the flesh of babies ripped out from their mothers). There are many stories of the pontianak, but perhaps the scariest is the one which happened on the Malaysian highway.
The Kum Kum is an old witch who attacks young virgins in her attempt to regain her youth and beauty. According to legend, she got her name as she cannot say the whole Malay greeting and can only say these 2 syllables.
Loosely translated from Malay, Hantu Tetek means ‘Ghost Breast’. This ghost is female (DUH!) and has huge breasts, which she is said to use to suffocate her victims (who are men. DUH!)
This is neither ghost nor ghoul, but a man practised in the arts of magic. He is often the man locals will turn to with a ‘difficult’ problem to solve and he will do it, often for a small fee. Don’t worry though, it’s money fee. Hee hee…
Jiang-shi is the Chinese vampire. Does the same thing as Dracula and sucks blood, but they can only hop around with their arms outstretched. They don’t talk at all you can escape them by throwing a handful of glutinous rice. The grains will hit the Jiang-shi like little firecrackers, giving you time to make your get-away.
Wanna scare your brains out? Try the Singapore Ghost & Ghoul Story Collection.
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