Do you believe in ghosts?

That is the question always posed to me since I travel often and live half my life in hotel rooms.

Don’t get me started.

Demonic Possession

I have seen an actual possession and the possessed person in a state of demonic activity when the priest attempted to do a rite of deliverance.

And when the rite was over, and the family and priests went to the next room to confer, I found myself in the room alone with her, having agreed to help by staying behind to keep an eye on her.

She turned to me and, in a lucid unpossessed state and moment, asked me whether I can help her fight him.

I will never forget that moment.

I felt useless and in despair when I told her I can’t but will pray for her.

I was distressed when, two months later, she passed away.

I subsequently bought every book I could lay my hands on about demonic possession and exorcism and read them. Many of these books were written by Roman priests who have spent their life fighting the devil in exorcism.

So yes. I do believe that there is a realm in which spirits roam and that there are manifestations when they are unable to cross to the other side.

There are evil dark spirits, minions and emissaries, and they all report ultimately to the one called Lucifer.

The Devil


The Oxford English Dictionary has a variety of definitions for the meaning of “devil”, supported by a range of citations: “Devil” may refer to Satan, the supreme spirit of evil, or one of Satan’s emissaries or demons that populate Hell, or to one of the spirits that possess a demonic person; “devil” may refer to one of the “malignant deities” feared and worshiped by “heathen people”, a demon, a malignant being of superhuman powers;

He or She goes by many different names – Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, Baal, Carbo (more specifically pasta, Bak Chor mee etc)

Bohemian Rhapsody

You all happily sing to the strains of Bohemian Rhapsody. Especially now when the movie has taken the world by storm and it is now hip to stand up when Bohemian Rhapsody is being played.

Remember the crescendo in the chorus:

Bismillah, we will not let you go, let me go
(Will not let you go) let me go (never, never let you go) let me go (never let me go)
Oh oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me for me for me

Bismillah means in the name of Allah.

Beelzebub is another name for Lucifer.


Beelzebub, is a name derived from a Philistine god, formerly worshipped in Ekron, and later adopted in Abrahamic religion, as a major demon. The name Beelzebub is associated with the Canaanite god Baal.

In christian theological sources, Beelzebub is sometimes another name for Satan. He is known in demonology as one of the seven princes of Hell.

Those words in the chorus of Bohemian Rhapsody have always chilled me because I believe it is a reference to possession. It has chilled me since I was 12 years old when I was a fanatical Queen fan.

During the deliverance rite, I witnessed the priest asking

“Will you leave her?


“Leave her and go in peace.”

She responded ” No! She is ours! “

The priest said ” What is your name?”

She smiled.

The priest ” I command you – tell me your name “

She said “We are many “

Now read the lyrics again.

The Exorcist and The Rite

You probably think I am quoting you the lines of a movies. Yes you might have heard these lines in a movie but that’s why it freaked me out – I heard those same sounding words in that room.

Some of the greatest books about demonic possession are based on books written by people (usually priests) who have actually spent their life battling Lucifer and his legion in demonic possession.

So it is no wonder that art imitates life.

The Rite


Warner Bros

Two of the greatest movies ever made on demonic possession were The Exorcist and The Rite.

The Rite starred the awesome Anthony Hopkins and it is based on the book The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist by Matt Baglio.

Father Lucas Trevant : Be careful Michael, choosing not to believe in the devil doesn’t protect you from him

Father Lucas Trevant : There are times when I experience a total loss of faith. Days, months, when I don’t know what I believe in: God, or the devil, Santa Claus, or Tinker Bell. But, I’m just a man. I’m a weak man. I have no power.

Yet, there’s something that keeps digging and scraping away, inside me. Feel’s like God’s fingernail.

And finally I can take no more of the pain, and I get shoved out from the darkness, back into the light.

The Exorcist

The Exorcist is a 1971 horror novel by American writer William Peter Beatty.

I read the book when I was about 13 years old.

Big mistake – in my parents’ house everyone’s bedrooms were upstairs and, being the only boy, I claimed the maid’s room next to the kitchen downstairs (we didn’t have a maid then) as my room.

My window faced the small garden barely a metre away with a huge mango tree and many other creepy bushes. There were no lights in the garden and cats howled in the night.

That book terrified me. I’ve never been that close to the devil and knowing its existence then when I read that book.

Alternative press

The book details the demonic possession of eleven-year-old Regan MacNeil, the daughter of a famous actress, and the two priests who attempted to exorcise the demon.

