Creepy Stories

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, September 30, 2009 | Published in

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I dislike attending funerals, especially Chinese funerals.

I don't know why, but the atmosphere at funerals give me the creeps. And the music played sounded especially horrible to my ears.

I remember the time my grandfather died when I was very little. I was not very close to my grandfather. He stayed in my uncle's house and I seldom visit him. When he died, my family had to attend the funeral at my uncle's house.

That night when I entered my uncle's house, I saw a huge coffin in the hall. As I was very small, I did not know any taboos related to Chinese funerals. The coffin was higher than me so I was eager to climb up to have a look.

When my mom saw what I was trying to do, she quickly pulled me aside. I don't remember what she said at that time, but it had somehow instilled a fear in me. That I was not supposed to touch coffins or dead people!

Then I saw my aunt putting something into the coffin. When she had done that, she started to cry. I asked aloud to my mom why was auntie crying? Was her fingers stuck in the coffin and she hurt herself when she tried to pull them out? Everyone laughed at that point. Even my aunt. I was slightly embarrassed.

That was my first experience of a funeral. Much of the details I could no longer remember.

But a few days later, I remember seeing this ceremony at my uncle's house. It was related to my grandfather's funeral. A man dressed in old traditional Chinese costume was jumping over a fire. I do not know what ceremony was that to this very day. Anyone knows?

The man would jump over the fire, but before he jumped, he would fill his mouth with wine. As he jumped over the fire, he would spit out the wine onto the fire causing it to flare up high. It was a spectacle to watch!

I even imitated his actions when I got back home, minus the fire and the wine, of course! I just used a toy pail to represent the fire and jumped over it! Haha!

Many years later, my grandmother died. At her funeral, there were talks about keeping the cats all caged up. Especially black cats. It seemed that there were many stray cats at her house. When I learnt why they had to cage up those cats, my hair stood on end.

It seemed that if a black cat were to accidentally jump over the corpse, the corpse would spring right up! This story had haunted me for days and gave me sleepless nights!

I also learnt that it was taboo to see the coffin being nailed shut. I was so curious I almost wanted to see how they nailed the coffin. But I did not. Fear kept me from doing so and I kept my head bowed and my eyes closed during the entire process.

When we returned home from the funeral, my mom would make sure that I and my siblings washed our feet outside before entering our house. My mom said that was to prevent bad luck from following us home. Of course, I heard a more fearful reason later on. It was not just bad luck. It was to prevent evil spirits at the funeral from following you home!

I still wonder to this very day if these are all nothing but just superstitions.

Will a cat jumping over a dead corpse causes the corpse to wake up?
What will happen if you watch the coffin being nailed?
And what will happen to you if you forget to wash your feet and enter your house after attending a funeral?

FIRST COMMENTER

(74) Comments

  1. eiling lim said...

    I don't know about how true those taboo or superstitious stories but prevention is always better than cure!

    September 30, 2009 at 9:15 AM
  2. xin said...

    eeeee the black cat story has definitely appeared in many many of the old time movies. LOL. i don't know if it is true, but generally a black fat is very scary already.

    we always wash our hand and feet with some flower water after funeral before entering the house!

    September 30, 2009 at 9:25 AM
  3. CheaHS@n said...

    "Ah Huiiiii...chiak pa boey..." that sounded eeerrriiieee in the movie "Where Got Ghost". Heard the same taboos too, how true is the black cat thingy is still ??? which is unlikely impossible. One thing for sure funeral disturb the energy level of a person.

    September 30, 2009 at 10:30 AM
  4. manglish said...

    you are not supposed to look when they are nailing the coffin bcs in the past tat is when those ppl in charge started taking gold teeth, jewelry and other valuable items from the coffin :)

    September 30, 2009 at 12:01 PM
  5. ladyviral said...

    aiyar no FC! Too slow! When can I be FC here? T__T

    September 30, 2009 at 12:06 PM
  6. ladyviral said...

    I sure don't know about the cat jumping the corpse story.

