NAM KOO TERRACE


Stairway to Nam Koo Terrace Building

Being heard of the most haunted places such as Nam Koo Terrace better known as Wan Chai haunted house locates at 55 Ship street and Star Street Air Raid shelter which inspired me the most when I first went to HK and Macau in 1980s and recently there at the end of 2013, so I decided to head to this place which I explore the historical building of the past.

It was a winter season at that time in Dec, it was cool day for my hubby and I decided to walk down the memory lane in HK and the time went pass quickly.

There is a long concrete steps leading up to the building just beside it and I stood there as if it prevents me from going up and the ‘installed’ surveillance camera at the end of the steps where the gate is locked and barricaded.

Overlooking the Nam Koo Terrace in the city

As we headed to one of the haunted places to see the abandoned building – Nam Koo Terrace that has a long history in the past, is located at Ship Street and it located along the commercial/residential building. I was able to locate the building after I alighted from the public transport in Wan Chai in HK.

We walked along old Wan Chai district along the road and noticed there are not many Hong Kongers around in this district. I looked around the building and it was just in front of us and there was lot of construction on going at that time and it didn’t tear Nam Koo Terrace down, was once called it – Wan Chai Haunted house to local residents in HK for many decades. Built in 1915 in single storey and in 1921 when it built in two storey red brickwork house, I presume. Almost a century old of the old building sits in a forlorn and dilapidated. Was once use as brothel house or ‘comfort’ home to the women used by Japanese during Occupations till 1945. Nam Koo Terrace was also as a suicide house that over 30 ‘suicidal’ people would end their lives there until it was discovered over the years. It is now currently owned by Hopewell Holdings, a major property developer which is building a hotel complex next to the house. Although it was stated that Nam Koo Terrace was not specifically featured in the development plan approved by the Town Planning Board in 1994; the company has pledged to restore the historic site together with the new Hopewell Centre project. Mr. Thomas Wu, Co-Managing Director of Hopewell Holdings.

As my hubby was walking in front of me to look for the building and he stood there still and stared at the wall of the building up the slope. I walked up to him and asked him what happened. He said “I found it and there it is” as he pointed at above the hill where the construction going on, is going to build a hotel complex next to the abandoned house, just besides the construction and there is the stone concrete path steps to walk up and I could look to the right of the house. I felt thrilled to see the dilapidated house. But then I didn’t feel anything at first as it was in the daytime and in the evening soon there were a few people walking pass just outside the road.

When I was about to walk up the concrete steps on the hill slope to face the Nam Koo Terrace and there was a maid and a dog also walked up the steps. But before I felt tingling sensation when I saw a dog looking up at me as I was a few steps above a dog. I turned around and looked at a dog as if I was seeing ‘something’ about him. The maid didn’t notice at all as she was busying on her phone. There was a cool breeze blowing direction on my left when I stood facing the camera where my hubby took.

A ‘Shih Tzu’ dog stood besides Hopewell Holdings written on a banner

It stared straight blankly as it couldn’t hear me when I called out to him as if it saw something above the hill and I would not make out what it was. Because it wouldn’t look at me in the direction where I stood and took a photo just beside it! It was in the evening passed at 6pm and it was getting dark sooner or later.

A Maid and Shih Tzu dog on the concrete steps

Gosh! I was seeing an image of a person at the slope of the hill as if I was in the middle of nowhere after I turned around from the dog. Right after I composed my strong will and the image of a person was gone in seconds. I thought it was due to the cool weather that made me felt about this thing. And it wasn’t. So again, I called out a dog that stood beside the wall of the banner written “Hopewell Holdings”, stood right beside me, it stopped on its track still and it made a sound like ‘argh’ and I thought it was tired because of its running around the place earlier. The sound ‘argh’ and who could think a dog would make a human sound. Sound strange, right? The ‘foreign’ maid told me that they live just behind the abandoned building where the residences live nearby.

