Living Next Door to Bomoh
Confession by Hamdan Angullia
This story was told to me by an ex-colleague, J, many years ago so the details might not be so accurate. The story was so bizarre that it remained in my memory for almost thirty years.
J, just got married and was in a rush to move into his first flat at Bedok Central Block 200-something. It was one of those low level flats with only four levels, and he had managed to get it at an attractive price.
This first incident took place on the night they moved in.
The couple was doing what newly-weds do. The bed was shaking because of the love making, but a little later on, J thought the bed was shaking more than it should. So he slowed it down a notch but the bed continued shaking with the previous intensity.
J leapt off the bed and looked around the place. His young wife was still on the bed, obviously baffled by her husband’s strange behaviour. It didn’t take long for her to realise quickly that the bed was still shaking vigorously when it shouldn’t. She too leapt off the bed.
Without hesitation or discussion, they got dressed in a hurry - the amorous mood totally ruined - and left the flat. J used a payphone to call his father to explain what had just happened. His father told J not to return to the flat and to wait for him at the hawker centre.
His father arrived two hours later. In that time, he had gone to seek the services of a bomoh. J related the incident again to the Bomoh when he arrived and, together, the four of them went back to J’s flat.
When they were approaching the stairs, J saw his neighbour, an elderly malay man with a sinisterly creased face dressed in black shirt, black pants with a black songkok. He stood on the stairs as if he had been waiting for them. J greeted the man.
The neighbour nodded at J but addressed the Bomoh directly.
“I know what you are going to do. But you should let me do it. It’ll be so much easier because they all belong to me,” the man said, and went on to explain that he too was a Bomoh and that he pelihara (kept) a lot of jin and other supernatural creatures.
He too was a Bomoh and that he pelihara (kept) a lot of jin and other supernatural creatures.
“When the previous owner of J’s flat moved out, the flat had been vacant for a long time. I tompang (use) the place and housed some of these things.”
The neighbour explained that he intended to take them all back once he knew the new owner was going to move in. He thought he might have some time when renovation work was being done but J and his wife had moved in without doing any renovation. Once they got the keys to the flat, they cleaned it, brought what little furniture and appliances they had into the flat and moved in, all in one day.
So J, his wife, his father and the visiting Bomoh remained on the ground floor while the neighbour went up to J’s flat to collect his jins and other supernatural beings. J didn’t know what the neighbour had done and quite honestly I don’t think he really wanted to know either. It was an ‘ignorance is bliss’ that sort of thing.
After the cleansing was done and everyone had left, J and his wife lay in bed but couldn’t finish what they started. The mood was gone and they spent the rest of the night still feeling spooked.
Everything was well the next day and the days after. Almost a month passed with no disturbances. One night J and his wife were roused from their sleep from sounds coming from the storeroom. They could hear things being dragged about or knocked on.
Maybe it’s the mice, J thought to himself.
They could hear things being dragged about or knocked on.
He got out of bed, opened the door of the storeroom, and switched on the lights. The storeroom was bare, with just some bags, cleaning materials, a few utensils and fishing gear. J didn’t find any mice in there, of course, but said he felt a strong presence there and smelled a strange odour. It was also strangely cold. The strange sounds continued after J left the storeroom.
J woke his wife up and together they went next door to look for their neighbour.
“I think you might have forgotten to collect one more,” J said.
The neighbour looked puzzled for a moment and appeared to be deep in thought for a moment, but decided to follow J back to his home.
The neighbour looked into the storeroom, closed the door again and spoke to J outside the flat.
“There is something in there, but it is not mine. It is a hantu ayer (a water ghost).”
“How the hell did it get into my storeroom?”
“I spoke to it just now,” the neighbour replied. “It had attached itself to your fishing rod when you had gone fishing and it followed you home.’
J was stunned at the answer. He had indeed gone fishing at Bedok Jetty the night before.
“Can you help me to get rid of it?”
The neighbour nodded.
Even though there were no more incidents in the flat after that, J and his wife sold the flat as soon as they were able to. No one likes living next door to a bomoh and all his jinns.
Confession Journal is a collection of stories and reviews submitted by the public.