Back in my hometown Terengganu, Malaysia is pretty breathless. The state that I come from is half country and city sort of feel. There are haunted buildings all over the place, depending on the age of the area and its history too. It's a laid back state, hence a great place for a holiday. But the Malay language can be a lil unbearable if you can't catch their slang. Being born and bred there has no problems for me so... Yeap.
How my next encounter was pretty eerie. When I was growing up, I have always wondered why this lady always stood outside my fence on the far corner of the compound, looking around and slightly see through. I see her once in a while, and when she notices me, she will smile and wave back and return to her nightly looking around routine. And it's always at night that she is always there as if guarding or waiting. I never got to see her face clearly since I am a kid and not allowed to go out at night, what's worse the garden can be dangerous with snakes lurking in the dark. Despite the many years that has gone by, she never aged! Being a child, I never knew why.
It was one of those chilly nights and I was already ten years of age and two of the neighbourhood kids came by, Renee and Adrian (Since they won't let me use their real names here). They were a lot older than me so they were considered young adults, so under their supervision they brought a minimal amount of fire crackers to play with behind their parents' backs! My siblings and I were naturally excited, of course but laughed pretty hard when they told us to keep quiet about it.
There were a few types they bought that were safe to play with minimal burnings and explosion, and so we started playing together. Like always, I'd look to the same corner she will stand waiting and looking around, but today she wasn't there. Perhaps she went home this time? That was what I thought in the beginning given I'd see her standing there almost every night. Well, it's okay and we carried on burning and watching the sparkly flames dancing in it's desired patterns.
In the middle of it, Renee started looking around, looking a little confused and uncomfortable somehow. We noticed her discomfort, and wondered what's wrong. At first it was just confusion, until we noticed she got more agitated the longer she hung around. She decided to move closer to one of us, as if paranoid. Until I noticed that the lady was back. This time, instead of looking around, she was looking in our direction as if glaring. Why is she watching us that way? What happened to her smiley and friendly nature?
Not too soon after we burnt all the fire crackers, making sure all the remaining scraps of the fire cracker were doused with water, Adrian was a little irritated with Renee's sudden cling to her brother's arm, but she looked pretty frightened somehow urging for the both of them to return home immediately. I turned around to look for the lady, she wasn't there anymore. Perhaps she left? So the two of them scrambled home, and we went into the house. After that night, Adrian and Renee never came to our house again.
When I grew a lot older, my aunt from my dad's side came over to my house one day to visit. As always, she brings her repeated stories of my cousins entering university, and then her dog... But this time she tells me another story;
The stretch of land that homed my house and a few others used to be an local fruit orchard, belonging to three sisters. When they died they had their bodies buried in the orchard grounds. How they died was never told, but I heard that one of the sisters died in an unpleasant way. When the land was sold to the new owners (my late grandparents of my dad's side of the family) they manage to find two graves before they planned to use the land, but they couldn't find the third grave.