Friday, October 14, 2011

Those Former Occupants Of New Homes

I was in Bertam, Penang recently.
The house owner had just moved into that new estate, which still has oil palm plantation to its right.

I like the house as housing price is cheaper in Penang than in JB and, it is the second house I saw, with space for air well, designed to promote ventilation.
The first time I saw a house with space for air well belong to the famed Singapore potter, Iskandar Jalil in Kembangan, whom we just visited this Eid.
He doubled the space usage for indoor gardening.
The Bertam owner doubled the air well space area too, but as a guest room.

She moved into the house just for a brief period before she decided to return to JB.
The house is now without its occupant.

According to her, she often saw the sight of an old man walking across the house.
At times, she would heard loud banging at the rear door, the kitchen area.
Even when she asked her mother for companion, the loud banging continued.

A number of residents had almost the same experience.
They would see the old man all over the place, sometime, on the street too.


For her, the first-time owner of a new home, for me, it is not unusual for such sighting.

During the late 70s and early 80s when we just moved to Bedok, a new housing estate then, a woman once said that she was about to go to the kitchen after midnight when she saw her empty baby's cradle, which happened to be in the kitchen, being swayed by a Chinese man with one hand.
His other hand, grasping his little hair that was holding his severed head.
That is to say, the Chinese man swaying the empty cradle is headless.

Bedok was said to be the execution and mass grave area for many, not only anti-Japanese groups, but those innocent civilians too.

A workmate in the 80s, Mary, living in Bedok too, had to ask for morning shift.
Whenever she was to start her work in the afternoon, and was home around 10pm, she would see a monk in a saffron yellow robe, sitting cross legged, perching on the wall of the topmost corridor of her block of flat.
Her husband, despite walking her home once she alighted the bus, was unable to see the monk.

According to the temple medium she went to, the monk she saw, used to appease the wondering souls that were tortured and died, but without proper burial.


We were house hunting about two years ago, when my husband decided to bring me to a new housing estate, with beautiful houses but few takers.
The price in that particular area was brought down, lesser by 30%.
Although similarly built, houses in the eastern side of the hosing estate were almost 100% occupied, even without the 30% discount.
But the western part of it...

As we approached, the place was sombre and eerie like feeling crept in.
That is usual, said my husband, as the area, apart from the new housing estate, was fully vegetated, with shrubs and trees.

"That's the row of houses that I mention..."
said my husband.

Before he continued, I interrupted,
"I don't want to live here. I'm seeing coffins, not houses..."                             

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