7th month trivia: Know your local ghouls!

Dracula? Frankenstein? Poltergeists? Bah – all foreign talents. This 7th month, we ‘d like to celebrate the freaky, the creepy and bloody: the hair raising things that make up South East Asian (and Singaporean) ghost-lore. Plus remember to bookmark this page for dress-up ideas for Halloween next month!


1. The Pocong


A pocong is said to be the soul of a dead person trapped in its shroud. In Muslim burials, a shroud is used to wrap the body of a dead person. The body with the white fabric is then tied over the head, under the feet and on the neck.


2. Toyol


Spawned from black magic, these are dead human fetus preserved by a bomoh for evil intent. Once incanted back to life, they become mischievous, nasty little creatures that do the bidding of their “masters”. Boys Town was known to be home to one of these. If you listen closely you can hear the leprechaun-like giggles.


3. Pontianak


Long before Twilight rendered them sparkly daywalkers, long-haired female vampires lived in banana trees and were eager for virgin blood. And if you don’t see them, you’ll smell their frangipani perfume first… This myth is so deeply ingrained that even the slightest whiff of jasmine sent us running!


4. Charlie 13


This story actually had a factual background. The Straits Times ran a story in September 1983 about a two recruits who died during NS and one had a ruptured stomach (see report here http://www.api.sg/main/images/stories/cases/ST.13.sep1983.jpg) . Since then every recruit has heard this story and the demon that caused the disembowelment had never been identified. Read the whole story here:


The freakiest thing is, if you go to the old Camp III in Tekong (which still exists today), you will still see the bunk with 3 doors (when all other bunks have only 2).


5. The CHIJMES nun


(yeah, we thought you might need a breather from all the visuals)

We all know CHIJMES was an all-girls convent school before it was restored and turned into restaurant and bars. But did you know about the dead nun rumoured to sit on the wall of the school garden, cackling? Another famously haunted spot was the spiral staircase, which many an IJ girl avoided like the plague.


6. Hantu Tetek


A large-breasted woman said to hang around childrens playgrounds prey. Apparently the breast-feeding mum lost her baby and then lost her mind and committed suicide, and her spirit continues to seek peace, looking for her lost child.


7. The Penangal


It’s a head, with entrails dripping down from the neck. To be precise, it is a detached female head capable of flying about on its own. The stomach and entrails dangling below it.


8. Orang Minyak


This is the pervert of all South East Asian spirits. At night, the fella sneaks into bedrooms of young girls and *ahem* attacks them as they sleep. It’s called “minyak” cause the word means “oil” in Malay. The fella has a bald head, red eyes and his body completely naked and covered with oil.


9. Djinn


The Djinn is the Asian genie. No it does not come out in smoke when you rub a lamp 3 times. No it also doesn’t grant wishes. It feeds on human blood, cause hallucinations and to kill. Oh yes they also have the ability to read your mind and learn your deepest desires. It will use this to slowly feed off you until you become an empty shell, leaving your physical body to die.








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