The Mysteries & Memories Of Tanjong Rhu

The Mysteries & Memories Of Tanjong Rhu

“Did You Know” mysteries include: 1. The Tanjong Katong Fort was used to be an unknown U-Shaped concrete in the old days
2. A fountain is built on a popular triad meeting place; 3. A strange rock is said to relate to bloody killing and resembles a tomb
4. A mysterious death case whereas a boy’s body was “slotted” at a narrow drain right in front of a police quarter

Where Tanjong Rhu got its name from?

Located at the southern tip of the Singapore mainland, lies the quiet & peaceful but mysterious Tanjong Rhu. A well known place in the past as one of the earliest seaside entertainment centre during the 60s, but is almost forgotten by many from the current generation now. Why is this place known as Tanjong Rhu? Not many people; including the older generation, know exactly where this name derived from. Many could only know the word ¡¥Tanjong¡¦ means ¡¥seaside¡¦ in Malay, but what about the word Rhu?

Finally we came to know of a senior Malay friend who used to spent his early childhood past times there, his name is Ali, aged 50. Ali have explained to us that the word Rhu was the Malay name of a kind of tree, which were very commonly seen along this stretch of land during the early days. He further explained that this tree resembled very much like the look of a huge Christmas tree. Well, this certainly reminds me of how Changi got the name from it¡¦s the magnificent Changi tree of course.

1. A sketch of Katong park in the old days where it was a coconut plantation; 2. The Katong Park today;
3 & 4. SPI investigators leading and narrating the interesting historical fact bits on Tanjong Rhu

1 & 2. This platform used to be a popular performance stage in the old days; now it is more of a decor in the park;
3. SPI was checking out the boundary of the reclaimed land. It was a water front across this drain
4. Now with the road expansion, the land was created and the swimming facility was gone
But between the highway and the drain is a little buffer area, now used as a space for dog exercise called Dog Run Area.

Katong Park in its heydays

Our first stop of the day was at the famous Katong Park. This is certainly one of the oldest park in Singapore, and along the main walkway in the park, historical pictures and write-outs have been placed for visitors to understand more about the glorious history of this area. It was remembered very well that this park used to be packed with people during most weekends in the past. The main attraction was certainly the beach which was located right in front of the park. Together with a big entertainment stage, ample rest shelters, children playground, a cafeteria and a big fenced up safe swimming zone at the beach. Today, the park was a drastic difference as before, it¡¦s now quiet, peaceful and almost forgotten. The abovementioned facilities in the park were demolished since after the land reclamation has taken place. And now a secret which not many people came to know about this park¡K¡K

1. The water front used to be a swimming club; 2. The two warehouse like buildings are WW2 Japanese factories

Fort Tanjong Katong

During the 18th century, the British have in fact built a fort here, and named as Fort Tanjong Katong. And did you know that some remains of this fort can still be seen in the park? To find it, simply look for the park¡¦s only public toilet located at the inward most of the park, and you will find the fort remains within the small square barricade painted in green. Click here to read more about the fate of Fort Tanjong Katong.

Apart from this Fort Tanjong Katong, there was also an almost tragic happening that occurred here just nearby the former Ambassador Hotel in 1963 whereby there were 3 sabotaged bombing by an Indonesian terrorist group; however there¡¦s no casualty occurrence. And now another secret here about this hotel¡K. (Photo about the news). This hotel was previously one of the popular beach hotels in this area during the 60s. However, ever since the land reclamation taken place and subsequently closing down of the beach, business has dropped. And it have changed its name from Ambassador Hotel to Duke Hotel, and then to Katong Park Hotel (a budget hotel) before it finally closed down and demolished.

1. Artist impression of the Fort Tanjong Katong. Here is a photo with more information.
2. An anatomy of the details of the fort; 3. The cross-sectional view

SPI was checking out the old fort. Now the fort was re-buried again, only recently. It is sad that it could not be seen anymore
Notice the tree in the first picture? It has a dumped pile of ruins possibly from the excavation of the old fort or elsewhere

1. You can still find pieces of rusted iron ruins as historical artifacts as dump under this tree. Close up here.
2 – 4. These chunks have a mix of types of bricks and material, all cemented as a big chunk. Close up here.

From burning ground to army base

Apart from this Katong Park which is a historical landmark of this area, there is another landmark here which is much older than the park. It¡¦s the Singapore Swimming Club, which was located just down the Tanjong Rhu Road. This club was initiated by a group of European young beach swimmers, and was officially formed in 1894. It started off with a simple small attap hut by the sea, and progressively upgraded to a first class premium private facility today.

Besides the Singapore Swimming Club, is the Waterside Condominium. Long before the construction of this condo took place, this area was an abandoned piece of land with extreme thick vegetations and I always remembered small scale bush fire was quite a common happening during hot weather. However, the old timers would surely remember this was the place where you could see many ruins & remains from the World War 2 British army. I remember some of these include a couple of tall and long warehouses, bunker shelters, a 7 storey high observation tower and some ruins from the British Army residences. I recalled my experience about discovering the old and soiled British Army uniforms inside one of the biggest bunker shelter here during one of my young days exploration here.

1. Observation tower that used to guard along Tanjong Rhu seaside.
2. In the past before archeological excavation, residents already noticed existence of the strange U-shaped concrete structure
3 & 4. Information about the War Years

Kampong Arang the charcoal village

Our journey now cut into a smaller road named as Kampong Arang Road, which is located directly opposite the Main Entrance of the Singapore Swimming Club. An innocent-looking small road you may say, however, did you know that during the 60s and 70s, this road was almost as busy as can be? During these years, there were many small and some big scale industries here, all were taking the advantage that this spot was a designated loading and unloading port for small vessels.

