Hantu is the generic term for ghosts in the South-east Asian region of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Over here, there are many kinds and types of hantu, each equipped with special and unique methods of scaring people. Hantu-hunting enthusiasts are urged to visit their local cemetery. (Bring along your own ghost-story-teller for an especially exciting visit).

Here are the some of the many species of hantu you might be familiar with.

Hantu Bungkus

Possibly related to the Chinese Hopping Vampire (CHV) and the Egyptian mummy, as it is usually wrapped up in its burial cloths and junps about in a rigid manner. It is considered about safe as a rattlesnake - don't cross its path and it won't kill you.


Hantu Tinggi

This ghost hates to be looked down upon. Upon encountering a human, it will slowly morph into an extremely tall being. It is said that it would not start growing unless a person looks up at it.

This ghost would make an extremely useful bastketball player in the ghostly NBA equivalent, possibly even earning MVP status.


Hantu Lilin

A candle-bearing ghost. Usually female. Mostly harmless.


Hantu Raya

This is a unique ghost, somewhat like the toyol, in that it has a master. This ghost is useful as it can morph into anybody or anything, and owners of this ghost are said to have become rich as a result of the ghost's activity on their behalf. (No further details of how the wealth came about are known, but I suppose you can come up with several ideas yourself.)

In return the owner provides for the ghost and appoints a new owner for it before it dies.

The danger of having this ghost is that it can mimic people so effectively that even people close to the mimicked are fooled. If the owner fails to appoint a new owner when he dies, the ghost may impersonate him.


Hantu Penanggalan

Commonly sighted hanging around banana trees (banana trees don't have a good reputation ; I don't know the reason), this female ghost has only a head and her digestive system, sans skeleton and other body parts. Most people who see her mention her intestines, which she can use to choke a victim if she so wishes. Not one to tangle with.


Hantu Tetek

This is a female ghost, with a cup size to rival Pamela Anderson. She loves to prey on on children and men. (And some men would love to be preyed upon by her, I think.)



For other scary night creatures of Malay origin, see Pontianak and Toyol.

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