Chinese people consider 7th lunar month (July 31 to Aug 28, 2011) as time where hell gates are open for hungry ghosts to roam the earth. Since there are many hits this month for Ubin ghost stories and where in Pulau Ubin they are most prevalent, I might as well share mine.
The ghost most commonly heard is usually the lady in white at Noordin beach. It is likely people are repeating urban legends heard since they were kids. For Ubin villagers it is often the ghost that cause them to walk in circles. Heard this when I was a kid too, the ghost will feed lost children with delicious food like chicken thighs but are actually grasshopper legs. The usual remedy is to pull down your pants and waving it over your head as doing so will remove the spell cast by the ghost.
Asian children may be preoccupied with ghosts, but for western kids, its fairy tales with themes of being eaten like Big Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. Stories which psychoanalysts believe is a way young children cope and confront their own problems and inner conflicts.
In our case, the strange encounter happened while we are picking durians on 9 July 2011. Earlier we caught a distinctive scent of freshly dropped durian a metre or two away near an abandoned house but were puzzled as we just couldn’t find that elusive durian despite repeat searches. For a moment we thought a ghost has us tricked. Later as we doze in our camp nearby, we woke up to find ourselves in pitch darkness despite having our candles lighted. Pulau Ubin is never completely dark at night, even on moonless nights you can still discern the sky and dim outlines of tree shadows and path ahead. For a moment I thought I have gone totally blind until my vision was completely restored a minute later to my relief. Didn’t know we have the same experience until my friend asked if there was a blackout last night.
Although there are no full moon eclipse that night, there is probably some scientific reason for this. For now I am filing it as ghost encounter where we were placed under its spell.
Chinese people believe its bad luck to encounter ghosts. Its must be very bad luck for me indeed. A few days later I met with a traffic accident which landed me in hospital for nearly a week with broken ribs but fortunately no permanent injury.
Jangan Shortfilm is a local Indie production about a group of paranormal enthusiasts who went for a night trip of exploring a haunted place. Their filming on location near our camp at Pulau Ubin makes an interesting night for us. Filming was completed on the eve of Ghost month and their first installment is on Youtube. Congratulations to DslrIndieFilm and its enthusiastic film crew.
Here is one my sister told me. She still remembered all the story details despite watching the movie more than 40 years ago.