Our cameras were able to capture what is unseen to the naked eye
entered the infamous Nam Hoe Villa to uncover the sequence of occurrences that it had undergone since the very day it was built.
Our cameras were able to capture what is unseen to the naked eye
entered the infamous Nam Hoe Villa to uncover the sequence of occurrences that it had undergone since the very day it was built.
In this top 15 list, we look into the mystery of some paranormal events that happened at schools around the world. A school is supposed to be a designated place of learning, but in these cases the supernatural took priority. Here’s our analysis of these events and let us dive into the horror of these haunted locations.
Written by: jessicaholom
Edited by: Huba Áron Csapó
The Chinese cemetery in Orchard Road had 25,000 to 30,000 graves which were cleared in the 1950s. PHOTO: ST FILE
Did you know that parts of Singapore’s most famous shopping belt sit on former graveyards?
Where Ion Orchard and Ngee Ann City now stand was a cemetery called Tai Shan Ting. In 1845, it was acquired by Ngee Ann Kongsi, an association representing the Teochew community, according to newspaper reports .
Bounded by Orchard, Paterson and Grange roads, the cemetery had 25,000 to 30,000 graves which were cleared in the 1950s.
Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, built in the 1980s, sits on the site of a former Jewish cemetery.
Today, the 2.53km Orchard Road, which got its name from the fruit orchards in the area until the turn of the 20th century, is a major tourist destination and retail hub, boasting glitzy malls.
Ms Lu Minru, 44, managing director of public relations firm 37 Communications, whose office has been in Ngee Ann City for the last six years, says: “I chose this place as it is very convenient to meet clients and media partners, who are mostly located in town.
“I’m not affected by the area’s dark past as I’m not superstitious.”
The graves at Peck San Theng (above) cemetery were exhumed in the 1980s to make way for the development of Bishan New Town. PHOTO: KWONG WAI SIEW PECK SAN THENG
This is one of the most sought-after residential estates, associated with million-dollar HDB flats and some of the top schools in Singapore, including Raffles Institution and Catholic High.
But before the distinctive red-brick housing blocks sprang up, Bishan was the site of a 155ha Chinese cemetery called Peck San Theng (jade hill pavilion in Cantonese), which was founded in 1870as a burial ground for Hakka and Cantonese immigrants.
The graves were exhumed in the 1980s to make way for the development of Bishan New Town. The area now has a bustling shopping centre and is a public transport hub.
Mr Rickson Chng, 45, a bachelor who has lived in Bishan for 31 years and is the director of food company Ally McBean’s Food Supply, shrugs off Bishan’s past. He says: “I’m not superstitious. If you’ve done nothing wrong, what’s there to fear?
“When I was younger, there were some areas in Bishan that I’d avoid at night. But now I don’t. I’m so used to this place already.”
This regular concert venue was a burial ground for Europeans here in the 19th century, according to Singapore Infopedia.
Used in the 1820s, the cemetery was located on the lower slopes of Fort Canning Hill.
More than 600 burials – a third were for Chinese Christians – took place there between 1822 and 1865. The last burial was in 1868.
Prominent people buried there included Sir Jose D’Almeida Carvalho, the Portuguese consul- general and one of the earliest European merchants here, and Irish architect George Drumgoole Coleman, who designed many roads and buildings, including the bridge named after him that links Hill Street and New Bridge Road.
In 1953, the Committee for the Preservation of Historic Sites here announced that the cemetery would be turned into a park.
By 1954, most of the gravestones, memorial and inscription plaques were removed and set in the cemetery’s walls. A number of the tombstones and statues were set in the garden of St Gregory’s Armenian Church nearby.
Today, the area is part of Fort Canning Park and regularly hosts concerts, outdoor film screenings, plays and carnivals.
