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Essays and fiction about hantu, the monsters of Malaysian lore.

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.

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

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