In 2018 alone, there were 33 horror movies released in Hollywood. There is something so magnetic about the unseen and we love the stories behind it, even when it makes us weak in the knees.
In Malaysia, the supernatural has been an aspect of local culture way before the advent of Islam from the middle east and European colonisation. Our ancestors believed in the powers of the unknown and practiced magic as the means for healing, education, and security. So, it is not a big surprise why we are so intrigued. So, for those who intend to be surrounded by supernatural physically, below are seven places you can visit to experience it.
- Amber Court Genting Highlands
The room is empty, the night is bone-chillingly silent and the stars are nowhere to be found. The rustling of your bedsheet roars in the dead of the night when suddenly a familiar noise wakes you from your self-induced slumber- because you knew you could not sleep the moment you saw the hotel. A thundering noise of steep, fast shuffling footsteps closes-in towards you. You shriek! But then everything dampens into the heavy silence again, with nothing audible but the beating of your heart. There was no one there. After what felt like an eternity, breathing comes back to you.
But then, you realised it was not yours…
This infamous hotel is known to be one of the most haunting locations in Malaysia! Tourists often believed that it is abandoned, when in fact the hotel and service apartments operate until today. Still, its run-down exterior, stained with mould and rotten with rust makes a perfect justification on why people believed that it was an abandoned building. The hotel is so creepy, it was used as the location of the 2017 horror flick ‘Haunted Hotel’. The rooms are said to be decent but harsh reviews are scattered all over the internet. Plus, rumours of ghost sightings and paranormal activities such as door closing, by-the-neck breathing sensation, and creepy wailings are often mentioned whenever the hotel comes up in the search engines. So, if you are thinking to have a pleasant and comfortable stay, please reconsider. But for thrill seekers and believers, this hotel might just be your opportunity to witness live paranormal sightings and activities.
For reservations and ‘Haunted Hotel’ location tours contact +6 03 6101 1204
Scariest Hotel In The Mountains! – Amber Court ( Video Source: Cody Buffinton)
The staring eyes come from all corner of the area, making you shiver in the middle of the afternoon. Gore displays of synthetic corpses make your stomach grumbles while the blatant parades of skulls made your head twirl with twisted thoughts. You know nothing is there but the past, but god, you feel the suffering of the people like they are right in front of you. The sound of the wind indistinguishable from the wailings of the dead…
For those who fancy dark tourism, this is the place to be. The museum was initially built as a British stronghold against the Japanese invasion; however, the fortress eventually fell into the hands of the Japanese in 1941. Repurposed into a prisoner’s camp, hundreds of British and local soldiers were slaughtered and beheaded there. The gruelling history of the site makes it a sinister place rumoured to harbour negative energy. It was even listed in National Geographic’s ‘I wouldn’t go in there’ documentary as one of the most haunted locations in Asia. With multiple attraction points and in-your-face facts about the infiltration of the fortress, visitors are bombarded with information that is rather grotesque. For the stout-hearted, join the night walk, said to be a spine-chilling experience.
Entrance fees for the Penang War Museum:
Malaysian Child: MYR10.00
Malaysian Adult: MYR20.00
Foreign Child: MYR17.00
Foreign Adult: MYR35.00
For reservations contact +6 04 626 5142
It’s scorching hot and sweat drips from your forehead as you read about the Japanese Army’s surrender to the Australian forces. In a distance, you can hear birds chirping and cars passing by but sweltered by the sun you ignore them. A thumping sound of a hundred footsteps slices your calm and as you look around, you could the Japanese soldiers in formation, synchronising the stomping of their feet as they march towards the memorial ground. You rub your eyes, and they were gone…
In September 1945, after Japan was hit by two nuclear bombs, the Japanese forces had finally surrendered to the Australian army in Labuan. Lieutenant General Miso Baba, the Supreme Commander of Japanese Forces in Borneo was instructed to fly to Labuan to surrender his forces under the Australian command. It was said that a grim incident of a mass suicide called as ‘harakiri’ happened at Surrender Point, where the Japanese soldiers decided to take their own lives to protect their honour rather than returning home in failure. Locals believe that to ease the lost souls of these soldiers, the Japanese government had prepared the Peace Park as their final resting place. A headless soldier, marching Japanese troops sightings and disembodied wailings were some of the usual rumours surrounding the park. Although there are no evidential records, the park is one of the most interesting parts of Labuan where visitors can learn and appreciate its gruelling history.
