If you grew up in this part of Southeast Asia, then you’re probably be familar with the numerous folklore and ghost stories that we repeat over and over again at chalet gatherings. The most infamous one that you probably hear and read about the most would be the Pontianak, a female ghost who lures unsuspecting men (speaking of ghosts, why are majority of them female ghosts who are dressed in either white or red? Is that like an unspoken fashion rule for ghosts?)

The Kum-Kum is a ghost that used to scare me quite a bit. Kum-Kum is a ghost of a horribly deformed old lady that got her name because she couldn’t pronounce the traditional muslim greeing – “As-salamalaykum” – and all she can say is kumkum. The Kum-Kum haunts homes in search of virgin girls, so that she can suck their blood to regain her youth. I have no idea why the Kum-Kum scared me so much when I was a kid, I was nether a girl nor a virgin.

There are other ghosts that scared me back then but they just seem so ridiculous in today’s modern world.
– Hantu Tilam: A ghost that takes the form of a pillow and suffocates kids to death
– Hantu Tetek: A ghost with enormous breasts that suffocating men to death by pressing them into her breasts (reverse motorboat?)
– Orang Minyak: A man covered himself in black oil that goes around abducting and raping young women. Although as recently as 2005, there are reports of Orang Minyak terrorising young women in Malaysia.

GHOST MAPS: True Southeast Asia Horror Stories

I have been following GHOST MAPS: True Southeast Asia Horror Stories on Spotify lately. Each episode is beautifully narrated by the Mysterious Narrator and features stories inspired by real people. One of my favourite episodes is the Haunted Office in Shenton Way, it has the right amount of suspense that makes it a chilling tale. Each episode runs for about 10 – 15 minutes so they are great to listen to before you sleep (although I don’t recommend that).