The name Kampong Arang refers to charcoal village or small town. Yes, this area was a popular charcoal trading area in the past whereby seagoing import / export as well as packaging of charcoals to places like Thailand and Indonesia were carried out here. Besides the charcoal trading, other industries include small scale ship-buildings / repairs / engineering can be found here.

1 & 2. In the old days, one can see piles of charcoal piling up on the river shore; 3 & 4. The charcoal factories as in 1986

1. A hand-drew hand that shows the interesting spots around the place;
2 & 3. Kampong Arang, it was a charcoal village in the past. The river was used as a canal to shuttle the goods. Now it is totally changed
Rumor said it used to have one huge fire broke out overnight. Many were caught in the sleep and burned to death.
4. Sampan Place, it used to a factory making Sampan. Now it is completely urbanized

Black Panther spirit

And did you know that there used to have a small shop here which manufactured coffins? Now a secret here which not many people know about it¡K¡K During the 70s, there was an island-wide hunt for a black panther who was escaped from the zoo, and this animal was finally caught here! Can you imagine the distance which this panther escaped from Mandai Zoo to Tanjong Rhu. However, the story doesn¡¦t end here. Not long after the animal was captured, there were sighting as claimed by some people that they saw the Black Panther spirit at the nearby casuarinas trees. Rumors started to spread, but not much people willing to believe what they heard. The mysterious big black cat indeed, but the fate of this Black Panther was not known today.

This is a resemblance of the black panther that broke free from the zoo. Some myth of black panther can be found here.

This is the place where the block panther used to hide when it was escaped from the zoo.
Can you spot the two spirit trees? One of them is said to have sighting of the black panther spirits lurking around.

Haunted primary school?

In no more than 50 metres from the casuarinas trees, one will never miss another mysterious looking area with broken down facilities lying inside the premise compound, overgrown vegetations, deserted, un-maintained basketball courts and the sign placed at the gate showing Singapore Christian Conference Centre. This was the former site of Tanjong Rhu Primary School in the 60s to 80s until the school was closed down. During the early days, this school was popularly rumored as the ¡§haunted¡¨ Tanjong Rhu Primary School; especially at the dental clinic located at the ground floor. Well, the look of the school compound now somehow fits the rumor. We went there to view the other side of the school compound backyard by detouring into the housing estate area. Eerie looking banyan trees and a cracked-walled caretaker house were seen from here.

1. This premise used to be the former Tanjong Rhu Primary School in the 60’s and 80’s.
The primary school was infamously rumoured to be a ‘haunted’ school in the past
2. The haunting hotspot was at the dental clinic at the ground floor. 3. You can see an abandoned basket ball playground over the fence
4. Now the location is for Singapore Christian Conference Center; by the almighty name of the Lord Jesus, no demon can reside around

The backyard of Christian Conference Center. In the old days, this eerie looking land used to a hot-bed for ghost stories
You could easily imagine altars were placed under the so-called spirit tree, with a yellow cloth wrapped around
Now the place is cleared away from any superstitious ritual item; so gone are the fear and ghost stories instilled by the demons

In the last two photos you can see what might used to be a shrine packed with idols for worship. Now, the shrine is cleared and cleaned.

A missing Block 13

Talking about this housing estate here, if you would have been observant enough, you might be asking¡K¡¨Hey, I noted the blocks here are from Block 1 to 14, but where is the Block 13?¡¨ Well, dear readers, there was indeed a Block 13 around, but that was during before it was demolished during the 80s for upgrading reason. Could it be just a coincidence that this block 13 was chosen to be demolished for the construction of a residential resting open space and a multi storey car-park, or could it be some ¡§other¡¨ reasons? Well, no one seems to bother about this doubt in the past.

1. Notice that this HDB estate has Block 13 missing; 2 – 3. This is Block 12 and Block 14 respectively
4. Then where is Block 13? It used to situated in the center of this open ground but demolished during an upgrade in the 1980’s
A block was rather named to be 14A than 13.

This is the original site of Block 13, now converted to a recreation area.
Is it a coincidence that this block chosen to be vanished for the addition of a leisure park or for its “inauspicious” nature of the no. 13?
You can find the original site of Block 13 is now replaced with some special designed structures:
Such as circular structures (Photos 1 to 3), a large fake red door (Photos 2 & 3),
many of metal poles that may be unnecessary for their practical use but look like gigantic pins pinning to the ground (Photos 2 – 4),
and last but not the least, the shape of the lamp poles that resembles the weapon of the God of Warrior (Photo 1)

At a first glance the design of this recreation area looks completely normal. We are not here to confirm anything certainly unusual;
It could just be a normal design of HDB flats and it is a pure coincidence that Block 13 was chosen to be demolished due to its location;
We leave it to the symbolotists and cryptanalysts out there to decipher any secret meaning underneath (if any).
E.g. If you look carefully at this photo, there seems to be some words on the washout area of the wall.
Please contact SPI if you believe you have found something strange or theories and facts that disprove otherwise.

A weird death position

From Block 13, we went over to Block 1 where I started to tell our guest about a mysterious police case happened at this location during the mid 70s. A young boy was suspected murdered and his body was found dumped in a ¡§slot-in¡¨ position in a small narrow drain just next to this block 1 on one early morning. Now, the interesting thing about this case was that no one know who is this boy and where did he come from. The most questionable query was Block 1 was in fact a designated living quarter for the police, and who would have been brave enough to commit such a crime at the ¡§doorway¡¨ of the police living territory?