Residences building above just behind the Nam Koo Terrace

I walked up to the top of the steps (see above pic) and looked around the terrace and noticed there is a surveillance cameras installed around the house to prevent intruders. I stood still and looked observably at the building and it stopped me from going further up the steps and stared closely as seen in the photo above. It sent chills down my spine as if I was seeing double.

Again my mind was spinning sensation in my head as if someone stood in this building. So I just brushed it off and looked down the dog and the maid who were moving around the steps. When I get down the steps and saw the dog hovering down and not to look at me! The grilled window (pic below) where the ‘opened’ old fashioned grilled gate which I saw the ‘dark’ image stood inside as if the ‘thing’ was lost in space.

1st Level of Nam Koo Terrace

Later, I saw the grilled window of the 1st level where there is a signboard on it indicating that “No Trespassing…” and there are surveillance cameras one at the 1st level and the other one at 2nd level of the building facing the construction from where I stood earlier. Before that, there was no surveillance cameras and many people went in despite of the dangers on the slope of the hill and it was barricaded later that year after a series of incidents have taken place. I noticed the red-brickwork wall was painted in yellow as if it ward off the spirits away!

Banyan Tree next to the building going cut down soon

It was cool weather and I could hear the ‘rustling’ of the bushes and the leaves above the roof of the building as if there was ‘present’ inside the building. I felt goosebumps on my hand.

The Banyan tree that stood next to the abandoned building and the residences’ building and it was going to cut down because there was a mark in yellow pasted onto the tree. Heard from the locals that during at nights, there was eerie sound coming from the tree!

I quickly walked down the steps to where my hubby was just stood at the bottom of the steps because he couldn’t walk up, he would say it’s eerie to walk up the steps facing the abandoned building and there’s lots of surveillance cameras around as if it could capture the sightings or intruders lurking around the building. The last thing I could hear the ‘faint’ voices calling out “Good bye!” echoed in the air while I hastily walked down the steps! I thought it was the residences’ voice above the hill but it was weird voices then.

Such a beautiful red-brickwork villa was once stood away from busy traffic and yet it left abandoned for years till now and it has no future plans announced since 2008. There is a Wan Chai Heritage Trail that was launched on 27 September 2009 by the Old Wan Chai Revitalisation Initiatives Special Committee (OWCRISC) if you would like to explore or you believe it is haunted.

Complied by: Lina

Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI) – Vidcast Episode 10 – German Girl Shrine

‘Ghost doctor’ spotted stalking the corridors of abandoned hospital

Once a proud medical institution, Poole Hospital sanatorium originally opened in 1932 and shut its doors in 1989

Poole Hospital and Grey Towers Hall

Visit: Can you see “a man dressed in all white” at the end of the hallway?

Is this the figure of a ghost stalking the corridors of an abandoned hospital?

Taken in the 1990s, the picture of a deserted sanatorium is enough to send a shiver down your spine.

After the pictures of Poole Hospital were published in the Gazette, readers claimed they could see “a man dressed in all white” who looks like a doctor at the end of the hallway.

Posting on Facebook, Jo Griffiths said: “Just looked through the photos and on picture 20 it looks like a man dressed all in white at the end of the corridor!”

And others soon agreed, with Jo Savage replying: “Spooky”, while Brad Allen said: “I’m convinced.”

Bob Murray added: “Was spooky, few experiences. After Poole was closed Cleveland Police used Grey Towers for dog training.

“No dog would go into the chapel would not go past the door the police handler could not believe it.”

Read more: Spooky ‘ghost particles’ spotted on Earth: Trillions of neutrinos bombard humans every second, scientists say

And Keith Shorten said: “I done security up there on permanent nights when it closed down and believe me I did not look forward to my shifts.”

The main building was demolished around 2002 for housing. Grey Towers Hall has now been converted in to flats.

Source :
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/ghost-doctor-spotted-stalking-corridors-6839365

Online supernatural figure, cited in relation to a number of real-life incidents, is heading to the big screen

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 LuxAmber
A movie based on the mythical online figure Slender Man is reportedly on the way.

