Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Let's Scare The Kids

Growing up in the 60s and 70s - before computers, the Internet, cable TV and all, people - I mean adults - needed to find inventive ways to have fun... and what better way of doing just that than scaring little kids. It wasn't very much fun when you are on th receiving end. Anyways ... this was one such story I remember... it doesn't make much sense now but they scared the crap out of us back then ...

Don't play hide and seek at night - the momok (that's Malay for some kind of ghost - I don't know why a bunch of Eurasians couldn't just say 'ghost' - maybe the Malay word make it sound more authentic) will get you. That's what all kids my age were told. I guess our parents didn't want us running all over the place when it was time for dinner.

And what would happen if you disobeyed this rule? Well the story went like this...

There was a family living down the road (they always give you a local setting to make the story more convincing). There were two young girls who played hide and seek late one evening (well after the witching hour of course).

The first few rounds of the game were quite normal. Then in one round, the "seeker" couldn't find her sister no matter how hard she looked. Worried, she eventually told her parents. A search party was organised (Notice back then we always did things the proper way. We didn't just run about in panic - we organised a search party - now that's what I call style - okay back to the story...). They searched through the night but came up empty-handed. (Must prolong the suspense you see for all the kids listening in eager anticipation ...).

The next day she was found ... well what was left of her... her body was found squashed into a small milk tin - apparently this was a well-known calling-card of the momok.

Like I said, the story doesn't make much sense now - how a whole human body can be squashed into a condensed milk tin is beyond me.. but for scare tactics on gullible kids, it certainly worked like magic!

The long-term psychological damage all these stories of ghosts, blood, gore and guilt had on us kids (and yet they still wondered why so many of us were afraid of the dark!) probably didn't account for much back then ...

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