At the nearby Geylang River, SPI proceeded to investigate that there used to be a causeway with a tide gate control house located in the midway across this river in the past. It was recalled there were night market or ¡§Pasar Malam¡¨ held here every weekends. But during the weekdays, the causeway was extremely quiet, dark and eerie in the night. However during the major clean-up exercise by the Authority in the mid 80s, this causeway together with the tide gate control house was demolished.

1. Block 1, this building is used to be a police living quarter in the old days. A weird death case just happened meters outside this quarter
2 – 4. A boy died in a strange “slot-in” position in a small drain. Some speculate it was a demonstration to challenge the police authority
Until today, nobody knows how exactly the boy died and ended up lying sideway stuck in a narrow drain

1. This is our modern-day drain that is much wider and bigger.
In the old days, narrow drain could have very confined gap just to fit in the body of a young boy
2 – 4. The investigators continued to check out the strange remains at the Geyland River

A strange rock

Our next stop was in fact at the hawker centre of the estate, and no, we are not going for our drinks there. We are there to view one of the strangest item found here; a standing rock. As far as I can recall, this rock was never meant to be found there in the early days, but it was somehow mounted right in the middle of these eating place after a major renovation of this market and hawker centre. Our photo-taking session too caught some curious people patronizing the hawker centre at that point of time. One friendly old man came along for a brief chat with us; he said that the location of this area was previously a cemetery! He further reiterated many people mentioned that this rock resembled like a tombstone, and an open space at the 2nd level of this hawker centre also resembled the look of a typical funeral parlour. Well, during the days of childhood days, it was heard that about the hawker centre was a former cemetery, but this has not been verified yet. The only thing that can be confirmed was the location of this standing rock was used to be a chicken slaughtering place in the market, and also recalled seeing chicken blood flowing along with the drain water every morning. In fact, on an old street directory map, the location used to be a community center.

This is the strange rock called in Jalan Batu market and cooked food centre (Batu means rock in Malay)
It has some history and mystery behind this rock. Firstly it used to have an original inscription but got covered by cement.
Secondly this rock was said to stand in a blood-bathed slaughtering market and its shape resembles a tombstone.
Therefore, even nowadays it is only a decor, it never meant to stand above ground for its blood-related history and tomb-like outlook
You can see that the design for this rock is a concept of submerging it in water.
Blue tiles and blue color eating tables, and mosaic pictures of marine creatures are surrounding the rock.
Conceptually the atmosphere helps washing off the blood and assuring it never arise above ground to become a tombstone
After all, it could be a pure coincidence for everything

1. It was said this rock to be sacred and people offered joss incense to the rock;
2. The fact is, these are spikes installed for fending off birds
3 & 4. On the upper level, it was said that the shop lots near the rock resembles a funeral parlour. But we think it could be a superstition.

Gangsters hangout

Just barely in front of the hawker centre was a well renovated small park with an overhead fountain. This place was certainly one of the favourite haunt for many youngsters during my younger days, as there was a community centre, basketball court and a roller skating rink here. However there was a little secret about this area as well¡K.. For it was also the favourite gathering ground for the gangsters. They met and gathered here almost every evening after 7p.m. till 11p.m. I recalled seeing them dressed up in black tucked out long sleeves shirts with white pants during festive seasons like Chinese New Year. Our secret way of living in harmony with them was in fact simply just ignore them, pretending they were ¡§invisible¡¨. When you stare at them, you will be in big trouble.

1. Before this fountain was built, this “agora” was frequented by many assembly of gangsters here;
The design of the fountain artwork was like three arms holding each other.
Some speculated it meant to be a symbol of peace among the three major secret society in the past of Singapore
2. However, the history indicates that factually it was just an upgrade project in 2002, unveiled by the ex-PM Goh Chok Tong
3.  These HDB flats in the old days can overlook the common ground at which gangsters meet and hang around
4. Some old physicians still remain; they were said to be patronized a lot by the gangster who injured in their fighting.
It is however a rumour of many injuries in the fights of the triad.
By the memories of the old residents, the physicians cooked their own herb remedies.
Some of them have family receipts that were quite effective.

Wonderland and the stone lion

Just before we ended out Tanjong Rhu trip, we took a quick turn into the the Kallang Park area where I have also shown the guests that there was a theme park here in the early 70s; known as The Wonderland. The first roller coaster in Singapore was in fact built in this park. Due to poor business after a renovation, the park was finally closed down in the 80s. Other significant past landmarks here includes a pair of majestic-looking stone lions which were relocated here from the Nicoll Highway during the 70s. However, these pairs of lions were later relocated again to Changi Airport, and finally now laid at the current SAFTI compound observation tower entrance area. The other one which most people have forgotten was the gigantic fountain which was built here in the 60s, but have been demolished as well to give way to the construction of the National Stadium compound in the 70s. However, the picture of this fountain was used as the badge icon of the Singapore Boys Scout.

1. This carpark next to Kallang Stadium was said to be the original site of the Wonderland theme park;
2. The location of the stone lion statue that once stood
3. At the entrance of  the Nicole Highway, a pair of Lion statues were placed; 4. An identical design of the Lion statue

Still Road Grand Hotel cut half

We have came to an end of the Tanjong Rhu exploration trip, however we have too take the opportunity to do a short visit to some of the nearby interesting structures as well; like the Still Road Grand Hotel which was ¡§cut¡¨ into half for the purpose of constructing the Still Road in the past, the ¡§peep¡¨ into the famous Chung Cheng High School pond which have been a talking topic in our forum, the abandoned section of the semi-detached houses along Still Road which was left incomplete for unknown reason. Our journey have finally ended after a quick view of the famous abandoned Katong Bakery red building and of course the irresistible legendary Katong laksa.

