henna on feet

Creepypasta #1257: Stories From Malaysia - My Aunt

Length: Short

I’d like my story to be an introduction to the rich and strange folklore of Malaysia. To those who are unfamiliar, Malaysia has a very mixed culture – Malays, Chinese and Indians being the most prominent races. Our society, despite being highly-modernized, still holds on deeply to superstitions. And for good reason.

First, a little about me. I am of Indian heritage and my family has always been very much into the spiritual and paranormal. I have grown up learning about curses, possessed relatives, doppelgangers and strange, smoky jars with tiny stick figures inside.

I know what it means to see a rusty nail on an avoided banana tree, a red thread trailing from it. I have listened to forbidden songs known only by older fishermen, who swear that if sung at the right moment on the beach, a puteri (princess) will rise from the sea and walk on the waves.

I have seen what people will do when they are scorned.

Moving on. This story is more about my aunt than me. As long as I have known her, she’s been the kindest, meekest person I’ve ever met. I remember my brother sneaking up behind her with rubber cockroaches from the joke shop, and she’d shriek as if she saw a ghost.

Actually she never shrieked when she saw ghosts. Because she’d been seeing them all her life.

It was a family curse. My grandmother could see the dead, and now she. She said they weren’t frightening, per se – just normal-looking people looking confused and lost. Even when she was in boarding school, she wouldn’t be surprised to see a gaunt, old lady sitting in her room while she was studying. Or in a busy Chinese restaurant, during a family dinner – a silent relative that was present at the table that nobody noticed or spoke to.

However, as I said, my family was deeply spiritual. My aunt was more than well-versed in the ways of Hindu mysticism and prayer. She knew how to ward off a fanatical ghost that was obsessed with a girl. She knew how to cure illnesses brought on by ‘negative energies’. Thus, it wasn’t unusual for a relative to request her help during times of paranormal activity.

One day, she got a call from a relative who lived nearby. The woman claimed that her son was seeing ‘someone’ lurking around the house. The boy claimed that a Malay woman dressed in full baju kebaya was standing in the corner of his room, smiling at him and beckoning.

Well, who you gonna call right? My aunt and I made our way to the woman’s house. It was a normal terrace house with large tree in front of it, and a row of shops across the road (Taman Melawis, Klang – for any Malaysians here). I remember our relative letting us in. She looked naturally frightened and was holding her little boy close.

My aunt asked the boy what exactly did the woman look like. She was very beautiful, he said. With painted lips, hennaed hands and feet, and a lovely smile (My aunt noted that she was dressed very formally – almost as if for a wedding). The woman was always beckoning at him to come to her. Inviting him, as you would a little dog to come play with you.

We began the search. Well, I say we, it was mostly my aunt. We went room to room, for my aunt to sense the ghost. She did this by standing very still in the room and focusing intensely with eyes closed, shivering and writhing. It was very unnerving to watch.

Finally, my aunt said that the ghost was present (we were in the boy’s room). She said that the ghost was hiding behind a cupboard. She could see beautiful hennaed feet under. That was all we needed to know.

My aunt then began a series of prayers to ‘cleanse’ the house. I won’t go into much detail on this, but she basically made sure the house was wiped clean of any unwanted guests. And after another careful round of inspection, the ghost was declared gone.

We left the house, our relative and her son looking notably relieved. As we approached the front gate, my aunt said that we should celebrate by baking some chocolate cake. She was an excellent baker – I’d just hang around the kitchen, picking at the chocolate chips. She was laughing as she reminded me of how I’d beg her to make a blue cake when I was a kid.

The moment we closed the gate, she stopped laughing. Her face turned pale, as if she’d forgotten or missed something incredibly important. She looked up at the tree that was in front of the house. Stared at it intensely with a strange expression of pity and repulse. She then silently entered the car and we drove off.

I didn’t want to ask her what she saw. Perhaps it wasn’t even my business. But a few months later, she told me herself.

On that tree, the ghost of the Malay woman in the baju kebaya sat, staring longingly at the house she was now barred from. Only this time, the formerly beautiful, smiling face was twisted into an expression of pure disappointment and unbridled hatred.

Credits to: rajjiv (story)

anonymous asked:

for the girls i most adore: scents you associate with your childhood? olfactory memory is such a gift and a wonderful time-machine, indeed. ♡

- the fragrance of wet henna rising from hands and feet right after it’s been applied
- the sea on a cool Bombay evening after heavy monsoon rains
- my grandmother crushing spices in the kitchen, spreading red chillies on rooftop blankets to dry in the hot sun
- malli: the jasmines that the Tamil women of my family wear in their dark thick hair
- fresh cotton clothes being hung up beneath the hot summer sun
- lychees and mangoes from our orchards, that sweet ripe smell that emanates from them just after they’ve been peeled
- in train coaches: ginger chai, tomato shorba, the jalebis my grandfather always packed with the fragrance of their sugar syrup permeating the air 
- my family’s hair oil recipe incorporating fresh lavender, geranium, and rose petals, massaged into my hair on Sunday mornings and on the nights of the full moon
- raw onions, fresh coriander, sliced lime: smells of streetside chaat 
- the scintillating scents of rose sherbet and aam panna 
- coconut and gooseberry oil on my hair and legs
- my mother’s and aunt’s perfumes, the smell of slightly heated kajal