Monday, January 10, 2011

Spirits Having Their Fun Time

Paranormal Experts Fail To Get Rid Of ‘Ghosts’ At Grandma’s House
KOTA BARU: There seems to be no end to Zainab Sulaiman’s woes despite several attempts by paranormal experts to rid her of spirits believed to be behind over 200 mysterious fires which have broken out in her home.
On Wednesday night, a group of local Muslim ghostbusters called Darul Shifaq spent half the night in her house at Kampung Penam­bang Bunga Emas here chanting Quranic verses.
They also used blessed water to cleanse her ancient collection of keris, swords, and brasswares where the spirits are believed to be staying.
What the blazes?: Zainab showing a piece of cloth that had caught fire at her house in Kampung Penambang Bunga Emas. – SAZUKI EMBONG / The Star
Darul Shifaq leader Zakaria Ya said djinn or spirits rarely possess human beings.
“We have come across this sort of paranormal activity before, and her an­cient belongings may be the cause of the fires.
“Zainab could have inherited ancient keris or swords from her forefathers who could have practised black magic,” he said.
Zainab says that the number of fires have increased.
“I counted at least 46 new fires appearing on anything made from cloth at all corners of the house since Wednesday.
“Despite the attempts of Darul Shifaq, the spirits are still here,’’ she said.
Zainab, 73, who lives in the wooden house with her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, said an American couple visited her recently and offered to help rid the house of the spirits.
“They came here with tour guides at about 7pm, but I politely turned them down because of language problems.
“Furthermore, I am afraid anything I do now may anger the spirits further,” she said.
Earlier, a Siamese medium had attempted to chase away the spirits but was unsuccessful.
The fires have destroyed 200 items of clothing as well as prayer mats and two mattresses.

Source: The Star, Jan 8, 2011


It was in the 90s.
I was in a friend's house when in a room with ajar door was the first time I saw the ritual of keris 'bathing' by her brother-in-law.
The object was rubbed with lime on burning incense with smoke engulfing the room and I could see flower petals being used too.

It was said to be done yearly as the weapon is considered to be 'magical metal' endowed with spiritual power.
Thus the ceremony is to appease the spirit in it, inherited by their father from his forefathers.


I was in another friend's house when she pointed to me the two kerisses placed above the window had turned by itself.
Can it?

But I had heard of some that are able to stand vertically upright and there is rattling keris while in its sheath to warn the owner of potential danger.

My friend said it was high time for the two to be cleansed but her father who usually attended to the weapon had just recently passed away.
Yearly cleansing is required as part of preserving the spirituality surrounding the weapon and they were looking for a suitable person then.
I did not probe further as it reminded me the ritual I saw with burning incense.

To me, when there is burning and smoke lingers, unseen creatures, good or bad, are likely to lurk around.
What's more when spirit appeasing is involved!

Amazing to note, some kerisses are known to possessing their very own souls.
The belief in the mystical power is still alive even among the educated and the upper class society.
Keris has been used for medicinal purposes too, and some had verses from The Holy Quran inscriptions on the blades.

Some keris has the ability to fly out of its sheath, into the air, kill targeted victim and return to its original place, inside the sheath.

Some has the ability to eliminate enemy from the distance, either by pointing the keris towards the victim, or just by striking into the enemy's footprints.

Then there was a legend when someone used a magic keris producing a swarm of hornets from the tip of the blade directed towards the enemies.

Transferring blazing fire could simply be done by pointing the tip of the keris to an alternative site and makan api or fire prevention is done with pointing the keris at the flame to reduce the intensity of the raging fire.


No one is to unsheathe ancestral keris before permission is granted by its rightful owner.
There was a story that a keris owner was silently annoyed at his friend for unsheathing his family's keris without his consent.
The next day, the friend came back to the keris owner, apologising for his ill manner while holding his right arm which was experiencing excruciating pain.

The friend had dream of an angry old man who scolded him for unsheathing his keris.
The friend was asked to go back to the old man's grandson for apology, and asking him water to cure his pain which he had experienced since nightfall before he went to sleep.
His right hand was cured three days later.

Some keris could only be handled by its rightful owner for its spiritual power to be retained.
Ancient proper etiquette is still followed till today by experts.

Unsheathing the keris is best not done after sunset and stiff blade within the sheath should not be forced.

Once the blade is unsheathe, it should not be brought close to the face nor touch it, fearing it is poisoned.
It should be slowly brought to the forehead as a sign of respect to the soul of the keris.


My Late Father, from Central Java, used to relate many interesting Javanese fairy tales, folklore, legends and myths.
But He had never told me that keris or kris in the Malay archipelago originated from Java.
Further to it, keris is also part of Indonesian culture. 
I knew nothing about it, until I watch a documentary about keris making in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The Empu or Padai Besi, the kris-makers had to select an auspicious date for the spiritual preparation of keris making: fasting, meditation and prayers and a ritual ceremony to keep away bad spirit.

They did more than just making a weapon.
They carried out ritual ceremony to keep away bad spirit and infusing the blade with mystical powers.
For this reason, kerisses are considered alive.

Kerisses have its own lives that need respect.
Harmony between the weapon and its owner is very critical as keris is considered sacred.
Some of it is known to possess magical powers.
Specific rites needed to be completed to avoid evil fates.

Kerisses are not only believe to help prevent agricultural failure, death and fire, but they are known too, to bring fortune and bountiful harvests.

Keris Sajen Picitan Majapahit abad ke 12 - Image

Keris Sajen is still used nowadays in Java on the occasion before planting rice.
The small keris is not for  fighting, although it still possess its assumed magical powers.

Every keris has its own unique story tagged to it.
It has its tradition, nobility and tales of adventure to be told, but who are we to know all?


mamasita said...

Thanks Ummie for sharing this documentary piece.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Ummie, wow! That is scary! Imagine fires starting on their own!
And yes, I have heard from several sources never to buy or collect old knives, swords or never can tell what it was used for or whether some unfortunate soul had the sharp end of it.

She should bury them, say prayers.
Had a friend here who collect old earth antiques, and within days of bring home an earthen artifact from the Far East, whole family became sick.
He got rid of it.

Really sad the lady having her things burnt. Sure one very unusual situation.
Very interesting posting, Ummie.
One house I will not be seen in, ha ha.
Best regards, Lee.

Ummie said...

Just sharing.
Many of us (myself too) hoard things we like and we want rather than we need them.
It ends up as display item or worst still, in the store room.
Honestly, some unused items house the spirits that has or had affect our livelihood & health.


Mr Lee,
Thanks for reminding me of earthen antiques - & that came from the earth too.

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