1 & 2. The Old Grand Hotel in Still Road was cut into two halves;
one side that still preserves the original structure is reputable to be a haunted house given its run-down appearance;
the other side is an operating hotel now under construction
3 & 4. This semi-detached house cluster got its side lot incomplete for some unknown reasons

The Tragic Past of Galang Camp

The Tragic Past of
Galang Camp

1. Very depilated camp house; 2. Medical facility; 3. Abandoned hospital;
4. Haunted camp house from which ghost cries were said to be heard. SPI investigated and the results will be featured in another article.

1. Bridging to another section of the town where there are town hall and churches; 2. A broken swing in front of a school;
3 & 4. These two photos were taken in sequence. The later one that with a red circle has a bluish apparition captured!
It cannot be due to dirty lens because there is no other photo in this set of over a thousand has this paranormal image.

Galang – The Island of Both Hope and Hell

Galang Island rests quietly in the calm sea, indistinguishable from thousands of other green Indonesian islands near the Equator south of Singapore. But for tens of thousands of Vietnamese “boat people,” the United Nations refugee camp on this island represented a single, thin ray of hope. For most of those who boarded small, rickety boats to escape Vietnam after the war in search of new and happier lives, Galang will not be what they hoped to find.

Laying a thick trail of oily diesel smoke low across the glassy sea, the noisy boat violates nature’s tranquility as it slices toward the wooden dock on this tiny, emerald isle. One would never suspect this forested point of land protruding unassumingly from the warm ocean was be home, at any one time, to nearly 20,000 desperate people who had no idea what their futures would hold. They risked everything in the belief that their new lives, or the lives they hoped to live someday in another country, would prove better than those they left behind.

The people who arrived on Galang already passed a difficult test. They rolled the dice on a dangerous ocean voyage and won. Many others lost that gamble. Pirates troll the seas in search of easy prey, and often find it. Many Vietnamese were robbed, killed or raped shortly after they gathered their meager possessions and set off in the cloak of darkness in search of freedom and opportunity. A small shrine on the island pays tribute to three women who, after suffering the humiliation of rape during their journey, took their own lives.

Statistics from United Nation shows that 850,000 refugees have settled in foreign nations, equal to that number are 850,000 victims, eternally resting along their journey to find freedom and happiness. There are many bitter tales to tell, on how the courage and faith brought the survivors to better living environment. At the same times, many forgotten souls who are the fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and friends of the fortunate survivors, cannot make it, but rested in the remote forests or deep in the ocean bed.

This article means to pay tribute to the courageous souls, and not let this tragic history of humanity be forgotten.

The whole camp is so huge; got many interesting clusters of abandoned houses and structures, free to explore and roam around

There is a famous Buddhist temple in the camp. What strange is, the name is called “The Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam”

How Galang Camp Came About

The Vietnamese refugee camp on Galang Island in Riau province of Batam, Indonesia, have many bitter tales to tell of the tragedy that befell countless victims of the conflict between two opposing ideologies at the peak of the Cold War.

More than 250,000 boat people who made the perilous trip to escape the war between communist North Vietnam, and first France, and then America in South Vietnam, may have arrived on this island as refugees. They left their country in wooden boats. Hundreds of refugees were packed like sardines in boats capable of carrying only around a dozen passengers. The first Vietnamese boat, carrying 24 refugees, reached West Bunguran in the Riau Islands on May 22, 1975. The refugees used as a guide the flames from an oilfield in Udang. They staked their lives to come to Galang, braving the huge waves of the South China Sea.

More and more refugees arrived that numbered as many as 250,000, housed in a number of different places: Air Baja, Tanjung Unggat and East Bintan. In 1979, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) took the responsibility of caring the refuggee and decided, after reaching an agreement with the Indonesian government, to setup a refugee camp on an 80-hectare site on Galang island. From then on, Galang Camp was born.

1 – 3. This is the UNHCR office where the screening of the refugees was carried out – now of course is abandoned
It was said that outside this building many Vietnamese killed themselves when their fate was cast to be return home or on exile
This is an interesting graffiti of a woman-like officer wearing a cap. Can anyone understand the meaning of the scribbled words?

The office building ruin that once determined the fates of many Vietnamese refugees, now is haunted by memories of sadness

Situation Turned Bitter

With the funding given by UNHCR and other foreign humanitarian organizations, life was in order in Galang Camp until the number of refugees far exceeded the initial estimated number. Initially Galang was established at the end of the Vietnam war and built to house only a quarter of the population living there.

At that point, the United States had accepted 82,060. In 1991, Canada became home to 13,516 people, followed by Australia’s acceptance of 6,470. Other countries had not stretched their arms as widely. Japan accepted only 113 people. Spain, Italy, Argentina and Ireland took fewer than 20 each. Meanwhile, scores of people continued to arrive from the open sea on overloaded vessels. An additional 50 were being born in the camp each month.

The hardship for Galang refugees intensified as many nations strengthened their resolve not to accept any more boat people. Often, the overloaded boats arriving in countries throughout southeast Asia were simply pushed back out to sea.

The camp staff and U.N. workers had a very difficult job, beyond providing meager shelter, rations and minimal health care. They were to determine which of those people arriving would quality for refugee status and possible resettlement in other countries. In a way, they were burdened by the grave decision making of assigning life and death to them, literally. Under a small open-air shelter, the serious business of casting fates was being conducted. Each person was interviewed when arrived, soon determining whether an applicant’s qualifications for resettlement could be met – whether the individual was to be ‘screened in’ or ‘screened out.’

