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Malaysia's Jungle Spirits

Lush with primary and secondary virgin jungle, Malaysians have long held a respect for the forests. It also helps that myths, whether bearing down from the forefathers or from urban legend, has caused a lot of superstition surrounding the vast jungle of Malaysia.

According to Hungzai.com,

Entering the jungle? Respect the place and don’t “talk big”. Don’t relieve yourself anywhere you like. Don’t call out your friend’s name. Break these traditional taboos and unseen spirits may just wreak havoc on you – for instance, a “voice” may just imitate your companion’s name and lead him far astray from the path.

Or you may end up in an unseen dimension, perhaps even meet a nice old man who invites you to a fabulous ‘mansion’ in the jungle.

Fascination on the matter has grown in recent years, with the sighting of a creature, similar to the North American Bigfoot, in the jungles of peninsular Malaysia. According to Adha:

Ramai yang mendakwa telah terserempak dengan Bigfoot dan mereka menggambarkan makhluk itu bertubuh tegap dan besar, gigi-giginya besar, matanya berwarna merah, bulunya berwarna perang gelap atau merah kehitaman dan meliputi seluruh badan. penghuni hantu puaka rimba hutan berhantu angker batu di Malaysia hutan tropika Bigfoot dikatakan tidak menyerang manusia atau menggangu manusia sebaliknya malu jika terserempak dengan manusia malah sering berpindah kawasan setelah kewujudannya disedari oleh manusia. Ia hanya makan pucuk kayu muda dan akan menggosokkan badannya pada batang pokok untuk menghilang kegatalan pada tubuh. kejadian paranormal mengenai big foot mengenai Bigfoot makhluk tapak kaki besar Makhluk yang dikenali sebagai Mawas, Orang utan, Hantu Jarang Gigi dan Siamang di kalangan masyarakat Orang Asli Johor itu juga hidup dalam kumpulan iaitu satu keluarga yang dianggotai oleh bapak, ibu dan anak-anak… Kisah terawal tentang Big foot mula dilaporkan pada tahun 1811 apabila seorang juruukur Kanada mendakwa menemui jejak kaki luarbiasa yang besar dan dipercayai milik makhluk yang belum pernah dikenali oleh dunia di Jasper, Kanada.

Lembaga hitam hantu bertapak tapak kaki besar hantu tinggi hantu raya hantu hutan [names of ghosts]. Many have claimed to come across with Bigfoot, and describe the creature as being big with large teeth and with brownish reddish black fur on its body. The settlers in the forests say that the Malaysian Bigfoot does not attack or disturb man, but is conversely shy when it sees humans, and always moves elsewhere when it knows man has found it. It only eats leaves and shrubs and rubs its body on small trees to ease its itchiness. The paranormal occurrence of the Few-teethed Ghost and ‘Siamang’ among the naives in Johore (the forest in which the Bigfoot was sighted) also live in groups, i.e. a father, mother and their children… The earliest sighting of the beast was in 1811, when a Canadian surveyor claimed he found large footprints which was believed to belong to an unknown creature.

Urban myth aside, Malaysia is rich with legends of ghosts living in the forest.
Oakfall~FirdzZ explains what a Water Ghost is on his blog:

Hantu Air, Puaka Air or Mambang Air is the Malay translation for Spirit of the Water , Hantu Air is the unseen dweller of watery places such as rivers, lakes, seas, swamps and even ditches. It is mainly associated with bad things happening to people which includes drowning, missing, flooding and many more.

The term Hantu Air may sound spooky to Malays but when the term is translated into English it creates a new understanding of the meaning that besets the culture of the Malay people. For a long time the Malay Archipelago was ruled by animism {the believe in spirits} and people tended to associate almost anything with the spiritual world including nature.

Some people believe that the spirit will haunt places associated with water during or after it has been discarded by its previous owner. The unguided and lost spirit will soon roam the place. When it is hungry, it will feast on anything including humans.

Superstitions arising among the locals tell of this evil spirit dwelling in watery places where it sometimes disguises itself as an old tree trunk, a beautiful lady, fishes or other animals in order to attract unassuming people into its trap. When caught the human will be eaten or perhaps drowned to death.

There is a ceremony that is still popular among the local older Malays called Semah Pantai especially in the East Coast of Malaysia. It is a ceremony whereby fishermen and seafarers honor the sea spirits and at the same time ask for blessings and protection when they venture out to sea to catch fish.

Malaysian Water Ghost

At the Penampakan Gambar Foto Hantu blog, which specialises in photos of ghosts, you can even find photos of what is said to be a ghost in the forest, like the one below.

Ghost in the Malaysian Jungle

Perhaps the most famous of all forest spirits, who are said to live in a dimension which humans can't see. Occasionally, the dimensions overlaps, which explains sightings. According to X Trackers:

One best option is not to engage in this entities, because without a proper guidance and knowledge we could endanger ourselves and families. If God Willing, I will soon post some of by research I wrote “The Law Of Spirit”, so people will have a better understanding of the another world dimension and it's beings within. In it will have topic such as “The misinterpretion of ghost and do they exist?”

Meanwhile, recent school hysteria has been put down to ghostly sightings, including that of the Bunian. Alem says:

memang hard to believe that some people can see makluk halus which were jin, bunian, jembalang and so on..this is a give from god..do you ever heard news about hysteria happen at the new school somewhere in malaysia recendly..base on her(girl that can see things) opnion that place were perkampungan bunian hard to believe kan.. i agree with her coz actually that place memang tempat jin bertendang before development..no1 attent to go there but the school was build at that place for many reason..tambah lagi primary school lagi.. u know kan children memang can see many things… i dunno this is my opinion..so to me other mahlok memang exist..tuhan itu maha kuasa…anything beyond our thinking anything can be…

It's hard to believe that some people can see ghostly apparitions, like djins, bunian, jembalang [type of ghost] and so on..this is a gift from God..did you heard the news about hysteria in new schools in Malaysia recently? Based on her (girl who can see things) opinion, the school was a bunian village. Hard to believe, right?.. I agree with her because that place is a place where ghosts used to war before development… No one intended to go there but the school was built there for many reasons… What's more, it's a primary school. You know, children can see many things… I don't know, this is my opinion… So to me other creatures do exist.. the God is the Almighty…anything beyond our thinking anything is possible…

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