Monday, January 31, 2011 | By: BlackGargie

Speaking of Haunting...

Speaking of haunting, I'm suddenly thought about a few supernatural encounters I had back then when I was a kid, which I thought of sharing:

My first story goes all the way back when I was still in primary school. My parents had to go overseas on a business trip, so they sent me to one of my relatives' place to stay. During the weekend, my relatives planned to go on a holiday at one of Sabah's most popular resort hotels called the Rasa Ria Hotel. Pretty good, if you ask me, with the usual facilities and special services, and I have to admit I did have a good time despite the fact that I was a little homesick back then.

Later that night, when the adults decided to have their nightly happy hour at the karaoke lounge, we kids were left in the room to have our own fun. We challenged each other to a coffee fest, seeing who could drink the most coffee at one sitting. Needless to say, my caffeine-induced brain refused to fall asleep, even when the adults have returned and were snoring quietly on their King-sized bed. I'm not really that immune to coffee and it came as a package deal: insomnia and a nasty headache.

I got up to see if I could get any ice to ease my headache but we ran out of it. Seeing that no one stirred from their sleep, I stole the card key from my aunt's wallet, took the thermos bucket and crept silently out of the room. There was an ice-vending machine just two floors below ours and I was thinking maybe I could get some ice there and maybe even try to dunk my head into the machine to see if that'll cure my headache, which is, of course, an absurd thing to do. As I reached that floor, I was glad to see the machine just right down the corridor and still on and working. I put the thermos bucket there and waited for it to fill up. I even grabbed a handful and rubbed the cooling ice onto my throbbing head. Ah, bliss.

That was when something really eerie happened. From the right side of the corridor, I heard a distant sound. At first I thought it was probably one of the workers pushing their trolley or something, but it didn't sound like that. It was more of a dragging of something heavy, like the sound of someone moving on the floor with only his arms, dragging along his immobile lower half of the body. The sound was getting closer and closer until I could almost feel it coming towards me. The machine was still filling my thermos bucket and I was panicking. I urged inwardly for the machine to hurry up before I grabbed the bucket and made a dash towards the lift. I pressed frantically as the dragging sound came nearer and nearer. I tentatively looked towards the direction of the sound but there was no one there, yet the sound continued to grow louder and closer to me. I could almost feel it next to me and closing in even nearer.

I practically jumped into the lift when the door slid open. I pressed my floor and slammed the close button as hard as I could. The door started to close for a while, then stopped abruptly in the middle and opened wide again. It stayed open for about a full 5 minutes (which felt like an eternity to me) before closing back again. That really freaked me out because even though I still couldn't see anything, I knew something was in there with me. There was something unsettling in that lift as it sent me up to my floor, as if it was trying to suffocate me with its presence. I went into a verge of hyperventilating when I heard slightly audible sounds of dripping water and heavy breathing surrounded me inside the lift. What's worse, the heavy breathing was just right by both of my ears!

It felt like forever when the lift finally reached my floor. I dashed out of it as fast as I could and ran straight to my room without looking back. Needless to say, I woke everyone up when I slammed the door shut behind me and my headache was gone almost in an instant. My relatives saw my ashened face and asked in concern what just happened, but no matter how I try, I just couldn't get whatever I saw into words. I guess the shock took over my speech capacity and I was at loss of words. My relatives thought I must've been harassed by some crazy pervert for the next day, they lodged a complaint to the manager. It was later that I found out when my friend experienced the same thing that there had been a fatal accident or some kind in the past at that particular floor when someone fell and broke both his legs and died due to loss of blood when he was trying to get help.

I guess he didn't know he had already died and continued to ask for our help in vain.

My second story was back when I was an exchange student in Taiwan when I was in Primary Four. Well, not exactly an exchange student. More like studying in Taiwan while my parents tried to settle down in Sabah getting their bearings and life back together. My father was met with a tough time in his job and he couldn't make all ends meet, not with me around, so to lighten the burden a little, my mother decided to drop me off at Taiwan at my grandparents' place and study there until our life gets back into order again. My grandparents were worried that I would cry when I suddenly find my mother leaving without me when it's already near the end of school holidays, but what they didn't know was that I heard their conversation at the wee hours of the morning when my mother was about to leave and that I knew that I was going to be stuck with my grandparents for a while, so they were rather surprised with my nonchalant reaction at my mother's absence.

