Hantu Ayer (water spirits)

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Hantu Ayer (water spirits)

Live in places where there is water, such as a river or lake or the sea. There are two types of water spirits, one said to be the spirits of people who had drowned to death and the other are elemental spirits from nature who may assist fishermen in their catch or sailors who are in trouble.


The Hantu Ayer usually manifests itself in the form of a floating log. Sometimes they appear as a human who is wet from head to toe. They only come onto land when it is raining. It seems that Hantu Ayer cannot stay on land for too long; they need to be in the water or at least be constantly wet while on land.

Fear Factor

Hantu Ayer have been said to be the cause of many drowning cases in the sea, lakes or pools. It is said that Hantu Ayer kill people to extract their souls. Those who survive such drownings often escape with marks of bruises or scratches on their bodies.

People in fishing communities would pray to the Hantu Ayer and give offerings as an appeasement. They do so so that the harvest would be good for the upcoming year. The Hantu Ayer here is treated as a powerful spririt, not at a godly level, but strong enough to wreak havoc on human lives.

Protection Method

As the Hantu Ayer is a water-based spirit, they are afraid of sand and soil. Fisherman used to carry small bottles of dry sand with them to sea to ward them off.

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