Living In A Haunted Rental Flat As A Uni Student: Pontianak & Pocong Sightings

15 September 2023 | BY

From these events, I ended up developing a sixth sense where I can now sense supernatural presences.

Schools in Singapore are notorious hotspots, and as a Malaysian, I can tell you that this spooky affair isn’t an SG exclusive.

In Malaysia, it’s very common for students to move out of the university dorms after the end of the first semester. Most of the time, what drives students to opt for rental flats around their universities is to live by their own rules. That’s what my friends and I did when our first semester at university ended.

Here’s how the most exciting adventure in my life became the most harrowing, and how the whole ordeal changed my life forever.

Finding a cheap rental apartment

Haunted Rental House ExperienceImage for illustration purposes only.
Image credit: The Economist

Our rental unit was a 3-bedroom apartment on the top floor of an apartment just a short walk from our campus. There weren’t any lifts in the building, but seeing as there were only 5 floors in total, we decided that a little inconvenience was worth the MYR850 (~S$247.68) per month rent.

It was a total steal considering identical units on lower floors were priced at MYR1,200 (~S$349.66) monthly. Plus, the apartment also had a well-maintained adult and a kids’ pool for tenants to enjoy.

I had rented the apartment with 5 other friends and we were all stoked to be living on our own for the first time. The excitement was at an all-time high in the first week we were living there, but as time went on, strange occurrences started.  A few of us started experiencing trouble sleeping. We felt the house was unusually warm despite the fans running and the windows open. Moreover, we would have pervasive thoughts that someone was watching us, particularly from the windows and the toilet.

Ghostly sightings in and around the home

The first eerie encounter in our new home happened when one of my housemates was startled awake by an unusual noise at midnight. She recounted it as a soft but persistent banging on the sliding glass door of the balcony, unlike any regular knock. Curiosity overcoming her fear, she decided to investigate. What she saw sent shivers down her spine: a pocong was at the door. It was only for a brief moment before the pocong disappeared into thin air.

In that same night, while playing with Snapchat, the rear camera on Jane’s phone panned across a boy pale and curled up under her study table. When she looked up to investigate the horrific sight, there was nothing in sight.

After that night, Jane started seeing more pocongs around the apartment block. She warned us about using the back stairs, especially after dark, as that seemed to be a favoured haunt of the pocong, possibly because of its secluded nature.

Ghostly sightings in and around the home

Image for illustration purposes only.
Image credit: Pulang: Insanity Facebook

Over the course of the year and a half we lived there, I too heard unsettling sounds from above, as if someone were vigorously stomping on the ceiling with great force. 

We would sometimes smell it too. I would also smell a fragrant scent wafting through the house, but my housemates would tell me they smelt a putrid smell of rotting meat. In Malay culture, people believe that a fragrant aroma suggests that an entity is a distance away, while a putrid odour indicates its proximity, leaving us with an unsettling sense of the otherworldly lurking nearby.

Thinking back, I think the main reason why none of us actually moved out of the house after the ghostly sightings was that we knew we couldn’t find other rental places that offers cheap prices. There was also a factor that neither of us own a car so it would be a problem to commute from other rental place if we decided to leave which means we have to fork out more money for transportation. 

An old lady talking to her dead son

The pocong sightings were not the only thing that was creepy about the apartment. Whenever me and my housemates would walk back home from class, especially in the late evening, we would often see an old, hunched woman hanging around the guardhouse. No, she wasn’t a ghost but rather a fellow resident who lived in B Block.

But, the creepy thing was that we would always see her talking to “someone” by the huge tree near the guardhouse. She never seemed to be aware of the presence of other people around her. We also noticed that she would normally just sleep at the guardhouse and only return to her home the next morning. 

A lot of us thought she was mentally ill, but a guard later revealed that she was talking to her son, who had drowned in the complex’s pool almost a decade ago.

Discovering a dead body

Discovering a dead body

Image for illustration purposes only.
Image credit: Quora

Adding to the already scary history of the apartment and the complex, during my third semester, a friend and I saw a police truck heading towards the B Block of the complex. 

We initially thought they were doing a raid as there had been rumours that some of the students who were renting were using and distributing illegal substances. However, later that day, we found out from a neighbour that the police had come over because a dead body of a tenant had been discovered that morning – his corpse had been in his home for a week before the police came. 

His death only came to light when another family who lived in the unit under his complained about smelly liquid dripping from their ceiling. At that time, the cause of his death was unknown.

Seeing a pontianak by the window

The last straw for me, which led me to start sleeping with the lights on was when I saw a female figure with long hair standing at the window of my room.

I remember calling my then-boyfriend to recite verses from the Quran, and although I was scared, I fell asleep right after he read the first verse. 

I found out the next day that whatever was disturbing me that night also went for 2 of my other housemates who were sleeping in the living room. They said that they had heard knocks and scratching at the glass sliding door throughout the night and could only sleep when dawn came.

The aftermath: Developing a sixth sense

I moved out of the house as soon as the semester ended. The horror of that night still haunted me, and I had to see a spirit medium. It was then that I learned that because I’d seen it, it had developed a “hole” in my senses that I can now sense these supernatural beings if they’re nearby.

As far as I know, the apartment is still being rented out to students.  On my last visit to campus before Covid, I still saw the old woman talking to her dead son by the guardhouse.

Read our other articles here:

Cover image from: Shutterstock, Pulang: Insanity Facebook

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

More In...