The Pontianak ghost
Along the way, I would learn all the different varieties of ghosts that we have, especially the most prominent one, the pontianak, which is created when a woman dies in childbirth and comes back to haunt the living. Due to the circumstances of her creation, her main preys are pregnant women and newborn children so both ‘target groups’ are forbidden to leave their homes after dark.
I had a recent online chat with my cousin from back home and whilst asking about her now one year old daughter, the subject of ghosts came up. She was left alone that week as her teacher husband was away on camp with his students and she was staying over at her parents’ until he came back.
I tried to convince her to just stay at home instead of going through the trouble of packing 101 things for herself and her eight month old daughter but she confessed to being afraid to be alone, not for fear of criminals or the like, but for fear of ghosts and goblins dropping in on the both of them without a (supposedly) strong male figure around.
I should have been more empathetic to her since I had just received an email with a picture of what looked like a pontianak perching on a tree somewhere in her neighbouring housing estate.
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