Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The other unseen occupants

Two weeks ago, my 14-year old son went for a 3-day field trip to Kuala Lumpur organised by his school. When he handed me the consent form for me to sign, I read through the itinerary and noted that the students would be staying at The Heritage Station Hotel.


Since the trip was fully sponsored, it is understandable that the school would book a budget hotel. But I felt that putting up the kids in an` old' building is not without some risks. The Heritage Station Hotel is located within the old KTM train station. Photos in the hotel's website show reasonably well-furnished interiors but the hotel's unique selling point is its historical attachment.

On the second day of the trip, my wife called up my son to check how he was getting along. Generally okay, my son said, except that one student experienced `disturbances' during the night. "Gangguan mahluk halus", were his exact Malay words. My son himself did not see any ghosts or spirits or whatever... but my wife advised him to be careful just the same. `Jangan lupa sembahyang' was the standard reminder of mothers to sons.

I couldn't help but smile when I overheard the conversation. In my course of work, I have stayed at numerous hotels in many parts of the country and also overseas. Most times alone. The types of accomodation range from the very basic to the very plush. So far, I have been fortunate enough not to encounter any spirits or other beings `not of our world', except for this one incident at a hotel in Cameron Highlands, around 5 years back.

I can't remember the name of the hotel but it is a fairly big one and built more than 10 years ago. I was in Cameron Highlands to visit one of our projects and stayed alone at the hotel that night. Initially, I had difficulty in falling asleep but the tiredness of the day's work and traveling finally took over and I drifted off. Sometime in the middle of the night, I felt difficult to breathe.... as if a heavy load was resting on my chest. I struggled to push the load away but my arms felt liked they were pinned down. I opened my mouth to scream but nothing came out. It was suffocating, my heart was pounding... and I was in real fear.

And then I started to recite the relevant holy verses of the Quran that I have in memory, as taught by my elders. Initially my recitation was gibberish... like my mouth not following the instructions of my brain. I tried and tried... until I can actually hear the words come out right. And slowly, the heavy load on my chest lifted, my breathing returned to normal and I drifted off to sleep.

I woke up at early dawn and quickly switched on the lights and looked around the room. I could see nothing out of the ordinary. Did an unseen being sit on my chest last night or was it all just a bad dream? Hard to say...

Another hotel that is in the heritage category is the impressive Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang. The hotel has undergone extensive refurbishment over the recent years.

I stayed there once, three years ago, despite having heard a first-hand account of encounters with other unseen occupants. But that's a story to tell for another day.

22 comments:

Kak Teh said...

Oldstock, reading this reminded me of my daughter' trip back to malaysia two years ago. she wanted to take pictures of old malay houses and was taken to one in Trengganu. She went on her own from room to room taking pictures. There was the owner, two helpers and her aunt who accompanied her there. After that, they all went to the beach and she check her pictures. In one room (and as I am typing this - rasa agak seram) there was an image of one other person at the window. The body was transparent. but the head and the headdress was very clear. It is truly scary.

melayudilondon said...

Heeee... sapa tak pernah experience pengalaman "kena hempap" masa tidur ni? Tapi rupa-rupanya ada scientific explanation lah. It is called sleep paralysis and it is quite common; especially if the sufferer had been especially tired.

Snakebite said...

i,ve had the same experience too but i read somewhere that says, when we sleep our body went into paralysis. if not, our body will act out our dreams i.e. sleepwalking. but there be times when our brain woke up but our body still in paralysis i.e. have not woke up yet, jadi la kena tekan.

Patricia said...

oh dear, my comment is going to appear after snakebite's? How ominous.

I've been neglecting your blog, and I promise to return - just wanted to say thank your for you lovely words about my girls.

Pat

HLiza said...

Takutlah nak komen..I'm used to kena hempap since boarding school..it happens once in a while even now; even hubby can't help me..I think it follows us.

Nurie said...

