I have met an awful lot of superstitious Cambodians since I’ve been here. I, myself, have returned to some of my own superstitious habits– though I haven’t gotten as far as holding my breath when driving past a cemetery yet. Even so, if I have a foreboding dream, everyone takes it so seriously that I do, too.
A few people I’m acquainted with have claimed to me that they have seen ghosts with their own eyes. One of my “distant cousins” said he woke up one night to see a bluish-white girl in a white dress sitting on the balcony railing of his house. He was so scared he put the blankets over his head until she “went away”.
There is even a haunted house outside of Kampong Cham Town a ways that was abandoned some time ago. Even though it is a large, very nice house (a mansion, by my standards), with lots of property and a garden, no one wants to move into it. The yard has grown unkempt and the flowering bushes are starting to take over the gates and walls surrounding the property. The people living around there say that even if you wanted to move into it, the house won’t let you! Apparently people have from time to time tried to stay the night there, and every time they wake up some time in the middle of the night to find they have been moved outside by some unknown force (ghosts, presumably). A monk even tried to sleep there one time, just to see if he could, and he, too, woke up in the wee hours because he was cold– and saw to his great surprise that he was not in the house, but in the yard! When I suggested that I wanted to try sleeping there, after some consideration it was agreed that it’d be no problem for me…’cause I’m a foreigner. Haha.