Hungry Ghost Festival-Old Housewives’ Recollections
Old housewives’ spine chilling accounts of their recollections of their personal accounts of their most frightening experiences.
In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Hungry Ghost Month or Festival. The seventh month in general is regarded as the Ghost Month (also known as “All Souls Day), in which ghosts and spirits, including those of the deceased ancestors, come out from the lower realm. Hungry Ghost Festival is when the dead are believed to visit the living. The gates of heaven and hell open and hungry ghosts are set free to wander the earth in search of food. (My personal interpretation-sorry for any mistakes).
Food are prepared for the Deceased during Hungry Ghost Month
Paper Gold and Silver Money for the Afterlife
I was taking my usual drink at my “kopitiam” one evening, when I ran into some neighbourhood wives. They were busy preparing stuff for the celebration for the Hungry Ghost Festival and decided for a drink. After the
customary greetings we got into a talk about their personal experiences with Hungry Ghost Festival.
Mrs Phua was accompanying her mother-in-law and was taking her home after drinks when she recounted to us about her own recollection. She was in her house one night and heard her hairdryer switched on by itself and it was on high. There were no other people around as she was the only one in her bedroom! She had the shocked of her life!
Mrs Phua’s mother-in-law used to lived in Gunung Rapat (a very small town) in Ipoh, Perak when she was a young girl. They lived in a single-storey wooden house and her mother have closed all the windows and doors warning them (she and her brothers and sisters) to stay indoors at nights especially during the festival. When she was sleeping, she heard a “roaring” mechanical sound from the outside road beside their house. She and her siblings, as mischievous as ever, decided to look between the window panes of their bedroom. They were shocked to see a paper car driving on the road beside their house and making all that noise! Her mother was absolutely furious when she found them peering form their bedroom windows and gave them a trashing.
She later heard her grandmother asked her mother what it was and she answered that it was a paper car driving down the road!
A custom made Paper Car
Madam Ooi lived in Kepong in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Rawang, in the olden days. She and her brothers and sisters were threatened to stay inside their house especially at nights especially during the month. One night, she and her siblings heard a weird sound, crashing and clanging sounds, like a Chinese celebration. They were curious and went to look at the cracks in their wall where they saw a group of “people” with pale skins dressed in olden clothes amid the cymbals noise, they were hopping together with their arms stretching out!
She and her siblings were sick for a month!
It is getting late and will write about the other ‘aunties’ personal recollections some other time.