The 10 most haunted places in Singapore

These places are where the real horror is at

Singapore's 10 most haunted places
Singapore's 10 most haunted places
08 Oct 2016

Singapore's 10 most haunted places

Tired of haunted houses, where tired low-wage actors make perfunctory attempts to scare you without physical contact as to avoid a lawsuit?

Well, here’s some good news, Singapore is home to the real deal. After all, why shouldn’t some of our tiny island play host to visitors from the afterlife? If only they’d learn how to communicate, instead of just floating around crying, or possessing people at random. Here are Singapore’s top 10 haunted places.

10. Sentosa
10. Sentosa
08 Oct 2016

10. Sentosa

What’s so scary about our little island outcrop of extremely overpriced real estate and sad dolphins? Well before it was rebranded as the allegedly party-friendly name of Sentosa (peace and tranquility), it was known more commonly as Pulau Belakang Mati, translated roughly as “The Island of Death from Behind”... or “The Back Island of Death”. We think you’ll have to agree that no matter how you jumble the sequence up, any name that involves the word “Death” is just not that appealing. From purported hauntings at the quieter beaches, to ghostly soldier sightings at the old Fort Siloso, Sentosa certainly is a place to party, for both the living and the dead.

9. St. John Island
9. St. John Island
08 Oct 2016

9. St. John Island

St. John’s Island isn’t just a place for secondary schools to stick their students when they’ve run out of ideas. It was also where Sir Stamford Raffles anchored, before reaching the shores of our mainland. But since those long ago days, it’s certainly had quite a checkered history: quarantine centre, lepers colony, prisoner camp and drug rehabilitation centre are but some of the phases that the island has gone through.

Now it might be an idyllic little nature-filled getaway, complete with quaint holiday bungalows and camps, but the sorrow and pain of its past residents linger on. Many a school excursion has been joined by uninvited “guests”, with students often reporting spectral sightings of men in military garb.

8. Fort Canning Park
8. Fort Canning Park
08 Oct 2016

8. Fort Canning Park

It was known as Bukit Larangan, or the Forbidden Hill by the locals. Long before the British arrived, Fort Canning was already a sacred rise, exclusive to the ancient rulers of the land, their graves and temples. During the war, it was a base of military operations for both the British and eventually, the Japanese. Nowadays, it is as popular with joggers as it is with music lovers, who make merry on the grounds, perhaps unaware that their concerts take place over what used to be a Christian cemetery.

Perhaps the concert attendance might sometimes be bolstered by the otherworldly denizens of Fort Canning Green. Some joggers have reported the uncomfortable sensation of being watched, when they pass the older bits of the park, as well as Keramat Iskandar Shah, a shrine dedicated to the enigmatic ancient ruler of Singapore.

7. Bukit Brown
7. Bukit Brown
08 Oct 2016

7. Bukit Brown

Bukit Brown is a biodiverse haven for all sorts of plants and animals, and a favorite amongst local nature lovers. So when the government proposed ripping up the area to stick dual 4-lane carriageways through its guts, they faced very vocal and violent opposition (well, by Singapore standards anyway). After all, not only is Bukit Brown a small pocket of undisturbed indigenous flora and fauna, it also happens to be one of the last remaining Chinese cemeteries in Singapore, with very large tombs guarded by stone Sikh guards.

In typical Singapore fashion, the government basically shrugged their shoulders and proceeded with the road construction anyway, starting with the exhumation of several old graves along the proposed route. Since the operations started, there are stories of restless spirits (including a lady clad in a red cheongsam) bemoaning their pending disturbance amongst the tombstones, and visiting the dreams of their descendents.

Is there a complaints department in the astral realm?

6. Choa Chu Kang Cemetery
6. Choa Chu Kang Cemetery
08 Oct 2016

6. Choa Chu Kang Cemetery

Well, this is a no-brainer, really. The Choa Chu Kang cemetery is home to the last of our buried dead, even if they are only buried temporarily (15 years, before they get cleared out). So it’s certainly no surprise that there is where their spirits would linger. Many taxi drivers have stories of picking up passengers at night who ask to be brought to the cemetery, before vanishing in front of their very eyes.

Drivers who drive on the perimeter of the cemetery have reported sightings of ladies clad in white, possibly attempting to hitchhike. Okay, so some questions: 1. why do ghosts require vehicular transport? Can’t they fly? 2. Where exactly are they trying to go? 3. If people are making offerings of paper smartphones nowadays, does that mean there’s an Uber:underworld? 

