Along the fence of the school, there is a roll of nice trees. I was told that during World War II, the Japanese army used to hang prisoners’ head on those trees. During the war, the most common method of execution was to chop off one’s head. To warn the people so that they will not go against them, the Japanese army would hang the heads of executed prisoners’ on trees. Since the school was used as a Japanese station and for their prisoners, added to the fact that the trees were by the roadside, it became the best spot to serve that purpose.
The school has a guardhouse just off that roll of trees, where the gate is. There will be at least one policeman on duty there every night. The reason why the police was involved in such kind of duty, instead of just an ordinary guard, was not known to me.
One night, one of the policemen was on duty as usual at that guardhouse. Ahmad (name changed) has been attending duties at the guardhouse for countless number of times but he has not encountered any kind of the extraordinary.
On that fateful night, it seems to be just another quiet, warm night that he has to go through. He was listening to the radio while trying to keep himself awake just in case his superior come and check on him. At about 3 am, the inspector indeed appears. Ahmad felt a great sense of relief he did not fall asleep for that may caused him some sort of punishment.
He got off his chair and stood at the doorsteps waiting for the inspector to get near. He then saluted to him and said, “Good morning, sir!” The inspector saluted in return and greeted him back.
There was a long pause then. The inspector, with his hand still up and staring at Ahmad, just kept quiet for a while. Ahmad was starting to feel uncomfortable. Ahmad was about to open his mouth and asked if the inspector’s all right. Before any words could come out, the inspector’s head suddenly broke off from his body and dropped to the ground. Ahmad saw the head on the ground with its eyes still wide opened and the inspector still standing firm on its two feet.
Ahmad got really frightened and ran away at the next moment. He got home in a fright and was sick for several days. Then later, he tried to tell his colleagues what had happened but they were reluctant to believe him, though they did not dismiss his story completely either. The main reason they did not want to believe the story was that the said inspector was still seen in the police station as usual everyday.
The incident did not hinder Ahmad from continuing his duties as usual. Nevertheless, whenever he was on duty in the guardhouse, he would be wary of any noises around.
To his horror, the same inspector appears again one night several months later. He started to get panic the moment he saw the inspector walking towards the guardhouse from his car. He got out of the guardhouse and stood firmly. He felt like running away that precise moment but he told himself to be brave and stay on to see what will happen next. He was ready to run away once anything unusual happen. He can’t bear to see the inspector’s head on the ground with those wide-opened eyes anymore.
When the inspector got to the guardhouse, he greeted Ahmad first. Ahmad was speechless. He fear if he were to salute to him, the inspector’s head might fall off again. So, he just kept quiet and stared at the inspector. Waiting for him to response, the inspector also stood there quietly staring at him.
Ahmad thought, “Oh! Oh! The silence! Maybe this is the moment to run away.”
Just before he could move his feet and run, the inspector spoke and asked if he was all right. The inspector said he looked pale and sick. Then, Ahmad feeling confused that the inspector have spoken, started to wonder if the inspector was the same ‘inspector’ who visited him before.
Instead of answering the inspector, he put up his guts and started poking the inspector’s body to see if he is human. The felt the solid form of a human body but he was not convince yet. So, he pushed the inspector’s head instead — to see if the head would fall off.
Well, the head did not fall off to the ground but the inspector was very furious by then. He yelled at Ahmad condemning him for disrespect.
“What do you think you are doing? First of all, you never even greet your superior as he comes in. Then you started poking him with your fingers!” Ahmad was later punished for disrespect to a superior.
When the story was told to me by an ex-student of the school, a policeman from the same squad as Ahmad was presence. He overheard over story and interrupted to confirm that the story was true and Ahmad was never placed on duty in that guardhouse again after that incident.
According to Lee, this story has some connection to those ‘nice trees’ along the fence of the school. A lot of people, especially those working in the guardhouse through the nights have claimed to have seen figures on the trees, some without heads