And when it comes to travelling, a whole baggage full of dos and don'ts apply. Amongst these 'spiritual rules' to be observed during travel, one stands out as the most commonly followed and practiced... that of knocking the door of one's hotel room three times before opening it and entering the room for the first time. This simple 'ritual' is performed to announce your arrival so that spirit/s in the room, if any, are not startled and offended by your intrusion of their space.
The origin of this popular practice is hard to trace but it could have its roots in the 1800s during the height of triad feuds in Shanghai. Hotel murders of gang members were rife, and in-room suicides were a more convenient way to go. Faced with the dread of cleaning up rooms where death occurred, chambermaids took to knocking on the doors to inform lingering spirits of their presence so that they may be left alone to do their housekeeping duties in peace. Over time, this Taoist tradition rubbed off on travellers and became an essential part of ensuring a safe stay overseas.
Quite a lot of friends I've travelled with practice this knocking ritual. As for me, I never believed in all that hocus pocus and secretly roll my eyes while scoffing my friends' superstitious behaviour. Do they need to knock on the closet and fridge doors before opening them too? What if the spirit was out when we checked into the room only to return and find us sleeping in its bed?
I ascribe to the logic that if you believe something exists, it will manifest. Be it in physical form or in one's imagination. So if you don't believe that ghosts haunt a room, then there won't be any spook dwelling inside.
But I soon found out, not believing in something doesn't mean it is not there...
|As I ran down the corridor and turned the corner, I saw what looked like a girl crawling down a stairway at the opposite block. |
I was stunned by the unnatural way of her movements but thought that perhaps she was sick or hurt and needed help.
Okay, apart from the ritual of knocking and other superstitious practices, the story in this post is purely FICTIONAL and FABRICATED in the spirit of Halloween with a travel theme.
The photos were shot with my mobile phone on location at Bayu Balau Beach Resort at Tanjung Balau and Sin Hin Hotel at Sungai Rengit (Pengerang). My gratitude to Hoh Siow Har for being a sport to crazy pose for the photos because we were bored with nothing better to do at the resort but to bring a travel myth to life.
Happy Halloween and safe travels ya all! :o)