Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Just an urban legend but Villa Nabila still draws the crowds
JOHOR BARU: If you think that everyone is scared and immediately put off by ghostly sightings and haunted houses, you are wrong.
There are people who will actually go out of the way to bear witness to unearthly appearances and other supernatural occurrences.
It’s a joy to them to be able to relate their ghostly tales later. Call them thrill seekers if you will but they are more professionally known as paranormal enthusiasts.
Such is the case with Villa Nabila, an abandoned bungalow located along Jalan Skudai here. The place recently became the talk of the town after news of a boy disappearing near it went viral online.
Villa Nabila was listed among the five spookiest places in Malaysia by a US-based travel website, Expedia.
Paranormal enthusiasts from around the country have flocked to view the dilapidated building, perched on the hillside facing the Straits of Johor.
Islamic medicine practitioner Marzuki Ismail told theantdaily that many are intrigued by spooky stories, especially if they are popularly shared through the Internet.
"People become inquisitive whenever something strange happened. However, not everyone is interested as some are sceptical while others are probably too easily spooked," he said.
Marzuki, who is also the deputy principal of an Islamic school in Selangor, urged the authorities to monitor the place so that it would not attract deviant activities.
“A signage should be erected to warn curious visitors," he advised.
Recently, 16-year-old Mohamad Izzat Izzudin Husin who went with his friends to the bungalow caused a sensation when he “disappeared” upon entering Villa Nabila.
As news of the missing boy quickly spread online, about 300 people were seen gathering in front of the abandoned bungalow, with cars lining up by the road side.
However, Mohamad Izzat was later found with his girlfriend of the same age, prompting the police to officially close the case.
"The Villa Nabila mystery has been solved. No unearthly being ‘held’ him. We found him healthy and well," said Johor police chief atuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff.
"The story of the boy's disappearance has been proven to be false. My advice is for everyone to stop spreading baseless rumours that 22 youths have also gone missing near the premises, and indirectly propagate superstitious beliefs," Mohd Mokhtar was quoted as saying.
Commenting on the latest development, Marzuki, who only shares his experience through his website to educate the public, said, "People should be responsible for what they share online. Sharing rumours of supernatural occurrences can be unhealthy. They should first consider the purpose of sharing such information."
The Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) had since erected barriers in front of the abandoned building to prevent the public from entering.
Yet, curious onlookers were still spotted parking their cars by the main road.
Reports have also surfaced that the previous owner of the abandoned bungalow was a Chinese businessman found guilty of criminal breach of trust.
The businessman was later sent to prison and all his assets, including the bungalow were frozen. He did not have a daughter named Nabila which indicates that the whole story surrounding the mysterious bungalow was merely an “urban legend”, claimed the report.
The Johor Tourism Department assistant director, however, said that the 'Villa Nabila' legend could attract a lot of tourists, especially those who like to visit spooky places.
Lokman Mustafa (theantdaily.com)