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Indonesian Ghost Mythology

by aulyasela3597

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.

2. Kuntilanak

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

2. Crying

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.

3. Genderuwo

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

4. Pocong

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.

5. Tuyul

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.

6. Palasik

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.

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Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:07 pm
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zaminami wrote a review...

Heya auly! I hope I can call you that. You requested this review in the GR a few months ago and now I'm over my reviewing funk!! I'm so ready for this.

So first impressions are extremely interesting. I am always into these types of things. Paranormal, supernatural, and the like. Even since watching Destination Truth, I have had this weird, underlying dream of becoming a cryptozoologist, even though I'm on par with the show "Supernatural" in thinking that Bigfoot doesn't exist lmao

So, grammar.

You have mispelled quite a few essential words: "research", for example in the first part. You also have some punctuation errors and some capitalization issues, such as not capitalizing after question marks and periods and such. What I recommend is to have another person close to you: a parent/teacher/counsilor to look at the grammatical issues and the grammatical issues alone. And, if you can, I would recommend downloading Google Drive to do so. That way, you can share your work with other people and they can be on at the same time as you...? I don't really know how to explain it. But it's really cool. It also is really good at spellcheck and grammar--even better than Word, in my opinion.

Actually, I'm not sure where you're from (Indonesia? Maybe?) and I spell things the American way...? So maybe you spell "research" like "reasearch" in Indonesia or-whereever-you're-from rather than America.

To answer your questions in the first paragraph, I do, in fact, believe in ghosts. I disagree with the reviewer below in the fact that ghosts are "a cheap version of explaining things." However, they were also not reviewing correctly (just answering questions) so I don't know whether I should take their opinion correctly...???? Maybe. idk.

I feel very awkward right now.

In fact, I have caught a ghost on camera inside of my friend's chicken coop/barn. I'll tell you the story in the spoiler, if you're interested:

Spoiler! :
So um basically me, my friend of whom we'll call "Mark," and my friend that we'll call "Raina" were hanging out in her barn. She has this cool upstairs part that we recently made into a clubhouse and I'm very proud of it. :)


We were hanging out and cleaning up the top part to make the clubhouse when the chickens started to freak the heckers out. There's a peephole in the wall so that anyone upstairs could check on the chickens and we couldn't see anything, so we went back to our work thinking that they saw a squirrel or something (Mark explained to me that the chickens were a lot like dogs; liable to freak out at squirrels and chimpmunks and then get over it two secons later). However, they didn't stop for about five minutes. Eventually, me, Raina, and Mark went downstairs and checked on the chickens.

I should probably mention here that Raina is a bit of a psychic.

She could sense something in there and didn't want to go in. Of course, I went in anyways since I'm obviously the stupid person in horror movies that dies first. Mark followed me and calmed the chickens down since he's very good at that and I took out my phone. Raina waited outside, telling us to come out immediately.

Needless to say, we didn't listen to her.

So uuuu basically I took my phone out and began filming when I saw a black thing in the shape of a human like leaning against the wall, almost??? So um I pointed towards it (you couldn't see it off camera) and my friend came running and looked through the camera. He screamed like a girl and ran. I ran too, of course, but I didn't scream lmao :P

So that's my story, if you want to put it in another essay or something :)

Now back to the review.

Essay-wise, this is okay, but, in essays, there are four essential rules:

1. Don't use words like "got" and "said."

2. Never narrate in first person.

3. Never refer to the reader as "you" or "dear reader" or anything like that.

4. Never say: "here is the __", like you did.

As long as you follow those basic rules, you should have an easy A in class as long as you're grammatically correct.

As for interest, you certainly did peak mine. To be honest, anything about the supernatural peaks my interest lmao, especially about ghosts. Overall, this essay was actually a pretty interesting read! It kept my interest with pictures and it was really cool!

For my final thoughts, I also have two things to talk about: formatting and sentence structure.

Let's start with sentence structure.