The novel was inspired by a real life 1949 case of demonic possession and exorcism that Blatty heard about while he was a student in the class of 1950 at Georgetown University.

From the movie The Exorcist:

Father Damien Karras: I think it might be helpful if I gave you some background on the different personalities Regan has manifested. So far, I’d say there seem to be three. She’s convinced.

Father Merrin: There is only one.


The Demon: What an excellent day for an exorcism.

Father Damien Karras: You would like that?

The Demon: Intensely.

Father Damien Karras: But wouldn’t that drive you out of Regan?

The Demon: It would bring us together.

Father Damien Karras: You and Regan?

The Demon: You and us.


Lines from the Book The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

You don’t blame us for being here, do you? After all, we have no place to go. No home… Incidentally, what an excellent day for an exorcism…

The demon’s target is not the possessed; it is us the observers..everyone in this house.

I think the point is to make us reject our humanity: to see ourselves as ultimately bestial, vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy.

My experience at Maya KL

My first job after graduation from law school in the 80s was in the Supreme Court.

The building existed from the colonial days and it was rumoured to be haunted.

I never experienced any sightings or manifestation in all the years I was there nor did I expect to. The Chinese believe that if your job designation was that of a magistrate, your aura was very dominant and strong and spirits would be afraid of your aura.

It was only until years later when I was in private practice that I experienced the first incident with the visitors from the other realm.

Nice looking hotel right?

Well it’s next to a graveyard. Every room and I mean every room (I asked the front desk) has the coveted graveyard view the moment you opened the blinds.

That didn’t bother me.

The whole hotel was avant-garde and modern and prices were reasonable. I stayed at that hotel every month when I came up to KL for a work trip.

2-3 years went by and it was uneventful.

Then it happened.

One fateful trip, I did the usual check in without feeling that anything was amiss.

When I rang the doorbell and stepped into my room, I felt something was wrong almost immediately. I felt disturbed and anxious without understanding why.

I sat down on the bed and decided not to unpack and tried to see if the feeling would go away. I drew open the curtains to let in light and was rewarded of course with the breathtaking graveyard view.

The feeling didn’t go away. Although it was midday and it was bright, I decided to try to turn on all the lights.

It didn’t work.

When was the last time you went to a hotel and none of the light switches worked ?

I tried to turn on the TV.

That didn’t work either.

I was alarmed and by this time my disturbed feeling had intensified considerably.

I took a few steps to the telephone and picked it up to call the Front Desk to tell them I wanted a change of room.

There was a dial tone (in case you were wondering) but before I could dial the number, a drinking glass flew across the room and shattered on the floor.

Hmm. Maybe I should stay and look for more obvious signs ?

Or try reasoning with it ?

“Look Bub be reasonable. I’ll be out most times and you will have the room all to yourself ….”

Kidding. I left immediately.

Didn’t even take my luggage and the bellboy had to come and retrieve it later.

Bub probably went through my luggage and tried on my clothes.

May even have played with my inflatable doll Abby.

Hotel Room Superstitions

Which brings me neatly to the subject of what you should do to ward off these uninvited visitors if you are staying in a hotel room.

Now most of you married people are lucky – you have your significant other with you so you won’t be alone.

So your worst case scenario is that your significant other might get possessed.

That would be awkward and highly inconvenient.

Indeed, many of my married friends have shared with me the terrifying fact that at one point or another, they believe their wives have been possessed in hotel rooms.

Not an outright possession mind you, but a soft possession. Just some tell tale signs showing the onset of a possession.

This invariably almost happens in the night when they are settling down to retire for the evening.

They tell me that one minute they were cuddling and doing unimaginable things but when that was over and they closed their eyes for a few minutes and reopened them, their wives transformed.

Their hair had weird things in it and some of their faces became pallid and corpselike and some were even of a graveyard green pallor.

Some of these possessed creatures even suggested sex.

The terror and trauma is real.

Why you wouldn’t want extras in your room

Why does it suck to share your room with an uninvited visitor from the other realm?

Well – for one they steal your bananas. And the hotel doesn’t give you many – maybe one or two.

This is why when I spend an inordinate amount of time in the room building a basha around my bananas to protect them and prevent them from being eaten by any lingering bubs.

Its time consuming and irritating.

As you can see, I offer them my oranges and apples but they only like my bananas.

So if you’re like me and don’t want to share the bananas, here are a few things you should do when you stay in a hotel room.

