Every now and again we come across the story of a community that has banded together to hunt a creature terrorizing them in a world where outside influence is unlikely to help. Even as newcomers to the village meet tales of the Oily Man with skepticism, the villagers themselves have decided to venture out in a hunt for the man at two in the morning in the hopes that they can capture this bizarre creature and put an end to his reign of terror.
The creature, dubbed the “oily man” by locals, has been spotted multiple times out in the streets in the dead of night following people and leaping vast distances before vanishing in mid-air. The creature has been spotted for over two weeks now by locals as it darts around corners, peers in windows, and leaps onto the roofs of buildings leaving behind large inky oil slicks in its wake. And while the villagers of Kampung Laksamana are jovial as they hunt in groups for the creature, if caught alone the mood quickly becomes one of terror.
The creature they claim to have seen is known as the Orang Minyak. The creature is described as being almost like a human, but constantly oozing a thick black oil that is left behind wherever it goes. And some reports have suggested that there may be multiple creatures of similar description lurking in the darkness.
The first is described as tall and impossibly thin with curly black hair enshrouding its face and piercing eyes that can be seen even in the dead of night. The other is said to be also tall, but of stockier build and with a bald head. Some have suggested these may be the disguises donned by criminals hoping to exploit the legend of the Orang Minyak, but others are not so sure, describing feats of supernatural ability ranging from vanishing acts to leaping tall buildings in ways not entirely dissimilar to Spring Heeled Jack.
The Orang Minyak legend suggests it attacks only virgins, but there are a number of defenses that locals have employed to assist them in frightening the creature off. In the 1960s the creature was spotted throughout several Malaysian towns leading unmarried girls to borrow the clothes of local men to leave hanging outside to frighten the creatures away. Another odd custom is the carrying of a Batik dyed cloth as enshrouding the creature in this is said to drive it away.
It’s unknown how closely any of the methods described from reports of the era were based in history or if they were used primarily to give locals a proactive outlet for their fears at the height of the wave of sightings. In 2007 the film Orang Minyak was released in the Malay film circuit as a B grade action horror movie. And though it’s a mystery now, hopefully the events unfolding in Kampung Laksamana will turn out to be less like a horror movie.