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The Ghostly Whistle People of Indonesia

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Forests have always had a hold and held an allure over humankind since the very beginning. The woods have played an important role in countless myths, legends, and tales across pretty much every corner of the earth, harboring mysteries and secrets that have always held us in thrall. These are places of myth, magic, and monsters, and one place where there have long been tales of mysterious forest spirits are the lands of Malaysia, Borneo, and Indonesia, where there has long been said to exist a race of inter-dimensional, ghostly entities that may or may not be strictly confined to myth.

Deep within the jungles of the Malay Peninsula and in Borneo and Indonesia has long been said to dwell a clan of supernatural beings variously called “The Hidden People,” “The People of Light,” and “The Whistle People,” with the native Malays calling them the Orang Bunian, which comes from the word bunyi, meaning “sound.” The name springs from their most notable feature, being that they are often heard but not seen, their presence known from an eerie whistling noise, or sometimes mysterious shouting or singing that echoes through the forest. They are found throughout the tales of the Malaysians, as well as in Bruneian and Indonesian folklore, and if they are seen at all are usually described as ghostly pale, slender, and often incredibly beautiful humanoids, their faces without a philtrum line, having pointed ears, and they are dressed in traditional garb, a sort of eastern counterpart to the legends of elves.



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