Those unable to prove themselves political refugees under United Nations definition – or with no close relatives in other countries to sponsor them – faced a bleak future. Some eventually returned to Vietnam, some remained for years in the camp, hoping against hope to someday be “saved.” That crucial decision made all the difference for tens of thousands of people. With the passage of time since the war, increasing numbers of applicants were found to be economic migrants, technically not refugees, and therefore they did not qualify for resettlement in the United States. The interview sometimes lasted more than an hour. Eighty percent of the time, in 1991, the decision rendered was unfavorable.

1. This is our SPI informant and tour guide who furnished us with valuable information; On the wall are the refugee photos
2. The gruesome workflow chart that depicts how the screening process was done – with outcome that is either screening in or out
3 & 4. Some religious objects that used to be the personal belongings of the Vietnamese people.
Most of them were brought along from Vietnam, survived the tough sea journey.
One may then ask if they meant so much to them, why did the items end up here in the mini-museum? The answer is simple and sad.

The Dark Moments in the Camp

Besides the future was doomed for most boat people in the camp, life was never easy, especially for the women. It was reported on the newspaper called South China Morning Post, June 6, 1993, titled “Terrorised in the Camp of Shame” how tormenting life was in Galang camp. The story goes like this:

Twelve years ago, Ton, his sister and brother risked their lives to flee Vietnam in a small, overcrowded and leaky boat, reaching what  they thought was safety after five harrowing days at sea. But the nightmare was only beginning.

For more than three months, Ton spent sleepless nights in the notorious Galang first asylum camp in northern Indonesia clutching his beautiful younger sister in terror. “I used to go to sleep hugging my sister, otherwise the Indonesian guards would pick her up and put her back three hours later,” Ton said, his face alive with emotion.

Based on interviews with former inmates of Galang, the Sunday Morning Post has pieced together a shocking and continuing story of widespread bribery, brutal beatings and sexual assault. Inmates identified one senior guard who abused women sexually and brutally beat men.

In the newspaper report, it was said that UNHCR representatives were instructed not to stay overnight in the camp. But it is at night when almost all the atrocities happen. “If you are beautiful then you are in trouble,” said Jin Ching Danh, 30. Women being raped and men got beaten up became a thing of common in the camp.

Click here for the full story of “Terrorised in the Camp of Shame”.

Over the years, at least 12 Galang inmates who had been screened out as economic migrants have tried to commit suicide. More trouble could lie ahead as the country winds down its refugee determination process and inmates realise they have no hope of resettling abroad.

1. Living quarters of the guards and the guards and UNHCR personnel.
2. This particular living quarter and office are for the senior officers.
The front entrance has a pair of mythical Balinese designed monument that is said to be able to ward off spirits.
In the whole camp, only this building compound would have that protection monument.
3. Photos of the Vietnamese refugees in Galang Camp
4. On the window of this office guard house, there seems to be some mysterious light. Is it apparition or reflection? View the enlarged.

Becoming a Living Hell

In 1994, tension rose to a peak among the Vietnamese refugees as the UNHCR was unable to guarantee their future. Many refugees went on hunger strike. They demanded clear decisions on what was going to happen to them: whether they qualified as refugees and which countries they would be sent to.

Click here for the full story of “Hunger Strike in Galang”.

Many refugees were disappointed at the results of the screening that was carried out to determine whether they qualified as refugees. This was crucial to deciding whether they would be sent to third countries or whether they would be deported back to Vietnam.

Many of them failed to qualify as refugees. One of the reasons, according to the UNHCR, was that some of them had criminal records back in Vietnam. The thought of going back to Vietnam, however, caused great distress among the boat people.

Click here for the full story of “Indonesia Vows “Boat People” Move Despite Protest”.

Eventually the horror of suicide began in Galang Camp.

On September 2, 1996, the tragic mass suicide ensued. The UNHCR decided to close down the refugee camp and deported the remaining refugees to Vietnam as no third countries were willing to accept them. More cases of suicide were listed below.

Third countries, particularly the United States, the third main choice after Canada and Australia, were selective in accepting Vietnamese refugees. One of the main requirements was that they must have certain skills, and be clever and rich. This is a ridiculous criteria for considering the torn-out refugees in the camp who were mostly common folks.

There are 503 graves of Vietnamese boat people here and most of these people committed suicide because they refused to be deported back to Vietnam. Anybody can feel their sadness. They shouted in despair and many of them cut their own throats just like slaughtering chickens.

This is the mysterious Body Tree. Rumour has it that bodies were found hanging from the tree every morning from the suicide
SPI investigated and found that the tree trunks are too vertical, inaccessible, lack of strong side branch for hanging purposes

1. The shrine housed under the tree has two portions: one is a Buddha, the other is a “Water god”.
The boat people who survived a dangerous sea journey would naturally counted the blessings of protection from the god of the sea
2. Incense urn that is decorated with sea-shells. It is supposed that material used are readily found from the nearby seashores
3. The tree shrines. In the centre there is a stone monument with Vietnamese writing inscribed on.
That is a very essential clue in solving the mystery.
SPI thanks a Vietnamese friend Mr. Luong from USA who used to live in Galang Camp.
Mr Luong helped SPI translated the words and provided information that solved this Body Tree mystery.
4. SPI continues the investigation. A full report detailing this mystery and its factual debunk will be published soon on SPI website.

Tragic Suicide in Galang Camp

Life broke down after much tremors happened in the camp. The Vietnamese people, though brave and courageous who left their homes and explored new life aboard, they were human after all. The stress of losing their close family members, relatives, friends and hope, led some of them to destruction. Murder and suicide attempts were as high as the number of rapes. Suffering in such a living hell, plus the rejection from the screening process that shattered their hope of survival, pushed these poor people further into fire.

