The Man in the Picture

Posted on April 23, 2010

I have many ghost encounter experienced. Some hair raising and some I just keep in myself.

This story is way back year 2003 when I was working in Cambodia. I am a homebody person and I enjoy staying in the four walls of my room than going outside. I am the only female expat hired by my company and the three were male Koreans. I am holding the merchandiser position and this is the reason why I have to spend longer hours in the office even after working time. Sometimes I continue my work in my room. I sometimes go back to our staff house late night 11 pm or 12pm. The reason for going back late is because of the time differences between our customers. Most of our customers are American and European.This is just normal time for me because I need to get all the information I needed for the next days work in the factory. If I failed to communicate with our customers in one night, it can be a problem for us and our production in the next morning and one failure communication will cost a lot for our company.

Friday at 6pm, I stop for a moment and went back to our staff house to take my dinner. After I finished, I asked our cooker named “Kimni” to help me in the office and stay there while waiting for me to finish. Since we became friends, Kimni never said NO to me. She is always there willing to help me and wait for me until I finished my work. We take a walk back to the office and while I am doing my work, the company driver called Kimni to come back to our staff house. My boss has come back from Korea and needs to have his dinner. Kimni said she will come back after our boss finished with his dinner. Being alone in the office, I always have the feeling of being watched. If I am feeling like this, my eyes will always focused on our “show room” filled with different kinds of sample garments, styles and dummies in different sizes.

That night is too eerie and made me nervous because I heard somebody’s breath right beside my office table. My legs started to shake and my hearth beat so fast. The hair at my back started to feel as if somebody is touching it. Suddenly my computer starts to play trick on me by turning off by itself. Emails gone and I started again and my eyes accidentally throws a sight to the office glass window besides me. There I saw a very clear image of a man and woman staring at me. I felt totally nervous and with my body shaking, I run out of the office and went back to our staff house. Luckily my boss is already resting in his room. I went to Kimni’s room and asked her to help me because I will closed the office and will continue my work on the next day. We went back and I sent few more important emails and back to my room. I can’t forget the face of the two image that I saw. The man is just looking normal but the woman looks terribly angry in her eyes. That night I told Kimni to sleep in my room and she did.

The next day, Saturday, I did not do overtime for fear of what I saw the other night. Because all Koreans went out and there is only me and Kimni in the house, I told her to go with me. We take a walk and spend our lunch in a fast food chain. We both enjoyed and I asked her about Cambodia’s history. Kimni is just the same age as me. She hated Polpot so much because of the experienced she had when she was a child. The reason why she become close to me is because of what I saw in her body. Scratches of knife, bullet mark in her body. I really felt bad for what she endured. The day I witness all the scars in her body made me realize that during my childhood days, I am happily living with my family but there is this girl crying for help but no one came to rescue until she lost both her parent and brothers. She speak little English and it is just enough for us to understand each other.

I told her I want to see the killing fields and the Toul sleng Museum. She said we don’t have time to visit the killing fields but she can take me to Toul Sleng Museum. I told her, “OK, let’s go there”. Before we went there, she advise me not to go inside the room of those victims by Khemer Rouge. I must stay outside the room and just look the inside of the room from the outside. I said, yes.

We went there and take a tour at the Museum. There is a rule in making a tour at the museum. We have to start at the very first building. Toul sleng is a former school for children in which Polpot converted the place to a killing chamber for innocent victims of the Khemer Rouge; babies, children, man, woman, old people and even disabled people is not free from his inhuman rule and the picture of these victims as if talking and begging for justice. On the first building, I forgot what Kimni told me. On the 3rd room, I went inside together with some people because of curiosity. There I saw the picture of the man who died inside that room and all the tools that is being use by Khemer Rouge to torture him and give him physical pain.Inside I felt terribly eerie and tears fell as if I am the one feeling the same pain as him. You can feel the presence and spirit of the victims inside all those rooms. There were noises from the tourist talking about the Khemer Rouge but why is it that you can still feel the eerie sound although there were noises from those curious people who visited the museum.

