Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
As I promised, I will tell you about my reasearch of Indonesian Ghosts Mythology. Before I begin, have you ever experienced any paranormal activity? has anyone had encounter with a Ghost in real life? or maybe do you enjoy watching a horror movie in the middle of the night? I'm a big fan of horror movies. I'm pretty sure some of you had experienced a paranormal activity, seeing ghost or seeing someone who had been possessed by a demonic spirits. If we heard a word "Ghost", what is the first thing popped in your thoughts? Something scary, bizzare, unusual, eerie, spooky. Do you believe in Ghost? Personally, I do.
In Indonesia there are many urban legend, and believe about supranatural world. Indonesia have many ethnic and culture. And in every region's culture have their own urban legend and supranatural world. And of course there are many type of ghost in Indonesia.
Many Indonesians do seem to believe in ghosts. I think it's because mysticism still plays a big part in people's lives here. You know what it does to people. And also, one does not simply escape people correlating every single thing to supernatural-thingy here. The habit is in the air. We may pick it up.
There are some ghosts mythology which is very popular in Indonesia and some have made a movie adaptation. In fact,ghost mythology in Indonesia not very different from the mythology of ghosts from other Asian countries, especially when viewed from the physical form of the ghosts.
Here is the list :
1. Leak (Le-yak)
In the folklore of Bali, the Leyak (in Indonesian, people called it 'Leak' (le-ak)—the Y is not written or spoken) is a mythological figure in the form of flying head with entrails (heart, lung, liver, etc.) still attached. Leyak is said to fly trying to find a pregnant woman in order to suck her baby's blood or a newborn child.
There are three legendary Leyak, two females and one male.
Leyaks are humans who are practicing black magic and have cannibalistic behavior. Their mistress is the "queen of Leyak", a widow-witch named Rangda, who plays a prominent role in public rituals. Her mask is kept in the village death temple and during her temple festivals, she is paraded. Besides leyaks, demons are said to be the followers of Rangda.
Leyak are said to haunt graveyards, feed on corpses, have power to change themselves into animals, such as pigs, and fly. In normal Leyak form, they are said to have an unusually long tongue and large fangs. In daylight they appear as an ordinary human, but at night their head and entrails break loose from their body and fly. Leyak statues (a head with a very long tongue and sharp fangs) are sometimes hung on a wall for house decoration.
In practice, Balinese people sometimes attribute certain illness or deaths to leyaks.
A balian (Balinese traditional healer) will conduct a seance to identify with witchcraft who is responsible for the death. During the seance, the spirit of the dead will directly or indirectly point to his/her attacker. However, vengeance by the victim's relatives or family is usually counseled against, and people are advised to leave any action to the spirits themselves. Hence, the suspicions and fears of the family and relatives are confirmed, but revenge upon the witch is discouraged by the healers.
Kuntilanak (Malay language: puntianak, Pontijanak) is a ghost believed to come from pregnant women who died or women who died in childbirth and child was not born yet. The name “kuntilanak” or “pontianak” most likely comes from the combination of the word “pregnant” and “Child”.
Kuntilanak characteristic features is :
1. Pitched laugh
3. Like the old buildings or building debris
4. Often reside in the estuary of the River,in the edge of the lake or the edge of the pool.
5. She likes the flesh of children (and therefore often referred to as they like to kidnap a baby)
In Malay folklore, figure kuntilanak represents in the form of a beautiful woman whose holes behind.Kuntilanak often described like to terrorize the villagers to revenge.Kuntilanak as appears always accompanied by a fragrant of frangipani flowers.It is said that men who are not careful could be killed after kuntilanak transformed into blood sucking.kuntilanak also loves to eat babies and harm pregnant women.
Slightly different from the Malays, according to Sundanese tradition, image of kuntilanak does not have a hole in the back and only interfere with the appearance, or often called as “Sundel Bolong”.Kuntilanak reportedly also like certain trees as “a place to live”, like the hibiscus that grows biased toward one side (popularly called the “tend hibiscus”).
Based on the beliefs and traditions of Javanese society, kuntilanak will not interfere a pregnant woman if the woman is always with nails, knives, and scissors when traveling anywhere.This causes frequent practice apparently put scissors, needles and knives on the bed.
According to the Malay public confidence, sharp objects like nails can ward off kuntilanak attacks. When kuntilanak attack, a nail stuck in the holes in the back of the neck kuntilanak.
While the beliefs of others in Indonesia, which will shift the location of a nail driven into the kuntilanak crown.
Genderuwa (Javanese pronunciation: "Genderuwo") is a kind of myth about Java jinn or spirits in the form of humans from ape-like big man and stocky with dark reddish skin color, his body covered with thick hair growing all over his body. Genderuwa most widely known in the community on the island of Java, Indonesia. Sundanese people call it "gandaruwo" and the Javanese people generally call them "genderuwo". You might called it an "Ogre" (?)
This spirit is believed to communicate and make direct contact with humans.Various legends say that Genderuwo can change the appearance of its physical form to follow someone to entice people.
Genderuwo creature believed to idle and dissolute, because the tendency to tease people, especially women and children.Genderuwo sometimes happy slapping the women ass, caressing her body while she slept, or even to move women’s underwear to others.Genderuwo occasionally appear in the form of furry little creatures that can grow in an instant, Genderuwo also like to throw stones at people’s houses at night.
One of the most favorite main Genderuwo is tempting lonely wife which leaves by the husband or a widow, and sometimes even Genderuwo get sexual relationship with them. It is believed that the seed that Genderuwo can cause a woman to become pregnant and have offspring of Genderuwo.
