JOHOR BARU - A 16-year-old boy who was last seen entering an abandoned bungalow that is said to be one of the five spookiest places in the country has gone missing since early yesterday.
Police confirmed that Mohamad Izzat Izzudin Hussin was last seen entering the bungalow with a group of friends.
However, police dispelled widespread rumours that some 30 teenagers have gone missing after entering the bungalow, which is also known as Villa Nabila, in Danga Bay.
Mohamad Izzat's friend Megat Irfan Abdullah Shahrimin, also 16, said he and his friends entered the compound at around 12.30am on Monday just to look at the villa.
"At first everything was quite normal but things turned eerie after we spent more than half an hour there.
"Suddenly a few of our friends started screaming hysterically while shouting at us. We then ran out of the place to a nearby mosque to seek help," he said.
He added that the missing teen was part of the group but was not a close friend.
"I don't know what happened to him and only realised that he was missing when a mutual friend asked me if I had seen him," he said.
Johor Baru (South) Deputy Supt Abdul Samad Salleh said police received a missing persons report yesterday from the teenager's mother Norhayati Mohamad, 39, at around 1am.
"We used a canine unit and Fire and Rescue Department personnel to search the area, but could not find the boy," he said, adding that the area was the size of four football fields.
Norhayati, who was seen at Villa Nabila, declined to speak to pressmen.
News of the mysterious disappearance spread online and was included in several blogs and Facebook posts. A special hashtag "#villanabila" was created on Twitter to discuss the matter.
The Star recently reported that US-based travel portal Expedia had listed the house as among the five most haunted places in Malaysia.
The bungalow has held untold secrets for over 40 years and there are several versions of how it earned its status.
They include murder that took place among a wealthy Caucasian family that once lived in the house.
Another version tells of how the maid was behind the murder and killed the family, including a daughter named Nabila, and buried their bodies in the compound.