Kimni saw me inside the room and asked me to come out. I immediately come out and she was so angry at me why I did not listen to her. She said we have to come back before sunset and I must take a shower. Sleep early and don’t wait till 9 pm before sleep. She said I must sleep early because if I sleep late at night, it will be difficult for me to go to sleep because I did not listen to her. I invited her to sleep with me but this time she denied because her son is sick and she must come back home. Meaning I am alone in our staff house. Nine pm, I felt uneasy and my body is sweating although the air-condition is open. I can’t sleep and I remember what Kimni told me. The Koreans and my boss is not in their room yet and I am feeling kind of nervous. I went outside my room and watched movie but when I open the television, HBO is not friendly at the time. They were playing a horror movie. I changed it to a cartoon movie till I felt I want to sleep. I don’t want to go inside my room because I feel the presence inside. I took a nap in a sofa and slept there. Midnight, the light turned off and it wakes me up. I can sense the spirit in the house. I look at the wall clock and it is 2am but I am trying to ignore those feelings. By showing little courage to myself, I went inside my room and open the emergency light in my room and lay down on my bed. I slept and 3 am I suddenly awoke for what reason. When I opened my eyes, I saw the image of the man in the Toul sleng museum laying besides me and the woman I saw during the night in the office, her image inside the mirror closet. I can’t move due to my fear and can’t even shout loudly as if there is no voice coming out of my mouth. I closed my eyes and covered myself with blanket. I felt the cold air covering my body. I was in this situation when suddenly I heard noises from the outside of my room. The Koreans came back and I felt some kind of relief knowing that I am not alone now. My body is filled with sweat and then the Koreans opened the generator. Lights open, air conditioned open although my body is still shaking until I fell to sleep.

In my mind I noticed that the man in the picture at the Toul Sleng Museum is the same man I saw in the glass window in the office but I am wondering who is the woman and why is she angry looking at me like that. I told Kimni about this experience and she said I have to be ready because the spirit of this dead victim likes to follow in those people who visits the Toul Sleng Museum and it is true. I felt their presence for one week. Kimni said sometimes the people who visit the Toul Sleng Museum can feel the presence of this dead spirit and will stay for over two weeks to people that go inside their death chamber. Kimni has no answer on who the woman was. This story also made her scare.

If there is any skeptics here, you can try to make a tour in Cambodia’s “Toul Sleng Museum” and ready yourself when the spirit followed in you wherever you go. They will surely stay for one or two weeks with you inside your room. You can feel the presence and will sometimes show their dark image.

Sent in by Arlyn, Copyright 2010

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Tags: Cambodia, Toul Sleng Museum

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25 Responses to “The Man in the Picture”
  1. anonymous says:

    i’ve visited the museum before and i’m cambodian.
    and no spirit followed me.
    hope your alright.

    • arlyn says:

      Hi Anonymous,

      I am perfectly alright. But you know visiting the Toul Sleng Museum really gave me a very unforgettable experience. The spirit of the man followed me and that is also the reason why my friend Kimni had asked me not to go inside.

      Inside each room you can really feel the presence as it seems they welcomed our visits.

      I got the chance to visit the killing field as they are everywhere in Cambodia, but Toul Sleng museum really gave me a chill..

      I am not the only foreigner who has this experienced but a lot and mostly were woman.

  2. anna says:

    ARLYN – i think maybe the lady is married to the guy and shes mad at you because he watched you and she was jelous.i dont know sounds weird i know.and if it true about the spirt comes for 1 or 2 weeks why not longer?if its true i would LOVE to go there and see what would happen to me.well just be happy that nothin happened to you.maybe your working tooo hard and your over tired.thanks for the story.

    • arlyn says:

      Hi Anna,

      I don’t know also why the spirit stayed with me for 1 week. I know it sounds kind of weird, but that is the truth. And it is not only me who has this kind of experienced but most of my friends too. About the woman, until now I am puzzled on who she really was?

      When I went inside the room and I noticed the picture, it made my eyes look to him closely and focused on his image. The man in the picture room looks handsome. But you know by looking to those black and white pictures will only make you hate people like Pol – Pot for killing innocent people.

      Seeing those victims will make your eyes wet with tears and maybe that is one reason why the spirit followed me and this is also what my friend Kimni has told me.

      And when you are looking to the pictures in each room and seeing the tools which the Khemer Rouge used to torture this innocent people, you will only have three words in mind and all three have a question mark at the end. WHY? HOW? WHAT?

      Anna you can visit Cambodia and feel the spirit in the Toul Sleng Museum. Actually, Toul Sleng Museum and the Killing Field are not a good place to visit because it will only break your heart by seeing those victims. But if you want to know some of Cambodia, try to give a visit.

      If you want to go to Cambodia, try to give a visit to the Angkor Watt. It is such an amazing place.

