By Susan Tam
Paranormal researcher Arwin John's take on spirits is that spirits emit electromagnetic waves that could be detected with specially designed instruments.
A firm believer in science, and a brave man, Arwin who is the founder of Malaysian Paranormal Research, tells Yahoo! Malaysia of his own encounter with the spiritual kind at a Chinese cemetery in Gunung Rapat. During an investigation in the middle of the night, he saw a little girl who vanished into thin air once he realised she wasn't human.
He now works with an affiliate in Germany, studying the phenomenon on how spirits exist and how he and the team could make contact with the afterlife.
"We find that when spirits die, some times they are still anchored to their physical memory," he explained, which is a likely explanation of one of the more famous ghosts in Malaysia, the spirit of Japanese soldiers.
The ghost of the Japanese soldier or Hantu Jepun refers to wandering spirits of dead Japan military personnel, who was once stationed in Malaysia, and around the Southeast Asian region during World War 2.
These spirits are often seen wandering in full uniform, bearing arms or swords, or in a more terrifying state - walking around headless or carrying its head. The spirits tend to appear in buildings, cemeteries and hostels which were once used as Japanese bases.
At times, sightings of the Hantu Jepun are described as scenes of Japanese soldiers lining up in formation or marching to attention.
This explains the sounds of marching boots in most, if not all of the Hantu Jepun stories shared by the Malaysian community as well as those who encounter the spirits all across Southeast Asia.
Some people believe that the appearance of this ghost evokes feelings of loneliness, death, cruelty, torment and fear.
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