The sentence structure that you have in your essay isn't that diverse at points. I think that you can fix this by reading the essay out loud and seeing where it sounds cringy and unhuman-like. Then, fix it by either combining sentences or adding conjunctions or something. I don't know--you're the author.

The second thing is with formatting.

I think that this essay has great potential! We need more essays about the unknown in the world. Book essays and essays about things that are already known that we talk about in school are boring; why don't we write essays about the unknown, not unlike you did here? I think that it's a new, interesting concept that you have introduced (maybe? I haven't reviewed/read anything in a little while) to YWS. I just believe that I might follow your example!

However, (and just take note that this applies to a doc and not to YWS; YWS is not an easily-formatted website for placing stories, which is probably its only flaw) I think that you could format it in documents to make a really cool-looking essay! If you're interested, click on the spoiler below:

Spoiler! :
1. First off, whenever you start a new topic, make a new page (such as a new item/ghost on the list).

2. Then, place all of the pictures on various corners of the said pages. Have at least one picture on each page, and don't put them all on the same corners.

3. When talking about a thing that's in the pictures, use something like: [Figure A] and [Figure B] and so on and so forth. Such as, at the bottom one:

Palasik - a flying ghost [Figure {F?}]

Also label the pictures as such.

4. Use the last button on the document for the "where the words start" type thing. Instead of the "left," "center," and "right" buttons, use the last one with the box thing. It'll make it look a lot better.

5. Use italics and not bold, but I'm sure that you already knew that.

6. Make a reference page. Always reference your pictures. And, if you need to, you can always ask an artist like me or soundofmind or someone on here to draw a picture that you can use. We'll always be happy to help! :) Just make sure to use credit.

7. Use the margins! If you don't know what I mean, PM me and I can send you pictures with an explanation.

8. When you choose a font, choose a professional-looking one.

9. Proofread and proofread and proofread!

That's all of the advice I have! I'm almost burned out lmao!

Have a fantabulous day!

This review was brought to you by zaminami

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Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:17 am
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mouclarion87 wrote a review...

Hello, Mourice here :)

This is not much a review but more thoughts regarding this topic.

I don't believe in ghosts, honestly...

Having personally failed to experience something does not disprove that thing, just as having had an experience does not prove something is universal. This is the Anecdotal Argument fallacy.

Ghosts and other things fall into the supernatural. Shoud the day come that rigorous scientific validation of the phenoma (outside of the valid psychological explanations that we already have) exists, ghosts will become part of science and fit into the body of theories we have.

Ghosts are just bad, pre-science attempts at understanding: guessing at an explanation for something misunderstood without rigorous experimental proof that is scrutinized, challenged and tested for verification. Without meteorology, sky spirits must be why the weather occurs.

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Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:48 am
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Relaxistence88 wrote a review...

Hello! Relaxistence88 here :)

Yeay, finally a second essay from you! You've had picked an interesting topic and I love it! I really do enjoy to watch a Horror movie at netflix channel, every friday nights I bring my friends to my house to throw a horror movie party in the middle of the night hehehe....Hearing an urban legend of ghosts in your country and it grew my interest to learn more of it!

Personally, I've never had any experience related to supranatural things, emcounter a ghost in real life. Human eyes can't see the energy and cant see the radiation and as well the spirits, if a human told you that he saw spirit or ghost then you must take him to the nearest mental clinic, people imaging things from watching alot of movies, but in few cases some demons manifested in similar human shape for seconds and have been cought through cam or human eyes otherwise northing els could be seen im not talking about the full manifested demons in fully human shape wich you can feel them and talk to them you dont even realise any thing odd on them but thies are not ghost because they live among humans for special purposes,

Some people might saw the demon was with their dead loved ones and thought it is thier spirits, but still this is not ghost and not spirits.

I'm looking forward for your next writing. Keep writing and stay inspired :D

Warm regards,


Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.
— Francis Bacon