      • anna says:

        thanks for the reply and i would love to go there .it is really said about the people .nobody deserves bad you couldnt take some pictures of the guy.even though he doesnt deserve having his picture taken.that is werid about the lady.have you done some reserch to finding out who it is?maybe someone there would know.thanks

        • arlyn says:

          Hi Anna,

          I did not take any photos because my friend Kimni did not allow me to bring my Camera.

          I agree with you. The man doesn’t deserve to be put his pictures hanging on the wall. Looking at the picture of this man on the wall, he seem to be a very intellectual person, a middle class man.

          About the woman. I still don’t have any idea.

          If you want to visit Cambodia and go to this museum, I am sure that you can also feel the same feelings I had before.

  3. big barney says:

    that was more of a history lesson and description of their country rather than a scary story….not impressed!

    • Caretaker says:

      big barney – the website is True Ghost Tales not Scary Ghost Tales :) We have lots of stories and articles here so we cant expect any one person to like all of them.

      • arlyn says:

        Caretaker thanks.

        Hi Big Barney, I think I don’t need to impress you or anyone because what I told in here were base in my own experience in the Toul Sleng Museum.

        And I also think that it is not a crime to talked about Cambodia’s History and some fascinating places there. I am not a Cambodian but I do appreciate the secret beauty of this small country.

        If you don’t like my post, I can understand that but you can never stop me from sharing my experience and you also must understand that Historical places were the most haunted places composed of paranormal entities and were having lots of different energies.

        • anna says:

          you go.i would not want you too stop writing stuff here.people like you keep people like me and everyone her stay on this site and read what you guys thanks to the caretakers of corse and thats to all of you for writing your stories.and no i am not kissing butt thats how i feel.

    • Pat says:

      Do you ever have anyhting positive to say??? Wjat experiences have YOU had???? This was VERY scary!

      • AnNa says:

        he is seems like evey story here is not good eough.its too boring or not scary enough.if he wants to like that why be on here then.

  4. ceris says:

    hi there,
    im from the U.K and i didnt now nothing about Khmer Rouge or the victums of it, but i would love to learn more about it,and the history behind it, cant beleave what you so, did ever find out about the woman how was so angry,but why was she ?

    • arlyn says:

      Hi Ceris,

      I don’t have idea also why she was looking angry at me. When I first came to Cambodia and went inside my room in our staff house, I already felt a different kind of cold air. Cambodia is a hot climate country like the Philippines but inside my room, it was different.

      Some office staff in our company had also seen this woman in an angry eyes. Their idea was that she might be one of the innocent victims by the Khemer Rouge. They said our company site is also a former killing fields but I am not sure if that was true. But sometimes I like to believe in them because they were the local people of Cambodia and they knows more about it’s history, locations of the killing fields (although many) – they knew it better than me.

      • anna says:

        i went on line and that place is i know why you went there.i would love to go to some places but the only two places i went was winnipeg(FOR MY EX FRIEND.)and MEXICO.

  5. Cool Story says:

    Thanks, Arlyn for your story of true courage and survival. Never mind the little comments. I enjoyed your story and am enriched by reading it.

  6. Carlos says:

    Wow.Now this story really scared me.It gave me the chills while I was reading it.And I absolutely do believe you.There definitely seems to be strong,depressing,creepy energy presence at sites of torture and inhuman practices.You also seem like a very brave person and I credit you for that.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Cool Story and Carlos.

  8. Jia Hui says:

    I just went there recently in April. I went in to the rooms at S21 as well but luckily nothing happened to me as I was wearing an amulet cos I’m a Buddhist/ Taoist. The visit does make one feel down and upset for the rest of the day and the photographs of the prisoners are quite intimidating as they seemed to be staring out at you from the film.
    Since young, I’ve been told that when one person is down on his/her luck or when he or she is feeling tired, stressed or having negative emotions, they are more prone to seeing spirits or attracting them. The spirits in Tuol Sleng are mostly believed to be spirits full of grieve and hatred as they are mostly innocent of their ‘confessions’ during in Pol Pot regime. Those spirits are the ones that will haunt the place or people until justice is found to them.
    If you went to Choeung Ek killing field, you will experience even worse than this cos you will be stepping on mass graves. I actually saw tattered cloths emerging from the soil as I walked around the mass graves and I believe those are the ‘clothes’ worn by prisoners before they were being pushed into the pits and that I might have accidentally stepped on some bones. There are definitely more bones that have yet to be uncovered as we saw cordoned off areas that has some bones protruding out from the soil when rain wash over it and carries away the top soil. The most unbelievable thin is that, some of the dead prisoner�s clothes are removed from them before they are being pushed into the pit so that the clothes can be passed on to be re-used by new prisoners. -.-
    Thanks for sharing your experience and do be be-careful to listen to the local’s advices and beliefs or wear a cross or amulet.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Jia Hui,

      Thanks. You are lucky that you did not experienced what me and friends had experienced at the Toul Sleng Museum. I agree with you. The photos of those prisoners are seemed to be looking to each visitors and the victims eye are all frightening.

