“Superstition”. “The Unknown”. What do
these words exactly have in common? In regional folklore, a ghost is the spiritual
remains of a deceased person or animal, in most cases the deceased who have
attachments or resentments in the mortal world, which can be seen by certain
individuals with sixth sense. Superstition on the other hand is a common term
for beliefs practiced for reasons that is considered too illogical to be
comprehended by the human mind. Most superstitions such as bad luck from
breaking a mirror stems excessively from the naive belief in the supernatural.
Thus, we can conclude that either “Ghosts”, “Superstition” or even “The
Unknown” is all based on a supernatural level.
Normally, we associate subjects on”Ghosts”
or “Superstition” with the feeling of “horror”. Why? “Horror”, derived from the
Latin word “horrere”
means an intense feeling of fear and disgust. For example, when one brings up a
subject on the supernatural, do you feel a sudden chill in your spine while
becoming more aware of your surroundings? That particular feeling is based on
what we call “horror”. Nonetheless, from what I’ve experienced in the past, I
am confident enough to say that horror is not just the feeling of fear and disgust.
To me, “horror” is an attack on the human psyche where you lose all conscious
control of your body, where the only thing your body could manage is just
standing still while your mind goes blank, unable to neither comprehend the
terrifying situation that is enveloping your very being nor escape from it.
That’s what “pure horror” feels like, unlike the “horror” that supposedly scary
horror flicks, which abuse the use of “jump scares” claims to portray.
I’ve never been an overly zealous person
on the subject on the supernatural or even religious beliefs and whatnot. There
are times where I accuse others of fraudulent claims when they try to tell me a
story of their ghostly or horrifying encounters. Nonetheless, as an atheist
would have his fair share of “godly” experiences from time to time, I as a
non-believer in the supernatural too have occasions where I encountered
situations, 2 to be exact, be it supernatural or natural, which injected horror
in my mind.
The first frightening encounter I had
was when I was 16 years old. That was the 1st time I was struck with
a sleep paralysis attack. To some people, sleep paralysis may seem to be just a
brief episode of psychosis and that victims usually get over the trauma over
time. Well, if you think like that, congratulations, you are an ignorant moron
and I hope you experience sleep paralysis soon so you could experience the fear
we victims went through. Now allow me to educate you on the horror of sleep
paralysis through my perspective. It was on Thursday night, and I went to bed
the moment I stepped in to the threshold of my house after enduring a grueling
lecture on Malaysian History. After a few hours of sleep, I woke up to find
myself unable to control or even make my body move an inch, or in my own words,
“pinned down by 2 specters”. In short, I was paralyzed from head down.
Now, sleep paralysis doesn’t do much
harm to a person’s sanity were it not for the accompanying hallucinations
during the episode. Most of the victims, realizing that their body is now
immobile, start to lose their grip on reality. Their deluded minds start to conjure
up apparitions that are enveloping their body and in most cases, pushing down
against their chest, thus making them unable to breathe. In my case, I remember
seeing a dark silhouette of an ominous entity, aside from the two somewhat tiny
but equally terrifying specters in which I had dubbed as “minions”, standing at
my side observing my very being as his “minions” kept me pinned down on the
bed. I tried to scream for help as hard as I could but my efforts were quickly brought
to a halt as one of the “minions” grabbed hold of my throat while suffocating
me, rendering me mute and short of breathe.
While the 2″minions” were doing an
excellent job at keeping me immobile, the dark silhouette moved towards my body
and it felt as if it was grabbing hold of my face. If you remember the the
scene in The Prisoner of Azkaban where the Dementors tried to suck Harry Potter’s
soul, that’s what I thought I went through during my sleep paralysis episode.
The dark silhouette apparently clamped its jaw on to my face and I could feel a
sucking force exerted by the silhouette’s jaw. Apart from having to stare at
the entity’s grisly and nasty excuse of a mouth, I could almost sense my soul
and consciousness starting to fade away from my body. After enduring the torturous
ordeal for what seemed like ages, the dark silhouette finally dispersed and the
sleep paralysis episode ended when my mother came into my room to wake me up
for school. I know that my encounter seems quite surreal and exaggerated, but
believe me, once you experience sleep paralysis, you’ll have a taste of true
Since I’ve finished describing my first
frightening experience, let’s move on to my 2nd unlucky encounter
with pure horror. It was during my trip to Japan with my girlfriend last year
after finishing our SPM exams. We thought we would have an enjoyable time in
Japan, but with Japan being a hub for the nastiest urban legends available for
humanity; it’ was seemingly obvious that our perception was very mistaken. It
all happened after our tour in the city of Tokyo. We just finished our lunch at
a ramen shop in a hidden corner and were just about to leave when the owner
advised us to be careful on our way back to our hotel as there had been recent
sightings of a masked woman in a trench coat holding a long pair of scissors on
the news. The owner joked about the return of the “Kuchisake Onna” or “slit
mouthed woman”, where the urban legend of a vengeful ghost belonging to a
mutilated woman caused huge spread terror during the late 1970’s. Nonetheless
he offered to call a cab for us, which we politely refused. Now that I think
about it, I regretted my decision to not accept his offer just for the sake of
saving a few extra bucks. What I got in exchange for my miserly attitude is the
biggest fright of my life.
As the ramen shop was located in a
secluded part of Tokyo, the curb was quite empty, with a few stray cats
strolling along the streets. Just as we were about to enter the more public
areas of Tokyo, a strange figure in a trench coat appeared behind us. The
figure matched the description of the strange individual who was sighted holding
a long pair of scissors on the news. Fearing for our lives, we started walking
at a faster pace. However, the individual overtook us and barred our path. I
had my girlfriend stay behind me while I confronted the individual, who was a
long-haired woman wearing a clinical mask. The masked woman questioned me in a
soothing tone by asking “watashi kirei?”
or “Am I pretty?” Not wanting to anger the woman, I gave a nod while agreeing
with her, and that’s when the moment of horror came into place.
After listening to my answer, the
seemingly satisfied woman proceeded to take off her clinical mask, revealing a horrifying
Glasgow smile which completely disfigured her once beautiful appearance. She
questioned me the 2nd time by asking “Kore demo?” or “how about now?” I did not know how to answer as I’ve heard
stories of the “Kuchisake-Onna” killing anyone who answered affirmatively or
negatively. We stood there dumbfounded at her question, which may have greatly
irritated the woman. Just when the woman was preparing to attack and carve my
face up, I somehow remembered the strategy taught by the ramen shop owner to
escape from the “Kuchisake-Onna” which is giving an ambiguous answer
to her 2nd question, thus distracting her.
I replied by noting that her appearance
was neither pretty nor ugly. In the woman’s moment of confusion over my answer,
I grabbed hold of my girlfriend’s hand and took the opportunity to escape from
the woman. Be it a real “Kuchisake-Onna” or just a maniac posing as one, I’ve
never experienced such terror ever since my sleep paralysis episode nor would I
ever want another one.
I’ve pretty much summed up all the
frightening experiences that I witnessed or came across in my life. These experiences
make me question whether supernatural occurrences really do exist in this world.
While my encounters may seem exhilarating to horror nerds and daredevils, but
trust me, one frightening experience is enough to last a lifetime, let alone
two. To those who want a multitude of fright and horror in their lives, no
offence, but in my opinion there’s something wrong with the gears in your head.
Well, before I conclude my narration, would you mind sharing your frightening
experience with me?