Pulau Blakang Mati (above) was the previous name for Sentosa. It meant “behind death” in Malay and could refer to the early piracy and bloodshed nearby. PHOTO: ST FILE
The resort island, one of Singa- pore’s star attractions, used to be called Pulau Blakang Mati, which means “behind death” in Malay.
Singapore Infopedia, the National Library Board’s electronic encyclopaedia, says the name could refer to the early piracy and bloodshed nearby. Another account says the island was the “paradise of warrior spirits”, whose bodies were entombed on an adjacent island.
Serapong Golf Course was previously a beach, where about 300 corpses were washed ashore during the Japanese Occupation, according to newspaper reports.
These were reportedly Chinese civilians hurled into the sea by Japanese soldiers and shot as part of Operation Sook Ching, to eliminate people in the Chinese community who were anti- Japanese.
In the 1970s, the Government started developing the island as a tourist attraction . In 1972, it was renamed Sentosa, which means “peace and tranquillity” in Malay.
It is now home to 17 hotels, two golf courses, a 3.2km-long beach, and attractions such as Fort Siloso, Siloso Beach, Madame Tussauds Singapore and integrated resort Resorts World Sentosa, which runs the theme park Universal Studios Singapore.
In the financial year of 2014/ 2015, a total of 19.4 million people visited the island.
Says businessman Arthur Loh, 47, who has played at Serapong Golf Course for the last eight years: “I know about Sentosa’s dark past. But when you are playing golf, which is in the daytime anyway, you are so focused on the game that you don’t think about such things.”
Punggol Beach. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE
This quiet beach at the end of Punggol Road, near Punggol jetty, was one of the killing fields during the Japanese Occupation.
So many people died there that it was described in the newspapers as “Singapore’s slaughter beach”.
On Feb 28, 1942, about 400 Chinese civilians were reportedly shot there by Japanese auxiliary military police.
Since then, human remains have occasionally been found on the beach. A 1998 article reported that a skull with two gold teeth, and parts of an arm and leg, were found by a man digging for earthworms to use as fishing bait.
Punggol Beach is on the National Heritage Board’s list of historic sites. The area is known for The Punggol Settlement, a two-storey food enclave opened in 2014 that features restaurants such as House of Seafood and White Restaurant.
Mr Francis Tan, 40, owner of Thai restaurant Trunk At Bay at the enclave, says: “As a kid, I came to the beach with my family to look for clams and collect sea-shells. I heard people had died here, but it was only when I became an adult that I understood what had happened.
“I don’t let the dark past get to me. I chose this place for my res- taurant because it has a beautiful view of the sea.”
The island is used by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for training. Recruits who have trained there would have heard ghost stories about the island.
One puzzling incident took place on May 24, 1983, when 18-year-old private Tham Wai Keong was found dead after a 16km route march.
A news report said his platoon was at the tail-end of a 136-strong contingent which started its march at 4pm the day before. They returned to camp at 8.10pm and Tham was reported to be missing an hour later.
His body was found the next day about 5km from camp and 20m from the route march track. His full pack and uncapped water bottle were found in a nearby bush. There were no signs of a struggle.
A coroner’s report said he had died from a ruptured stomach.
An open verdict was recorded, but investigators did not rule out the possibility that he might have been hit by an object such as an entrenching tool, which was found near the body.
There have been other reports of soldiers dying from causes such as viral infections, during or after military training.
The island houses the Basic Military Training Centre, which was inaugurated in 1996. Comprising four schools, it trains most SAF recruits.
Mr Jonathan Ng, 22, who did 19 weeks of military training on the island in 2013, says he was aware that people had died there in the past, but he did not know the details.
Now a part-time sales adviser, he says: “Personally, I feel it is better for the past to be kept secret as some people might be more sensitive to freaky or unexplainable events and may start imagining things when they are staying on the island. The past may affect them mentally.”
