Charcoal and Nail Myth

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Place a piece of charcoal and a nail in a red packet and keep the packet near baby to ward off spirits
Place a piece of charcoal and a nail in a red packet and keep the packet near baby to ward off spirits

Place a sharp piece of charcoal and a nail in a red packet.

Reason: Prevent your baby from being disturbed by wandering spirits.

True or False?

Answer: True

This myth came from my previous Christian neighbour when Marie was about 13 months old. It was during the Hungry Ghost month when suddenly Marie started crying at 11 pm every night for no apparent reason. The cries were not her normal cries but a shrieking type of cry and she will suddenly stop crying after midnight. Initially, I rushed her to the Emergency Dept of the hospital but the doctor could not find anything wrong with her. This went on for about a week and I was getting really stressed out. When I met my neighbour, she told me that she could hear Marie crying every night and she believes that Marie was disturbed by spirits. She advised me to make the red packet with the charcoal and nail and place it under her pillow. That night it was peace in the house and we were able to go to sleep without any fuss. Being a “kia su” mother, I had one packet in her traveling bag and another one in the car. Since then we have not had any episodes like that again.

Apparently ghosts or spirits are afraid of sharp objects so the sharp nail and charcoal will protect the baby from them.

Over the years I have advised mothers to do this for their babies and so far it has worked. Before Marie came along I was always skeptical about all these mumbo jumbo but now I will try anything for a peaceful life so long as it does not cause any psychological or physical problems to the child.

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