Like in many other countries, in Indonesia also have a medium to communicate with the spirits of the dead. If you know a game called Ouija Board, it has a similar rules though the way the communication is done may be somewhat different. Jailangkung, such name given to this game, which was quite popular among the Javanese people of the past. In one secluded room, a group of about 3 - 5 people sits encircling two men holding a doll (A bamboo cross clothed with a child's shirt is tied to the upper part of the handle of the basket). On top of the bamboo cross, a coconut shell is so placed that the whole thing looks just like a doll. A pencil or chalk, to be used for writing, attached to the lower side of the doll. The burning of the incense starts, and smoke begins to billow, transmitting, as it spreads across the room, a certain aroma. There is complete silence in the room now and everyone looks solemn, as if they are attending a funeral. All eyes are focused on the basket, which is now being held higher up by the two persons to ensure that it will have all the agility it needs when the time comes for it to write.The leader of the group, whose role is more like a shaman, sits right in front of the doll, which they called "jailangkung." He then starts murmuring the mantra :

In Javanese language :
"Jailangkung, jalangseng...
ning kene ana pesta...
jane mung pesta elek...

Teko rak dipetuk, balik rak diterke"
(Datang tak dijemput, pulang tak diantar)
Jailangkung, jailangseng ayo teka..
In English :
"Jailangkung, jailangseng...
there is a party here...
just a small party...

Arrive here by yourself, go home by yourself"
Jailangkung, jailangseng, come to me...."

The shaman keep repeat it until the doll turns heavy, a sign that someone's spirit is entering it. Thus, as soon as the two persons holding the doll give him a nod to signal that they are being visited by a spirit, which happens to pass by, the leader immediately asks the Jailangkung, "What's your name ?" Though slowly, yet surely, the Jailangkung moves the pencil to write his name on a piece of paper that has intentionally been prepared earlier. Incredible ! How is it possible that only a doll with a pencil attached to it can write so clearly ? Now, just imagine that you are at the moment holding the doll, by yourself, trying to move it so as to write something. Difficult, isn't it ? And yet you are doing it alone. So just imagine how frustrating it can be for any two persons working under natural condition to do such writing, because each will be pushing and pulling the doll in different directions.

The shaman then asks another question : "Where are you from ?" This second question is also answered in writing. The Jailangkung writes down his address, slowly yet clearly. And the questioning and answering goes on and on. Astonishing indeed ! All the questions are answered correctly. In fact, the Jailangkung can even tell the secrets of everyone present in that room.

But, this game could be really dangerous, if the players, especially the shaman could not remove and getting back the spirit from it belongs. If this happen, and the spirit getting angry, it can possess the players one by one. And it will be very difficult to remove the spirit that possess the player's body. Yet, the question remains : What is the Jailangkung actually ? Is it a spirit ? Is the Jailangkung just a lingering, inquisitive spirit that happens to come by ? Or is there any other power that is logically and rationally comprehensible ?How could it be that the Jailangkung can have the answers to all of the questions set forth by the participants of the game?

(Source : Taken from many sources)
Jailangkung Jailangkung Reviewed by Tripzibit on 18:32 Rating: 5


  1. This is an unusual article, GREAT!! Jailangkung in english... This is the unique one article i ever found. Good job for you... thanks for the article.

  2. (Putty Angelica) Thanx, glad to hear that

  3. I dunno bout Jailangkung, but reading your story it fair enough to say that it does happen elsewhere too, albeit in different form. In Malaysia they call it Spirit of the Coin,using coin(the older is better),candle and a piece paper(written by alphabet,home, yes and no button) only.At lest 2 person and no burning incense such as in Javanese Jailangkung required.
    watch it ere http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6d8PBdVVKQ

    To answer your question, first do you believe in a gost, djin or genie and stuff like tht?if you does tht it answer the questions.

  4. (ipv6) Thanx for sharing ur information. This is very interesting, cause u said in Malaysia it's just using an old coin n no need to burn some incense, just like Ouija board. Thanx a lot, really appreciate it

  5. Well, maybe the game Spirit of the Coin or Ouija Board are more influenced by the Western culture. Even though most Westerners claims that they do not believe spirits or ghosts as much as those explained scientifically, but games like Ouija Board have been introduced many2 years ago by those who still believes in the power of possession and the likes.

    However, in Malaysia, especially those using shamans, they probably still use incense and mantras to bring forth the spirits or elements of the other realms such as ghosts, genies, orang bunian, etc. And these realms are the types that we cannot see with our normal sight but these elements surrounds us everyday, limitless, whatever we do, they can see.

    So maybe that's how they can know our secrets. Maybe the spirit that enters the Jailangkung is just a nearby spirit, that had been circulating or being close to one or some of the players, thus knowing their secrets as well.

    And after a while, the spirit might get angry due to the clash of energies of both worlds (our world and the spirit realm). I mean, if you were summoned when you are relaxing or not in the mood to do heavy work, and then being pushed over the limit, wouldn't you get agitated yourself?

  6. masih engk ya ada yang main jelangkung lagi sekarang...
    klo dulu katanya pernua jadi trend di bali sekitar tahun 1980an (kata masayarakat seangkatan bokap q sih hehe)...

  7. (Lizzie) very good explanation, i think u're right if somebody summoned when he/she is in the middle of something/some business, of course he/she is getting upset. Thank u very much.

    (@Coy) Tapi kalo di Jawa sekarang kayaknya masih ngetren, buktinya udah dibuat filmnya sampe 3 sekuel. Denger-denger pernah ada yang kesurupan habis nonton film jailangkung

  8. When I was 9 years old, my parents took me to a taoistic temple in Semarang (1972) Indonesia. All predictions being told by the Jailangkung spirit came out (2010). Now 38 years later, I live in a western country and when I tell ppl about my childhood experience nobody believes me......, but I know that it`s true.
    Thank you for the information. God bless.


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