The Old Changi Hospital in Halton Road, left vacant since 1997, is reputedly one of Singapore’s most spooky spots. PHOTO: ST FILE
The site of Changi Beach Park is believed to be one of the first massacre sites during Operation Sook Ching, a military operation against those in the Chinese community who were anti- Japanese during the Japanese Occupation.
On Feb 20, 1942, Japanese firing squads killed 66 Chinese male civilians at the water’s edge. They were bound by ropes in rows of eight to 12 and instructed to walk towards the sea, according to the National Heritage Board’s website.
Japanese soldiers mowed them down with machine guns as they reached the shallow waters. Many died on-site, but some managed to swim away or hide underwater as the ropes binding them loosened.
A memorial plaque has been placed at the site in remembrance of the Chinese massacred in Singapore during the Japanese Occupation.
Changi houses the Old Changi Hospital in Halton Road, which has been named on the Web as one of Singapore’s most spooky spots.
Built in 1935, the hospital was used as a prison camp during World War II. The Japanese secret police, or Kempeitai, were rumoured to have used it as a torture chamber.
Left vacant since 1997, the one- time military hospital has long had a reputation for being haunted.
But not every part of Changi has a dark past. The area is home to the world-class Changi Airport, which serves more than 100 international airlines flying to about 250 cities in 60 countries. It has been consistently voted the world’s best airport.
The Changi Business Park at Changi South hosts companies, software enterprises, and research and development institutes.
Professor Brian Farrell, 55, head of the history department at the National University of Singapore, says: “Changi has a rich history. It is not surprising that beliefs and folklore have developed around it. In general, a place’s dark past has a lingering effect on the present, but it really depends on who you talk to.
“In the case of Changi, a historian can see it as an important site where sad events once took place. But to a young person, it could just mean a nice beach and a ferry ride to Pulau Ubin.”
Bedok Reservoir. PHOTO: ST FILE
The reservoir saw an unprecedented spate of deaths in 2011 and 2012 and it was labelled online as a “suicide destination”.
The first death was reported on June 20, 2011, when the decomposed lower half of Chinese national Lin Xiao, 23, was found.
News reports said the apprentice mechanic was depressed after coming to Singapore and had told his mother he would die by jumping into the river.
On Sept 22 that year, the bodies of Madam Tan Sze Sze, 31, and her three-year-old son Jerald Chin, were found floating there. She was said to be distressed over a custody battle with her estranged husband.
Over the next year, at least five other bodies were reported to have been found in the reservoir.
Representatives from the Inter- Religious Organisation held a prayer session at the reservoir in 2011, initiated by former foreign minister George Yeo, who was a Member of Parliament for the area.
In January 2012, PUB installed four CCTV cameras at the reservoir, which is surrounded by a park. It also stepped up patrols, ensured that the lamps were fully lit throughout the night and installed signboards with helpline information for the Samaritans Of Singapore .
The reservoir is a popular spot for water sports such as wakeboarding, sailing, canoeing and kayaking. It was also a venue for the 28th Sea Games in June last year.
Software solution architect Ranjith Vijayan, 37, who trained at the park thrice a week for last year’s Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore, says: “I run alone, sometimes after midnight. I’m not afraid. I like that it is calm and quiet and I can reflect on my day as I run.
“I’m not scared of ghosts, only of stray dogs.”
The collapse of the six-storey Hotel New World building (above) in 1986 killed 33 people. PHOTO: ST FILE
This is the site of Hotel New World, which collapsed on March 15, 1986, and killed 33 people. It was one of the worst tragedies in post-war Singapore.
The six-storey building at the junction of Serangoon Road and Owen Road collapsed due to structural faults and sub-standard construction. The hotel occupied the four upper floors, and a nightclub and a bank were on the lower floors.
News reports say that at about 11am that day, some occupants heard loud sounds and felt a few tremors, but continued going about their business. At about 11.25am, the building fell, shrouding the area in plumes of dust. In less than a minute, it was reduced to rubble and not a single wall was left standing.