Life in Taiwan was fine. I was the tallest among all my peers (Taiwanese tend to have shorter stature than Malaysians, and I'm only half of their breed) and they spoke nothing but Chinese. I was glad I had a couple of English storybooks I brought from home, or I would've forgotten the universal language altogether. They may be smaller in size than me, but they definitely are more mature than me. Study system in Taiwan was totally different than in Malaysia. We never had science class till the year I reached high school and already they were learning about chemical names! Anyway, 5 months into my life in Taiwan, a real exchange student came to our class. She was a Japanese and her name was Kyoko, if I'm not mistakened. She could only speak simple English and not a single word of Chinese, so I guess I clicked with her really well. I had to be her translator whenever others wanted to talk to her, so that made me quite popular as well. Her impression on me was a nice, quiet girl with a sort of dark, mysterious aura about her, like there's something going on in her mind that you really want to find out yet couldn't reach, no matter how you try.

One day before her exchange student program ended, she decided to have a camp party at school to thank us who had been nice to her and show us how school tradition was in her country. She came up with a theme called '100th Ghost Story Camp Party' and invited the entire class to join in. She even encourage us to bring relatives and friends along to the party so that our numbers add up to 100. We were required to bring a candle each and have our camp party in the school hall where it can accommodate everyone in it and warned us not to let the teachers know about it. Rebellious as we were, we promised to do everything she requested. That night, we were all there with our candles, sleeping bags and tidbits, anxious to start off the camp party. After having a tidbit feast and toasting to Kyoko's safe journey back to Japan, we started with our theme.

Kyoko told us that in Japan, this was a taboo camp party where 100 people gather around in a dark room with only a candle each and tell each other their personal ghostly experience, and every time a person finishes his or her story, he or she must blow out their candle and this goes on until the last candle is blown. When we asked why was it taboo, Kyoko only gave us that mysterious smile and replied, "You'll see."

So we went along the game. I told about the story of my Rasa Ria experience and some told the tallest yet scariest tales I've ever heard. Some weren't even credible and some were just outrageously impossible and some weren't even sure that it was a real personal experience or not, but we didn't care. We had fun scaring each other silly and that counts for everything. The hall grew darker and darker as the candles continued to decrease. Finally, only one candle was left and we couldn't see each other's faces. The last person with the lit candle told a tale so scary and so horrifying that it would be better if I'm not reminded of it by telling you about it. Something to do about dismemberment and stuff.

After the person finished the tale and blew out the candle, one of us went to search for the hall lights. We were relieved when the hall was bright and less eerie again. We tried to find out who was the last person telling that horrifying tale but no one admitted telling it. That was when I realized Kyoko was gone. She wasn't around except her blown candle. I tried to look for her in vain, until something told me to go look out the window. I did just that, and soon saw Kyoko walking towards the school gate, but not before looking up towards me and waved goodbye. When she turned around, I thought I saw puncture wounds all over her back and blood all over her clothes! As I watched her step out of the school gate, one of my friends approached me and asked, "Hey, Judith. What are you looking at?"

"Kyoko," I replied. "She's right there, walking out of the school gate. She's leaving us."

"I don't see anyone."

I can tell you, the hairs at the back of my neck shot up like it was ten degrees below zero in that hall. The next day, our teacher came in the room and announced that the exchange student would not make it to our class because her car was being hijacked by a runaway robber and she was shot to death when she tried to escape and call for help on the day she was supposed to fly down to Taiwan and report to our school. When my class monitor exclaimed that she was already here a month ago and had just left today, our teacher said that it was impossible because the day she was supposed to start her exchange student program was today.

"But, miss, did you not see her hanging with Judith? Did you not see us talking to Kyoko? She was sitting at the seat just right beside Judith. You must've seen her!"

"I assumed that you were humouring Judith and her imaginary friend. No offence, Judith, but you are a bit of a weird child among your peers. Honestly, that seat beside Judith had been empty even before Judith came. And how did you know her name was Kyoko?"

Needless to say, the entire class started to burst in tears out of fear. I didn't cry though. I somehow knew what was going on and was prepared for the worst. It still bugs me till today as to how Kyoko's spirit managed to travel ahead of time to a month before her supposed program date to be with us, and to leave us such a parting gift nonetheless.

Goes to show that despite Chinese belief saying that my high forehead would ensure that I would never see "those things", when it comes to frequency, if it clicks, you'll still end up seeing those suckers!


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