Hungry Ghost Festival – Old Housewives Recollections 2
This is the 2nd part of “Hungry Ghost Festival-Old Housewives Recollections” which I previously wrote. This is about the experiences of “aunties” (I guess I am an “old uncle”…sob!) about the eerie and unnatural but real-life incidents that they have encountered.
Burning of Joss Sticks for Hungry Ghost Festival
Mrs. Ching told us about her strange and weird encountered when she was young schoolgirl. During that month, Hungry Ghost Month to specific, many people burned incense, joss sticks, paper money etc (“yim poh lup chook”- a Cantonese translation, I hope I got it right) during this occasion, on roadsides, street corners and back lanes.
She (Mrs Ching) was impatiently waiting for her ride after school ended and she casually noticed a lot of incense burnt paper Chinese offerings…then she simply kicked and stomped her foot at the ashes lying there. Her reason for stamping on these ashes was just because she was impatient or just simply wanted to do it. She admitted she was a spoilt and rotten kid (her own words not mine).
That night, she woke up to find her body was extremely hot and was perspiring with her body drenched in sweat. Resting in her bed, she suddenly saw a shadowy black apparition on top of her! Oh Gawd! stunned and in total shock, the shadowy apparition with fiery slit red eyes, angrily glared and stared at her.
In her desperation she somehow managed to get out of her bed then rushed to her mother’s bed, sobbing and crying, to safety in her parents’ bedroom. She spent the night crawled under her mother’s side underneath her mother’s blanket for the rest of the night.
She had a high temperature or high fever and could not go to school the next day. Her mother asked her what happened and she reluctantly admitted to stepping on the burnt Chinese offerings. Her mother was furious but did not say much as she was still sick.
The next day, her mother dragged her to a Chinese temple where a “medium” gave her a holy water and some chanting and soon she was alright!
Lucky for her! Since that time she respectfully followed the tradition and was careful not to step on those ashes again.