The mysterious case of the bond servant ghost – kampung tales

December 4, 2016

Not very long ago. I was summoned frantically by the village ghost police (Sai Kong) requesting me to pay an urgent visit to a family where an elderly bond servant had just passed away. According to the Sai Kong the restless spirit of the bond servant roams the house and she has been appearing almost every night. Despite his best efforts he has not been able to rein in the malevolent spirit…hence in such ‘teruk’ (no hope) cases my cooperation would be duly appreciated by all.

In accordance to strict Toaist custom – I entered the house from the back door. The deities were all suitably covered. Four cups of tea were served. I sat on the chair facing West facing the end of light.

When the occupants of the house stood before me. I asked who is the one in the house who sees this ghost – the patriarch of the family stiffened most visibly. She looked exhausted with heavy dark rings underneath her eyes. Her words were faint as if she had hardly slept a wink for weeks – I asked, has anyone else seen this ghost. The others replied. No. Only her.

The old woman pleaded with me – make her go away…please…make her go away….I don’t know what she wants of me…I am only an old lady.

I told everyone else to leave the room except the elderly woman. When we were alone the old lady reached for my hands frantically and asked pleadingly again – make her go away…I will give you anything you want.

I asked the old lady in an authoritative voice of a landowner, there has been great injustice here….she cringed as if I could see deep into her heart. Then I asked, tell me who does the bond servant love most in this world. The old lady replied, she once had a child. But it was born out of wed lock, so it was an embarrassment to the family and the child was packed off.

Where is this child now? I asked sternly raising my voice ever so slightly.

She hesitated and started fidgeting with her hankerchief. Then I got up as if preparing to take my leave with the words – there is nothing I can do here. That was when she relented and told me, the child had been sent to be raised as a servant in a house of a landowner faraway from these parts.

I told the old lady, go take her back and raise her like your own daughter. Do this and you will be able to sleep in peace again.

From that day onwards, the ghost of the bond servant was never seen again.

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