Hi, I am back again with something for October 2011. Moments ago, I was re-reading an interest feature by Asia One’s Edvantage on haunted schools in Singapore and because of this, I decided to write a special post discussing on the existence of ghost stories. As a blogger, I have a confession to make: I happen to be a fan of ghost stories since I was a child growing up in Southeast Asia. However, I am not here to share a ghost story so here goes my post.

Ghost stories can be found in every continent and culture (well, almost). Be it Asia-Pacific, Europe or even the Americas, you can find a ghost story wherever you go. For instance, you have the toyol which is well known in both Indonesia and Malaysia and the scary krasue known in Thailand. And not forgetting the legendary banshee known in Ireland. Last but not least, tales of haunted houses, abandoned buildings, manors and schools from around the world. Ghost stories have been around for many generations and they are passed down from the old to the young, be it orally or in written form. Be they scary or just mildly entertaining, some people wonder why ghost stories never fail to entertain the persons listening or reading them.

Every now and then, I hear some people saying ghost stories are legends and folklore passed down for generations. While some would say ghost stories are stuff and nonsense like urban legends which are meant to make sure youngsters do not do anything disrespectful or unacceptable in the eyes of the elders. For example (this is what I could recall being told by a class teacher as kid), in Malaysia, some children are told not to gallivant outside their homes past midnight because of it is believed that a ghost would kidnap them or follow them back into their homes to haunt or possess them. Regardless whether people would believe they are legends of the past or some would dismiss them as urban legends, ghost stories can be a source of entertainment for people who want a little bit of a scare. Sometimes, some ghost stories, which are told as a form of entertainment, can occasionally inspire a budding storyteller or writer to come up with something read-worthy in creative writing, be it publishing or fan fiction.

What says you about ghost stories? Do you happen to be a fan of ghost stories? If so, what kind of ghost stories do you know during childhood or recently? Do you think ghost stories are legends passed down by the older generation? Or are they just urban legends to make sure people behave themselves or be cautious in what they do in their daily lives? Or do you think ghost stories are another form of entertainment to give a listener a bit of some scare and excitement? Opinions are welcome.