Hysteria victims claim to have seen 'pontianak' before fainting

KOTA BARU: Several students of a school in Kelantan, who claim to have been possessed during a hysteria attack, all said they saw a ghostly figure before passing out.

They claimed they saw an unsightly dark figure or female ghost known as a pontianak before they experienced paralysis and then fainted.

Fatin Nor Atikah, 17, of SMK Pengkalan Chepa 1, said she was possessed twice in the school toilets when she was in Form Three and Form Four.

During both incidents she saw a black spectre that was hard to describe more accurately.

"The spectre was so ugly that I went into fits and felt paralysed, like I was being pinned down by an unseen force.

"In both cases, I fainted for several hours. I was later revived by an ustaz in the school.

"The experiences had so shaken me that every time I go to the toilet I bring a friend along.

"Otherwise I avoid going to the toilets," she said.

Fatin was one of the many students stricken by the hysteria that swept across a few schools in the state last week.

The mass hysteria began in SMK Pengkalan Chepa 2 on April 11 that reportedly affected more than 100 students and teachers.

It was so serious that the school was forced to stop classes three days later.

Then eight more students at the school were stricken after prayer sessions the following Sunday.

Since then three more schools have been affected - SMK Pengkalan Chepa 1 (five girls), SMK Kemumin (20 students) and SMK Kubang Kerman 3 (eight students).

To date, more than eight ustaz, a bomoh and Islamic traditional experts have come to help.

They claimed they would chase away the spirits said to be in the school compounds.

A Form Five student of SMK Pengkalan Chepa 2, Raja Nor Atirah Hurmaishah, said she was possessed after she saw a pontianak in the school toilet last Wednesday.

"I could not believe what I saw, both my arms began to go numb and then my mind went blank and I was frozen on the spot.

"I tried to call out for help but could not open my mouth, after that everything went dark," she said.

She described the feeling of not being able to move as weird and thanked god that "I did not jump off the school building".

"The apparition was creepy and now I avoid the toilets, preferring to ease myself at home," she said.

Raja Nor Atirah said she has nightmares over the incident and on many occasions wanted to skip school in fear of being possessed again.

It was learnt that the administration of SMK Pengkalan Chepa 1 tried to nip the problem in the bud by sending affected students home immediately, to stop the hysteria from spreading.

At SMK Kemumin, 20 female students from four classes went hysterical en masse and were immediately sent home.

A check at the school yesterday morning showed the students had gathered to recite religious verses. State deputy education director Jaafar Ismail declined to comment, saying that the schools should be left alone to sort out the problem.