Hongkonger: Edmond Poon, host of Horror Hotline

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Edmond Poon is the king of ghosts. If there’s something spooky happening, chances are that witnesses will call up the radio talk show host to dish all the creepy details.

Once a regular music DJ, Poon was initially just the substitute guy for a popular late night call-in ghost story program. Eventually, Poon went from guest to permanent host, and ever since has been a prominent figure in the city’s paranormal scene. Over the past ten years, he’s done everything from ghost books, VCDs, DVDs, video games, and even a movie based on stories told on his show, which, by the way, boasts one of the best names in the radio biz: Horror Hotline. The show was a regular programme on Metro Radio until December 2007, and recently returned on new web radio channel My Radio.

As you’d expect, Poon has seen some very unusual things happen, even in his studio. During one of his shows last month, a guest, who was a medium, sensed a female spirit in the room. Minutes later, they received a caller with a ghost story about a friend who had recently passed away. With no prompting, the medium was able to describe her appearance and her exact age – because the recently deceased was with them. “There was a lot of talk about whether we faked it,” says Poon. “But we have never had fake callers. That’s seriously bad karma that we wouldn’t mess with.”

Poon confesses to only one ghost experience in his life, while he was living in Sai Kung; an experience so frightening he refuses to talk about it to this day. “I think I’ve had incredibly good luck since doing this show,” he says. “I haven’t seen any ghosts since, and I always remember to treat these experiences seriously and with respect. After all, the ghosts are listening to the show every night.”

It’s Poon’s attitude in talking about ghost encounters without mockery or judgment that has earned him many dedicated listeners and fans. He’s relaxed while talking his callers through their ghost stories, and probes with intelligence about the details before trying to help them find an explanation for the occurrence. It helps that he’s a believer. “I absolutely believe in ghosts,” he says. “If there were no ghosts, why would we have talked about them for hundreds of years?”

He also attributes the popularity of his show, which gets 700 plus listeners online nightly, to the curiosity and fear that dwells within us all. “You don’t want these things to happen to you, but you want to hear about it. And if it’s happened to you, you want to find an explanation.”

Outside the show, Poon is a family man who works out to keep a balanced lifestyle with his graveyard shift job. He’s a true professional, though this has made him scared of other things.

“I can’t dwell on the stories,” he explains. “Or I’ll go totally insane. I’ve been in this for so long now, I’m pretty desensitised.”

So what is the king of ghosts afraid of, if not the paranormal? “People are the scariest,” he confesses. “Ghosts usually have reasons, like revenge. The way some people can do the worst things with no logic or reason, that’s really scary. And ghosts can only make you push yourself off a building, whereas people push each other off.”

Bourree Lam

Catch Horror Hotline weeknights on My Radio at 9.30pm-11.30pm, www.myradio.com.hk.

 

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