Ghost Stories

Introducing Ghost Stories: A Series About the Monsters That Haunted Our Childhood

We revisit some of the scariest ghosts from the Asia Pacific region, and explore what they say about our beliefs, politics and more.
collage of ghosts

The spookiest day of the year has arrived. If you have the time and energy to dress up and turn up tonight, we congratulate you. Our only advice is don't take it too far. But if your only plan is to open a bottle of wine and stay in, we've got your back with our Halloween special, Ghost Stories.

Every adult remembers at least one ghost story from their childhood. Whether it made you run home a little too fast when it was dark out, or made you hide under your covers to put yourself to sleep, these are the stories that still give you a shiver even as an adult. Well, what if we told you that you deeply misunderstood these ghosts? Here at VICE Asia we've collected stories from all over the region to show you that there are much more to the ghosts you feared most.

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If you grew up in New Zealand, you must have had at least one nightmare about being taken and murdered by Minnie Dean. But was she really a baby killer, or was she a saint for helping desperate pregnant women and raising their babies?

As a child in Indonesia, some of your biggest fears might have been Wewe Gombel, Mr. Gepeng, Genderuwo and Kolor Ijo. In India, they would be Na Le Ba and the spirit of Brahmin. In the Philippines, it's the Tiyanak. In Singapore, China, and Vietnam, people are wary of winding up like the Preta. Then there's the Krasue that seems to have its own version in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia – although called different names.

But are the stories we heard about them what they're cracked out to be?

What we know for sure is these ghost stories reflect the complexities of our society more than we realize. Trust us, after reading these stories, you will never think about them the same way ever again.

Welcome to Ghost Stories.