Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hopping Ghost (Hantu Pocong) in Kuala Lumpur

Hopping Ghost (Hantu Pocong) in Kuala Lumpur

A ‘hopping ghost’, a rough translation in English, which in the Malay culture, is called “hantu pocong”.
My colleague told me of his personal experience of a sighting of a ‘pocong’ in an incident about 15 years ago. One of his neighbour, was a migrant Indonesian young lady, who was working as a construction worker on a Telekom project at Jalan Pantai Baru in Kuala Lumpur. She unfortunately and slipped and fell to her death on the 13th or 14th floor.

Menara Telekom – the construction worker fell to her death

After her burial ritual, a number of his friends, went for drinks after dinner. When they had finished, they adjourned to their apartments in Taman Keramat. As they were walking back to their apartments they suddenly saw clearly a semi-translucent whitish entity hopping as if the arms and both legs were joined together, jumping in the direction of a row of wooden houses (illegal housing). The friends were scared shitless and dumbfounded until one of their friend, so terrified with fear, shouted, “Hantu! Hantu!..” (translated ‘Ghost! Ghost!..’). The eerie entity seemed to have heard the shout and it stopped and was motionless…..and then slowly it disappeared completely!
The friends were so shocked they were speechless and just decided to go their homes. The next day the friends informed the dead lady’s relatives about what they saw. The distraught relatives were told that her corpse probably was not properly tied. They went to get a grave digger and together they proceeded to the burial site to remove the recent corpse. True enough the corpse was not probably tied up, the strip of white cloth next to the neck was still strung up. Together the dead woman’s relatives promptly untied the strip of cloth and they reburied the corpse of the dead lady. After some prayers they all left. There were no unnatural acts and scary incidents from the hopping spirit after that.
Note :
A pocong is an Indonesian/Malaysian ghost that is said to be the soul of a dead person trapped in their suit. The pocong suit (shroud, in Indonesia/Malaysia also known as kain kafan) is used by Muslims to cover the body of the dead person. They cover the dead body with white fabric and tie the clothing over the head, under the feet, and on the neck. According to the native beliefs, the soul of a dead person will stay on the earth for 40 days after the death. When the ties aren't released after 40 days, the body is said to jump out from the grave to warn people that the soul need the bonds to be released. After the ties are released, the soul will leave the earth and never show up anymore. Because of the tie under the feet, the ghost can't walk. This causes the pocong to hop.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My understanding is that the corpse must be untied (neck, hands and legs) during the burial ceremony. Otherwise the corpse will hop or jump with their body tied together.
Any comments on the Muslim religious or native beliefs on the burial rituals?


  1. aw! I remember tales of these hopping ghosts! I know sometimes they have even appeared in movies and they always elicit laughter. But I confess that to this day, I am still afraid of them!!


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