If there’s anything Malaysians love talking about, other than politics, it’s ghost stories. As humans, it’s normal for us to be fascinated by the unknown, or downright frightening. It’s why people love rollercoasters and haunted houses. We love the thrill of it, and the rush of adrenaline when we’re confronted with something scary. Malaysians generally enjoy a good horror story, and some places in the country are notoriously known for being haunted. Today, we’ll be exploring some of the most haunted places in Malaysia – so grab some popcorn, and follow us, as we enter… the Twilight Zone.
Villa Nabila, Johor
If you’ve seen the film adaptation Villa Nabila (2015), which was named after this notorious piece of architecture in Johor, you might be familiar with the real incidents that happened here. The story goes that this building was once inhabited by a wealthy family with their only daughter, Nabila. However, after the parents died in an accident, Nabila became the sole heir of their property and wealth. One day, their housemaid killed her out of greed and buried her along one of the walls in the villa.
There are several other versions of the story, one of which has the maid killing the entire family to steal their immense wealth; while another depicts a depressed father who massacres his entire household.
Folks who have visited the estate claim that the place does give off some weird energy, although most can’t really explain or describe the feeling. While Villa Nabila is not open to public, you can still see parts of it from the outside or from across the street.
Nine Storey Building, Melaka
If you’re from Melaka, you’re probably familiar with this building, located at Jalan Bendahara. This nine-storey apartment is known as the place of last resort for people who are feeling suicidal or depressed. Over the years, there have been many suicides at Nine Storey, so much so that people have even lost count.
It is believed that those who die violently would come back as angry lost souls, wandering the place where they took their life. Hence, people believe that there are many lost souls that reside at Nine Storey, and the residents there have reported plenty of spooky encounters. It’s said that figures and apparitions would often appear along the corridors and hallways, as well as the ledge of the balcony at the ninth floor.
Highland Towers, Selangor
When talking about haunted places in Malaysia, you HAVE to mention the Highland Towers. On 11th December 1993, a disastrous landslide demolished one of the buildings of the towers, resulting in 48 deaths. This led to the evacuation of residents from the remaining two blocks, and the buildings have been abandoned since. The area has been the scene of much vandalism, and is in complete disarray and ruin from exposure to the elements. Many people have since visited the site to explore the ruins and to see if they’d encounter any supernatural activities. Some have reported incidents involving an infant and an old lady.
One of the infamous urban legends involves a little boy. It is said that when paranormal investigators visited the site, they encountered a little boy on a flight of stairs. When they asked what the boy was doing there, he turned around, revealing his half-torn face, saying that he was looking for his missing body part.
Amber Court, Pahang
Located at Genting Highlands, the Amber Court was built as a resort. Due to the financial crisis of 1997-1998, they were sold as apartments. As time went by, the wet and foggy climate of Genting Highlands escalated the growth of red-coloured algae resembling blood stains on the buildings, giving it an eerie appearance. It has since become a popular dark tourism destination in Malaysia. While the question on whether the place is actually haunted is still up for debate, many people who have stayed in this apartment have reported numerous sightings of ghostly figures, such as a headless woman, and howling noises and sounds of slamming doors. In recent years, the hotel has been scrubbed down, and the algae-covered exterior has since been covered up with new paint, but its reputation persists.
99 Door Mansion / Byram Estate, Penang
Also known as the Caledonia House, this 158-year-old mansion was once the luxury residence of a wealthy family. Terror befell the mansion when the owner, John St Maur Ramsden, who was once the director of the Penang Rubber Estates Group, was horrifically murdered in 1948. Rumours had it that he was killed by a competitor, while his family believes that he was shot in the head by Communist guerillas.
The mansion has around 10 rooms with 5 to 6 doors in each, along with many more in other parts of the house – which is how the name “The 99-Door Mansion” emerged. In the 1960s, it was rumoured that a witch doctor practiced his witchcraft there to summon demons. Since then, locals say that they’ve heard inhuman growls and unexplained sounds from inside the abandoned building.
More recently, in July 2020, the mansion mysteriously caught on fire, damaging 70% of the property. It’s still uncertain how the building caught on fire, and the murder of John St Maur Ramsden still remains unsolved.
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