The Sabah government in Malaysia is planning on promoting "dark tourism" to boost the state's tourism industry and fill the coffers.
Dark tourism: Visit potentially haunted places
Dark tourism in the East Malaysia state involves allowing visitors to access historical places there that have had purported hauntings.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Jafry Ariffin told reporters: “Right now, throughout the world, there is this kind of dark tourism especially for visitors and there are many who are enthusiastic about it."
“But it requires some level of courage, so those with a weak heart, better not.”
He made these comments after visiting the Agnes Keith House.
What is Agnes Keith House?
The Agnes Keith House was named after an American author best known for her autobiographical accounts in northeastern coastal Sandakan in the 1930s.
She had lived there with her English husband Harry Keith, a British forest conservator.
In her writings, she made note of apparition sightings and mysterious incidents occurring at the house.
The house is now recognised as a British colonial residence that has been restored and maintained and serves as a landmark of the existence of Western power in Sabah and embraced as part of the state's heritage.
Haunting made into tourism product
The governmental state museum department has as its plan to make the hauntings of the Agnes Keith House a tourism product and a proposal will be presented to Jafry’s ministry soon.
The department hit upon the idea after foreign tourists have said they experienced eerie feelings as soon as they entered the house.
But no foreign tourists admitted to seeing a ghost.
Tales of hauntings at the house have so far only been told by the locals.
Some said they saw someone looking out a window and others said they saw a lady on the roof of the house.
The hope is for the product to be ready once Sabah reopens its borders to international visitors.
Letting visitors stay the night
Jafry credited the Sabah Museum Department for being plucky enough to come up with a new product to entice more tourists, especially paranormal seekers keen on staying the night at the British colonial residence.
Local and foreign visitors could camp outside or bring sleeping bags and sleep inside the house for a certain fee.
Top photo via WJCT News & Sabah Tourism