Have you ever walked into a house and thought to yourself, “Something’s not right here.” The aura doesn’t feel right and you get a strong presence that sticks with you the whole time you’re there as if it’s looking over your shoulder. Certain Malaysian houses just have that going on for them, right?
I’m talking about that friend your aunt has whose house always seems like it’s never seen the light of day. And that you always find those weird ceramic vases with yellow cloth tied to their necks hidden away in a locked cabinet.
And strange items with nails at the end of them at the corner of their house that they tell you not to touch. Or even the weird sounds coming from the locked room that smells like flowers. Come on, it can’t just be me.
So if you’re like me and want to know and be very much aware that your house or a person you know owns a house that’s actually haunted, here are some signs to help you.
Do You Smell That?
That’s definitely not The Rock’s cooking, if you get my drift. I’ve seen a lot of horror movies to know that when you smell something particularly fragrant, like the smell of flowers (especially Melati), then there’s a chance that a “visitor” is nearby.
There are also certain occasions when you smell something very awful, like the smell of rotting flesh or month old garbage. It could be that week old sandwich stuck at the back of your fridge, but it could also be something else just passing by.
My grandmother always says that if you smell something strange in your home, especially during night time, do not comment on it. If you do, it’s like you’re acknowledging its presence and that would in turn make it notice you as well. And we don’t want that, now do we?
Did You Lose Your Marbles?
When I was doing my Degree, I rented out a place next to my university because I didn’t want to travel 40 minutes from my house to campus every day. The rent was cheap and I figured since I’ll just be staying there on weekdays and will be too busy on campus, it won’t be that much of a problem — I’ll just use the place to sleep and that’s it.
Little did I know, sleeping wasn’t an option. For the first few weeks, I didn’t really notice it because I was too distracted with settling in. But afterwards, like clockwork, when it’s midnight, the sound of marbles rolling around the floor above me started. It went on until around three or four in the morning and then it just abruptly stopped as if someone blocked the marble from moving further.
I always had trouble sleeping there because my room was right under. My housemates urged me to just ignore it because sooner or later, I’ll get used to it like they did. When I finished my Degree was when I was told that the house above me had been empty for years and the marbles were just the jinns claiming the place as theirs.
Sudikah Kau Jadi Imamku?
I have never personally experienced this, thank God. But if I had, I would’ve started praying with a wall behind me to avoid having an audience. You know how Muslims usually pray five times a day, yes? Most of the time, especially for females, we pray alone in our rooms and such.
I was told by a friend that whenever she prays, there’s always something behind her, copying her movements and praying as well. Have you seen the short Indonesian movie called Behind Me? It depicts the exact phenomena of us thinking that we’re praying alone when in reality, there’s always a makmum behind us, it just boils down to whether we notice their presence or not.
It isn’t necessarily a nefarious presence, though. Most of the time, it’s just something that unnerves us, is all. I mean, how would you feel knowing that you’re praying by yourself but halfway through, there’s a voice behind you praying as well?
This happens a lot. Imagine this; you’re sitting at home, watching Netflix and munching on a bag of chips. As you get up to get yourself a glass of water, you hear your mother call your name, asking for a glass as well. You shout an affirmation back and go on to fetch two glasses of water.
When you sit back down and call for your mum, you suddenly realise that she’s not at home. She told you she was going out to buy groceries, didn’t she? Looking around, you notice that you are, in fact, all alone in the living room.
Your brother’s in his room, his door shut, probably playing video games. But the voice you heard was definitely your mother’s. You’re sure of it! But then if she’s not here, who was it that called you?
Just make sure that when it calls you again, you ignore it. Once you acknowledge and follow the voice calling out to you, it’ll be a lot harder for you to explain what you see later on.
They See Dead People
A sure way of knowing that your house is haunted or suspecting that it is, is for you to get a pet.
Based on my extensive research (of watching horror movies and ghost hunting videos), your pet will always tell you when there’s someone else (that you can’t see) in the room. They have a weird sixth sense when it comes to the supernatural.
I have a cat myself, but I guess my house isn’t haunted because he doesn’t stare at an area of the house and hiss at it, like those cats do in those movies. My friend’s cat, however, does. She claims that every night, her cat would perch itself by her window and hiss at something outside.
Her room was facing the garden where her dad planted a coconut tree. She wasn’t really brave enough to look out of it at night, seeing as it’s said that usually Hantu Raya would reside on the branches and she would prefer to not confirm that theory. Her father informs her that it wasn’t anything to worry about, that there isn’t anything there. But if her cat hisses at it so often, isn’t it a cause of even a little bit of concern?
Is That My Sleep Paralysis Demon Or…?
All my years growing up, I have never seen a sleep paralysis demon like everyone else seem to. Most of my friends have stories of their own experiences of “kena tindih” or when they woke up in the middle of the night and saw something at the corner of their rooms, just looking at them.
Well, until I start seeing them myself, that is. It was a gradual process. In the beginning it was just glimpses of something at the corner of my eye — like a shadow or someone running super fast out of sight.
And then one night, around 7.30pm during maghrib time, it happened. From inside my room, I could hear my brothers and parents coming home from the park. I was just lying on the bed and playing with my phone but all of a sudden, it felt like there was a huge weight on me and I couldn’t breathe or shout for help. It lasted for about a few seconds but it felt so much longer.
When I told my parents about it, they said it must’ve followed them back home from the park because they came back when “syaitan berkeliaran” and promised to make sure to properly clean themselves next time before coming into the house during such a time.
I Swear I Left That There
Another sign of a house that’s haunted is when your things start moving or being misplaced. My brother rented a place once to make a movie at a house that was assumed to be haunted. Why, you ask? I don’t know. Do brothers do anything that makes sense?
Throughout the shoot, they don’t report any major disturbances like getting their hair pulled or being pushed down a flight of stairs or anything like that. But they did say that their stuff would often be found somewhere else. Like they would place their cameras in a certain room and at the end of the day find it in the bathroom that’s three doors down.
They also lost a lot of equipment to a point where they had to stop filming just so they could buy new ones, only for the old ones to be found in the basement a few days later, covered in dust. Apparently, after looking into it and looking at the playbacks of videos, they spotted a small figure scurrying around with their stuff. It was said that it could be a Toyol just having some fun.
So, Keep The House or Nay?
Experiencing even just one of these things can solidify that you are in fact, living in a haunted house. Either that or you yourself are being haunted. (Another option is that, as my mother would say, “you’re just being paranoid!”)
Either way, I wish you luck. I hear things get wicked coming Halloween, so you better take care of yourself or someone(or thing) else might do it for you!
In the meantime, if you have interests in knowing about where Malaysian superstitions come from, take a read on: