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Asiaone Hungry Ghost Festival

The Hungry Ghost or Seventh Month Festival is an annual celebration observed in East Asian countries that fall on the 15th night of the 7th month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The celebration is month-long in countries like China, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, as well as in other parts of Asia like Indonesia and Singapore.

The Seventh Month Festival celebrated the ‘hungry ghosts’ or preta, they believed that at this time of the year, these spirits came from the naraka of Pretaloka or Buddhist lower hell, and they visited the Earthly Realm to feed on what they desire.

We at Asiaone sat down with a paranormal expert, Eugene Tay on the common occurrences and of the appropriate things to do during the festival.

Straits times

What should you do and what should you avoid during the Hungry Ghost Festival?

It is often inappropriate to move out or renovate your houses during the Seventh Month. Also, remove the wind chimes at home if you have one because they are inviting spirits into your home. 

Don’t bring your shoes inside the house because they are inviting bad spirits in like djinns. Lastly, don’t step into the burned incense paper because the ghosts will follow you at home.

How many times a year do you receive inquiries or requests from homeowners to come to their houses and perform an “investigation”?

I receive at least once a month of homeowner inquiries and investigation requests. We also often receive these kinds of requests in December.

What kinds of experiences have you had with homeowners who have experienced unexplained events in their homes?

A staggering amount of these paranormal cases are caused by poltergeists. The usual stuff is happening, like things moving around, things turning off on their own, and people seeing shadowy figures in the house. 

Do you have any noteworthy ones you’d like to share with us?

One, in particular, was when I was called to a house at 3 in the morning. The family is Catholic, a Mother Mary figure flew from the altar and I initially thought that it was caused by wind from the AC but when I asked again, the rosary beads exploded and scattered to the floor.

Are they more psychological, scientifically explainable, or spiritual, based on your experience?

Most of the people didn’t recognize that they are being haunted and they think that there is a rational explanation for these occurrences. However, once I visited the place, the residents were usually way past the point of rational thinking.

Can you explain why these occurrences occur just in specific houses and not in other units or blocks?

Some of these residents might have been cursed, which is why they are experiencing this kind of thing. Also, one of the reasons is that the former resident of the place might be obsessed with the occult and left a few trinkets around the house. 

Lastly, the culprit could be the bad feng shui of the place. One house in particular that I visited, reeks of bad energy and has caused bad luck to the owners. 

We typically advise the residents to spread salt in the area, chant prayers and wear protective amulets to ward off these malevolent spirits. For an added protection, they should bathe in flower water, use Kemayan smoke cleansing, and putting crystals.

If the haunting persists, they should call a spiritual practitioner or recalibrate the bad feng shui of the area.

The Seventh Month or Hungry Ghost festival this 2021 is happening between August 8 to September 6 and the exact Ghost Day will be observed on August 22, 2021.