The Old Wall Clock
I had an old wall clock that was possessed. It would function normally but when came midnight, it would stop working. All I had to do was push the pendulum to swing and it would work again—until come midnight again, of course.
At first, I thought it was the positions of the hands at midnight that were brushing against each other that caused the jam. But then, at mid day the clock never stopped. The mechanism worked exactly like it would at midnight, so why didn't the clock stop at mid day?
I was puzzled, so I decided to send the clock to my friend, Mohammed, who is a very skillful watch repairer.
After a day, Mohammed rang me up and advised me to take the clock back. "A strange thing happened," he said. "The clock, upon midnight, started to 'ding-dong non stop'." Those were his exact words. "I have to manually stop the pendulum from swinging to stop the clanging, you know."
I was tickled.
At the shop, Mohammed was looking tired and a little spooked. He said in Malay, "Jam kau masuk hantu, lah" (Your clock is possessed by an evil spirit) He told me to throw it away but I couldn't; it was my late father's favourite clock.
I remember the day my father brought this clock home. He was so proud of it. He hung it on the wall and dusted it everyday. He would wind it every month without fail. He never let the clock stop, not even once.
I remember one time when he was sick and lying in bed, he made my mother take care of the clock as if it were a living thing. The rest of us in the family found it peculiar that he was totally devoted to the clock.
Although tickled, I felt uneasy after what Mohammed told me about the clock being possessed that I left it unused for a couple of days. During those couple of days, I couldn't sleep very well. I kept dreaming of a giant with a huge club pounding on an enormous gong which gave me terrible headaches.
I decided then to take the clock to a Bomoh[psychic]. I knew my dreams were related to the clock for obvious reasons—the gong.
The psychic was a very old and frail woman who possessed powerful spiritual magic. She handled the clock carefully, then mumbled some unintelligible verses. She looked at me and said, "Yes, your clock is indeed possessed. And it's a Jinn. It is trapped in the clock and it is very angry."
I asked her how the jinn got inside the clock to begin with. She said it was put in there by my late father. He wanted the jinn to grant him special wishes. And, in return, the jinn had to be fed, and the clock, cleaned. My father had done all that as a ritual, but when he died, we didn't carry on the ritual. So, the Jinn felt neglected, and was very angry.
In retrospect, I do remember good things started to happen after my father bought the clock—My father got a raise, my sister who was unable to bear children, gave birth to a baby girl. Everyone was surprised, even the doctors. Yes, it's true, many good things did happen until my father died 5 years ago.
Maybe the Jinn's resentment had something to do with my wife's miscarriage 4 months ago. I don't want to find out.
I left the clock with the bomoh. I didn't want to have anything to do with it anymore; the memory of my father will come from my head and not from the clock.
And yes, things have improved since I left the clock with the bomoh.