Pocong in English: 10 Scary Facts About Pocong & What to Do If You See a Pocong


Last Updated on 2023-06-13 , 12:36 pm

Discovering the Pocong: Unraveling Its Eerie Mysteries

Welcome to Southeast Asia, a region rich with myths and folklores that will chill your spine. Among these enigmatic tales, none is quite as fear-inducing as the story of the Pocong. Often dubbed the “scariest one out there,” it’s time we dive into the Pocong meaning and learn what to do if you see a Pocong.

From its spine-chilling origins to its ghoulish appearance, here are 10 facts about the Pocong (or Pochong, as it’s sometimes called) that’ll make your hair stand on end. You may be surprised to learn that the last fact may inspire courage instead of fear.

What is Pocong? Delving into Its Spooky Origins

Traditionally known as Hantu Bungkus (The Wrapped Ghost) in Malaysia or the shroud ghost, the Pocong is an ominous spirit hailing from Indonesia. This ghostly figure is wrapped in a white shroud, a piece of cloth used in Muslim burials to cover the deceased’s body. Ties are securely fastened over the head, under the feet, and around the neck, forming what’s known in English as the “Pocong face.”

The Supernatural Significance of the Ties

In many traditions, it’s believed that the soul of the departed lingers on earth for 40 days after death. If the ties encasing the body are not released during this time, the corpse would morph into the terrifying form of a Pocong.

When these ties are finally released, the soul is believed to cross over to the afterlife, its earthly ties severed.

A Peek at the Pocong Face: Its Ghastly Appearance

The appearance of a Pocong varies, depending on the state of the deceased’s body when they died and the level of the corpse’s decomposition. If years have passed since the person’s death, the Pocong will present a more skeletal visage. If the death is more recent, the Pocong might eerily resemble the person in life.


However, Pocongs are most commonly described as possessing a pale green, shriveled, decaying face with two deep, empty holes where their eyes once resided.

Here’s how one would look like:

The Pocong in Motion: Hopping Specters

Unable to move like a living person due to the ties binding their feet, Pocongs have a rather unique method of locomotion. They hop along roads, bounding forward until they encounter an unsuspecting person. Rolling on the ground is also within their eerie repertoire of movements.


Before you dismiss these hopping horrors as harmless, consider this: a single leap from a Pocong can cover up to an astounding 50 meters. There are also tales that suggest these spirits can float, defying gravity in their relentless pursuit.

Variations on the Theme: The Jumping Vampire

Similar to the Nasi Kang Kang folklore, there are multiple versions of the Pocong tale. In Chinese folklore, the Jiangshi, known as the Chinese hopping vampire, also kills living beings to absorb their life force at night. This is believed to happen because the spirit possesses the body due to suicide, an unnatural death, or just to stir up trouble.

Pocong Habitats: Where to Find Them

Unaffected by the laws of gravity, Pocongs can ‘teleport’, materializing anywhere from their grave to their former homes. But for some peculiar reason, they are most often encountered near banana trees, where small colonies of Pocongs have been reported to gather.

The Eerie Presence of a Pocong

Animism expert associate professor Dr Zainal Abidin Borhan provides a chilling description: “When these ghosts appear, the place tends to turn eerie. Their faces look ugly and they are smelly.” It seems that the Pocong shares these spine-chilling traits with many other spectral beings.

The Unique Plastic Pocong

In Jakarta, there exists a tale of a plastic Pocong. This story revolves around a pregnant woman tragically murdered by her boyfriend. After an autopsy, the body continued to bleed, leading the authorities to cover her with plastic along with the traditional shroud. It’s believed that this plastic Pocong wants to be liberated from its synthetic enclosure.

The Red Pocong: An Aggressive Specter

Not all Pocongs are created equal. The red Pocong, symbolizing anger and vengeance, is an aggressive spirit seeking revenge for an unpleasant death. This phantom is believed to be more likely to attack the living unprovoked, leading many to regard the red Pocong as a leader among its kind.

An Offer of a Hug?

Our final fact might seem bizarre, but it’s steeped in folklore: supposedly, if you muster the courage to hug a Pocong and subsequently untie its knots, releasing the spirit, it could bestow upon you considerable wealth as a token of gratitude.

Exploring the world of the Pocong isn’t for the faint-hearted, but knowing what to do if you see a Pocong might just turn a scary encounter into an opportunity for a supernatural windfall.

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