    But the coffin being nailed is because if were looking, it is said that we will not follow long after because while the nail is being hammered in or coffin lowered to the ground, the spirit will try to drag more down with it. Looking away is the best like not acknowledging.

    September 30, 2009 at 12:13 PM
  7. ladyviral said...

    Wash your hands and feet is somehow alot of the old people's saying. Of course who knows what really happens if we don't right? so wash only-lah.

    It is claimed that if we did not clean ourselves outside and the enter the house, anythiing stuck on us like ashes, paper from the furneral ground would cuase us badluck and spirits would be able to approach easier. So it says.

    we are also required to bathe/shower ourselves with those pamelo leaves to cleanse our whole body.

    September 30, 2009 at 12:16 PM
  8. HappySurfer said...

    What you described about the funeral must have been conducted in Toaist rites. A funeral or wake conducted in Buddhist rites are not so scary though the coffin and other paraphernalia are still present. Buddhist chantings are a lot more pleasant and soothing. Whatever it is, funerals and deaths are always something to be dreaded and feared. Fear factor there.

    The Chinese have many beliefs about funerals and death. What you described are only some of them. You missed out the umbrella atop the coffin and light below it. Some of them are superstitions passed down over generations. Buddhist rites are more practical and thus some of these beliefs do not apply. Yeah, it's all a matter of belief and knowledge.

    September 30, 2009 at 12:52 PM
  9. lina said...

    It is interesting that some of that beliefs are observed in Malay culture too.

    Definitely, definitely wash your hands and feet to avoid spirits following you. Don't know how effective it would be, but spirits following one home do happen. Trust me. @_@

    I remember watching an old Malay/Indonesian movie about a cat jumping across a dead body, and the corpse sprang up. Eeekk! Scary!!!

    September 30, 2009 at 1:19 PM
  10. EastCoastLife said...

    My grandmother and elders were quite pantang when it comes to funerals. I have to obey their rules. :)

    September 30, 2009 at 2:41 PM
  11. EastCoastLife said...

    Although some might be superstitions, but they are wiser and it's better to be safe than sorry. :P

    September 30, 2009 at 2:42 PM
  12. [SK] said...

    you may call it superstitions but in another way we can also call it something that cannot be explained scientifically..

    September 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM
  13. [SK] said...

    frankly i still think the chinese taoism funerals are still creepy, my heart will beat faster even i walk past any in the neighbourhood..

    September 30, 2009 at 3:00 PM
  14. [SK] said...

    anyway just no harm follow what the elderly says, we just try to avoid all the taboos whenever possible..

    September 30, 2009 at 3:01 PM
  15. [SK] said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    September 30, 2009 at 3:03 PM
  16. [SK] said...

    black cat caused the corpse to spring up, i don't know why?? maybe black cat is associated with bad luck??

    September 30, 2009 at 3:03 PM
  17. [SK] said...

    watch the coffin being nailed.. i guess it's not to let your spirit being caught locked into the coffin.. and i also know we must stay away, so that our shadow won't fall into the coffin when it's nailed..

    September 30, 2009 at 3:04 PM
  18. [SK] said...

    wash our feet after attending funerals?? errr, my mum always asked us to take bath with some flowers, think this is to cleanse ourselves from evil spirits..

    September 30, 2009 at 3:04 PM
  19. Superman said...

    I don't know if anyone dare to try and let the black cat jump over it but it is very widely told it will.

    September 30, 2009 at 3:35 PM
  20. HappySurfer said...

    Foong, and you who read my blog, I need help here. I'm having difficulty opening my site. Would you be so kind as to help me see if you are having the same problem opening it? Thanks for your help. I'll check back here for your response.

    Gosh, SK, are you getting the vibes from Tekkaus?

    Tekkaus, watch out, here SK comes..

    September 30, 2009 at 3:49 PM
  21. Mei Teng said...

    I think most people share the same sentiment about Chinese funerals.

    September 30, 2009 at 3:55 PM
  22. HappySurfer said...

