Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Something Sounded in the Night

This is the guesthouse I stayed in Chiang Mai when I backpacked there in November last year. I won't reveal it's name because of the story I am about to tell you.

I stumbled upon this guesthouse while looking for a cheaper and more strategically located alternative after putting up my first night in Chiang Mai in another guesthouse.

Anyway, this guesthouse is strategically located within walking distance to many places of interest in Chiang Mai. With rates at only THB200 per night for a queen sized bed with attached bathroom and hot water, what more could I ask for.

After transfering my stuff to this new place, I happily checked-in without a faintest idea what awaited me during the next 3 nights.

I hit the sack early that night after an exhausting day exploring Chiang Mai.

Between 3.00am and 4.00am, what sounded like the tinkering of a bell started to break the silence of the night. The noise grew louder and louder and then it began ... the most bloodcurling, spine chilling dog howl I've ever heard began resonating in the night.

What made the insident scarier was the sounds felt like they were just outside my window. I was petrified out of my wits and was tempted to look out of the window but didn't for fear of what I might see. So I pulled the blanket tighter and closed my ears with pillows to block out the noise.

The sounds would last for about 5 minutes. You might think that 5 minutes is not long. But when it's 5 minutes of sheer horror, it feels like an unending nightmare. Theory of relativity at work here ...

Every night when the bell starts tinkering and the dogs start howling, I reminded myself to ask the owner of the guesthouse the next day. Or to look if there's a temple beside the guesthouse. But somehow I always forget because of the various activities that kept me occupied.

The next time I visit Chiang Mai, I'll return to the guesthouse and ask the owner. Till then, the sounds of the tinkering bell and bloodcurling howl will remain a mystery amongst my travel adventures.

"It came with the wind through the silence of the night, a long, deep mutter, then a rising howl, and then the sad moan in which it died away. Again and again it sounded, the whole air throbbing with it, strident, wild, menacing." - The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Canon Doyle


Salt N Turmeric said...

alamak. i tot at the end of the post id find out whts the noise. damn scary. did u get to sleep at all tht night?

Julie Lim said...

Managed to sleep after the howls ended. Oh yeah, I said my prayers too, in case it was the supernatural outside the window.

Queen of hearts said...

Spooky indeed! Reminds me of an experience I had when I was about 12, in Hotel Perdana, Kota Bharu.
I remembered waking up at 3am to use my nebulizer. When I was done, I climbed up onto the bed when I heard water dripping, coming from the toilet. It started softly then it got louder and a voice of a lady filled the room (crying). I didn't understand what she was saying but it was darn scary. Maybe it was in thai (??). Just like you, I pulled my blanket and shut my eyes 'pretending' not to hear anything. I wasn't alone on the bed. I had 3 sisters sleeping on that king size bed but I was too scared to wake them up because I was imagining their eyes will turn all white and they'll grow fangs.
I told my sisters and parents the next day but my parents didn't say anything and my eldest didn't believe me. I guess they'll never will...

Julie Lim said...

Queen of Hearts,

Dripping water and crying woman would make any person wet their pants lah. You were very brave especially when you were only 12-years-old!

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