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TRUE MALAY GHOST STORIES (1)



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In True Malay Ghost Stories (1), RahimAbdul explores the Malay folklore of ghosts, spirits and genies through a collection of short stories, set specifically in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In these areas, unlike India, China, and the West where traditional ghost stories were written down long ago, tales of haunting, possession and black magic are handed down by word of mouth. The supernatural still features strongly in the culture and Abdul brings together first-hand experiences, stories handed down by family and from local tradition, of entities such as the ‘Breast Ghost’ which abducts unguarded children in its monstrous, stinking cleavage, the mischievous thieving ‘Toyol’, or the stifling female ‘Pontianak’ whose presence is first indicated by a strong scent of fragrant frangipani before turning foul and rotten. Abdul is quick to own that these twenty-four stories may be a real spirit encounters or not – it’s for the reader to decide – they should be read as entertainment.

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