Biggest Baddest Bomoh
A story of a guy named Idris who is obsessed with his colleague Zani to the extent to hire a bomoh or a witch just to get her. Unfortunately, the outcome might be different than what he wants.
Night of the Pontianak
Three friends go for pontianak or vampire hunting, but one of them is actually a vampire.
Pamela just moved into the current apartment a month ago after her father’s death. Since then, she experiences a few strange things, such as waking up at 4 a.m. almost every day and hearing traffic sound and howling winds. After Mrs Razak telling her what had happened to the previous occupant, she begins to wonder whether it’s related to what is happening to her recently.
A Labor Day Weekend
After married ten years with kids and busy with the family life, Arul and Hong wishes to go for an unplanned holiday. Arul who is always interested in the occult will be difficult for Hong to get permission from his wife Belinda who is a ghost freak. They eventually have the chance to go for their unplanned holiday, but Hong’s unexpected souvenir from the trip will change his life forever.
The Rape of Martha Teoh
The unhappy incident which happened to Martha thirty-five years ago has trapped her entire life to Heng Wan even though he had died of cancer ten years ago. She struggles her whole life being an obedient and loyal wife despite her husband is a liar and cheater. Even though he is no longer with her, she still can feel his existence in the house. Then, one night, his presence is getting stronger and closer. When she has the courage to ask him what he wants, she finally gets the message.
Bobby’s wife Normah received an unexpected call from a stranger. The stranger introduces himself as Mr Petronas, and he tells Normah that he will get her. Bobby and his friend try to stop the strange creature from entering the room, but it’s too late. What leaves on Normah’s body are dark stains, and oil smell after the attack which leads to pregnancy. I can’t think of any other words besides of ‘weird’ to describe the ending of the story.
Four Numbers for Eric Kwok
Eric Kwok needs to make sure his beautiful girlfriend will not leave him even if it costs him an arm and a leg. However, when he hits rock bottom financially, he tries to find for a way to win the lottery. To get the winning numbers, this comes at a price and leads to something more disturbing and shocking which Eric never prepared for.
Nadim has an urgent business trip to fly to San Francisco. On the plane, he meets Ishmael who claims that he works in a pharmaceutical company and knows the cause of Nadim’s flu. Nadim believes him and takes the pill offers by Ishmael. Later that he knows Ishmael’s real intention, but it’s too late for Nadim to save himself.
Urgh! This story was the most uninteresting so far, and it seems doesn’t fit with the title of the book. I understand the scope of horror stories is not only limited to ghosts and supernatural, but this is just another disturbing story.
44 Cemetery Road
An old man recalls the secret told by his wife before she died. He promised to meet up with her at 44 Cemetery Road after seven days. When he makes the trip to the abandoned mansion after seven days with the hope of gaining everlasting life to be with his wife, it turns out to be a vampire’s revenge on him which related to his ancestor and the abandoned mansion.
The Width of a Circle
Adam’s father is accompanying him to fly to London before he starts his school there. When Adam is on the plane, he sees an old man who looks at him strangely, and he feels disturbed about it. Then, throughout his school days, Adam keeps seeing the old man’s figure appears in different school areas. He doesn’t understand why the old man is following him, and this disturbance causes him to fall ill. After Adam recovers from the sick, he sees the old man again and this time, he decides to confront the old man.
Mr Wood has a habit to visit the pub every evening for a pint. In the pub, he will see Lucas who is a gravedigger, exchanging conversations with his circle of friends. Recently, Lucas seldom appears in the pub. When Mr Wood bumps into him and asks him what happened to him, he was hesitant but eventually told him that the girl who he recently buried comes to the grave every evening. Mr Wood accompanies him in his house to wait for the girl's return. Although the ghost is different than what they thought but the revelation of Lucas's real identity is a shock to everyone.
A librarian who is overly obsessed to have sexual intercourse with a hermaphrodite creature which leads him to a disastrous life.
The Laughing Buddha
A senior journalist is very happy when Datuk Khoo accepted his interview and invited him to stay at his house. However, when he arrives at his home, Datuk Khoo denies that he agreed to be interviewed and asks the journalist to leave. Valerie, Datuk’s wife apologises for her mistake of replying the letter to accept the interview and insists him to stay overnight. She uses this opportunity to ask for the journalist’s help. She suspects her husband is planning to kill her. This suspicion begins after a man with a laughing Buddha mask tries to kill her at the market.
Mr Insurance Man
Putney Wong, a money-minded insurance agent who is always chasing after money and luxurious life, recently meets a wealthy man Andrew in a karaoke bar. When Putney sees Andrew drives a Porsche, he knows Andrew will be his next target to get richer. His greed increases after he meets Andrew’s sister, June. Instead of keeps chasing for rich clients, why not marry a wealthy woman? Unfortunately, as Putney thought that everything works according to his plan, he never expects he will be outsmarted and hit by karma.
