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Monday, October 02, 2006

Is that a Jenglot in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

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The other day while getting into work, the morning drive crew (at the only commercial radio station Walski can stand to listen to) were talking about something supernatural. Something totally out of this world.

They were discussing the mysterious Jenglot.

A Jeng-what? What exactly is a Jenglot? It just so happens that Wikipedia has an entry on this mysterious creature - essentially, a Jenglot is a vampiric creature of Indonesian and Malay mythology.

Image taken from Seekers Malaysia, hosting by PhotobucketAdmittedly, Walski had not ever before heard of this creature prior to the radio broadcast some weeks back. To Walski, the Jenglot appears to look like a cross between something out of Fright Night, Barbie on a really bad hair day, and Mah Meri sculptural art.

Sort of like Chucky's nightmare blind date, if you would.

Or anyone's nightmare blind date for that matter... Yeah, steak sandwich for me, fresh human blood cocktail for my... NO DEAR! Not the waiter, not the waiter...

There are a few mummified specimens on display at the Shah Alam Museum (until October 4th), along with other scary ghouls and scary guys (okay, bad pun). This scary collection of artifacts, called the Mysteries, Genies, Ghosts and Coffins exhibition, belongs to religious teacher Ustaz Safuan Abu Bakar. He is also the founder of the Kuang-based Nurul 'Ala Museum. Other artifacts include the languir, which Safuan had said he could bring back to life, to prove the exhibit's authenticity.

Walski hasn't had the opportunity to go take a look at it, but there have been mixed reactions to the exhibit.

Some claim to have felt ripped-off (yes, there is an admission charge), while others have expressed their, well, fascination. True to form, the Islamic religious authorities have not taken too kindly to the exhibition, warning Muslims that such exhibits could be detrimental to their faith (sort of like oil lamps and other equally damaging objects).

But one group of people whom have shown a deep interest in the Jenglot, has been noneother than the Malaysian Seekers, our very own paranormal investigators.
(more Jeng-Jeng-Jenglot investigative thoughts in the full post)

Image from NST, hosting by PhotobucketThe Seekers Malaysia site, in effect, has become a sort of Jenglot-Central, with all kinds of information, "research" records and videos, pertaining to everything Jenglot. There, you can find a plethora of Malaysian newspaper articles collected over the past few months.

To date, the Seekers, lead by "Uncle" Syed Abdullah Al-Attas, have conducted numerous tests on the mummified Jenglots, from visual inspections, X-ray analysis, odor tests (yes, Uncle gave it a whiff), and most recently DNA testing.

Universiti Sains Malaysia forensics expert, Dr. Zafarina Zainuddin late last week came out with some of the preliminary results of the tests. The hair samples analyzed, she said, contained traces of human DNA. Some of the samples also had traces of dye.

To Walski's knowledge, none of the Malaysian hairdressing salons have reported any Jenglot sightings - at least none have been sighted at Walski's regular coiffure boutique. Or has Walski's hairdresser been withholding some information... hmmm.

In any case, several theories have been put forward pertaining to the authenticity of these mummified Jenglot specimens. Walski's read somewhere that there is a suspicion that the Jenglot is actually a composite of human foetus and hair, chicken feet, and several other kinds of bits and pieces.

In addition to Ustaz Safuan's Jenglot collection, the Seekers have also conducted tests on another mummified Jenglot, this one owned by a Bukhari Abdullah. Again, numerous tests have been conducted on this other specimen, including the required sniff test.

Image from Seekers Malaysia, hosting by PhotobucketIf it smells like a Jenglot...

One popular belief is that the Jenglot is not a "ghoul" per se. The reasoning is thus: Ghosts/Ghouls can't be seen, and the Jenglot is very visible - therefore, it can't be a ghost. Uncle Syed Abdullah agrees, and thinks that the Jenglot is actually a mysterious species of animal.

Kinda like Bigfoot.

Speaking of the furry beast, the gypsum plaster imprint of the Johor Bigfoot (or Mawas) has been put on auction at e-Bay Malaysia. The opening price is a mere RM 100,000 - a real bargain, kiddies. If you're interested in owning a piece of Malaysian cryptozoology, hurry on down to the e-Bay site, and be the first to bid. So far, though, no takers (Walski is somehow not surprised).

Walski kind of wonders if the artifacts of another (albeit little known) mythical creature, Bighead, that he has in his possession, is worth anything...

In the final analysis, the mystery of the Jenglot, for now, remains a mystery. The latest on this creature is that it has begun to become moldy, as reported in today's Kosmo! Real, imagined, or manufactured, the Jenglot will continue to be investigated by scientists and paranormal investigators for some time to come. Apparently, even Ripley's Believe It or Not has expressed interest.

As far as Walski is concerned, whatever the outcome of the Jenglot mystery, there are a lot of other mundane things to worry about - like the economy, corruption in government, the state of world affairs... you know, boring stuff like that - stuff that can potentially bite you harder than any Jenglot ever could.

But understandably, for some, the unknown can seem a lot less scary in comparison. Even the semi-scary looking oddity called the Jenglot. Isn't that right, Chucky?