    Mei Teng, thank you for leaving the comment on my blog - which goes to show that my blog is accessible on other units. Which means my PC has a problem. :(

    September 30, 2009 at 4:50 PM
  23. foongpc said...

    eiling, I agree prevention is better than cure! : )

    September 30, 2009 at 6:03 PM
  24. foongpc said...

    xin, yes, this black cat jumping over the coffin story is quite famous. I just wonder if it's true and what is the scientific basis for that!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:05 PM
  25. foongpc said...

    cheahs@n, yeah I agree funerals seem to disturb the surrounding energy and energy level of the individuals. That's why I avoid attending any funeral if I can help it! : )

    September 30, 2009 at 6:06 PM
  26. foongpc said...

    manglish, hahaha! So they have been doing these for thousands of years! LOL!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:07 PM
  27. foongpc said...

    ladyviral, don't worry keep trying and you will be FC here one day! : )

    Oh! That's the reason why you are not supposed to look while they nail the coffin? That's horrible! Why would the spirit want to drag more souls down with it? That's pure selfishness!!

    Yes, I heard about cleansing ourselves with pomelo leaves. Thanks for your comments! : )

    September 30, 2009 at 6:11 PM
  28. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, yes it's Taoist funeral. I realised most Chinese even though they are Buddhist still follow the Taoist funeral ritual. Why?

    What about the umbrella on top of the coffin and the light below it? Please share about them, thanks! :)

    September 30, 2009 at 6:14 PM
  29. foongpc said...

    lina, really? I thought these are only Chinese and Taoism's beliefs! Muslims also believe in such things?

    Eh, how you know spirits will follow you to your house if you don't wash your hands and feet? You have experienced it? *shudder*

    September 30, 2009 at 6:18 PM
  30. foongpc said...

    eastcoastlife, what are some of the pantangs? Maybe you can share some here : )

    September 30, 2009 at 6:19 PM
  31. foongpc said...

    SK, unexplained? No scientific basis? I hate to pass by any funeral in the neighbourhood. I would normally purposely avoid it and even take another longer route just to avoid it!!

    I read somewhere that the black cat jumping over the corpse creates static electricity that causes the corpse to spring up! Don't know if this is true scientifically!

    And there are some stories that black cat jumping over corpse makes a vampire out of that corpse! Now how true is that I don't know!

    Oh yes! Also heard that your shadow must not be on the coffin when it is being nailed. So scary!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM
  32. foongpc said...

    superman, maybe someone should try this experiment of letting a cat jump over a dead body! Then we can prove whether it's true or just a myth!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:26 PM
  33. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, no problem accessing your blog. What's going on between Tekkaus and SK?

    September 30, 2009 at 6:27 PM
  34. foongpc said...

    mei teng, yeah most people do : )

    September 30, 2009 at 6:27 PM
  35. Monica said...

    Foong I'm here! :-D hmm I've never been to a Chinese (Buddhist) funerals!

    September 30, 2009 at 6:54 PM
  36. ~dolly~ said...

    about the black cat one.. hmmm.. never heard anything about that.
    but about wash your feet, I would listen to that, because it's not so hard to follow..
    then heard ppl say if u did not wash your feet, those "dirty XXX" would follow u.. >.<

    September 30, 2009 at 8:39 PM
  37. wenn said...

    i experienced the same situation like u..very superstitious but we hv to follow the beliefs..

    September 30, 2009 at 9:00 PM
  38. Borneo Falcon said...

    I have not attend any funeral for a very long time and I'm not aware of those taboo

    September 30, 2009 at 9:19 PM
  39. vialentino said...

    creepy leh....nice to read all the comments here....not sure why buddhist follow taoist funeral too

    September 30, 2009 at 11:37 PM
  40. Mariuca said...

    Good morning Foong! :)

    October 1, 2009 at 3:25 AM
  41. Mariuca said...

    I'm not a fan of creepy scary tales too huhuhuh... scaredy cat mah! ;)

    October 1, 2009 at 3:28 AM
  42. Mariuca said...

