This year it’s the turn of Dr Elmi Zulkarnain Osman, a writer whose fame was triggered by his writings on Wattpad and who is admired by his contemporaries as a writer of horror stories. His bookcontaininghis spooky ghost stories are so influential I feel that they must be read.
This collection of supernatural – paranormal horror ghost stories from Singaporean horror writer, Dr Elmi Zulkarnain Osman is perfect for those who love a little paranormal in their library.Although all the stories in this anthology are works of fiction but they are not purely the works of his imagination but based on true events and real stories. Nowadays, we still love hearing about phantasms, ghosts, ghouls, and goblins. It's easy to see why. Humanity always has that macabre, morbid interest in the unknown and the dead. Ghost story books and horror novels are, have been, and always will be captivating, because they make for some of the most disturbing books ever written.
Stillborn - The Legend of Pontianak and Other Supernatural Ghost Stories collects eleven of Dr Elmi’s most gruesome performances, including a splendidly terse exorcism- “The Exorcism of Sarah Sullivan” and the much-anticipated “Death Battle 2019 – An Urban Legend”, a peculiar fictionabout the Aka Manto, a malicious Japanese urban legend who kills people at public and school toilets.
In stories such as “Hana and the Haunted House”, a devilish vow between a mother and a lost soul turned her daughter, Hana into an emotionless soul, a lost person. Not only is the book about supernatural terror, but it also takes a huge emotional toll. It really makes you question the lengths you would go to for the ones you love.
Scariest Excerpts from Stillborn - The Legend of Pontianak and Other Supernatural Ghost Stories
The Exorcism of Sarah Sullivan
Standout Quote:“Sarah threw her head back with an audible snap and flung herself into the ceiling. It held her by her wrists. Her body lay above them all, arms and legs spread and stretched; Sarah’s stomach sagged and writhed in furious pelvic thrusts. Those green eyes rolled into the back of her head in hiding as a hyena laughed through her lips. And when her lungs were drained of air and there wasn’t a single once of oxygen to spare, she collapsed back into the bed and threw up. After a moment of silence, an aggressively loud snore filled the room.”
Stillborn - The Legend of Pontianak
Standout Quote:“The bathroom walls were a crimson mess, and Ady’s dead body was sprawled out on the floor. The creature kneeled down next to him, feeding. It was a horrific sight, to see this monster with its teeth sinking tireless into a man's breathless body. Ady's eyes were removed from his orbits, and his mouth was still open, from his attempt to scream. Hungry growls filled up the bathroom, while Ady's interior was brutally devoured. On the face of the creature was contemptuous pleasure, without any mercy towards the pale and disfigured human being in front of it. It was atrociously heinous.”
The Witch Doctor of New York
Standout Quote:“Richard wanted to protest more but didn’t: he had no backbone after all. Gina arrived at 7 on the dot. She made sure to arrive early since they had a long night ahead. As soon as she arrived, all the children, minus Elizabeth, were sent to bed. It took Gina two hours to prepare everyone for the ritual. It involved putting a white powder on their forehead while Gina said a few prayers in Old Latin. And this was only the beginning.”
Night of the Living Pocong (pronounced /po•chong/)
Standout Quote:“He gasped, jumping of his skin and quickly attempting to survey the car park again with his flashlight. Eventually, as the sound of the skin crawling moan was repeated, Adams flashlight finally picked two, almost humanoid figures, out of the darkness. And although they were shaped and essentially stood as if they were humans, they were shrouded from head to toe in cheap, sack like material and were bent into an unnatural, painful looking position. Adam, carefully attempted to step calmly and slowly backwards away from them.”
Death Battle 2019 – An Urban Legend
Standout Quote:“As Aka Manto flew around the room faster and faster, the green ball of energy chased after him, increasing in size with each circuit of the room it completed, until finally it was big enough to catch the red cape within its grasp, and then shrunk inside, with the ghoul inside it, until it was small enough to fit back inside the fist-sized, metallic pyramid that had catapulted it into the air, sat upon the technical tripod system Dominic had devised. And with that we had caught our first, live supernatural, Urban Legend.”
1. The Exorcism of Sarah Sullivan
2. Dark Times in Kuching - The Penanggalan
3. A Family of Three - The Fiendish Union with an Incubus
4. Stillborn – The Legend of Pontianak
5. Hana and the Haunted House
7. The Witch Doctor of New York
8. Dark Tourism – Trunyan Cemetery on the Skull Island of Bali
9. Night of the Living Pocong
10. Adrian Lim – The Killer Healer
11. Death Battle 2019 – A Japanese Urban Legend (Aka Manto)
“Stillborn – The Legend of Pontianak and Other Supernatural Ghost Stories” by Dr Elmi Zulkarnain Osman petrified the absolute hell out of me. I'm not one to be startled by things, but at one point while reading this book, I had to turn on all of the lights in my house just to feel safe.
This book is super high up on my list of best horror books in terms of creativity, slow burn terror, and ideas that have haunted me for weeks.The stories in Dr Elmi’s book aredefinitely spooky and contains some incredibly disturbing stuff.It's one I could read over and over again and still be completely hysterically horrified by it.
I was unable to put down the book, but I was also afraid to look over my shoulder. I recommend this horror – paranormal book to anyone who likes the mystical, supernatural, ghosts, stunning storytelling, and has an affinity for spooky haunted houses.
Reviewed by Christine Hettler, Independent Book Review