A pocong is an Indonesian/Malaysian ghost that is said to be the soul of a dead person trapped in its shroud. Known in Indonesia/Malaysia as kain kafan, the shroud is the prescribed length of cloth used in Muslim burials to wrap the body of the dead person. The dead body is covered in white fabric tied over the head, under the feet, and on the neck.
According to traditional beliefs, the soul of a dead person will stay on the earth for 40 days after the death. When the ties aren't released after 40 days, the body is said to jump out from the grave to warn people that the soul need the bonds to be released. After the ties are released, the soul will leave the earth and never show up anymore. Because of the tie under the feet, the ghost can't walk. This causes the pocong to hop.
Pocong in Modern Culture
Pocongs often appear in religion-based movies or TV serials. In the early 2000s (decade), TV stations in Indonesia purported to capture ghost appearances with their cameras and put the records on a specific show of their own. In these shows, the Pocong appearances could be seen very often, along with the kuntilanak. There was also a movie Pocong (2006) directed by Rudy Soedjarwo, which was banned and censored in French and German DVD versions due to the disturbing, scary scenes. Not long after it was banned, the director created a sequel less horrible but about the same story, Pocong 2 (2006). Other titles Pocong 3 (2007), The Real Pocong (2009), 40 Hari Bangkitnya Pocong (2008) were introduced in the movie series in theaters in Indonesia.
Movie Pocong Jumat Kliwon, directed by successful director Nayato Fio Nuala, began a trend of horror comedy Pocong movies. In 2011 Poconggg Juga Pocong, a new horror-comedy featuring Pocong, was made by female director Chiska Doppert, Nayato's former partner.