With Malaysians being a superstitious lot, it’s no surprise some locations have gained a reputation for supernatural activity.
PETALING JAYA: This month seems destined to be filled with doom and gloom, what with the monsoon season and impending elections.
It’s also Halloween tomorrow, and as such, there’s no better time to tell hair-raising tales about things that go bump in the night.
Malaysians generally enjoy a good horror story, and some places in the country are notorious for being inhabited by things not of this world.
Here are several locations in Malaysia that are said to be plagued by supernatural activity. Keep your eyes and ears open the next time you visit any of these!
1. Kellie’s Castle (Perak)
This tourist destination in Batu Gajah is almost always listed among the country’s most haunted locations.
Even without ghosts involved, the story behind William Kellie Smith and the mansion he built for his wife is morbidly intriguing, as the man died prematurely before it was completed.
Some claim Smith’s spirit still roams the halls of the residence, while others have supposedly seen the man’s young daughter playing in her abandoned bedroom.
Then there are the dark tunnels beneath the mansion, where visitors are forbidden from entering for safety reasons.
How much truth there is to these stories remains up in the air – though a team of international investigators from the popular “Ghost Hunters” franchise didn’t find anything when their episode aired in 2010.
2. Caledonia House (Penang)
Also known as the “99-door mansion”, the Caledonia House is the perfect setting for any horror story.
Tucked away deep within an oil palm plantation and built during colonial times, the mansion was home to the Ramsden family, wealthy Europeans who owned plantations in the area.
Things took a dark turn in 1948 when the mansion became the scene of an assassination: John St Maur Ramsden was shot in the back of the head by an unknown killer.
For decades now the mansion has sat abandoned, with many locals spinning tales about the premises being used for nefarious purposes.
One popular story revolves around how a local bomoh used it for dark rituals, and superstitious visitors claim to see and hear strange things in the ruins.
3. Highland Towers (Selangor)
The site of one of Malaysia biggest disasters, it is not surprising that a location that bore such tragedy is said to be haunted.
A landslide in 1993 resulted in the catastrophic collapse of a tower block, claiming the lives of 48 people.
With the remaining tower blocks declared unsafe, the Towers were subsequently abandoned and left to rot.
In addition to supposedly being a drug den, there are rumoured reports about the ruins being inhabited by restless souls.
Supposedly, cries for help can be heard on quiet nights, and some claim to have seen the spirits of victims still wandering the area.
4. Villa Nabila (Johor)
Overlooking the scenic beachfront of Danga Bay, Villa Nabila could have been a perfect holiday home.
Instead, it has been devoured by the forest, its abandonment the topic of speculation by many paramours of the paranormal.
There are conflicting stories as to what happened here – perhaps products of overactive imaginations, perhaps not.
Some of these involve a jealous maid who murdered the villa’s inhabitants, while others tell of a depressed father who massacred his family.
Regardless of whether or not these stories are true, the house has been the subject of many horror documentaries, further building – or staining – its ghastly reputation.
5. Karak Highway (Pahang & Selangor)
Of Malaysia’s highway network that stretches for thousands of kilometres, the Karak Highway is most often said to be haunted.
Thirty-odd years ago it witnessed a terrible pile-up, known as the 1990 Highway Crash, which involved 11 vehicles and 17 deaths.
A popular ghost story tells of how motorists may sometimes come across a ghostly schoolboy asking passersby if they have seen his mother.
Another tale centres around a spectral Volkswagen Beetle, which will purportedly keep appearing no matter how many times you overtake it.
In truth, it is quite likely the highway is not so much haunted as it is hazardous, with some stretches being challengingly long and gusty even for seasoned drivers.