Interlude – A Preamble I Wrote on Ghosts


Here is a little preamble that I wrote to introduce an assortment of Malaysian ghost stories I sketched in the last few years  and which I’ve been meaning to compile into a little collection. Still haven’t got round to it. I share so little of original writing on my blog as it is and  would very much like to place this extract here, for a change.

Caption: This display picture was taken 85 years ago and is incidentally reported from a true documented sighting in England. For more information, please see true ghost tales.

by Susan Abraham

“Do not beguile the spirit of the ordinary as it sits upon your face, dead and with vengeance in its place. I may speak of both  good and evil but take muted delight in the pleasures of the saints.

You will ask me if this is all true. I shall wait no more than a single minute, handcuffed with my own distorted halo and answer with a voice so damaged, so broken and so low, it cuts at my throat with bleeding and with relish. I speak as vaguely as a severe Gregorian rasp; myself in a moment of terror, barely breathing and barely seeing. To protect myself, I may from time to time, walk slouched with bent head, my scalp dressed in a veil or hood. I do not wish to be recognized by the invisible. I do not wish to be seen by enemies that slyly purport themselves to be friends.

You will ask me if this is all true. Where my bladed answer may have failed to separate my watchful face from my body that my blood be poured with wretched humanity into a pail, my answer will form a kiss on your breath or a touch that mocks your sigh and you may have felt for that moment, loved and held by someone far away, whose distance you cannot measure, whose cunning wiles you failed to envision and by whose powerful eye, yours is surely blinded.

I can only propose gently if you long to see a ghost or know one… Do not be impatient and the embrace of the darkness will come in its right moment and through the right coffin. There may have waited a withered dry soul of a corpse called upon,  just to stalk you, by accident or through fate. It brings with it, bizarre consequences. Unless you see a ghost, you cannot begin to decipher the essence of its personality or solve the rigmaroles of its terrifying possibilities. Do not try. You will be the loser for it.

In reading this in discomfort, you may long for a beloved mother who fed you food as a child with her heart in your spoon but then she was gone and you saw her no more. Catch the silver spoon. I have it in my hand. A ghost stole it from your bedroom where you were a child and were not looking. I in turn, stole it from the ghost in a moment of its weakness when angels were called to battle. Which ghost you ask? The ghost that visited your first nightmare, I answer while infused with an old wisdom.

Oh if you could only see me smile that the world may choose to be so foolish and believe in nothing when ghosts curl about the place like dead kittens. They stole the world when the world was not looking but how now they long for the smell, warmth and sensory abilities of the human body, which they themselves are badly starved of. And so I must warn you with sisterly solidarity now and again. Be careful. Always be careful what you wish for. Do not strum them a guitar chord. They care not for serenades, flowers or violins. They want only your blood and your body. They want only to enter you through a weakness or a flaw; through ill-health or a bout of depression.

Once you see a ghost, you will always look one in the eye until the last sunset arrives for when the spirit of death must collect your soul without question or delay. On your part, the careless act for having wished a knowledge so dark, that it mutilates every childhood innocence can no longer be undone.

Now, I call you to come, come then quickly and catch the silver spoon. Your mother is gone and in her place, a witch has come.

Read my secret letter that tells you the story of ghosts which stand out like strange dreams. In my few stories, you may observe scenes that are poetic, black, deep and mysterious. But they are not dreams, I tell you. They are real. In writing this, I remember the incubus.

The kiss or should I say, hiss of the incubus is terrifying. It reveals no definite form but instead commands a wisp of cloud, smoke or shadowed cloak. It will dog your footsteps teasing you with invisible dancing moments. You will sense the stalker and even your spine will tremble as if it may have been made of rubber and not bone.

If in hating you the incubus prepares for an attempted strangulation or suffocation, then be warned that there is no lesser evil when dealing with this force. It has the strength of 10 men. The apparition will scratch you out of delight. It will attempt to kiss you while stamping on your heartbeat.

