Woman Plagued By Mysterious Fires Calls In Paranormal Experts

Woman Plagued By Mysterious Fires Calls In Paranormal Experts

73 year old Zainab Sulaiman hugs Master Ong Q Leng for apparently solving her "spiritual fire" problem.

Since December, Zainab Sulaiman, of Penang, Malaysia has been dealing with a nerve racking problem with a reportedly paranormal source. She claims that fires, sometimes several at once, would mysteriously break out in her home, destroying her things and frightening her grandchildren. Convinced that she had an evil spirit haunting her residence, she invited some “experts” to fix the problem.

Since the bizarre fires began breaking out last year, destroying over 250 articles of clothing, along with prayer mats and other flammable items, Sulaiman has called in five different supernatural gurus, including an American couple well-versed in exorcisms and a group of Muslim “ghostbusters”.

While she had to turn away the American couple due to a language barrier, the “ghostbusters”, who go by the name of Darul Shifaq, spent the night in her small wooden home in January of this year, chanting Quranic verses and using blessed water to cleanse her collection of antiques, where the evil spirits were believed to reside.

Darul Shifaq leader Zakaria Ya told reporters that djinn or spirits rarely possess human beings, but have an attraction to items used in black magic ceremonies.

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“We have come across this sort of paranormal activity before, and her an­cient belongings may be the cause of the fires. Zainab could have inherited ancient keris or swords from her forefathers who could have practised black magic,” he said.

Despite their best efforts, the fires did not stop. In fact, according to Sulaiman, the outbursts just got worse.

Sulaiman's grinning granddaughters proudly show off their singed school uniforms

The flames continued to sprout up, spoiling food, destroying her granddaughters’ school uniforms, and someone – or something – would secretly turn on the gas stove. During an interview with the Sin Chew Daily, the weird flames reportedly appeared five separate times.

“I am afraid anything I do now may anger the spirits further,” she was quoted as saying.

Then she met spiritualist Master Ong Q Leng, from Seberang Prai, who after two individual trips to chase away djinn and provide spiritual shields, has apparently bested the evil spirits.

“I returned home after providing the shields on the first day but my instincts told me that there would be trouble and I returned to her house the next day and arrived just as fires began to erupt,” she told The Star.

Sulaiman was so pleased with the results that she travelled to Ong’s hometown to take her ten-strong family out for a nice seafood dinner.

“When my misery ended, I made up my mind that I would one day make a trip to Penang to pay her a visit. It is only right, as she had come all the way to my village to help me,” said Zainab.

Since the odd story of Salaiman’s fires were first reported last year, there has been speculation that her “spiritual fires” had a far simpler explanation than demons. Some armchair investigators claimed that the outbreaks were more likely attributed to the grandchildren who, in order to stay home from school, were burning their uniforms with the gas stove and blaming evil spirits for the singed clothing. It would certainly not be the first time that children’s pranks were presented as the probable cause for a major haunting.

Was the spoiled food ruined by "spiritual fires" or mold?

Another less-than-paranormal explanation might be mold. Many of the “burn marks” shown to investigators looked an awful lot like the kind of mold that begins to grow in a damp environment, such as an old wooden house. It would explain the odd spoiling of food, as well.

Perhaps the investigators should think to ask how the weather is comparing in Malaysia now that the “fires” are gone, to the weather when the outbreaks were commonplace. Is it more arid? Does it rain less now that in did in December?

Regardless of the cause, I’m convinced that the bizarre “spiritual fires” of Zainab Sulaiman’s home are not over. When they show up, on the other hand, depends on how angry the demons are, how badly the children don’t want to go to school, or how much it rains in the city of Penang.

For more, visit The Star or the Sin Chew Daily.


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Greg Newkirk

Greg Newkirk

Editor-In-Chief at Week In Weird
Writer, adventurer, and professional monster chaser, Greg Newkirk is the founder and Editor-In-Chief of Week In Weird, Director of The Traveling Museum of the Paranormal & Occult and one-half of the prolific investigative duo Planet Weird. Learn more about Greg.
Greg Newkirk
Greg Newkirk

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She need to get old man Zaffis on the case

Despite the patronising, sarcastic tone of the piece, I noted that no-one from the team decided to get off their behinds and go and take a look. Well, I did, back in February this year, and spent a day at the house. The burns were everywhere – it wasn’t mould, they were burns. There were also two outbreaks while I and a Star reporter were there, but nothing that couldn’t be simply faked. There are some interesting aspects to the case, but nothing I saw could be clearly labelled paranormal (whatever that means). And despite the author being “convinced” they’d… Read more »

Oh and a few other corrections – the case took place in Kota Bharu, which is on the eastern side of Malaysia, not Penang on the west. Sloppy!

The caption in relation to the photo is also wrong – its a pot of rice that Ms Zainab believed the djinn had dumped budu (a red-coloured fish sauce) into while her back was turned. A typical plot-type trick.

Thanks Greg – and its Paul 🙂 My point was more that – just maybe – some of the short news grabs are weirder than you think. Hey, if you guys want to talk to someone really interested in polts, drop me a line (my mails off the website link). Cheers Paul.

Hello, my name is Jimmy. I am looking for some information, and can’t seem to find anything online.There have been some odd fires that have started at places I’ve lived. When i was younger, i remember a fire burning down most of our garage where our dog stayed when he was outside. Fast forward 15 years, i was staying at a friends house for a couple months. I finished a cigarette, put it in the ashtray and went inside. Minutes later we looked outside and the whole ashtray was on fire. Fast forward 6-7 more years. I’m living with my… Read more »
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