Always always knock before entering your room

Some people say knock but that’s just stupid. Ghosts comes in all kinds so if you just knock, how is that old man floating in the closet ever going to hear you ?

So do like what I do.

You knock 3 times, ring the door bell vigorously 3 times and then shout out loudly in a booming cheery voice (with a Mexican accent if possible )

“Ola, Housekeeping , I’m coming in.

Please leave and please go to my colleagues room 1215, he doesn’t believe that you exist.

Thank you dearies”

The bellboy holding your luggage may think you have gone mad but if you give him a generous tip, he will keep quiet and the housekeeping staff may not point and giggle every time you walk past.

This is not fool proof.

It’s just a symbolic respectful gesture and at the very least, the spirits will feel warm and cuddly towards you and possess you less.

Let there be light

Upon entering the room, switch on all the lights and draw the curtains to allow as much light into the room as possible.

This is to flush out the demons who are lurking in the shadows and for them to scurry around and to find a new hiding place.

This will of course piss them off and they are just waiting for nightfall to punish you.

Letting the light in also allows you to see if the sheets are clean and inspect the fruit bowl and ensure that there are no disgusting used condoms amongst the bananas.

If possible, never allow the room to be in total darkness and leave a light on at all times, even when you’re sleeping.

I tend to leave the toilet light on all night.

Between the constant light and the occasional shrieking into mirrors (see below), it’s no wonder I have insomnia and do blogging at night.

Flush the toilet

It’s said to be another way to ‘flush away’ the room of whatever is still there. All the bubs, negative energy, dark Feng Sui.

More importantly, the last occupant may have dropped an impressive deuce and it may have been a floater.

Better to flush it before it gains strength and attacks you.

Occupy all beds

Sometimes you are given a room with twin beds.

Do you want to wake up with a girl in white lying in the next bed looking at you and saying “you are so cute when you sleep”?

If not, then take a few precautionary steps. Make sure the unused bed is occupied by dumping your luggage on it. Mess it up, lay out your underwear and build up a pillow fortress around it.

Lay out your inflatable doll and garter belt if you have one.

This signals that the bed is occupied and you don’t welcome sleeping companions for the night.

But what happens if, like me, you always ask for a King Sized bed?

Make it obvious that you don’t intend to share the bed with any unwelcome guests, unless they look like Charlize Theron.

Mess up your shoes

Putting your shoes together neatly or leaving them the way you stepped out of them makes it easier for any malevolent ghost to step into your shoes and take over your body, cellulite and all.

Understand this, your shoes are like a GPS for the spiritual portal. If they are branded or have metal plates like mine (allowing for better gps transmission) it brings them to your room and in the most extreme scenario, they step neatly into your shoes and become a dashing debonair, albeit slightly padded with bad knees.

So take some time to rearrange your shoes so that both sides don’t point in your direction — it’s best to turn one side of the shoe upside down (so the sole is facing upwards). This is to confuse unwanted presence about your whereabouts.

Better still, point it towards the direction of your colleague’s room.

Wear unattractive shoes that demons may not like to step into.

Because on most days I generally prefer not to be possessed, I go to great length to observe this rule.

Don’t sleep in front of a mirror

It’s believed that mirrors are a portal to another dimension and may absorb life energy and probably your soul as well.

The belief is that your soul, which leaves your body at night while you’re asleep, may get confused by your reflection and fail to return to your body.

In my case, it may become more perilous because my soul may take a look at the mirror and recognise but REFUSE to return to the body of the beached whale.

And let’s face it – during the day when I’m lucid but deluded, I will look in the mirror and be mesmerised by the gently rippling muscles and admire the beautiful specimen staring right back at me.

But at night it’s a different story when you’re bleary eyed. I always scream when I wake up to pee and see this hideous Shrek like creature rubbing his eyes.

There is also a theory that demonic creatures inside the mirror might climb out and have rough sex with you or steal bananas when you are sleeping.

This is now reliably confirmed by the movie “The Ring” although in that case, the demonic being used a TV screen to climb out.

I don’t know about you but that swaying dance by the ghoul girl in the Ring does nothing for my libido.

So how do you protect yourself you say?

I’ve heard of people going to extremes and placing towels over mirrors.

Amateur exorcists say put the tiny room bin in front of the mirror to trap it if it attempts to come out.

But I’ve got my own protection detail. Bobby trap the entrance to the mirror with your underwear, preferably used and stained if possible. A lazy creature would think twice before climbing out.

Why the banana?

If rough sex is not on its mind and all it wants is a banana, just take la and don’t climb out.

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