In Malaysia, superstitions are part of our culture with stories of orang bunian, pontianaks and other mythical creatures being told over campfires or even through literature. Although many remain skeptical, a handful of Malaysians truly believe in the existence of otherworldly beings. And you know what they say… you’re an atheist until you see your ghost.
In Sabah, belief in the supernatural is more common since locals are closer to nature with ancient jungles, rivers and mountains sprawling across the land.
Recently, a village in Sabah was racked with fear when a 10-year-old girl went missing and was believed to have been kidnapped by, not a human, but an orang bunian – which Google oddly translates as a “goblin”, although the term is closer to “forest person”.
The incident took place in Kampung Kelangsat, Sipitang. Authorities were called immediately to investigate the incident. The chief officer of Sipitang, Superintendent Champin Piuh, interviewed several residents, most notably Head Villager, Matius Balau, and they all came to the conclusion that the girl was chosen by an orang bunian.
According to Berita Harian, the chief said,
“The incident happened close to Maghrib prayers, approximately 6:30 in the evening. The victim was found near the compounds of the Head Villager’s house. The victim was found in an open area, lying down with her hands folded atop her chest.”
When she was discovered, Champin stated that she was in a very weak and vulnerable state. Her family members promptly performed a kenduri selamat, which is a ritual to pray for the safety and well-being of those in attendance. They also slaughtered chickens and cows in order to prevent such misfortunes from happening again.
Although there is no clear explanation as to what happened with the girl, kidnappings performed by orang bunian is not unheard of in Malaysia.
The incident usually happens during Maghrib prayers, similar to the case in mention, believed to be the peak hour for spirits or mythical creatures to roam free in search of victims. Often times, the victim will be found in an open field, caught up in a complete daze. Most victims don’t recall their abduction.
Places that are the most susceptible to these kinds of abnormal kidnappings are usually areas that are uninhabitable such as thick forests and rivers. Some victims even say that they would smell a pungent perfume or see a silhouette before blacking out.
While the existence of these supernatural beings might be a point of contention among urban Malaysians, there are still many who have deep respect for local folklore.
Do you believe in ghosts?
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