Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Indonesia’s Kuntilanak

Many Indonesians believe that unseen beings live among them. So they have many different kinds of ghosts and many traditional legends that surround them. One of these ghosts is called a Kuntilanak. This ghost is considered to be very scary.

The Kuntilanak traditionally took the form of a bird and was seen flying from tree to tree. In more recent times this ghost is described as being a young female who died during childbirth. This ghost is said to seek revenge for her death.

Some are so scared they
will not even look upon
images of her.
She is described in various accounts in extremes. Some state she is very beautiful with long shiny black hair. It is stated that the distinct fragrance of the frangipani flower accompanies her.

In other accounts, it is stated she wears a long white dress or shirt and is very pale in appearance. These more stark descriptions state that she has no eyes just dark sockets.

According to one legend the Kuntilanak stalks pregnant women in order to steal their babies. Her ghost is said to make the sound of a “crying baby.” It is believed that if this sound is near it means she is far away but if this sound is far away, it actually means she is close by.

She is also heard laughing wickedly. Many stories place sightings of her in isolated areas--she is often seen late at night on deserted streets.

One story told about an encounter with this ghost involves a young female college student. It is said this student was returning late one night to campus when she flagged down an angkot, which is a mini-bus that is used for public transportation in Indonesia.

She was looking out the large back window when this bus stopped abruptly. She was concerned to see the driver exit the bus quickly and run away. She then spotted the reason for his abrupt exit. A very pale woman dressed all in white was standing near the buses’ only door.

This student was shocked to see this figure was staring at her intently. A feeling of fear overwhelmed her as she realized this figure must be a Kuntilanak. She panicked as she realized that she was trapped in the bus.

The following morning the authorities found this abandoned bus with the college student still inside. She was found crouched down in a corner of the floor and was incoherent. She was taken to a hospital to recover, but the terror she experienced was too great--it is said she lost her mind.

The last part of this story reflects another common belief about the Kuntilanak-- one reason people fear her is that fact that many of the unfortunate people who have encountered her have been driven insane.

This photo is a group of Indonesian teenagers attending
a backyard party. Supposedly the photographer caught this image of
a figure lurking in the background.


Unknown said...

Setan Indonesia lebih seram dari setan barat

Virginia Lamkin said...

So you feel Indonesia has more sinister demons than countries in the West.

I have never encountered one--so I wouldn't know.