Of all the myths that I’d heard, the one that interested me most was about a local devil that its existence and presence were questionable.
When we talk about the devil in a certain area, then there are many kinds of it that people talk about. There is Kuntilanak, Sundel Bolong, Genderuwo, Dalbo, Tuyul, etc. The issue and myth are inevitable indeed, maybe it’s because of our culture and ethnicity, also because of a way of thinking which still believes in the mystical practice or ghostlike things, or maybe because that thing is considered interesting to be gossiped about.
When I was in Elementary School, in my village, Gedangan Village, there was a terror about a devil, one which I had not heard about before. That devil became the topic of conversation between me and some friends at school. We discussed about it in the middle of the lesson, in a break time, even when we went home from school we took the time to discuss about that devil that we just knew and heard. The gossip went on for a few days. Our teachers were also worried sometimes because of that story, not because they were afraid, but because we concentrated on telling that story about that devil more than listening to the lesson.
We didn’t know actually where the rumor about that devil came from. But that story became an interesting thing that was talked over at my school. That story came from one of my friends because it seemed that his neighbor had been haunted by that devil. In a short time, that devil became popular at my school and some other schools. It was proven when my friend and I were talking about it on our way home from school, there were children from another school who were talking about it too. So then we were talking about it together.
Why that devil became an intense conversation topic for us was because we had not heard about that devil story before. Usually, the devils that supposedly existed and we knew and we were afraid of, were the devils that we heard from our parents or grandparents’ tale. But it was different with this one. Many of my friends’ parents, including my parents, had never heard about it. It could be started from a mouth of a child our age which had high imagination, like the children everywhere.
That devil was called Lampor, a devil with a strange name and shape. It was strange because its habit was different from other devils that just haunted. Lampor had its own way and characteristic to haunt. It appeared from the house’s roof and it haunted people in many ways. One of my friends said that Lampor scared people by strangling. My other friend said that it scared people only by showing its scary face and shape. There were many versions that came up at that time, but the one thing that was always the same about the story was it always ended its victim or the person whom it scared by wrapping them in a shroud.
Although Lampor’s figure was rather scary, it also had a flaw. Apparently it had a strange and maybe funny anatomy. It had a strange backside. The backside was pointed so that it couldn’t haunt or wrap its victim if the victim slept or lay down on the floor. It was because it would have difficulty to reach the victim, because it had a difficulty or even couldn’t sit because of its pointed backside. If it had to strangle and wrap its victim who slept on the floor in a shroud, it also had to sit on the floor, and it surely would fall. However, if it had been clever, it could haunt its victim while lying flat on its stomach.
Because of the frequency of the conversation about that devil, the restlessness began to arise among us. We were afraid to sleep at night, scare of being haunted by Lampor. Including me, who didn’t want to sleep on the bed every night and preferred to sleep on the floor so that it would be difficult for The Lampor to reach me. That issue had been developing for a long time in my village, making the children didn’t dare to go out in the night because they were afraid. The parents, who were afraid too at that time or were just happy to use that phenomenon, also exaggerated it so that we didn’t go out often to play at night.
However, if you thought about it again, maybe Lampor was actually a good and responsible devil, because every time it haunted its victim to death, it didn’t forget to wrap its victim in a shroud so that the victim’s family didn’t have to bother anymore. Besides, the Lampor Devil surely needed much money to buy the shroud.