The following lists several suicide cases chronologically which are only a tip of the iceberg; many other tragedies would have gone unreported.

  • The most tragic was in 1985 when young Tinhnhan Loai was raped by seven compatriots. She committed suicide. In her memory, the UNHCR built a Humanity Statue at that location.

  • On August 30, 1991, Trịnh Kim Hương, 28, burned herself alive after being denied refugee status in Galang camp.

  • On April 12, 1992, Nguyễn Văn Quang, a corporal in the First Airborne Battalion of South Vietnam, hanged himself in Galang camp, after his refugee status was denied and his appeal rejected. He left behind a widow and three young orphans.

  • On August 27, 1992, Trịnh Anh Huy, 20, committed self-immolation in front of UNHCR¡¦s office in Galang Camp. It was said that his last words before he killed himself was like this: ¡¥The lawyer¡¦s statement during screening had me live in terror. It pushes me closer and closer to death.¡¦

  • On April 26, 1994, Phạm Văn Châu, a Vietnamese veteran, burned himself alive in Galang Camp. He died two days later.
    Click here for the full story of “Vietnamese Dies After Self-immolation Protest”.

  • On May 20, 1994 Lê Xuân Thọ, 28, slashed his stomach and set himself afire. He died of severe burns.

  • On September 2, 1996, the final date of the return of the remaining 5,000 refugees back to their home country-since there were no more governments willing to offer asylum-the suicide attempts reached their peak. Many were too scared to return to their homeland and chose to end their lives instead. Suicide victims therefore dominate the 503 graves (three of them were Cambodian nationals).¡¨

More than 6,000 boat people, however, were forced to return because they were not considered victims of political or religious persecution. Out of these 6,000, the number of people who killed themselves was kept in low profile, hence was not exactly known.

A tour guide called Mohammad Yono said approximate hundreds of refugees committed suicide by hanging themselves or throwing themselves into ravines after they were denied refugee status and faced forced repatriation.

“This place is haunted. Many ethnic Chinese have come here to get inspiration on lottery numbers from the spirits,” he said, pointing to a ravine where refugees were said to have killed themselves. Another rumour told by another local of Batam says that there existed one large burial hole, in which corpses of suicide were just dumped. Their names and deaths may not even been recorded officially.

1. SPI investigates the Galang cemetery; 2. The tombs are unique, for example, this one has a female figurine
The face of the stone statue is even blushing in pink, making the figurine came to live. 3 & 4. Assorted tombs

1. This tomb has an unique inscription, featuring Galang, and an icon of a boat
2. This is the famous memorial plague that commemorates about a million of boat people who perished in sea. See the close up
3 & 4. The cemetery is built on a hill slope

Beyond The Cemetery – Resting Places for the Freedom Seekers

Nevertheless, on a hilly slope there is a cemetery known commonly as Camp 3, in addition to Camp 1 and Camp 2. The tombs house the deceased of recorded death in the camp.

The cemetery at the refugee camp in Galang is a reminder of the struggle of Vietnamese refugees who fled their country after the fall of Saigon. Many of them died of starvation or accidents during their long and perilous sea trips on dilapidated and overcrowded boats.

Few tombs at the cemetery bear names of the deceased, but many are of small children. A memorial plaque in front of the graveyard says: “Dedicated to the People Who Died in the Sea on the Way to Freedom.”

This memorial plague is one of the mass entombments for half a million to one million boat people who perished at sea. Religious leaders of various religions have returned to those islands to pray for the soul of the dead. You can see elaborate incense urns were placed in front of the memorial monument.

Click here for the full story of “Praying for Souls”.

This memorial monument is the one of the largest number of deceased being commemorated. It comes possibly after those for the Jewish people victims of the Holocaust, and those for Armenians who were massacred in World War I.

There are however other kinds of makeshift graves less well-kept and recognizable than the Camp 3 cemetery. They are the mass graves that were dug for hundreds of bodies all from the same boat, their drifting wreckage was pulled to shore but everyone in it had long ago drawn their last breath. For hygienic reason, no one searched through the cadavers to at least identify them and get their name engraved on the tombstone.

These unnamed deceased, despite the makeshift burial on the islands, were lucky because they, at least, were allowed a resting place. Hundreds of thousands others lost their life in the South China Sea, they died in pain, in despair, in wretchedness, unknown, without a grave. In their dying moment, they still tried to look up the sky for God, for Buddha, they still tried to say their prayers, unfalteringly, to Quan-Yin, to the Virgin Mary. They died without a decent burial. The ocean was a gigantic mass grave for them.

1. Hell money papers are scattered everywhere.
Given the new condition of the paper notes, a ritual should have been performed here not long ago.
2. This is one of the many children tombs; 3. Perhaps carving a 3-D stone image of the deceased is a Vietnamese culture
4. A pair of Christian tombs

1 & 2. This special tomb pair is barricaded out – an icon of boat is craved on the fence; 3 & 4. Tombs of different religions

1. At the back of the cemetery, there is a strange stone structure – a white bell. This bell has special religious significance to calm the spirits
3 – 4. You can observe in this cemetery, almost every tomb has an unique shape. No two tombs are of the same design.

The Controversial Monument

Many monuments that commemorates Vietnamese boat people are erected on the island. There is one, nevertheless, controversial. In June 2005, a large stone plague erected by former Vietnamese refugees at their one-time camp on Galang was removed. The removal stirred up much emotional disturbance to the Vietnamese communities especially those who had a sentimental attachment to the life in Galang Camp.

