I hadn’t heard of this taboo of never hanging clothing out overnight until I heard from Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories podcast. Some people believe that hanging clothing at night will attract wandering spirits to get attached to the clothing. It will cause us to have bad luck. I will list a few examples later in the post.
My mum has never been bothered by this superstitious as we used to live in a high-rise building. But her grandmother and mother did warn her not to do this. This is because they used to live in kampong and they had to hang their laundry outdoors. It is very easy to put a bad spell on the clothing during the night hence they advise don’t leave it out. To date, in some areas in Malaysia, Chinese people still practise this by not putting their clothing out at night.
In Singapore, most of us grew up living in a Housing & Development Board (HDB) flat and the only way to hang our clean laundry is through the kitchen windows. It is a pipe–socket system which involves attaching clothes onto bamboo poles, which are then slotted into sockets outside kitchen windows. People do have the option to hang the clothes on the bamboo poles inside the house using the hooks that are on the kitchen ceiling. As Singapore is typically warm and humid all year around, we generally like to hang our clothes outside the house. Within an hour or two, the clothing will be so dry, just like running it through the dryer. But sometimes, it could still be wet if someone above hangs their wet laundry or wet mop!
This story was told by Radio Love 97.2 presenter Nana on Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories on 20th September 2019 at 6 minutes. Mr A dislikes his clothing to hang out at night and told his maid not to do so. That day, he was going on a business trip and wanted his maid to clean his jacket again. His maid does not know how to use the dryer and hung it out during the night. He was very unhappy but had no choice as he needed it for his trip. He then went ahead on his business trip with two of his colleagues. His colleagues then asked him why he put on female perfume. He couldn’t smell it, nevertheless, he called for hotel room service. When the bellboy came to collect his jacket, he refused to take it from him. The bellboy said, “Your wife waved at me and told me not to take it”. Mr A was so frightened and threw away all his clothing.
Another story was about someone who left his white shirt hanging outside and by the time he bought it back in, it was night time. He then started having strange things happen in the house and he saw a face in his white shirt. This story was told by Radio Love 97.2 presenter Freddie on Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories on 15th April 2022 at 19 minutes.
In another Mr Zhou’s Ghost Stories podcast on 28th April 2023, Wisely also mentioned on hanging clothing at night. Do check out.
According to feng shui masters (Tip 108 Lilian Too’s Personalised Feng Shui Tips book, 2005), they also warn against hanging clothing after dark. When it is dark, there is a lot of yin energy around us. Hence the clothing (also for bedsheets and blankets) will absorb the excessive yin energy and whoever wears it will get unlucky vibes. Also, hanging clothes to dry in a dark windowless room, is a no-no too. Clothing is best hung in the open air and during daylight hours to absorb the yang energy of the bright sunlight. It will imbue the clothes with life energy rather than lifeless yin energy.
So what do you think? Personally, I wouldn’t like to hang clothing in the dark as animals, spiders and moths could crawl around the laundry and make it dirty. Also, UK weather rains a lot during the night or the morning dew will wet your laundry. I love my tumble dryer. My laundry might not smell ‘outdoor fresh’, but I know I will always have dry and clean clothing to wear the next day.