    Dropping EC and clicking Adgi! So slow la internet, make me angry for no reason only...can't see blogs, have to refresh and refresh many times then only can see sidebar and widget sigh!

    October 1, 2009 at 3:30 AM
  43. Mariuca said...

    Have a terrific week! :)

    October 1, 2009 at 3:33 AM
  44. lina said...

    @foong,
    not Muslims belief, more to what Malay believe. Superstitious stemmed from the old days.

    Hahaha.. let's just say, a dead man once came visited my great great grandfather when I was small. @_@

    October 1, 2009 at 9:00 AM
  45. Faisal Admar said...

    i don't like funeral too. no happy faces but sad. everyone seem like there is no tomorrow and life stop there.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:25 AM
  46. Faisal Admar said...

    haha why don't you try to let the black cat walks across a corpse next time?

    October 1, 2009 at 11:30 AM
  47. Tekkaus said...

    Hmmm....I don't mind attending funerals. Those funerals won't give me the creeps.

    But it does makes me sad...as another person has gone. :(

    October 1, 2009 at 3:32 PM
  48. Tekkaus said...

    You must be damn out of your mind huh! You actually climbed up it? Or so your mum instilled something in you?

    I touch the coffin of dead people. I don't mind! :p

    October 1, 2009 at 3:33 PM
  49. Tekkaus said...

    Jumping over fire? Does that have anything to do with ridding the bad fortune? :p But I have never seen it before.

    October 1, 2009 at 3:35 PM
  50. Tekkaus said...

    Someone once told me the scientific explanation why a cat on a corpse will cause it to spring up! I will get back to you once I found out that answer! :p

    October 1, 2009 at 3:36 PM
  51. J2Kfm said...

    eh but the black cat jumping over the corpse thingie i've heard before lah ... somewhat scary. but dunwan to test the myth out.

    anyone? :)

    October 1, 2009 at 8:12 PM
  52. vialentino said...

    reminds me now of ur post...working late in the office...hehehe....smile on ur g ads.

    October 2, 2009 at 3:05 AM
  53. iamthewitch said...

    Truth be told, this is the first time I heard of the black cat story! LOL I would be very interested to try it out, you know! :)

    October 2, 2009 at 9:20 AM
  54. HappySurfer said...

    To answer your question, Foong, there is a thin line between Buddhism and Taoism. As we are more exposed to Taoism, Taoist funeral rites is the natural path. Buddhism has been in existence a long time but in this part of the world, there wasn't enough Buddhist teachers to spread the true word of Buddha until recently where there are now more Buddhist temples and associations holding classes esp during weekends.

    There are different branches of Buddhism though Malaysian Chinese mostly practise Tibetan Buddhism.

    Buddhist funerary rites are more common these days with increased awareness among Chinese Buddhists that Buddhism ensures no need for rebirth if one follows the right path of Buddhism. No rebirth meaning an end to suffering on this earth.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:14 PM
  55. HappySurfer said...

    As for the umbrella over the coffin and light underneath it, the Taoist belief is that the umbrella is to shield the corpse from lightning strikes. Should there be lightning, the umbrella will prevent the corpse from turning dark or black if you will.

    The lamp underneath the coffin is to light the way for the soul so it can see in the dark.

    How far these are true is not known but these have been practised from way back when - same as the black cat belief.

    October 2, 2009 at 2:21 PM
  56. Foong Speaks Her Mind said...

    Aiyo...kesian the cat lar. This goes to show how innately racist we humans are. The colour of a cat also seem to matter and this sounds like we are so anti-black huh? So, what if the cat is naturally black but the owner dye the fur white? What then? Does it still bring bad luck?

    Do you know that the 'black cat is bad luck' belief is also a western belief? They believe that a black cat is a witch's familiar (companion) and that if a black cat crosses your path, it brings you bad luck.

    I believe a cat is a cat is a cat. It is just an animal, why attach so much stigma on a poor animal just because of its fur colour?