5. Haw Par Villa
5. Haw Par Villa
08 Oct 2016

5. Haw Par Villa

There is literally nothing more creepy than a decrepit, failed theme park. Built by the founders of Tiger Balm, to celebrate/instill Confucian values and traditional Chinese folk-legends, Haw Par Villa was the original Dismaland - sorry Banksy. Full of “fun” attractions such as dioramas of ancient Chinese demons as well as its infamous ten courts of Hell, a tunnel of love-esque attraction in which visitors would be taken on a meandering boat ride through the burning levels of hell, each depicting the gruesome punishments that would be meted out to your eternal spirit, for crimes of alarming specificity.

Given the number of school trips they used to organise there, is it any wonder that Singaporeans are so law-abiding? Every country should have one, really. In any case, there are reports of the ornate statues of the park coming to life at night, as well as screaming being heard from the Tunnel of Hell… some say that during the Hungry Ghost month, an actual portal to the actual Chinese Hells opens from within the Tunnel, for our ghostly brethren to come visit. Oh, and admission is free!

4. The Yellow Tower
4. The Yellow Tower
08 Oct 2016

4. The Yellow Tower

Long before East Coast Park became the overcrowded weekend sweaty elbow fest it is now, it was already a popular spot for families and lovers, to enjoy the relative peace and quiet on the long stretch of beach, shaded beneath the intermittent canopies of neatly planted trees. Along this 10km coast, there is a lonely yellow tower that stands on the beach.

Legend tells of a female ghost that has haunted the tower for many years, with many sightings corroborating her appearance. The apparent tragic story goes that she is the spirit of a girl who was gang-raped and murdered a long time ago, who lingers on as her sorrow binds her to the location of her demise. Joggers have claimed to hear screams for help at the tower, only to find nothing upon investigation. 

3. Woodleigh MRT
3. Woodleigh MRT
08 Oct 2016

3. Woodleigh MRT

Bidadari Cemetery is another burial site that is slowly making way for redevelopment, because, well, Singapore needs more housing. The official sentiment is that most Singaporeans have zero, zilch, nada problems with living over land that used to be explicitly reserved for the deceased. We guess that means they don’t mind living with an extra spook or two in their bedrooms then.

Woodleigh MRT station is a new train station that runs through part of what used to be Bidadari Cemetery. Even after the station was complete, it was not operational for a time, reportedly because the MRT was haunted by spirits, roused by their unwelcome eviction. When it was just a dark station on the line, MRT commuters reported seeing fast moving shades and ghostly apparitions as their trains passed through the station. On the bright side, late night commutes through Woodleigh MRT will never be lonely.

2. Bedok Reservoir
2. Bedok Reservoir
08 Oct 2016

2. Bedok Reservoir

For some reason Bedok Reservoir has seen many deaths in recent years, with the most chilling one being the drowning of a mother and young child, clad in red clothing. It is said that on some nights passers-by have caught glimpses of the said mother and child, lingering around the water where they perished.

Bedok Reservoir is said to be the most haunted body of water in Singapore, beating out Macritchie as well as the old East Coast Lagoon, with speculations of water demons being responsible for dragging people into the depths. The souls of those of died in the water patrol the quieter parts of the reservoir, so late night jogging enthusiasts best be wary.

1. Old Changi Hospital
1. Old Changi Hospital
08 Oct 2016

1. Old Changi Hospital

Singapore’s most haunted place might be a hotel now, but its reputation remains inextricably tied to its ghostly past. Changi Hospital was derelict for a very long time, and was known to be haunted by the spirits of the people who died there when it was a wartime hospital. While it was abandoned, black magic and satanic hobbyists (we presume, unless they went professional) would visit the dark corridors in a bid to convene with the devil, or a least the mosquitoes.

Topping it all off, the hospital is a stone’s throw away from Changi Beach, where the Japanese soldiers committed the Sook Ching massacre, and killed anyone they branded a threat or dissident. Given the horrors the area has seen, it's no wonder that the old Changi Hospital remains the most haunted place in Singapore, a reputation also assisted by the local film Haunted Changi.

Scary games, creepy movies and tech nightmares: Visit Stuff to get your spook on this Halloween.

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