Hungry Ghost Festival in Asia
…the 7 year old sleepy boy went to go to the kitchen for a glass of water when he was taken aback, shocked to see a black shadowy figure on the outside right beside the window panes in the kitchen….
Joss Sticks and Food for the Dead Souls
Trang was only 7 year old when his parents thought it was best and much safer that he and his younger sister went to live temporarily with their grandmother place at a rural farm area in Vietnam. That was during the Vietnam War between the south and north Vietnam in the late seventies.
Trang’s parents decided to move him and his sister to their grandmother’s farm and so happened it was during the Hungry Ghost Festival. One night Trang suddenly woke up in the middle of the night at his Grandma’s one-storey farm house. His mouth and his throat was parched, realizing that his mother was back in Saigon to be with her husband and his grandma was fast asleep in the next room, Trang decided to go to the kitchen to get a glass of water.
The dining room was located beside Trang and his younger sister’s bedroom and the kitchen was directly behind that. The old hand sink in the kitchen with closed glass window panels was set above the basin. Half asleep Trang slowly walked past the dining room and onto the kitchen when he was stunned to see a black shadowy man-like figure out side in the frosted glass panel in the kitchen. He was not sure whether to scream or shout to warn his grandma about the intruder.
Before he can do anything there was an icy cold gust of air….the black figure suddenly materialize in the kitchen just beside Trang!! Totally shock he let out a loud scream and fell down on his back looking desperately for his mother. At the same time he quickly turned his head when he heard his grandma calling and when he finally turn back to face the back figure…it was gone.. completely disappeared.
Years later, Trang was told by a friend that as it was during the Hungry Ghost Festival and during the Vietnam War, it could be a lost dead soldier looking for his family.
The ghostly encounter happened a second time many years ago later or to precise, over 40 years ago, in the island of Singapore. Trang was working for a shipping company in Vietnam with the headquarters in Singapore.
Trang was scheduled for 3 days in Singapore for a workshop and other meetings. Raj who is Trang’s close friend and he works in the same shipping company, insisted that Trang must stay with him at Toa Payoh in Singapore.
When the final meeting was over on the 3rd day, it was only around 3pm that afternoon. Trang told Raj that he will be taking a taxi back to Toa Payoh for a nap and wait for Raj to come back for a special local Indian dinner in a restaurant.
Trang must have overslept as the skies were dark and he planned to have a quick shower before Raj got back from work. As he was showering he heard two voices laughing and talking but he could not make out the words. Thinking it must be Raj and he must have brought a female friend along with him. Smiling, Trang thought that Raj was forever saying that he is married to his work that is absolutely great that he has found a girlfriend.
He hurriedly finished showering and he put on his clothes, when he noticed that the voices were quiet. However he dismissed that thought thinking that it was a natural thing. He happily walked pass the corridor to the living room with a smile on his face…..the room was dark, deadly quiet and nobody was there!
Thinking about it later, he was absolutely sure that he had heard people talking but maybe it was just lurking ghosts and after all it was during Hungry Ghost Month.