This trio had some of the spookiest experiences while travelling


Boo! (Photo for illustration purposes only.) — Pixabay

October is a month many horror enthusiasts look forward to, owing to the fact that Halloween is celebrated on the last day of the month every year.

Now a popular festivity celebrated the world over, characterised by (sometimes) “scary” costumes and an exorbitant amount of candy and other treats, Halloween is believed to have originated from Samhain, an ancient Celtic festival that marked the start of the harvest season at the end of summer.

It was believed that the veil between the living and the dead was at its thinnest during Samhain, allowing the dead to return to world of the living, if only for a moment. Hence, costumes were donned in order to ward off evil spirits.

The pagan (any religious belief that does not fall under recognised religions) undertones of the festival began to diminish once Christianity took over.

Though a mere shadow of its predecessor, Halloween still holds a spooky connotation to it, leading to October being designated as a month when all things horror is celebrated.

Halloween may not be widely celebrated in Malaysia, but we can still get in on the fun by indulging in scary stories (and the treats!). Because, let’s face it, what is Halloween without a good horror tale or two?

With this in mind, we sought out three travellers to scare the living daylight out of us by sharing the most hair-raising encounters they have had during their travels.

Grab your Halloween candy, things are about to get spooky!


Something comes a-knocking

A (suspicious) knock at the door of her hotel room in Japan reshaped this traveller’s perception of otherworldly “beings”.

Adeline Lee, 31, is an adventurer and she has been to many parts of the world.

There was something beyond scientific explanation, said Lee of her terrifying encounter. — ADELINE LEEThere was something beyond scientific explanation, said Lee of her terrifying encounter. — ADELINE LEE

“I am a person of science but that changed after the ghoulish incident I experienced in Tottori Prefecture in 2019,” Lee said.

She spent the night at a boutique hotel which she later learnt was a former primary school. It was abandoned before being converted into a hotel that is now popular with tourists for its rustic industrial concept.

Things started going downhill when the lid of the self-opening toilet in her room was lifted, not once but twice, in the dead of the night.

“Japan is known for its touchless sensor toilets which are usually activated via motion sensors. It makes a beeping noise every time it is triggered. The thought that ‘someone’ else might be in the same room really sent chills down my spine,” Lee said, still frightened from the event.

“I brushed it off and convinced myself that it was just a glitch.”

Lee added that just as she was about to doze off, she was once again awoken, this time by a knock at her door.

“My heart was thumping like a drum, with all kinds of scenarios running through my head. The knock was persistent so it was hard for me to ignore it,” Lee said. Instead of opening the door, she just let the knocking continue; eventually it stopped after an hour.“These are the things we usually see in horror movies but experiencing it firsthand is a whole new level of scare.”


Just keep swimming

Meanwhile, 24-year-old Muhammad Mustaqim Rosden described his supernatural encounter as phantasmagoric.

“It felt as if I was in another dimension – it was eerie and unreal,” he said, adding that the memories are still vivid.

He advised: “Don’t trust everything you see. Sometimes what you see is not always what it is, a good rule of thumb I now live by.”

Mustaqim had a spectral sighting in Pulau Tioman where he was working as a diver earlier this year. — Muhammad Mustaqim Rosden Mustaqim had a spectral sighting in Pulau Tioman where he was working as a diver earlier this year. — Muhammad Mustaqim Rosden

Mustaqim had a spectral sighting in Pulau Tioman where he was working as a diver earlier this year.

“I was assisting a dive instructor who was doing a shore dive with a group of students when it occurred,” he explained.

“After about 30 minutes in the water, I started exploring the surroundings with my camera while waiting for the group to complete their session.”

Just moments later, he noticed the “team” was already headed to the deeper end of the sea, which was odd. “Their oxygen tank would run out of air before they could make it back to the shore,” he added.

“Logically speaking, it didn’t make sense as to why they would swim so far away,” he said.

Mustaqim knew instinctively something was off but he tried to pursue them.

Mustaqim witnessed a mysterious group of ‘disappearing divers’ during a dive training session. — UnsplashMustaqim witnessed a mysterious group of ‘disappearing divers’ during a dive training session. — Unsplash

And then ... they vanished.

“They disappeared right in front of my eyes. I was confused and terrified but I managed to snap out of it,” he said.

“I decided to stop chasing them and swam back to the shore. It turns out the team had been waiting for me there for the past 15 minutes!”

Mustaqim said that he has had several spooky encounters and all these made him appreciate nature and our surroundings even more.


The 'guest' who showered

Depending on the occasion and condition, castles can either be enchanting or eerie.

For Kay P., 32, it started out enchanting enough when, about a decade ago, she stepped foot in a German castle for her sister’s fairytale wedding.

However, when the sun set on the festivities and she looked forward to a night of peaceful slumber, she instead discovered there was an eerie side to the majestic castle.

“The silence was deafening,” she shared, recounting her stay in the “Claudia” bedroom, a cosy unit with a single bed whose headrest butted up against the wall of the small en suite bathroom.

“Adding to my discomfort was the growing sensation of a presence in the room.”

She tried playing music to put herself at ease, but her fully-charged laptop mysteriously decided to stop functioning just five minutes later. Though perplexed and disgruntled by this, she managed to eventually fall asleep surrounded by silence.

Kay P. received an unwanted visitor while staying at a castle in Roes, Germany that is splendid by day, spooky by night. — PixabayKay P. received an unwanted visitor while staying at a castle in Roes, Germany that is splendid by day, spooky by night. — Pixabay

“At 3am, I was startled awake by the loud sound of the shower!”

She explained that this was impossible as not only was she the room’s only occupant, but no one else would’ve had access as she had placed the room’s key by her pillow, given the absence of a nightstand.

After a futile search across the floor, thinking the key had fallen off her bed, she eventually located it mysteriously placed under her sun hat on the armoire instead.

Refusing to sneak a peek at the still-running shower lest she witnessed a less-than-hospitable entity, she hurriedly left the room.

It was only at breakfast the next day that she learned the castle was well-known for having a “permanent guest”.

Considering the castle’s history, there are likely more than one such guest. Having been in existence since the 13th century, the castle has borne witness to numerous tragedies and change of hands.

At one point in the early 1900s, a captain even holed himself up in the dungeon after acquiring the place. Maybe in death he’s found more willingness to wander the halls, occasionally venturing into bathrooms for a refreshing shower at the witching hour.

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!
   

Next In Travel

Britain's airports given extension to install cutting-edge scanners
A feast of time: The colours and flavours of Jaipur
Batik Air to suspend all flights to Istanbul, beginning May 1
Remote province in China sees surge in tourism, thanks to hot pot
What's the most popular city in Europe for marriage proposals? (It's not Paris)
Batik Air now flies to Guilin, its seventh destination in China
Singapore loses 'world’s best airport’ crown
What to see in Kuala Kangsar, a royal town full of varied marvels
5 Muslim-friendly holiday destinations to check out
Global tourism is on the up and up this year

Others Also Read