By Phanat Xiong

When I was young, my parents used to tell my siblings and me not to yell out each other’s names at night. They warned us that if we did, a monster might hear us and answer in their voice, pretending to be them.

This is a ghost story I’d heard from my mother a few years back. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I thought it was pretty scary and wanted to share it.

There was a Hmong girl who loved her mother dearly. She and her mother shared a special bond and did everything together. Then, one day, her mother got sick and eventually passed away. After hearing the news of her mother’s passing, she was devastated and soon fell into depression.

She cried and cried out her mother’s name everywhere she went. “Niam, please come back to me. I need you in my life.” During the funeral, she cried until she fainted, and her relatives became worried for her. They advised that she stop calling out for her mother because she was already dead and that there could be unwanted consequences. Instead, she ignored them and continued doing the opposite.

A few weeks passed, and nothing changed. She still missed her mother and called for her every day and night. This behavior continued until one night when the consequences that her relatives had warned her about came true.

One night while she was outside crying and calling for her mother, her mother answered back. “Mi ntxhais, stop calling for me.” Upon hearing her mother’s voice, she quickly looked up and stared at where the voice came from. There was nothing but darkness there. So she promptly replied, “Niam, did you come back for me?” A moment passed, and she heard her mother’s voice again. “Stop calling for me. I’m already dead.” The daughter replied, “But I miss you so much, niam. I can’t stop missing you. Please take me with you.” She continued to stare in the direction where the voice came from. Again, a moment passed, but there was no reply from her mother this time. She called for her mother again and asked for her to come out so she could see her.

From the darkness, a dark figure began to appear. The figure was the same height as her mother but moved slowly and awkwardly. Upon seeing the figure emerge from the darkness, the daughter called out her mother’s name in excitement. Then, the daughter began to walk towards her mother until she saw her mother’s face.

Her face was dark blue and purple; her hair appeared longer and untamed. She was still dressed in her burial outfit, with blood running from her eyes and mouth. This figure didn’t look like her mother anymore; it looked like a monster. Her mother called out, “Mi ntxhais, I’m already dead. Stop calling my name and let me go.” Upon seeing her mother’s face clearly, the daughter paused in fear. She couldn’t move as she watched her dead mother inch closer and closer to her. She wanted to scream in fear, but nothing came out of her mouth. “Mi ntxhais, let me go.” Finally, the daughter was so frightened that she passed out to fear. When she awoke, her mother was gone, and she was lying on the ground alone in the dark.

After this incident, the daughter never called for her mother again. Instead, she quietly cried inside her house until she was finally able to let go.

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