The first step into this building was enchanting, climactic in a sense to see such beautiful architecture left in ruin. Brick walls exposed like an open flesh and stairwells spiralling up to the upper floors send shivers down your spine. As you climb it, you will be greeted by a long corridor that overlooks green fields and blue skies. The sparking nerves at the tip of your fingers fade as you take in the breathtaking view. In a distance, you can see a man standing at the end of the hallway, and for some reason, he looked out of place…
That is when you realise you are not alone…
Accounts of seeing the apparition of the Scotsman, William Kellie Smith, were among the most notorious rumours surrounding the unfinished building. Rooted in deep love for his family, the castle was said to have 14 rooms in total, complete with a wine cellar, stables, rooftop tennis court, and a lift shaft. But due to his sudden demise, the whole construction was halted and abandoned. It was said that there are tunnels and hidden rooms in the building, making it eerier. Although Kellies Castle is currently well managed by a private company, the incomplete colonial architecture looks rather haunting due to its inhabited state. You can visit the mansion during the day and during Halloween, night exploration is allowed.
MYR5.00 for MyKad Holders
MYR10.00 for Foreigners
‘Mak Yong’ and ‘Main Puteri‘ are two different traditional rituals that share a quite similar purpose. Both are performed for curing the mind and soul of the sick, a sort of psychotherapy to alleviate unseen illness. These rituals are heavily associated with religion and the supernatural, especially ‘Main Puteri’ – although it might seem like a musical performance, the whole practice is aimed at eliminating the phantom sickness through religious chanting and interrogation by the lead performers ‘Tok Teri’ and ‘Tok Minduk’. The questionings are done to find out where the problem areas lie in the patient and through collective praying and incantations of the participants, the illness would then be lifted by God.
‘Mak Yong’, on the other hand, is communal psychotherapy or spiritual healing through musical performance based on indigenous Kelantanese folklore. Revolving around the concept of ‘angin’ or wind (a term for a person’s temperament), the dance is said to uplift and provide relief to the spectators. ‘Mak Yong’ is also listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2005. However, in 1998, the performance of the dance was banned by the Kelantan state government since it was deemed un-Islamic.
Travellers can still watch ‘Mak Yong’ performance outside Kelantan. We suggest heading over to the Malaysian Tourism Centre to find out where and when you can watch it.
Mak Yong – Kelantan (Video Source: Pentas Pusaka)
- Karak Highway
It is your first time driving here, everything was dark and terrifying. All the stories you heard starts to play games in your mind and every one of them sent chills to your bones. But you raced forward, knowing that you’ll make it. And you will, since Kuala Lumpur is barely 50 kilometres away. But of course, as you slowly settle on happier thoughts, a yellow vehicle appears from the misty dark, catching up on you. Your heart starts to race, similar to your thoughts when you see it closing in. You slow down, knowing full well what the stories advised you to do and let the yellow Volkswagen pass by. As much as you tried, though, you can’t help but look…
And realise that nobody is driving the car as it speeds away…
There are urban legends that were passed down generations to generations regarding Karak Highway. Back in the days, it seemed like every fatal incident had something to do with the horrific tales surrounding it. Some say it is cursed, some say it is haunted. But in the end, its reputation comes from the high frequency of accidents that seems to resurrect the fear among the locals concerning the highway. There is something dreadfully mystical about it and the fact that many supernatural experiences retold by witnesses are all similar makes it sounds sinister.
From the racing yellow Volkswagen that lure motorists into accident, to the horrifying tale of a father whose headless body was mysteriously gorged by an unidentified entity on the roof of his car while his children and wife were in it, including the ghost of a boy knocking on the window to look for his mother, the nightmarish tales never end, enough to be turned into a 2012 local horror flick entitled ‘Karak’.
Still, the town of Karak is highly adorned by visitors. With minor pollution, the small town serves as a wonderful stop for travellers who are in need of a light break from a long drive. One of the most reputable retreats is the secluded Orchard Heights, a bijou homestay that offers serenity and calm to city dwellers.
You keep walking into the trail, and by now your concerns has turned into deep, chilling worries as it seems you have been walking in circles. You can hear laughter, but your group was nowhere to be found. It only took a second for you to be lost, only one step, and everything seems to be morphing into a different realm. The folklores your grandfather told you started to make sense and looking down at your compass, you knew you are already in a different dimension…
Several climbers had recounted their experience at Broga Hills as confusing and spine chilling as the theory of the elves (known as ‘Orang Bunian’ in Malay), reinforced after the highly sensationalised recovery of a boy that was lost for a week around the mentioned hill. Rumour has it that there exists a ‘settlement’ of the elves within the area, which is also a famous hiking spot. But after the disappearance of the boy, the urban legends intensified. People recalled being disturbed in their sleep while camping, getting lost or side-tracked for no reason and going in circles even when they had followed the right track.
Still the hill remains popular for hiking, especially among Klang Valley residents. Accessibility and adrenaline-pumping trails make a great combination for a good hike, while the view of verdure thatch fields enchants.