Indonesia actually has abundant tales of the supernatural that will definitely give you goosebumps all over your own body. This is because it has its share of urban legends and ghost stories, as parts of the country have an abundance of haunted places, often with a good amount of spooky stories. Superstition is part of the daily chitchat of Indonesians.
From movies to supernatural game shows, ghost stories simply fascinate the people of Indonesia. That is why scary incidents and also haunted places are not something new for them. If you ever visit Indonesia in the future, you might want to avoid these 7 haunted places there. If you are eager for some paranormal sighting, you can try to go there.
1) Bintaro Railway And Manggarai Station
Widely condemned as the nation’s most devastating railway accident, two trains collided head-on on Monday morning, 19th October 1987, in Bintaro, South Jakarta due to an internal miscommunication. More than 100 lives were lost, some were thrown out on impact, while others bled to death as they were crushed in between pieces of metal. It was a gruesome scene, and it took almost two days to completely evacuate the bodies. Since then, the number of accidents on the exact stretch of the railway has oddly increased, especially on Mondays. Increasingly widespread were stories of drivers who did not notice warning signs of an oncoming train in time. There was also a spike in the number of pedestrians who walked onto the railway tracks, right in front of a speeding train, and they were believed to be possessed by the Deaf Spirit or Hantu Budek.
The story doesn’t end there. Unfortunately, although the trains have stopped operating, the same can’t be said for souls attached to them. Besides the apparitions reported on this site alone, trains have also been seen to be traveling way past operational hours with no one on board. One of the most bizarre stories is that of a college student who saw what looked like victims inside the train he was on late one night. Surprisingly his legs became sore when he reached his destination. He talked about what happened with the security guard’s duty, only to find out that there was no train all along and he had run the whole way.
2) Ancol Bridge
The Ancol Bridge, located along Jalan R.E. Martadinata in Ancol, North Jakarta, is also known as Jembatan Goyang ‘Rocking Bridge’ because drivers who drive on it often feel a rocking sensation. The story behind Ancol Bridge involves a young woman named Maryam, who is said to have been raped and murdered by several men, and her body thrown underneath the bridge. Her ghost, known as Si Manis Jembatan Ancol ‘The Sweet Lady from Ancol Bridge’ is said to have haunted the area since. The myth gained renewed interest in the 1990s when a TV show based on the legend, also called Si Manis Jembatan Ancol, was released.
3) Mall Klender
The sudden collapse of Indonesia’s economy in the late 90s had stirred up violence within the people, resulting in looting, mass murders and rape. On May 15, 1998, an army of looters seized the Yogyakarta Department Store. As shopkeepers and visitors scrambled for safety, a fire was deliberately started and soon engulfed the four-storey building. More than 300 people were trapped. Afraid of being harmed if they escaped the building, they remained inside to meet their fiery death.
The scars of what is now referred to as Mei Kelabu ‘Grey May’ remains in the hearts of the affected, no matter how hard they try to forget. One of the darker moments in Indonesia’s history, the incident shook the nation as well as the international community. Although the departmental store was rebuilt as the Klender Mall in the year 2000, it is still difficult for the locals to let go of the traumatic memories that linger here. Eight ghosts are said to haunt the area, including phantom bus passengers who usually hitch a ride at night, only to disappear a few hundred metres later.
4) Pondok Indah Hotel Bedugul
In 2016, travel blogger Jacob Laukaitis uploaded a video of himself entering a large abandoned hotel complex in Bedugul, 50 km north of Kuta in Bali. The video instantly went viral, bringing attention to the mystery of Pondok Indah Hotel Bedugul. Rumor has it that the hotel, known as the Ghost Palace Hotel by locals, was a project of former Indonesian President Suharto’s youngest son.
It’s said that it was then abandoned after the son was convicted for murder and sentenced to prison. Another rumor says that the hotel was abandoned in one night by all guests and staff due to a series of supernatural events, triggered by the ghosts of workers who had died from poor working conditions during the hotel’s development. The abandoned hotel complex is largely unguarded, which means you can freely venture into the area when you’re in an adventurous mood.
5) Octopus House
The public’s question has been answered in 2013, a local news channel was set to debunk the ongoing rumors of a ‘Satanist Church’ in Bandung. The unmissable sculpture of a giant octopus sitting on the roof of the house had sparked up much curiosity online in the past. A group of journalists’ attempt to uncover its mystery found that the ‘octopus house’ is encircled by a series of houses, and the only way inside is through House Number 6. The investigation ended when a loud quarrel broke out between the journalists and the caretakers of the house.
A person claiming to be a former member of the ‘satanic church’ reported to the authorities that the house is used for cult-related sex rituals. Several investigations later, no evidence supporting the allegation was found. The owner of the house, Frans Halimawan, appeared on a news broadcast and expressed his fury with the false accusations. As an art devotee, he explained how every piece of the house symbolizes his life journey, including his struggles as well as his beliefs, and that these rumors have offended him deeply.
6) Potato House
The story behind the notorious Potato House in Bandung is as bizarre as the name suggests. It is called so as passers-by often report the smell of boiled potatoes coming from the house and sightings of the ghost of a boy, as well as a ‘ghost dog’, at night. As the story goes, many years ago, a boy died after accidentally jumping into a big pot of hot water when his mother was boiling potatoes. Since then, the house has reeked of boiled potatoes and been haunted by the ghost of the boy, according to witnesses. The house is currently standing unoccupied in what otherwise seems like a normal neighborhood in Bandung. As expected, it’s a popular ghost-hunting site with people from all over the country coming in the hope of smelling boiled potatoes when they are near.
Trunyan village is definitely not for the faint-hearted. On the shores of Lake Batur in the Kintamani area, the people of Trunyan neither cremate nor bury their dead. Instead, their bodies are left to rot in bamboo cages under the watchful eye of a fragrant tree that masks the smell of decay. Once the flesh has decomposed completely, the bones of the corpses are stacked neatly on the platform that leads to the Trunyan temple of death, unfortunately off-limits to the public as of now.