The meme, which originated in 2009, centres on a supernatural character who abducts and stalks others, especially children. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sony division Screen Gems is set to produce the film, with the script by David Birke, whose credits include Paul Verhoeven’s upcoming thriller Elle.

The figure originated on website Something Awful as part of a Photoshop contest. Eric Knudsen submitted images of a man with long arms and featureless face, and the character spawned a mythology and various games as well as a low-budget film in 2013. TV shows such as Supernatural and Law and Order have also used the character as inspiration.

In 2014, Slender Man also made headlines when the character was connected to a number of real life incidents. In Wisconsin, two 12-year-old girls stabbed a classmate to allegedly please the character, while later that year a 14-year-old girl set her house on fire, with her family inside, citing a similar motivation.

News of a film follows rumours that the next series of American Horror Story will also focus on the character, while a HBO documentary called Beware the Slenderman recently premiered at SXSW.

How a 15-year-old discovered an ancient city

What was your biggest achievement at the age of 15? Well, a Canadian teenager may have outshone the experts after discovering a lost Mayan city. William Gadoury, from Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec, made the discovery by comparing star charts with satellite images. The new city, discovered in a Mexican jungle, is thought to be the fourth biggest Mayan city, and has been named ‘Mouth of Fire’ by the teenager.

William Gadoury

William has been fascinated by the Mayans for much of his childhood, ever since a Mayan calendar predicting the 2012 apocalypse sparked his interest.

His hobby eventually turned into serious research. The imaginative youngster theorised that the locations of Mayan cities might correspond to stars in Mayan constellations. He analysed 22 Mayan star maps from ancient books (known as the Madrid Codex), and overlaid the star positions onto Google Earth images of the Yucatan Peninsula. He was able to show that the 117 Mayan cities did indeed match the star positions, with the brightest stars representing more major cities.

A Mayan pyramid in the ancient city of Comalcalco

A Mayan pyramid in the ancient city of Comalcalco

William then overlaid a 23rd constellation, finding a discrepancy; three stars but only two known ancient cities. The location corresponding to the third star was on the Mexico-Belize border. But the as-yet undiscovered city was covered in thick vegetation, making his findings inconclusive.

Thankfully, the teenager had a close relationship with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) – he had won a science competition a year earlier for his theory – and they had already been providing him with images from their RADARSAT-2 satellite, which has cutting-edge terrain mapping abilities. They gave him images of the new location.

Canadian Space Agency satellite images showing the lost Mayan city

A radar image taken by RADARSAT-2 shows a square, man-made structure in the Yucatan Peninsula jungle

He also scoured the internet for other satellite images from 2005, when a fire had engulfed the area leaving it more exposed – and any remains more visible.

Armed with his images, he then collaborated with Remote Sensing expert Dr. Armand Larocque from the University of New Brunswick. By studying the satellite images and applying digital image processing a fascinating discovery was made; LaRocque concluded that the 15 year old had found a major city with 30 buildings and an 86 metre pyramid.

His findings have been met with widespread praise, with scientists from the Canadian Space Agency describing his work as ‘exceptional’. They also presented him with a medal of merit.

William named the city K’ÀAK ‘CHI’ which means Mouth of Fire.

So what next for William? He plans to go to the International Science Fair in Brazil in 2017 to present his findings. He also hopes that archaeologists will visit the site very soon. On the possibility of an archaeological dig, Rocque is realistic, telling The Montreal Journal “It’s always about money. An expedition’s costs are horribly expensive”.

Regardless, William’s legacy will almost certainly be etched into history. According to reports, the findings are soon to be published in a scientific journal, and it is thought that methods similar to his could lead to the discovery of more lost Mayan Cities.

Update: Since publication of this article some other experts have expressed scepticism at William’s findings. Dr. David Stuart, an anthropologist from The Mesoamerica Center, University of Texas posted a response on Facebook claiming ‘ancient Maya didn’t plot their ancient cities according to constellations’. Stuart – an expert on the Maya Civilisation – described the square feature as an ‘old fallow cornfield’.

 

Bottles Tree: The Mystery of Tree Worship at Tanjong Pager

A so-called sacred tree man-made or by supernatural power?

