I’ve been thinking about writing this story for quite a while. Considering our #ThursdayThriller / #TakutThursday is indeed the most popular column in this site (everybody has had a spooky encounter or two in their lifetime, and I’m not an exception), I thought of throwing my bit of experience in.
This happened about 7 years ago, when I was 20 and still studying at KDU University College. Back then, all our money went to funding the new KDU Glenmarie Campus, which I did not have the pleasure of studying at, as it had only finished way after I had graduated. So in the old campus, located at Damansara Jaya (with a graveyard behind it), there was no room for a hostel or proper housing areas for students, unless you were loaded and could afford monthly rent at the houses nearby.
For me, I was really into the whole communal thing of a hostel, so naturally, I signed up and ended up staying there for the whole of my academic career. One thing that I thoroughly enjoyed about being in that particular hostel was that I always had the apartment to myself. My housemates were either always not in, or nobody moved in. I was never and never will be a scaredy cat so I relished in the solitude, and didn’t bother about things that go bump at night.
I especially did not bother about the room opposite mine that had Chinese talismans and prayers pasted all over and above it.
Strange things happened, definitely. It was a hostel and you know how haunted they get. But I made peace with it.
Sometimes, the door would just open by itself, even if I left to sleep quite late and knew that it was definitely shut before I got into my room (I used to hang out in the dark, in the common hall of the apartment, and never stayed in my room except to sleep and sleep in).
Waking up in the late noon with the sight of the door being wide open and more talismans and prayer scrolls plastered all over the walls were more like a “meh” moment to me more than anything. I’d shut the door, and go about my day as normal.
Whoever moved in there never stayed more than 2 weeks. I wasn’t sure whether to be alarmed, or relieved by this – because I got the whole place to myself again.
Whatever that was bubbling in that room (doors open, doors shut, ripped talismans aside) finally came to a climax during one of my regular nights. I had slept early that day, for an 8am class.
I went to bed, switched off the lights in the house but left the one in the corridor on, as usual.
So where I was lying down in bed, I had clear vision of my bedroom door, which had quite a gap between the floor and the wood. Let’s just say, if someone was standing in front of my room, or the one opposite mine, especially under the glare of the light, their feet could definitely be seen.
I said my night prayers, and drifted into sleep.
My eyes opened between 5.30am to 6am. My room was always dark, but I knew the time. Because it was prayer time at the mosque directly behind the hostel.
Over the years, I had grown accustomed to sleeping throughout the entire thing, despite how loud it had been because of its proximity. So I didn’t wake up because of that.
I woke up because there was such loud banging coming from outside my door.
Someone, or something, was banging incessantly. It had started shortly after the prayers began, and it was banging the door opposite mine. My door was not vibrating but I felt the pressure and the sound coming from the walls.
What had me confounded was not only the hour – because if wardens were looking for someone, they would normally wait until 9am. Or, they would have probably known that this apartment only had one tenant. It was also because said warden was looking for someone by not calling their name, but by persistently knocking, with all their might – almost out of anger – at the door.
So I figured it was definitely not a warden.
The other thing was that, remember I said I could see if someone was outside my door? Absolutely no feet, no shadow. Yet, the banging continued. It didn’t waver, it didn’t slow. If anything, it did sound as if it got agitated after a while.
I didn’t panic, all I did was calmly grip my rosary which was always next to my head and watched, out of curiosity.
It felt like it would go on forever.
Thankfully, it didn’t. It stopped when the prayers stopped, and when I began saying my own prayers in heart. Stopped. Just like that. Then I went to bed at last, making a mental note to check with the warden if anybody had come up at 5.30am.
The next morning, I got up to a shut but locked door (odd, did the warden really come up?). I was leaving to catch the shuttle, and noticed that I had fastened the door chain guard, so even if anybody with a key could have come in, they wouldn’t have gone past the chain.
I spoke to the guard before I went on the shuttle: did anyone come up to house 303 last night to knock on the door?
All guards said no. They don’t normally go up to the girls’ dorms without the chief warden, who was a lady. I asked if they were sure because someone had come up to my apartment and angrily knocked on the door opposite mine.
“House 303, room 3, right? There’s nobody there to look for,” the wardens said, double checking the records. “You’re the only one in that house, in room 2.”
“Yes, but didn’t you hear? Crazy banging during the prayers this morning,” I replied.
“No, miss, even if we did we would have gone up to investigate, with or without lady warden.”
I blinked, said my thanks and went on to school. I had no idea what transpired that night, or what the supernatural entity wanted to do.
Did it want to go out to pray, but couldn’t? Or was he trapped outside and wanted to go in? No idea man. Either way, I still think about it today, trying to solve the mystery. That was the one and only incident. Following that, the room/it behaved and nothing else happened until I graduated.
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