Strangling the Soul
Jam is distracted by a pungent smell in his office. When he goes to the ladies toilet to check for the smell, he sees a man strangling a woman until she dies. The man with Jam’s face stares at him. He runs away from the scene, and when he returns to the toilet after a few hours, the toilet is empty as if nothing happened before. Meanwhile, on the night before Dinah starts her new job, she has a nightmare of being strangled by a man. The next day, a new colleague starts her first day in his office. Jam feels terrified when he sees the new colleague is the woman who got strangled by the man yesterday. He tries to keep a distance from her, but from time to time, he often gets disturbed by some weird visions and smell.
A man bumps into his old friend Eddie who recently has unusual imaginations and sexual desire towards his maid after he found his underwear in her maid’s drawer. Eddie’s mistake leads to a horrifying ending to his family, and it seems the similar story is going to happen to the man as well.
The Woman Who Grew Horns
Nancy was dragged by the boyfriend to spy on his neighbour who looks like a monster. Nancy doesn’t believe his boyfriend but follows him to have a look anyway. When she sees the girl has a tail, she wants to help her. Despite the curses and insults from other people when they look at Mei, Nancy continuously helps her and Mei even found a cure to get rid of her tail. Mei's life is improving whereas Nancy’s life is getting worse and lost everything including her boyfriend. After twenty years of happy life, Mei suddenly calls Nancy for help.
Watching the Doll
A story about three guys try to catch a toyol, a doll bred by Malay which comes alive at night to steal money for their owners.
A Sister’s Tale
Seventeen years ago, Anna failed to poison her sister Jessica who had stolen her boyfriend. Before Anna dies, she promised that she will come back to kill Jessica if Jessica being unfaithful to Kia Seng in the future. After seventeen years, when the first time Jessica turns her adulterous imagination into reality, Anna comes back for revenge, but firstly, she kills the lover.
This Page is Left Intentionally Blank
Noel lives with his partner Matthew and collects recycling materials around his living area. His wife and child died in a car accident forty years ago. One day, he tells the narrator that Matthew has left him. After a few weeks, the narrator only realises that Noel seldom appears around the area. When the narrator visits Noel, he tells the narrator that he has Hepatitis B from his ex-partner. He has only a few months left to live due to liver cancer.
I felt surprised by the low rating and a lot of negative reviews about this book on Goodreads since both the book and the author are quite famous in Malaysia. At first, I was thinking whether I should read it, but I feel everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I will never know how good or how bad the book will be if I don’t read it.
I quite enjoyed reading the first two stories, and I couldn’t find any problems with the writing style as what other reviewers mentioned on Goodreads. However, I have to admit that the author has included too much of irrelevant sexual descriptions as a simile or sexual words to describe certain situations which are not related to any sexual actions. That was the only part which I felt slightly disturbing so far after reading the first two stories.
Overall the book isn't as terrible as I thought or as most readers make it sound. I have no idea why and some of the reviews seem don’t make sense to me.
Anyway, I assume younger generations have different perspectives or expectations with ‘horror’ stories. When it comes to horror stories, the first few things come to their mind are ghosts and vampires. I feel the scope can be broader than that. If someone that I have known for more than ten years and recently I found out that person is a serial killer, I feel it's a horror story to me. Or someone who has a jealous sibling that treats him well and normal all these time but in reality, the jealous sibling has been trying multiple times in his whole life to kill him. Isn’t it horrible enough?
I mentioned younger generations probably have different expectations because most of the stories were in the 90s or 2000s and maybe younger readers have different views about horror stories? Someone told me before that he felt the movie ‘Poltergeist’ was too scary for him. I tried to watch it once. I felt the movie is boring and not scary at all, but it could be one of the scariest movies in the 80s. It’s just like we used to laugh at certain movies when we were young, but when we watch the movie again as an adult, we just feel the movie is so dumb, and we don’t understand why we enjoyed it so much last time.
As for me, I quite enjoyed most of the stories although sometimes, I felt disturbed with some irrelevant description for certain scenes. Other than that, I can’t think of anything else to point out.
Some readers love ghosts but not vampires whereas some would prefer disgusting scenes or blood sucking and organ eating. I prefer stories related to human’s evil thoughts and demons which have been hiding inside, and nobody knows until something happens, human’s sin which leads to unexpected guests, superstitious and folklore, or someone taking random “souvenirs” back home which ends up something else. Some of the stories that I liked from this book are such as A Labor Day Weekend, Four Numbers for Eric Kwok, Gravedigger’s Kiss, The Woman who Grew Horns and A Sister’s Tale.
More reviews can be found on Goodreads: HORROR STORIES.