Written by SPI team, edited by John Kwok, PhD candidate, History researcher

“Sacred” Trees in Singapore

In 2007, a road accident involving a roadside African Mahogany tree at Jurong in Singapore was published in the local press. The focus however, was not the tragedy of the accident, but the tree after its bark was stripped off as a result of the accident and revealed what looked like the head of two monkeys. Local Singaporeans interpreted it to mean a deity living in the tree. Dubbed the Monkey Tree, it inspired local cults to worship at the tree for good fortune, especially praying for winning lottery numbers. Devotees left offerings at the tree and the crowds of people to gather to make them often resulted in human and traffic congestion, much to the displeasure of the residents neighbourhood.

The Monkey Tree was popular in Singapore, but it was by no means a unique phenomena. SPI has discovered that another tree in Singapore, while not as popular as the Monkey Tree, featured evidence of tree worship. This tree was located in the heart of Singapore’s CBD at the junction of Kepple Road and Anson. It was not difficult to spot this tree for it stands at a busy junction. Of the many trees that line the Tanjong Pagar Complex, this one in particularly, near some office buildings and a hawker centre, was donned with dozens of water bottles hung from its branches. SPI agents made some enquiry from passers-by and office workers nearby. Surprisingly, most did not pay much attention to it or failed to notice the strangely decorated tree entirely. Indeed, it begs the question, why was this tree decorated in such a manner?

Observations

Each water bottle was connected to another by a long strip of orange coloured string. Each pair of bottles was hung from branches on the tree and was neatly spaced out; they were not clustered in one bunch. Each bottle was also filled and capped with a clear liquid, believed to be water. There were 32 bottles altogether – strung into 16 pairs. The conditions of the bottles suggest that they were all put up at the same time; there were uniform levels of corrosion on them. Furthermore, from physical examinations of the bottles, it appeared that they were recently strung up and hung on the tree. Further indications came from the contents of the bottles; the liquid was clear and showed only minute traces of contamination by pollution and weathering. This indicates that the bottles were all hung at one effort, possibly even by the same person or organisation. However, when empty bottles and string were found tucked and hidden away behind the tree, it suggests that more bottles would be progressively added to it, possibly in stages.

In addition to the hanging bottles were several decorated bottles placed near the tree. One in particularly featured detailed flower patterns and made to resemble a lantern. Another, in contrast, also resembled a lantern but was crudely made with plastic rings cut from mineral water bottles and joined together. At the foot of the tree was a strange object made from metal wire. The wire was skilfully woven into a circular object with the ends left sticking up, resembling a pair of pointed horns. A red make-shift tassel was attached to each end of the horns. In front of this strange object were burnt joss sticks stuck on the ground. There were also traces of joss papers and evidence that a large scale type of offering ritual had been performed at the tree. It reminds one of the offerings made to spirits during the Hungry Ghost festival. It is likely that the wire-framed object was representative of a tree deity or powerful spirit. But while tree worshipping or the making of offerings to spirits at nature objects is commonly performed in Singapore, the main feature of the tree, the practice of hanging filled bottles on a tree is not.

The Investigation

The bottles, filled liquid and hanging from the branches of the tree, reminds some SPI agents of the famous Wishing Tree in Hong Kong. Kenny recalled during a previous case that took him to visit the Wishing Tree in Hong Kong years ago:

The minute we alighted from our vehicle, crowds of aunties rushed up to me asking to buy their joss-sticks. They thought that we wanted to see the Wishing Tree and to toss on it a pair of oranges, tied together by a long red string, for good luck. We quickly and successfully avoided them and instead made our way directly to a make-shift counter set up near a large joss-stick urn.

A devotee at the counter quoted me several categories of prices for their iconic wish-making oranges that come with a stack of joss papers for burning as offerings. The prices reflected the types of wishes one would like to make i.e. individual blessings, family blessings or blessings for success in business. Each type of blessing commands a different price. And they did not come cheap. Blessings start at HKD88 and could climb to HKD1388. I was astonished that a pair of oranges and a small stack of joss papers could command such prices and wondered if I could bring my own offerings. After all, it’s the same kind of offering we are making to the same tree.  

