My husband Pak Abu is a man of logic. A mathematician by training and an IT man by profession, his critical mind is not easily persuaded by all things supernatural.
Of course, as a Muslim, he abides by the word of God and accepts without reservations that there are other 'dimensions' out there apart from our own in this world.
But try convincing him of the presence of spooks, phantoms and other ghostly beings, and you are likely to be met with a dismissive "It's just your imagination lah!"
I, on the other hand, have had quite a few unsettling experiences and I know for sure those were not figments of my imagination.
I had been scared out of my wits by some eerie encounters and had seen things that reaffirmed my belief in the spirit world.
Because Pak Abu is as vocal as he is headstrong, there simply is no way of getting around to him.
That's why I sometimes earnestly wish, by the grace of God, that he is shown some disturbing things or sights that could make him less flippant and more accepting.
One of the most vivid spooky events I had ever experienced happened in Kuantan when my eldest child, Naj, was a toddler.
We were living in a housing estate informally called Kubang Buaya (Crocodile Wallow), so named because it used to be a swampy area until it was reclaimed and turned into a housing project.
The proper name for the place was Taman LKNP, the acronym being Lembaga Kemajuan Negeri Pahang (Pahang State Development Authority) and it was situated half a kilometre away from the beach of Teluk Chempedak.
One night I was lying in bed putting Naj to sleep (his father was outstation) when I heard someone taking a shower in the attached bathroom.
The bathroom light, however, wasn't turned on but the shower was gushing for at least 10 full minutes before everything went quiet again.
To say I was scared is an understatement. But I plucked up enough courage, after a decent interval, to check the bathroom. It was as dry as a bone.
Sufficiently spooked, I gathered my sleeping child into my arms and took refuge with the elderly neighbours across the street.
The kindly couple told me such happenings were quite normal around that area, simply because it used to be a swamp, the abode of jinns and spirits.
They told me I had just had an encounter with hantu raya, a malevolent spirit if ever there was one. That was a close call and we wasted no time in getting some 'cleansing" work done to get rid of it.
On another occasion, the entire family was in a car on the way home after an evening of shopping in downtown Kuantan, when we spied a pair of legs dangling from a water tank situated by the fence of the Mara Junior Science College.
Looking up, we saw a figure sitting atop the 20-feet water tank, with its legs touching the ground. It was almost Maghrib (dusk), so the figure wasn't very clear.
It was a very strange sight indeed. Local folks later confirmed the presence of such an apparition, called hantu galah (pole ghost) at the water tank.
A creepy event involving my daughter Nawwar happened when we were living in USJ 11, Subang Jaya. It was six o'clock in the evening and I was alone at home when my mother came a-calling. With her were three of my sisters and their respective husbands and children.
As we were talking at the dining area, we saw Nawwar appearing out of nowhere, walking up the stairs to the upper floor. She seemed oblivious to the many people milling around.
I was annoyed that she didn't even bother to acknowledge her grandmother and 'salaam' the guests. I called out to her but she didn't respond.
Sufficiently piqued, I followed her up with my nieces in tow but she disappeared as we reached the top landing.
We checked all rooms, but she wasn't there. A phone call determined that she was at that time at her grandma's in Section 16, PJ.
We asked around, and found out that a girl Nawwar's age died in that house some years before. I don't, for the life of me, know why she returned to haunt her old house, and in the form of my daughter.
That particular house in USJ 11 was rather active spiritually. The children kept hearing voices and sounds of people taking bath in the bathroom upstairs.
Many a times the children would call out to me, just to know where I was. This was because my bathroom seemed to be a favourite haunt for these spooks to cleanse themselves!
I would be happily watching TV downstairs and those 'folks' from the other world would be having a grand wash at my expense!
The last straw was when Ann, while washing my car at the porch one evening, saw an apparition looking like Nawwar walking past the fence and into the house, passing by a frightened Ann by mere inches.
She knew it wasn't her sister because Nawwar was at a friend's house and a phone call confirmed it. Suffice to say we vacated the house soon after.
I thank God we didn't come into harm's way when faced with such spirits. Although I fully believe in their existence, for peace of mind I don't really want to know more. Being scared s***less isn't my idea of fun, not by any yardstick.