A rescue operation with more than 500 staff from the Singapore Civil Defence Force, Fire Service and Singapore Armed Forces, as well as foreign experts, lasted four days, and 17 survivors were pulled out from the rubble.
In 1994, the seven-storey Fortuna Hotel opened on the site and still stands today. Its website says it has 104 rooms and houses an Indian restaurant and a branch of Western Union. Previous reports say the hotel was owned by property company Chng Holdings, which is understood to be defunct.
Property checks show that the hotel is now owned by Fortuna City, a hotel operation and management company.
Ms Aisha Naz, 20, who works at Star Tours, which is located in the hotel building, says she knows about the site’s dark past, but is not bothered by it.
“It doesn’t affect us. Most of our customers are foreigners and don’t know what happened.”
Alleged incidents in the house have included strange noises and moving furniture
A Borders couple are offering £50,000 a year for a nanny – but the successful candidate must be prepared to face potential “supernatural incidents”.
Five nannies in the past year have blamed their departure on spooky happenings in the “haunted” house.
The alleged incidents have included strange noises and moving furniture.
The family have not experienced any “supernatural happenings” themselves but are happy to pay above the asking rate to find the right person.
The couple, who have two children aged five and seven, are advertising the position on Childcare.co.uk, a social networking platform for parents, childcare providers and private tutors.
The successful candidate will have their own room with en-suite bathroom and private kitchen in the family home, a “lovely, spacious, historic property in a remote spot with spectacular views”.
However, the live-in nanny will sometimes be alone in sole charge for up to four nights per week while the parents work away.
The couple said they had not experienced any “supernatural happenings” in the house
The advert said: “We have lived in our home for nearly 10 years.
“We were told it was ‘haunted’ when we bought it, but kept our minds open and decided to buy the house regardless.
“Five nannies have left the role in the last year, each citing supernatural incidents as the reason, including strange noises, broken glass and furniture moving.”
It said that had resulted in a “period of great upheaval” for the children.
“We haven’t personally experienced any supernatural happenings, as they have been reported only while we’ve been out of the house, but we’re happy to pay above the asking rate, and feel it’s important to be as up-front as possible to find the right person,” the advert continued.
“We are keen to find the perfect long-term nanny, so if you’d like to be considered for this rewarding and exciting position, please do get in touch with us.”
They are offering a salary of £50,000 gross per year and 28 days holiday, plus bank holidays.
Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk, told the Daily Mirror: “When we saw the advert we were stunned.
“Some of the guys at HQ were sceptical but after talking to the family and their previous employees we realised it was a genuine position.
“We have hundreds of thousands of providers on the site and we’re hoping that one of them will be able to help them.
“We’ve had some weird and wonderful families find childcare providers through the site, however I think this is probably the most interesting story we’ve heard.
“The family has assured us that no harm has come to anyone living in the house, however the nanny will have to have a strong disposition!”
Jane Surin, 29, Dance Studio Manager
“This happened when I was in Secondary 3 at a girls’ school in the East. It was around 6.30pm, and three of us — Calli, Mel and I — headed to a restroom. There had been rumours about weird happenings in this toilet.
Mel waited outside, and I went in to accompany Calli. While Calli used the loo, I tied my hair at the sink.
Gazing into the mirror, I suddenly noticed a girl standing in an empty cubicle. She was wearing our school uniform, and her face was turned away and facing the wall. She had a red string tied around her neck.
But here’s weirdest part: She was gesturing with her hands for me to go to her.
I was so frightened that I bolted out of the toilet and frantically told Mel what I saw.
She explained that if a person ties a red thread from the foot of his bed to a banana tree of a Pontianak (a female ghost), the Pontianak would become bound to that person’s will.
When Calli finally came out after ten minutes, she was surprised to see me outside. She insisted that she had been talking to me inside the toilet, and ‘I’ even responded, ‘Ah. Ah. Ah.’ Mel and I grabbed Calli and ran as far away from that toilet as we could.