Guess what? Im reading yr post at 1.10am..hmm, susah le nak tido nih!
nasib baik bukan malam jumaat, heh heh....

hanitha said...

salam bro, citer2 begini dlm alam nyata byk, wayang pon byk.. i tk suka layan movie2 seram gini.. tk menenangkn jiwa n minda.. tu sebab layan yuna je la skrg ehehehe..
bab kena hempap tu biasa di dgr esp semasa zaman student di itm dulu, wayback thn 1981, ( tua nya aku huhuhu) antu kat dlm tandas gosok gigi la, antu minum air kat water cooler, antu kat pokok buluh la... tp, alhamdulillah, lom pernah lgk i kena.. nauzubillah
wpon mereka tu katanya makhluK ALLAH jua, namun jiwa ku tkble nk berhadapan ngan mereka..takutttt... eeeee seram seram seram....
alamak...khamis mlm jumaat nie...

Oldstock said...

Alamak Kak Teh! Seram jugak baca cerita anak you ni. Teringat cerita-cerita yg I baca dlm Awang Goneng's GUIT.

So did your daughter tell the owner of the house about her pic? She still has the image, I presume. Do they know who the spirit is? Or is better not to ask too many questions?

Oldstock said...

melayudilondon & Snake,

Thanks for the heads-up about sleep paralysis. I guess, that's what probably happened to me that night. But to happen while I'm at a lonely hotel in the middle of some mountain.... seram jugak jadinya.

Setakat ni, baru sekali tu je yg I experience the feeling of near complete helplessness. The mind was conscious but the physical body was not responding. Hopefully, I don't have to go through that again.

Oldstock said...

Pat,

How ominous indeed. But not to worry, this Snakebite is a gentleman.

No such thing as neglecting this or that blog. If there is any case of neglect, then it would be me... for I have been terribly busy this past few weeks to update my own blog and visit the blogs of my friends.

You be strong now, ok?

Oldstock said...

Hliza,

Maybe it is the sleep paralysis situation yg melayudilondon dan Snakebite tulis kat atas tu, and nothing to do with mahluk halus.

Perhaps if you can read up more about sleep paralysis, there could be something that would help. Apa-apa pun, berdoa dan berzikir tetap ada munafaatnya.

Take care now.

Oldstock said...

Noor,

Cuba baca sekali lagi malam ni, malam Jumaat.... heheheh.

Oldstock said...

Hanitha,

Cerita-cerita seram time kat asrama dulu memang banyak... tapi I takde terlintas dengan sendiri, alhamdullilah.

A few weeks ago, my niece ada cerita pasal terjumpa mahluk halus ni... nanti I post as my next story.

You kat ITM tahun 1981? Kira tua lah tu, beb... heheheh.

Anonymous said...

Oldstock..
seram la baca cerita u coz...malam ni malam jumaat...hehehhe...

miezarra

Andrea Wh@tever said...

I travel alot on my job and inevitably, I do get one or two "not so comfortable" stays in a year.

Recently, someone told me that before you enter your hotel room, always knock on the door or ring the bell. And when you first enter the room, be sure to "acknowledge any presence" by seeking permission to stay.

VersedAnggerik said...

I pun jenis yg tak ada that 6th sense. Very oblivious to bende-bende mcm nih.

Tuhan nak protect kot? But no, never had a ghostly experience yet!

Emila Yusof said...

takutnya! saya belum pernah 'kena' lagi and hopefully tak nak kena! saya penakut orangnya.

Oldstock said...

Mie,

Time I kena tu, memang rasa panik betul. Tapi alhamdulillah, setakat ni takde kena lagi.

Oldstock said...

Andrea,

The part about acknowledging our entry into the room is sound advice. For Muslims, we have a simlar practice. While not to the extent of seeking permission to stay, we are advised to give the `Salam' even though the room may be empty.

`Salam' literally means `Peace', and that is what we wish to whoever or whatever that may be staying in the room.

Oldstock said...

Verse,

Perhaps what I went through was not quite a ghostly experience. Tapi bila I dengar cerita kawan lain yang pernah kena, rasa suspense jugak.

Oldstock said...

Emila,

According to the advice of some elders who have gone thru such experiences, when we encounter such beings, kita tak boleh takut sangat and at the same time tak boleh berani sangat.

We need to have mutual respect, because these beings are God's creatures too.

hanitha said...

bro,ramai peminat gak biler citer antu ek... dlm seram2 n takut tu...ramai gak yg minat ehehehe