Orang Minyak

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In Malay ghost beliefs, The Orang Minyak is a supernatural creature coated with shiny black grease who abducts young women by night. Orang Minyak literally means oily man in Malay.[1]


According to Malay legend, Orang Minyak is a creature that abducts young women by night. Supposedly, the creature is able to climb walls and grab victims while evading capture due to its slippery coating. According to some folklorists, the Orang Minyak has been alternately described as appearing naked, or wearing "a black pair of swimming trunks". A number of stories describe the Orang Minyak as a rapist that only targets virgins. The Orang Minyak has been traditionally blamed for rapes, beginning in the 1950s, and superstitious Malay female students would attempt to ward off the creature by donning sweaty clothing "to give the appearance of someone who had just been with a man".[2]

Some versions of the legend hold that the Orang Minyak is an evil human warlock rather than a supernatural creature. Science writer Benjamin Radford described the tales as "rooted in myth and folklore" and characterized the creature's supposed abilities as "implausible". According to Radford, "if a person actually covered himself that way, greasy hands and feet would make it difficult to turn doorknobs or run around, not to mention crawl up the sides of buildings or grab a struggling captive".[1]

In one version of the legend, popularised in the 1958[3]film Sumpah Orang Minyak (The Curse of the Oily Man) directed by and starring P. Ramlee, the Orang Minyak was a man who was cursed in an attempt to win back his love with magic. According to the story, the devil offered to help the creature and give him powers of the black arts, but only if the Orang Minyak worshipped him and raped 21 virgins within a week. In another version, the creature is under control of an evil shaman or witch doctor.

Malaysian newspapers occasionally report claimed sightings of the Orang Minyak. In 2012, the residents in Kampung (Village) Laksamana, in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia, claimed to have seen and heard the creature in the vicinity of the Pangsapuri Laksamana and Jalan Laksamana.[4] Several years earlier, local newspapers carried sensational reports of a knife-wielding rapist covered in oil, ostensibly in imitation of the Orang Minyak.[5]

In popular culture[edit]

The legend has appeared in a number of films, including:


  1. ^ a b Radford, Benjamin. "The Legendary 'Oily Man' Monster Terrorizes Malaysia". Live Science. Purch. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  2. ^ Ong, Charmaine. "Orang Minyak or "Oily Man"". USC Digital Folklore Archives. University of Southern California. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Curses and cripples for Hari Raya holiday entertainment". 18 April 1958. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  4. ^ "'Oily man' strikes fear in Malaysian village residents". 2 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  5. ^ Bernama (16 November 2005). "Orang Minyak Rapist On The Prowl At HKL". Malaysian National News Agency :: Bernama. Kuala Lumpur. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Oily Man on the screen". 14 February 1958. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  7. ^ Serangan Orang Minyak[permanent dead link] at Sinema Malaysia
  8. ^ Orang Minyak Archived 31 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine at Sinema Malaysia
  9. ^ Pontianak vs Orang Minyak Archived 29 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine at Yahoo! Malaysia Movies

External links[edit]