The monument was dismantled at the request of the Vietnamese president on the grounds that it was offensive to Vietnam. The Vietnamese government took the view that the wording on the plaque denigrated the dignity of Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the 3 x 1 meter tall concrete frame in which of the stone plaque was embedded is still standing. The marble tiles at the base have been removed, however.

The wording read as follows:

In commemoration of the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people who perished on the way to freedom (1975-1996). Though they died of hunger or thirst, or being raped, or exhaustion or any other causes, we pray that they may now enjoy lasting peace. Their sacrifice will never be forgotten. – OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE COMMUNITIES 2005.

The reverse side of the plaque read:

In appreciation of the efforts of UNHCR, the Red Cross and the Indonesian Red Crescent Society and other world relief organizations, the Indonesian government and people, as well as all countries of first asylum and resettlement. We also express our gratitude to the thousands of individuals who worked hard in helping the Vietnamese refugees. – OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE COMMUNITIES 2005.

SPI has located the stone monument at the Galang Camp as shown in the photos. The centre piece that once carried the controversial inscribed wording was chiseled off.

Click here for the full story of “Vietnam boat people’s plaque torn down”.

1. The controversial stone monument with reference to a human height; 2. The front view; 3. The close up
4. The back view which you can see that it used to have an old plague chiseled off, and now got cemented back.

The Impact After Visiting the Camp

After visiting the Galang Camp that is haunted by so much tragic memories, one would ponder the lives of the thousands of people who felt driven to literally cast their fates to the wind, not knowing whether Galang Camp will be their first stop on the road to freedom, or their last.

The refugees who survived, all have relatives, or someone that they know, vanished in the South sea. Many boats capsized, many other drifted aimlessly until food and water ran out. How many died of hunger, of thirst, or found themselves lost somewhere in the myriad of archipelagos in the vast ocean? How many were slaughtered by pirates?

Many of the boat people who survived believe they were reborn after such a trip. That’s why this place is a second birth place because it gave birth to their second life, life with freedom and dignity. But that is only of a minority. Sadly, many people who could not make it perished at sea and at this very Galang Camp.

Galang Camp will be forever engraved in the history of mankind as a powerful testament to the force of humanity, where the innocent victims of a most cruel tyranny finally were offered solace in the caring hands of the world community.

Like all of us, these boat people were once our companions in the common human quest for freedom, for human decency. Unlike all of us, they were unlucky. We cannot forget them, we cannot forsake them for the second time to oblivion, we cannot let them become just a number, a statistic in the pages of history. For these deceased boat people did exist.

Click here for a life testimony of a Vietnamese man who lived in Galang Camp.
Click here for a life testimony from an article called “Sad stories from Galang and Bidong – Come Hell or High Water” (PDF file of size 151Kb)

Currently SPI is organizing educational tours from Singapore to Galang Camp. The objective to teach the young Singaporeans about life is not always of luxury. There are many heart-touching lessons to learn, many provisions in modern world now we shall not take for granted.

1. The camp now has a number of authentic wooden boats that were used by the Vietnamese to flee for freedom
2 & 3. The boat has two decks. Total of more than 200 refugees were cramped in this boat
4. The back view of the boat, showing a little propeller


Pictorial Tour

1. SPI chartered a modern and comfortable speed boat, cruising all the way to Batam
2. Stop by a modern bridge that is quite of a misfit in the rustic Batam nature environment
3. The first stop is at a Quan Yin Temple that is the oldest in Galang. It has been renovated recently
4. Behind this tall Quan Yin statue, on the altar there are over hundreds of smaller Quan Yin statues. Kind of amazing..

1.Second stop is the Galang Camp cemetery; 2. First time SPI investigates a Vietnamese cemetery;
3. What is Yellowbie and AK47 discussing about? 4. The team moves on by an air-cond mini coach

Have fun checking out the authentic antique fishing boats that were used by the refugees

1. Is this a tomb or .. water pumping facility? 2. The trees kena vandalised – Ouch it hurts; 3. Eerie church
4. What captivated Shi Hui so much until Douglas walked pass she didn’t notice?
Catch up the next SPI article on the in-depth Galang Camp investigation

1. At the end of the investigation, this is the most long-waited moment – Sumptuous Makan at a Kelong Restaurant – very delicious food
2. Redstone poised like pulling some seafood out from the water
3. Fresh coconut, the best thirst quencher. Yes, each of us consumed at least two sweet Batam coconuts
4. Meaty and live crabs, cooked in different ways like Pepper, Sambal, Black bean, dished out in front of us on the dining table

1 – 3. Beautiful serene view of the Kelong and the river. Notice the sun-drying sponges on the left?
4. The food was too delicious until nobody remember to take photos! Everybody was indulged in enjoying the seafood lunch

What is a ghost?

What is a ghost?

What is a ghost?  This is a common question pertaining to the Paranormal.  Our definition of a ghost is the spirit of a departed person who has not yet entered onto another “Higher Plane” of existence after Death.  The spirit remains earthbound.  Every living thing has a spirit.  When something dies the spirit simply has no use to stay inside a body which will no longer function so it leaves.  Most spirits pass onto these “Higher Planes” such as Heaven or even Hell but others remain here.  There are many reasons for their staying.  Some are afraid to pass on or are in denial of their very Deaths.  Others have unfinished business while others may not even be aware that they’re dead.  There are many other reasons why the spirit may not leave this world (whether it be because of personal reasons or otherwise) but they can be helped onto “Higher Planes” through using psychics and other methods which are of religious and we don’t want to elaborate.

