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Footsteps in the Night
by Chow Thin Sun

These happenings occured a very, very long time ago, sometime in the early Sixties. My family i.e. both my parents, 4 brothers including myself and one sister were staying in my father's house in the new village of Malim Nawar in Perak. I was about 10 years old then.

In the new villages the houses were built of wooden planks and zinc roofs. Inside the house there was a corrider running right in the middle separating the rooms on each side. Two of my brothers and I used to sleep in one of the rooms while my parents slept in the room opposite us separated, of course, by the corrider.

Every night my father or my mother would be the last person to switch off the lights in the house. And every night without fail the moment the lights were switched off, the sound of a person wearing wooden clogs could be heard walking up and down the corrider. These sounds were not only heard by me but also by my brothers in the same room as me. We, as children, used to huddle by the door and listened to the sounds. After some time we got bored and slept off. Sometimes when I awoke in the middle of the night I could clearly heard the sound of chairs being dragged in the living room which was just beside my room. It was of course very scary to us children and when we asked our parents for the unexplained sounds both of them said they didn't hear such things.

We were scared to come out to urinate in the night and had to hold our urine right until morning. As children we used to have various theories to explain for these sounds such as that there were people living in a tunnel underneath our house and coming out the moment the lights were off (From reading too many fairy tales of course!) Well the sounds kept on ocurring and I cannot remember when they finally stopped. My parents are gone now and I have teenage children of my own but those unexplained sounds will forever be etched in my memory.

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