It is unfortunate that making a wish or requests for blessings have been turned into well-oiled money making scheme at the Wishing Tree. Elsewhere, making wishes were accompanied by a simple gesture of tossing a coin into a well or fountain. Fortunately, however, recently I have heard that the Hong Kong Wishing Tree is now better regulated with the emphasis on preserving it as a unique local cultural tradition.   

When Kenny saw the filled bottles hanging from the tree in Singapore, he immediately drew parallels with the Wishing Tree in Hong Kong.

1. Evidence of burnt offerings at the foot of the tree reinforces the notion that this tree is recognised as auspicious or special like the Wishing Tree or the Monkey Tree mentioned earlier.

2. Oranges are regarded as symbolic representations of wealth, prosperity and good fortune. These are also popular wishes made by believers at the Wishing Tree. There is also a popular belief at the Wishing Tree that the higher the throw and the higher the orange is caught on the tree branches, one’s wishes would be better heard by spirits and the greater possibility that that one’s wishes would be fulfilled.

Singaporeans may have also adopted the tradition of tossing auspicious items on an auspicious tree. Instead of tossing a pair of oranges strung by a long red string up the tree for good luck, local Singaporeans toss instead bottles of water. A former SPI Cultural specialist believes that these bottles were a symbolic representation of a vessel that hold the dreams and wishes of one making the offering. However, there is a more plausible explanation that stem from the symbol of the oranges in Hong Kong; water in local Chinese culture represents wealth and fortune.

The person or organisation who hung the bottles on the tree in Singapore was very likely mimicking practices from the popular and famous Wishing Tree in Hong Kong. The Money Tree in Hong Kong proved very popular in terms of tourism dollars and the bottle tree in Singapore could be an attempt to reproduce similar results in Singapore.

The Consequence

However, the creators of the bottle tree in Singapore may not be aware that their activities have broken the law on littering in Singapore. According to the Environmental Public Health Act, it is an offense to litter at any public place or public street. The items left on and around the tree can be interpreted as litter. Littering as an offence in Singapore carries a maximum fine of S$1,000 for the first offence and S$2,000 for a subsequent offence. The offence may be compounded for S$150 if it is a first offense – the offender must attend a 15 minute briefing on how littering can harm the environment. In 1992, the EPH (Corrective Work Order) (CWO) Regulations was passed, under which litterers may be required to clean up a public place. As from Feb. 2, 1996, the power to arrest those who litter was extended to operators of public vehicles. In 1999, the number of hours which a person may be required to work under a CWO was increased from 3 hours to a maximum of 12 hours, but not exceeding 3 hours per day.

Will the creators of the bottle tree in Singapore return and continue what they started? Or have they realised the gravity of their activities in terms of breaking the law? SPI will keep you updated with these strange hanging bottles. 

Tree worship is a cultural belief that worshippers will receive blessings from spirits. Such spirits may directly reside in trees or through the tree they can be communicated in other realms. The spirits can reward worshippers of material requests such as winning lotteries or other wealth. Sometimes the tree spirits can give protection, for example healing illness or safety in transportation.

Tree worship is a matter of worshipping physical objects that is deemed nothing but superstition in skeptics’ eyes. Chinese religious folk beliefs are full of such magical stuffs. In ancient times, when indigenous people did not understand science, plus the fear from the natural environments around them, they placed huge respects on things that are larger than life or relate to their daily survival, such as thunder, rain, moon, sun, mountains, trees etc. Such respects became the primitive elements of shamanism and animism for hoping of some supernatural power would protect them against threats and dangers, that later evolved into a cultural practice. They worshiped most if not all natural substances from stone idols to biological plants and animals (ox, tiger, monkey, snake gods), often in admiration of their physical strengths.

Such physical strengths that appear greater than that of human which might be not understood (or explained) scientifically, were imagined to carry supernatural powers by our ancestors in the old days.