According to legend, Genderuwo have a very strong ability to attract women to want to have sex with him.Genderuwo sexual game believed also very unusual, so that women feel often satisfied and extraordinary favours, if having sex with Genderuwo. But the victims are usually women who messed up by Genderuwo, she did not realize that they having sex with Genderuwo, because Genderuwo will impersonate as the victim’s husband or the victim’s lover.
It added that Genderuwo have libido and large sexual desire and far in excess of the man who is very awake easily to see the beauty of women and make it a creature who likes seducing women.
There is a legend says Genderuwo sometimes happy to stay in the womb of a woman.
A woman who was possessed by Genderuwo will have a high sex drive and could not contain her passion.The women will want to always make sex.If the female partner was not able to keep his passions, then she will not hesitate and try to find another partner.This happens due to the excitement of women is controlled by Genderuwo, if the woman has sex, then Genderuwo that resides in the womb will also feel the pleasure of intimate relationships that women do.
Habitat occupancy penchant is watery rocks, old buildings, large trees that shaded or damp corners of deserted and dark. According to myth, this creature believed residency center located in the forest area
Pocong is a famous ghost among Indonesians. It is said that it was the soul of the dead trapped in their burial suit. A burial suit is used to wrap the body of a dead person. They wrap the dead body with a white fabric called kafan, after being showered and cleaned up by the family members, and tied at the top of the head, at the neck and under the feet.
It is said, pocong have green faces with empty eyes. Another depiction states, pocong faced "average" and has a hole or hollow eyes closed cotton with pale white face. Those who believe in the existence of ghosts is assumed, pocong is a form of "protest" of the forgotten dead who opened his winding bond before his grave was closed. Although in the movies is often portrayed pocong jumping moves, myths about even stated pocong moves hovering.
According to the native beliefs, the soul of a dead person will stay on earth fpor 40 days after their death. For which the family members host rituals (Selamatan) for the first 7 days. At the 14th and finally on the 40th day.
Sometimes the people who buried the dead people often forget to loosen the kaffan ties of the head. When that happened. It is said that the dead body will jump out from the grave to warn the people to loosen their kaffan ties. After the ties is loose the soul will leave the earth and never show up again.
Belief in the existence of ghosts pocong developed only in Indonesia, especially in Java and Sumatra.
Tuyul - a child ghost. According to Javanese mythology, the creature is believed to be kept by a person practicing pesugihan tuyul black magic. Pesugihan is derived from Javanese word sugih means "rich". It is a kind of magic to help people to become rich instantly, but in exchange he or she must perform some rituals or offering tumbal ( a sacrifice) to keep the tuyul happy.
According to Javanese myth, tuyul can be kept for financial gain, but in exchange a female member of the family must allow it to breastfeed from her, sucking blood instead of milk. From the stories I have heard, a person who wants to own a Tuyul should go to a shaman who raises Tuyul. The person buys the Tuyul from the shaman and brings him home.
Tuyul is carried on his/her hand or on his/her shoulder. They said that if a person is cupping his/her hands on his/her back as if something is sitting on his/her hands…then that person might carry a Tuyul.
People normally associate the appearance of a tuyul with that of a small baby, frequently that of a newborn baby walking naked with a big head, small hands, clouded eyes. More accurately, it resembles a goblin or grey alien. It can be seen without the use of magic, though they are unlikely to be spotted casually. Those who did claim to encounter it described its actual appearance to be childlike (a toddler) with gray skin, bald, big red (alien-like) eyes, pointy ears and rows of sharp teeth, and sometimes reported with hairs, like a monkey. Its behaviour is more animal-like. It tends to climb on rooftops either to play or prior to entering houses.
Palasik - A flying ghost. Believed to be a manifestation of high-level black magic witches in some areas in Sumatra, Indonesia. Palasiks are known as blood sucking creatures. Palasik takes an appearance of a head with it's internal organs hanging and a long tongue is sticking out. She moves by flying around.
The Palasiks eats infants while they are still in their mother's womb or a newborn baby. They are often seen digging on a dead baby's grave.
Many believed that being a Palasik is hereditary. When someone in a family is known as a Palasik practitioner, their son or daughter will become a Palasik too.
To maintain their secrecy, their community would hold unholy rituals to mate and wed their children to other Palasiks and live in secluded villages far from others.
The curse of a Palasik through the practice of witchcraft can persist through seven generations
Palasik practitioners appear to be a normal people in general. The difference is when they begin to release their heads along with their internal organs to reveal their original appearance.
In an attempt to end this evil, entire families of the curse would be either banished or executed.
The myths about these supernatural beings were very popular across the Southeast Asias with different names and similar lore among each country.
At the first time ever I have heard a word "Ghost" or related to Mysticism/Supranatural things, I personally have a hard time believing in them but it is something that by the least some people here believe, Indonesia is a cultural and somewhat superstitious country with many beliefs.
Regardless or not we believe it, when someone believes it, don’t disapprove or make fun of someone for it. This is such a beautiful and amazing country with a huge diversity of culture, every island is a different story. If anyone gets a chance to travel here asks locals of the supernatural stories. To be honest, I found myself enjoying to hear and read a lot of Indonesian folklores any myths, and slowly I grew my interest in it.
Humans are more wicked and scary than whatever it is may be out there. Don’t be afraid, you won’t be seeing anything unless you truly want to and believe in it.