What stays your only hope may be the healing energies of light as any sensible New Age devotee will tell you and which I must add in some awkwardness, that I have discovered for myself to be true. Light would be any primitive sorcerer’s poison. Light holds the charismatic power of an unsung and unheard Gregorian chant. It is your key to a renewed life if you are at that very moment, in the process of dying at the hands of the haunting incubus. This reminds me too, that when faced with the devil, may in a religious moment, call for a divine source. Believe and you may be just lucky to find one. The incubus will flee as swiftly as it came.

Of course, this is no more evident than a country famed for its thick wild forestation and its seas in the Far East. A country shelled in its oceanic beauty but housed with the angry skeletons of dead buried trees still rotting from plantations long gone and which still hold the smell of the incubus. To have been born in Malaysia with the third eye is to have suffered the most painful and rigorous order of different hauntings and apparitions.

A country. My country. Malaysia. New world Malaysia. Old world Malaya. Rose, Rose, I Love You Malaya. Remember that unsuspecting sixties hit? The ghosts are still there, quiet and hidden. They never went away.

Once more, you will ask me if this is all true. I with a sudden sharp turn of my head will speak so softly, you can barely hear it catch the heart of your spirit…that if your destiny wills… than the answer is yes.


What if you don’t believe anything of what I have felt compelled to pen down on paper like bloodied scrawls. Then I salute you. Perhaps you were a fortunate one.

You held no candlesticks, crossed no shadows at night and faced no holes in the deep open ground.

You tasted only the ready, materialistic consciousness of your daily aptitudes open to the idea of affluence and adventure. You never suffered from the folly of extra intuitions or premonitions or God forbid, any hint of a belief in the supernatural.

You prayed without reasoning or acceptance, you prayed with the careless exuberance of expecting nothing in return.

Your eyes may never have betrayed you. You may never have conceived the misfortune to point susceptibility to a firm explanation for that unforgettable needle-prick tingle that had without warning, suddenly brushed brutally against your sad and sallow skin, although it was once as fresh as dew coated with the soft safe carpet of baby talc.

Have you experienced the nasty privilege – while special it may be but cruel too in its taunting way – an alluring perfumed smell, so musky as sandalwood or jasmine, the closest really that I could ever think of bringing my eternally horrific gifts to you, scents and smells that may have wafted down from the trees or the breeze that went before you like a dash of lightning competing mercilessly with your shivers. Never let on the chill in your spine if in the event that such a tragedy should occur. Say nothing and hurry on walking. Walk to somewhere, anywhere, but turn the other way.

Do not let the apparition that masquerades itself with a harlequin mask for a face and the breeze for a gown and musk for the taste of its sharp and ageless skin, dress you with its chill. Of course, I’d have to say that it all begins from infanthood. As a child, you will know already, swiftly and without doubt, the strange terrifying mirrors of your consciousness; it may bypass the ordinary and retrieve instead the mysterious as if it were an important package delivered to your hand. Shadows in your dreams. Names of people and faces coming to you night after night. Than already, you would have known.

Now, I can only plead with you.

You knew your subconscious before you knew your parents and your friends. Be careful then. Once more be careful is all I can say. The subconscious inside you knows every ghost and angel by name. Its vision is omnipotent and deeper than the depths of the earth or taller if you dare, then the height of the galaxies that stand in towering silence before us. I exaggerate nothing.

But all the more I am curious.

Why did your subconscious spirit not demand that you should be chosen to meet a timeless spirit? Are you properly impressionable to the fragilities of the human soul and its layers of unexplained discomfort not yet defined?

Maybe you were one of the lucky ones, preferring to perform a showbiz act for a miserly disposition of the unknown. One only knows that the present dangers are enough to keep us occupied. So tell me and be straight-faced about it if you dare; have you seen a ghost? Do you know if you have? If I may at all be so kind as to give a clue, then the answer already lies inside you. It is remembered and eternal.

Won’t the subconscious be your strange and trusted friend? You see, it is mine! I am the observer of the incubus. I am the ghostly mortal able to see the immortalized through an extra pair of eyes. In Malaysia, they say such people as myself own the third eye. And now, I must go. I can feel a hand heavy on my shoulder. Soon, that hypnotic touch will float upon my skin. Once again, another has come.” – © susan abraham

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