Needless to say, we never used that restroom again.”
Wong Ah Sian (not her real name), 76, Retiree
“I used to live in a shophouse in Tiong Bahru opposite the old wet market; these units were called war-houses because they’ve been around since World War II. I raised my seven children there.
I didn’t tell my children this story until they grew up and asked why I decided to move away.
In the middle of the night, after everyone had gone to sleep, I would hear noises from across the street, from the wet market. It sounded like the usual morning crowd of people chattering and hawking their groceries. But all the stalls are closed at that hour.
It would get even louder during the Chinese Seventh Month. I closed all my windows and shut my curtains because I was afraid of what I might see.
We sold the house more than ten years ago.”
Colin Ng, 37, Pilot
“In 1987, when I was nine years old, my family moved into another flat. As Catholics, it is a practice for us to invite a priest to bless the house. Before we did this, I experienced a strange presence in my room.
Being an only child, I slept alone. One day, after coming back late from a family gathering, I lay on my bed trying to fall asleep.
Then, I heard it: A loud breathing noise as if someone was inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Chills tingled down my spine but, being tired, I dismissed it as my father snoring, and went to sleep.
After a few nights of hearing this, I decided to investigate if it was my father, so I walked over to their room — only to find that all was quiet.
Upon re-entering my room, I heard the noise again. As I made my way back to my bed, it became clear that the breathing was coming from the corner of my room where my cupboard stood.
By now my pulse was racing and I was scared out of my wits. I lay motionless on my bed and tried to peer towards my feet at the dark corner where the breathing was coming from but I saw nothing.
I started praying, but it didn’t stop.
Finally, plucking up my courage, I grabbed my bolster and blanket, darted out of my room into my parents’ room and dove onto their bed. I just gave an excuse that it was too warm in my room and slept there instead.
After that, being in my room made me feel very uneasy.
Thankfully, after the priest blessed our home, the incident never occurred again.”
Zulhelmi Ahmad (not his real name), 27, Flight Steward
“My maternal grandfather inherited a waris, or guardian spirit, which protected him over the years. Different waris have to be ‘raised’ differently but my grandfather only had to recite the Quran to protect himself.
Since my grandfather was the last male of his bloodline, the waris was desperate to latch onto a new owner. My grandfather started falling ill and became weaker, and the waris grew increasingly agitated and aggressive.
One night, when my family was visiting my grandfather, the waris possessed my young niece. She started shouting things like ‘This one is mine!’
We were on the seventh floor. My uncle could hear the screams from the coffee shop, where he was, downstairs. At one point, she even managed to shove her mother against a wall.
We recited verses from the Quran and said prayers to weaken and drive the spirit away. Afterwards, my niece had no recollection of her actions.
My grandfather has since passed away, and we’ve never heard or experienced anything from the waris since. It may have disappeared or could have latched onto someone else. Whichever the case, I don’t want to know.”
Mr Lai, 31, Real Estate Agent
“This incident happened around 1996, when my secondary school friends and I had a gathering at a chalet in Pasir Ris. During the wee hours, a friend suggested we explore the ‘Red House’ nearby.
This friend apparently has ‘the third eye’ and advised us to walk close to one another.
The house was surrounded by a fence but we could go through a hole in the back. It was dark and, just as we entered, I felt a dip in the temperature.
Suddenly, my friend with the third eye hurriedly told us to turn back. Incidentally, right then, there was a bright flash of light (that could’ve been lightning) from outside that scared the wits out of us, and we rushed out.
When we reached the chalet, two of my friends started vomiting, and the clairvoyant guy just sat down with a weird look in his eyes. He fell into a fever after that. One of my friends and I (incidentally we were both Catholic) were fine.
When we finally discussed what happened, one of the guys revealed that he’d accidentally stepped on some offerings outside the house, which perhaps angered some spirit. We never brought up that incident again.”