Bouts of hysteria after 'ghostly sightings'
Some 200 students of Sekolah Menengah Sains Dungun probably felt they were in a real live ghost story. They are convinced they saw ghosts flying around the school on Sunday -- in the classrooms, the dormitories and the assembly hall.
With many of the girls at the co-educational boarding school in hysteria, classes for the 600 students of the school were cancelled for the rest of the day.
On Monday, the hysteria repeated itself so the school was closed, and remained so as of yesterday. Many of the students who live nearby have been taken home by their parents, but the out-of-state students had no choice but to remain in their dormitories.
School administrators and the state Education Department did not want to comment, but one of the parents, Mazlan Ariffin, said his daughter said she had seen ghosts flying around the classroom.
"My daughter kept telling me that she saw the figure of a woman wearing all white flying around her classroom before closing in on her. She said she felt a sudden chill just before the ghostly figure reached her, and she just screamed," he said.
A student named Wati said the incident began just after the weekly school assembly on Sunday morning, when a Form Two girl started screaming uncontrollably, seemingly in fear of something.
"Then other students started to scream and they had to be taken back to their rooms. I felt sick to my stomach and my head hurt so much that I probably passed out. I don't remember much of what happened after that," she said.
Another parent, who did not want to be named, said the second day was no better as more students were affected and once again classes had to be cancelled.
"The school told me to come and pick up my daughter. At first she refused to leave and scolded me for no reason. It was only when we were a few kilometres away from the school that she managed to recite the "dua kalimah shahadat" verse and felt fine all of a sudden," she said.
There have been no classes for four days, but the school is making efforts to bring the situation back to normal.