Thursday, October 18, 2007

Famous Ghost Stories of Sibu

Stories have been used since ancient times to teach the young, to pass on moral values , quick thinking and most important of all to pass on the importance of being human.

In many respects, ghost stories were often used to frighten children to behave! But some ghost stories were used to teach the inherent importance of propriety, moralilty and codes of conduct.

I have lined up here three stories which used to circulate amongst the elders and children when I was growing up in Sibu. I will let you judge the significance of these stories.

Tai Kah Li Hair Dressing Salon's Ghost Story

Tai Kah Li was a very popular hairdressing salon owned by a couple who were quite "pop" or up beat.

One evening a beautiful girl appeared and would like to have her hair washed and blown dry. The proprietor was about to close but he obliged and did her hair. He did not take the opportunity to misbehave towards her even though he had every chance to do so. There was no one else in the shop except him and the girl and the streets were silent and the skies had darkened.

He politely accepted her money and even a tip. As she bade farewell, he did not even have eye contact with her. He quickly closed the shop and went home, before it was too late for dinner and lots of explanation to offer to his wife.

He remembered putting the money into the drawer and locking it, as was the habit of most shop keepers. No thief would break into a shop in those days. A lock was just enough.

When he went home, no questions were asked and he had an ordinary evening.

The next day, when he went to the shop with his wife, he discovered lots of funeral money (death money) in the drawer. He immediately had cold sweat and goose pimples crawled all over his body. He had given a ghost a hairwash!

The story spread and the town folk quietly absorbed the lesson in their hearts.

Beauty asking for a lift

One evening a barber closed his shop and went happily home in his car. Not far from Sungei Merah, he was stopped by a lovely girl who needed a lift and her house was just a stone throw from his house in fact.

As they rode in the car, she asked a lot of questions and the barber got a little interested in her. So they drove a little longer and soon he lost his way.

Whatever happened no one knew exactly but he woke up the next day near the Sungei Merah Cemetery. From that day on his health deteriorated and within a few months he died a terrible death.

Naturally the town talked about his misadventure long after he was buried.

A Ghost from a Hotel Cupboard

Not long after a good hotel was declared open in Sibu, a quite famous man and his wife came from Kuching to stay in the new hotel.

That evening, he and his wife slept early as they had to attend an important function the next day. In the middle of the night, the wife got up to find the husband talking very loudly as if to some one sleeping on top of him. Her husband was pushing the invisible person away and soon he was talking gibberish. Finally the wife decided to slap him hard across the face and he finally woke up. But unfortunately, his face became lopsided from that moment on.

Apparently, a female ghost had come out of the cupboard and fell on top of him. She wanted him to marry her. She also asked him to get rid of the wife sleeping next to him. But he was sane enough not to oblige her.

It was a fortunate that she got up in time to save her husband by slapping him. The ghost somehow slipped through the window and escaped.

According to the frightened couple, the next day they moved out immediately without giving a reason. They also did not attend the important function.

Instead they had to see a specialist to straighten his face.

It is believed that for some time the man did not appear in public and he had to make peace with the ghost at the insistence of his very understanding wife.

What happened in the end, very few people knew because this ghost story came from the hotel employees.

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