Archive for the ‘a ghostly encounter’ Category

Halloween might be over but I hope it is not too late to share a spooky tale or two.

It happened way back in the very late 1960s when I was about five or six.

One day, my paternal grandma announced that she is going to bring all her grandchildren including me to Gopeng to stay at a relative’s house for a day or two.

This relative was my grand-uncle. He was the elder brother of my paternal grandpa. Like my paternal grandpa, he was also a bean-curd maker but he had died several years before I was born which means I have never seen him before. We are going to his house as his eldest daughter is getting married that week-end.

Mom packed our clothes and Dad hailed a cab to take us to Gopeng. It was a noisy and rickety Mercedes that ran on diesel but large enough to squeeze all of us in. We bumped all the way from Ipoh to Gopeng on the old-trunk road. What a hassle to travel in those days!

Grand-uncle’s house was a typical village-dwelling. It was made from solid wooden planks. It was spacious and came with a big compound. When we reached there, my elder siblings wasted no time in running around to play hide and seek. Being sleepy and tired from the journey, I wanted to have a nap instead. Grandma gave me a cup of warm Milo before packing me off to sleep in grand-aunt’s room which was the biggest room in that house.

I don’t know for how long I have slept that evening. Out of a sudden, I opened my eyes and I saw the blur figure of an old man with a slight hunch standing before a wooden table next to the bed I slept in. From inside the mosquito net, I could see that he was slightly bald with very few silvery hair left on his head. He wore a pagoda brand type of white sleeveless singlet matched with knee-length blank pants. In one of his hands was a plastic bag with some coins inside. His other hand was holding some red colored paper packets. He put down the items he was holding and then started to put the coins into the red colored paper packets. After having finished his task, he turned around and gave me a swift glance before disappearing into a cloud of mist right before my eyes……

Did I scream out loud or was I afraid? No. I just watched him in silent curiosity because I was too young to know what a ghost is like and too young to have a fear for anything paranormal. All I did was to get up quickly and ran out of the room to look for grandma.

She was happily chatting away and playing mahjong in the living room with a few other female relatives who were also there for the same purpose. I ran to her side and whispered softly into her ears, “Grandma, I just saw an old man inside the room and then he disappeared just like that!”

Grandma paused and frowned at me, “There is no old man in this house. Go back to sleep, don’t disturb me again, you mischievous little devil! Or go out to play if you don’t want to sleep anymore. Little children should not tell lies or their tongues will catch fire!”

“But it’s true, I saw him just now!” I insisted and pointed to the portrait of an old man on the wall. It was a black and white portrait of my grand-uncle looking very stern in a set of cream-colored western suit. Looking back now, I think the portrait must have been taken in a photo studio somewhere in Gopeng. It was nicely framed and hung on the wall – something very typical in Chinese homes and associations in those days.

“Alright, what is he doing in the room when you saw him?” grand-aunt asked in an amused tone just to pacify me.

“He was putting some coins into a red colored paper packet,” I answered  innocently.

“Wow, look like your husband did not want to be left out in his daughter’s wedding!” joked my grandma before she shooed me away.

“You have said enough, now go out and play with your brother and sisters and do not disturb us anymore,” she dismissed me off after giving me a stern look.

Knowing it is useless to argue anymore with her, I ran out to join my siblings. They were playing in the field opposite the house.

That was my first encounter with the paranormal……… before a few more came along as I was growing up.

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