Bau may be known most for its Wind and Fairy caves, but there are smaller cave systems that will pique one’s curiosity. There is cave in Bau considered by the locals to be the scariest, namely ‘Gua Hantu’ (Malay for Ghost Cave).
The cave is just as grim inside and outside as its ghastly name. The size of the main chamber is almost similar to that of a coffee shop. On its interior walls, Chinese characters can be seen.
The Mau San miners’ and Twelve Kongsi rebellion
There are several stories behind Gua Hantu. The first took place during Hadfields Brooke’s administration in 1857, whereby Brooke’s reforms-minded administration caused uproar amongst the Mau San miners and Twelve Kongsi. Approximately 600 unequipped miner rebels paddled down Sarawak River to attack the Astana, but Brooke managed to escape this attack by swimming across the river to the southern shore.
Shortly after, Brooke fought back. His army of Skrang Iban warriors and loyal Malays attacked and defeated the rebels, killing more than 100 miners, including Liu Shan Bang in Jugan, Siniawan. Shan Teck temple in Siniawan was later built to commemorate this event.
So, what happened to the rest of the miners? Some managed to withdraw futher into Mau San, some disappeared to Sambas, Kalimantan, and most died along the way. The Rajah’s forces later killed the miners who hid in Gua Hantu with their families.
Since then, residents of Bau have avoided entering Gua Hantu, believing it is haunted.
According to the locals, stories behind the Gua Hantu date from way back. In the olden days, people living around the area claimed to have heard sounds of people crying and screaming, coming from the cave and happening prevalently at night.
So with the mystics surrounding Gua Hantu, are you still keen to explore this cave? And if you’ve been here before, please share with us your experiences in the comments section below!