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The toyol: an imp created from a dead fetus, a consummate thief. The penanggalan: a vampire whose head and entrails leave its body, to fly about in the night. The hantu tetek, who smothers victims between its massive breasts.

"Hantu" -- of Malaysian popular lore -- is typically translated as "ghost", though this isn't quite right; "spirit" or "monster" are better. Hantu are feared, often malevolent, highly variable.


Hantu! presents five short, interconnected essays about hantu -- musings about their place in the Malaysian psyche; thoughts about gender, genre, and writing about non-European things in an European language.

Hantu! also presents five short fiction pieces, each focusing on a made-up hantu, generated using the included Malaysian Hantu Generator -- a set of eight random tables.

A supplement to A Thousand Thousand Islands, an RPG zine series inspired by the material cultures, lived stories, and mythistories of Southeast Asia. 

For more information and print copies, visit athousandthousandislands.com.

By Zedeck Siew.



"It's a book of ghost stories, sort of. Some cultural essays. I like it when authors think very carefully about one particular moment or object or event. Zedeck does this extremely well."
- Skerples, Coins and Scrolls

"They're all very, very weird, by Western standards. So it's great for shaking up your idea of a monster might be like."
- Ben Milton, Questing Beast

"Zedeck’s accompanying essays put hantu into the context of the local now — a very real part of our polyglot reality ... In Malaysia, the line between fantasy and our own world is less clear."
- Tun Kai Poh, Role over Play Dead


Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this zine you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Hantu!_bookmarked_v2.pdf 2 MB

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