Saturday, October 31, 2009

They see dead people

Sat, Oct 31, 2009
The Star/Asia News Network

They see dead people

Najah Hadisah, 36, teacher

Najah has been seeing ghosts ever since she was in secondary school. Her first encounter was with a huge creature with red eyes which caused her to scream like a mad person.

Her father recited some prayers over her and after that incident, she could see and hear ghosts.

Growing up in the government quarters near the Tang Lin Hospital in Kuala Lumpur didn't help. The hospital was used during the Japanese Occupation and said to be haunted. Najah used to see nuns walking around and hear the sounds of people screaming in the night.

'I am used to seeing ghosts around me, there are many types. Some look like normal people, some are tall and black while some are like corpses wrapped in white shrouds. I always ignore them and pretend not to see them, sometimes praying under my breath for them not to disturb me.

'I believe that we are just sharing the same space and if you don't disturb them, they won't disturb you,' says Najah.

She remembers one incident in a university art studio in Shah Alam very vividly.

'My first encounter there was of a huge black figure roughly 3m tall looking at us as we went down the stairs. The rest of my friends didn't see it so I just kept quiet and ignored it.

'We went into the art studio which is known to be haunted. One of my friends decided to challenge the ghost to appear. The ghost is called Puteri Hijau, so my friend called out, 'Keluar Puteri, kalau berani (Come out princess if you dare).'

Five minutes later, we all saw a lady in a green gown walking towards us. All of us screamed and ran back to the hostel.

'While I was washing my legs at the hostel toilet, I saw a girl two feet away who looked exactly like me with the same hair and clothes. She rolled her eyes and pointed her finger at me. I was so scared that I screamed and immediately ran out of the toilet.

'I couldn't finish saying my prayers because I was still shivering in shock. That were three incidents in one night. I fell ill the next morning and my father came to take me home. My father helped to cure me by reading passages from the Quran,' she recalls.

Najah has been seeking traditional help using Muslim methods such as reading from the Quran to reduce the encounters. She says it has helped and the incidences have lessened.

'My father has been helping me. Now after the birth of my first child, I no longer see these beings, but I can still feel their presence as my hair would stand up and I'd get very uneasy. This third eye is not something you would want in your life.'

Choong Wai Leong, 46, painter

Floating heads, dead people walking around, weird spirit creatures - these were the apparitions that haunted Choong since he was a little boy.

'I believe I could see ghosts since very young. I say 'I believe' because I might have thought the ghosts were real people then. You never question these things when you are a child. I remember seeing my grandfather sitting beside his coffin during his funeral but I didn't say anything because I thought it was normal. I was five years old then,' recalls Choong.

Choong has been lucky so far as he has never had any problems with these ghosts.

'I can sense them and sometimes see them but they never bother me because I don't bother them. I believe they are lost souls or trapped spirits who can't cross to the other side and that is why they are wandering around in our world.

'But it can get unnerving sometimes, especially when the ghosts look sinister or died because they met with an accident. I remember once that I was stuck in a traffic jam and was wondering what had happened. Not long after, I saw a pregnant lady covered in blood with her head smashed in walking past my car.

'I knew then that that was the victim. Sure enough, I passed the accident scene and saw the body of a lady covered with a cloth lying on the road. I said a little prayer for her spirit to cross to the other side.'

Choong's parents used to take him to several sinseh and temple priests but nothing seemed to help.

'I can still see them. I've given up trying to get rid of my third eye. It gets worse during the Hungry Ghost month when the Gates of Hell are open for the spirits to cross into our world. I'd see all sorts of things then. I'm so used to having them around now that I take it as part of everyday life. I live by the philosophy of 'I don't disturb you, you don't disturb me',' says Choong matter-of-factly.

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