    It is so disturbingly like how some people are discriminated against because of their skin colour, isn't it?

    Remember, not all that is black is bad while not all that is white is good.

    ~From the Foong who'd prefer people to be more colour-blind even when it comes to stupidstitions!~

    October 2, 2009 at 11:44 PM
  57. kenwooi said...

    hmm.. i dont know whether they are true anot..
    but just follow lah right..
    no harm doing that.. =)

    kenwooi.com

    October 4, 2009 at 10:49 AM
  58. foongpc said...

    monica, you haven't been? Wow! I'm surprised!

    October 5, 2009 at 2:15 AM
  59. foongpc said...

    dolly, never heard of the black cat story? I thought it's quite famous?

    October 5, 2009 at 2:16 AM
  60. foongpc said...

    wenn, yeah, better be safe than sorry! : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:16 AM
  61. foongpc said...

    borneo falcon, you are not aware of those taboos? Now you know! haha!

    October 5, 2009 at 2:17 AM
  62. foongpc said...

    vialentino, yes it's odd right? Buddhists should folow Buddhists' rituals not Taoism!

    October 5, 2009 at 2:18 AM
  63. foongpc said...

    mariuca, you so scared, but every night stayed up until so late? haha! Streamyx having problems? Sometimes I'm fed up with their slow connection too!

    October 5, 2009 at 2:19 AM
  64. foongpc said...

    lina, what?! Is that a real story? Quick, blog about it! I want to hear the full story! : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:20 AM
  65. foongpc said...

    faisal, yeah everyone is sad during funeral. Not a very good energy level so I always avoid funerals!

    I wouldn't dare let a cat jump over a corpse! Too scary! : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:21 AM
  66. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, wah! you so brave - don't mind touching the dead person and the coffin! But be aware of the taboos though. Better be safe than sorry!

    Yeah, about the man jumping over the fire - I really don't know what's that all about!

    Will wait for you to find out the scientific explanation behind the cat story! : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:23 AM
  67. foongpc said...

    J2Kfm, I am not brave enough to try it out! : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:24 AM
  68. foongpc said...

    vialentino, wow! You work so late? Be careful of things that bump in the night. Hehe

    October 5, 2009 at 2:25 AM
  69. foongpc said...

    iamthewitch, wow! You are brave enough to try it out? Pls do so when there's an opportunity and let me know if it's truth or myth! But please be alive to tell the tale. haha!

    October 5, 2009 at 2:26 AM
  70. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, thanks for your lengthy explanation! Really appreciate it! Now I understand better! : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:28 AM
  71. foongpc said...

    foong speaks her mind, haha! But I think the cat story is not limited to just black cats! Probably white cats jumping over a corpse will also wake the corpse up! Who knows? : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:29 AM
  72. foongpc said...

    kenwooi,yeah, better be safe than sorry : )

    October 5, 2009 at 2:29 AM
  73. Ayie said...

    i had my very first funeral experience here this past week for enoc. It's totally different from the Phils and here the coffin's upper part is open as in you can literally touch or kiss the corpse. I didn't even get near the coffin and never touched any part of it. i just prayed silently a little back. I was looking at hubby if he would touch his bro but good thing he didn't just the flowers around. I don't think it's safe for me and baby to be exposed to such most esp in their spanish culture they don't embalm the corpse, simple keeps it frozen to keep the body. The only good thing is that the mortuary home is very cozy, it even has 2 adjacent rooms in which you can lounge like a living room if you don't want to be there by the main hall.

    i also asked my mom first if there are susperstitions about a pregnany woman going to the funeral to make sure it's safe.

    October 7, 2009 at 7:12 AM
  74. foongpc said...

    ayie, according to Chinese, pregnant ladies are advised not to attend funerals. But these are just beliefs. Western people do not have such beliefs and nothing bad happen to them. So it's really a matter of whether you believe in such things or not, I think! : )

    October 12, 2009 at 3:19 PM