"Don't speak of any person during the day, don't talk about ghosts at night."
Sometimes if we speak about someone he/she would just show up and we'd say he/she has a long life. The part about long life, I have my Malay friends to concur with. As for ghosts, I have my doubts, but because telling ghost stories are best done at night to add to the suspense and the "hair-raising" feeling, we sometimes take risks. So far we have been lucky. We haven't seen anything yet. For those who somehow take the 'Ghost-Month' as a matter of fact, there is always the philosophy of accepting that spirit beings are part and parcel of our natural world. It is up to us to accept it and live accordingly. Some people even have the guts to ask them for numbers. The following story is from a colleague who is an ardent 4-digit punter. She, I was told, being a crafty gambler has a long history of good winnings through the years.
On a hillock called Bukit Berapit, in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, there stood a Tua-Pek-Kong shrine. Our ardent punter and a group of people took a hike up the hill one evening to pay homage to the deity of prosperity, lugging along with them foodstuffs, joss-papers, incense, candles and a medium to be their spokesperson. They lighted the candles, incense and the got the medium into a trance.
All they wanted was a 4-digit number, but they got more than they bargained for. As soon as the medium 'got connected' with the deity he started scolding all those present. Have you all eaten the gall-bladder of the tiger*? Do you not realise what's outside of these walls? These are the spirits of those people who were killed by the Japanese during the war. There were hard-core criminals, gangsters, and also innocent people who died in vain buried in the graves all over this hill.
As soon as they heard these words everyone was frozen into silence. And they heard coming from outside, sounds of finger-nails scratching impatiently on the zinc walls and their hair stood on end and they shivered in spite of the heat from the burning candles and incense inside the shrine. And the medium continued: The Tua-Pek-Kong can only protect you from them before the candles and incense burn out. So before that happens, please leave the hill immediately if you value your lives.
Leaving everything behind them and moving close together, the whole group scurried down from the hill.
(* Chinese expression for being extremely courageous)