      “Quote”, I�ve been told that when one person is down on his/her luck or when he or she is feeling tired, stressed or having negative emotions, they are more prone to seeing spirits or attracting them.

      Jia Hui when I felt this kind of chill and intimidation, I am not tired or not even having some kind of stress. I also doesn’t have any negative emotions against the after life because I truly believe in life after death.

      I been in another killing field in Cambodia but I am not sure if this is the one you were talking. There are millions of skull in that place. I did not feel any scary feelings there, just a slight chill and the hair on my skin rise as if it is being magnet by something.

      I agree with you. Those spirits will haunt the place and people until they get the justice that they deserved.

      But I have a question to you now. Since most people who had committed this brutal killings were dead, how do you think those spirit can get their justice? I am just wondering, since all of them are all in other dimension, these spirit can claim justice to those dead people who had killed them, right?

      How about the Buddhist belief about this spirit? Do you think you can share more?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Jia Hui. But when I went at the Toul Sleng Museum, I am not tired, not having stress and also I don’t have negative feelings against the other world because I believe in life after death. Sometimes I can see things, sometimes I can just feel a presence.

      I agree with you that those photos are seemed to be watching all the visitors at the Toul Sleng Museum. I been in other parts of Killing Fields in Cambodia but I am not sure if you were talking about the killing fields with so many skull in a very tall glass container. I been to this one but I did not feel anything except the chills and the hair on my skin rise as if it is being magnet by something.

      You said in your comment that those spirit won’t be able to be at peace unless that justice is served to them. But as far as I know, most guilty people of the Khemer Rouge regime were already dead. So how the innocent spirit (victims) can claim justice? Since they are all in another dimension and I am just wondering, are they not seeing each other in the other world? Just curious.

  9. arlyn says:

    Thanks Jia Hui.

    I been in Chuong Ek Killing fields and in this place I did not feel the same thing as I have in the Toul Sleng Museum. In Chuong Ek I only feel that the hair on my skin rise as if it is being magnet by something.

    At the Toul Sleng, what I felt can really make me insane after going back home. When I went at the Toul Sleng Museum, I am not tired and not in stress. I don’t even have negative feelings against the other dimension because I believe in life after death.
    You know, it is not only me who has this kind of feelings but many foreigners / expat who has been to Toul Sleng have the same feeling as I am.

    About your comment that those spirits will not be rested unless they get the justice that they deserved, but I was wondering, all the Khemer Rouge officials were dead. So how can the spirits get justice from them.

    Maybe, to scare people is what these spirits are doing because they still don’t know that they are dead? Or they are searching for something or someone close to them.

  10. Jia Hui says:

    In most cases of haunted houses, spirits still haunt the place because unjustice have been done to them such as rape+ murder, suicide cases, etc and its something to do with fengshui of the site as well. Sometimes it is believed that the spirits are there to look for a ‘subsitude’ whom they can possess or to drag another victim whose ‘yang’ is low. People who are feeling down or downon luck are more prone to having a low ‘yang’ and thus more prone to seeing spirits as spirits are ‘yin’. Its rather hard to explain, check out some taoism stuff on yin and yang to understand better.� I was thinking that may be Tuol Sleng is an enclosed area that’s why it makes one feel more presence. In Buddhist/ Taoism belief, a crime scene/ accident area or anywhere where a death has taken place, a ritual should be done for the deceased so as to enable them to pass on to the other world. However, sometimes where the spirits are filled with grievences/ injustice, even priest/monks are unable to remove them or persuade them to leave the place. I felt that if the trial on the remaining leaders especially Kang Kek Iew might be the justice that will free the spirits from Tuol Sleng. The haunting of Tuol Sleng might be one way which they voice out injustice that are done to them. Quite difficult to explain whether the spirits of Tuol Sleng victims will meet the KR leaders cos it depends on where they report to after they pass on. Its about Karma and reincarnaton though, if you can understand mandarin then there are some videos uploaded on youtube that explains about spirits haunting and personal experiences.

    • arlyn says:

      Hi Jia Hui,

      I opened the web site for You Tube but they were talking of Chinese and I could not understand. Is there any english for this?

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