Saturday, October 31, 2009

WEEKEND VIEW: Things that go bump-in-the-night for the disabled

FANS of vampires, werewolves, ghosts and ghouls – as well as hoards of other creatures that go bump in the night – will celebrate Halloween this weekend.

Some will be attending costume parties; others play pranks on their friends or watch horror films at home.

Inungkiran bte Mongijal from Balakong in Selangor is also looking forward to the Halloween weekend with a really scary horror book.

Except that it won’t be an ordinary book for the 48-year-old whose hometown is in Kudat, Sabah.   

Inungkiran who was born blind, and works as a proof reader at the Malaysian Braille Press office in Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur, will be turning to a “talking book” for her Halloween horror entertainment.

Talking books are audio material read by the sighted on CDs or cassettes which the blind use to catch up on their reading.   

Inungkiran, speaking to Wheel Power last week, recalled her childhood days studying at the St Nicholas Home for the Blind in Penang.

“My friends and I were only 10 or eleven and ghost stories used to fascinate us,” she said.

“We used to think that even our school was haunted with several unexplained happenings,” she added.

Inungkiran remembered a time once when she and her roommate were suddenly jolted out of their sleep at 3am. They heard strange footsteps on high heels in their dormitory.

“What was especially eerie was that the ghost sounded very much like one of our friend’s mother. ‘She’ even started to speak in soft and hushed tones,” said Inungkiran, who has a deep fascination about haunted houses, demonic possessions and beings from the beyond.

“Some people think that being blind is a nightmare,” said Inungkiran who has a brother and a sister who are also blind.

“That’s not at all true,” laughed Inungkiran who is single. 

“There is nothing to fear about being blind. We are just like anyone else wishing to have a great time too.

“Horror movies played an important part in my childhood and my growing up days till today. Even though I am blind, reading or even ‘watching’ a frightening show heightens my imagination and creativity,” concluded Inungkiran.   

Thirty-three year old Daniel Ahmad Sharani can’t agree more.

Also interviewed last week, Daniel suffered a real life horror experience of his own.

His best friend and he – both 18 years of age at the time – were knocked down by a car on the motorcycle that they were riding on.

Daniel who was riding pillion became paralysed from the neck down for life. His childhood buddy died on the spot.

Today, 15 years on, Daniel has succeeded to put the past behind him by pressing ahead.

“Ghosts stories have intrigued me since I was a kid,” explained Daniel who is also eagerly looking forward to Halloween.

“My Uncle is a brilliant storyteller and prankster”, he pointed out and went on to explain how he and his cousins – all ten of them – were fooled by his relative.

“We were almost teenagers at the time when our Uncle promised to make the elusive mystical spirit called a Toyol to magically appear in front of us.”

After switching off all the lights in the room, they were asked to wipe their faces three times from water from a bowl that contained a ‘mysterious potion’. 

Then when the lights came back on again, everyone discovered that their faces were all black turning each one of them into a regular Toyol.

“We all had a great laugh over that incident. Over years, movies like ‘Salem’s Lot’, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ and most recently local horror flick, “Momok” have been great shows to watch and get scared over.

“Horror movies with their shock factor, which I regard as nothing more than pure entertainment, have been a great therapy for someone like me to take life easy and forget my problems for a while,” Daniel pointed out.

“I never believed half of the things that I saw in the scary shows except to enjoy the de-stressing elements that they briefly provided as a form of temporary escape.

“Thus it was rather amusing to me when some quarters recently called for the banning of horror films which made me wonder whatever for?

“Just because I enjoy watching scary movies does not turn me into a witch or a zombie. Besides, it’s great to have a variety of movie genres to choose from instead of only romance or comedy all the time.

“I think that the bottom line is as adults we all have a choice about what we wish to watch and at the same time make the right decisions for our kids.

“If people are upset about a particular movie, they can choose to not go to the cinema or just turn the TV off.

“As for me, however, I’m planning to spend my special weekend by catching the Simpson’s Halloween marathon on the telly,” Daniel concluded.

Happy Halloween everyone!

The End
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