Theories on ghosts

Throughout time man has tried to define and understand his own Mortality by believing in Ghosts and the Hereafter.  Skeptics and Believers alike are eager to create new theories either proving or disproving ghosts so in this write-up we will take a quick look at some of the theories trying to explain the mystery of ghosts.  This write-up will take a quick look at the usual Beliefs on ghosts on the viewpoint of Believers and Skeptics alike.

Those who believe in ghosts believe they are the spirits of departed persons who remain on this Earth and have not yet passed onto the “Other Side” for some unknown reason(s).  We SPI are trying to prove this theory and find out the truth behind.

Skeptics like to believe that spirits are simply figments of madmen and overactive imaginations.  It is easy to accept this theory but the problem in accepting this theory is why is there so much photographic and other evidence as well as first-hand accounts of encounters with ghosts.  Mass hysteria throughout the Ages?  Not likely.  Some already witnessed ghosts first-hand themselves and this is by no means uncommon.  One out of 10 Singaporeans have claimed to have had an encounter with ghosts at least once in their lifetime and one out of 4 Singaporeans believe in ghosts.   Not to mention all of the other experiences happening to millions, if not billions, of other people around the world.  Certainly it is totally and utterly impossible to refute all of these claims as lies, hoaxes, and overactive imaginations.  Yes, some of the cases are but we are still left with an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of the afterlife.  The Bible and the Quran and most World Religions support the ideology of “Life After Death”.  As the old saying goes, “Truth is always stranger than fiction”.  That is certainly the case here.  It may seem more rational to believe we simply disappear after we die but science is showing quite the contrary so what may seem rational is not always the Truth!

In short, if we want everlasting hope of the Afterlife then let us believe in ghosts!  The evidence is there but we sometimes just don’t want to accept it simply because most people do not like the thought of death.  Most people may even strictly put science and ghosts in opposite positions – to allow us choose either one of the two, and no in-between.  There is no exact science.  Things that cannot be explained by now doesn’t mean they will never be explained in the future.  Those who advocate and bestow science is everything that we can see and touch materially would have less chances to move beyond.  We believe, only with an open mind we will learn.

So are there ghosts?

There are, however, many theories to explain the thousands upon thousands of documented experiences that people around the world have had since the beginning of recorded history. Ghosts and hauntings seem to be a relatively common part of the human experience. And there appear to be several types of ghosts or hauntings, and more than one theory may be needed to explain them all.

Dead people

The traditional view of ghosts is that they are the spirits of dead people that for some reason are “stuck” between this plane of existence and the next, often as a result of some tragedy or trauma. Many ghost hunters and psychics believe that such earth-bound spirits don’t know they are dead. Veteran ghost hunter Hans Holzer says, “A ghost is a human being who has passed out of the physical body, usually in a traumatic state and is not aware usually of his true condition. We are all spirits encased in a physical body. At the time of passing, our spirit body continues into the next dimension. A ghost, on the other hand, due to trauma, is stuck in our physical world and needs to be released to go on.”

Ghosts exist in a kind of limbo in which they haunt the scenes of their deaths or locations that were pleasant to them in life. Very often, these types of ghosts are able to interact with the living. They are, on some level, aware of the living and react to being seen on the occasions that they materialize. Some psychics claim to be able to communicate with them. And when they do, they often try to help these spirits to understand that they are dead and to move on to the next stage of their existence.

Residual Hauntings or Recordings

Some ghosts appear to be mere recordings on the environment in which they once existed. A civil war soldier is seen on repeated occasions staring out a window at a house where he once stood guard. A dead child’s laughter is heard echoing in a hallway where she often played. There are even cases of ghost cars and trains that can still be heard and sometimes seen, even though they are long gone. These types of ghosts do not interact with or seem to be aware of the living. Their appearance and actions are always the same. They are like spirit-level recordings – residual energies – that replay over and over again.

“A traumatic moment in time leaves an indelible impression on the building or area,” says Strange Nation in “What Is a Ghost?,” “replaying itself for eternity. This could be anything from a ‘glimpse of the past’ – a recreation of some traumatic or emotion-laden event – to footsteps up and down a hallway.”

What causes these recordings to be made and how and why they are played back is a mystery. “How and why past events are recorded and replayed repetitiously is not understood,” writes Lauren Forcella. “Whatever the actual mechanism, it apparently possesses longevity as the encore performances of a haunting can continue for decades or longer. Generally, the haunting is a fragment or portion of an actual event.”


These kinds of ghosts may be the most common. These spirits usually appear shortly after their deaths to people close to them. They are aware of their deaths and can interact with the living. They most often bring messages of comfort to their loved ones, to say that they are well and happy, and not to grieve for them. These ghosts appear briefly and usually only once. It is as if they intentionally return with their messages for the express purpose of helping the living cope with their loss.

“This category commonly involves one-time visits to someone with whom the apparition has close emotional ties,” says Lauren Forcella at Paranormal Investigations, who calls these ghosts “crisis apparitions.” “Though the encounter usually seems to be a type of farewell, sometimes important and useful information is relayed to the ‘viewer.’ Though dying is the most common crisis, other life-threatening situations can also trigger apparitional visits.”


This type of haunting is the most feared by people because it has the greatest ability to affect our physical world. Poltergeists are blamed for unexplained noises, such as wall-banging, rapping, footsteps and even music. They take our possessions and hide them, only to return them later. They turn on faucets, slam doors, turn lights on and off, and flush toilets. They throw things across rooms. They have been known to pull on people’s clothing or hair. The malevolent ones even slap and scratch the living. It is because of these sometimes “mean-spirited” manifestations that poltergeists are considered by some investigators to be demonic in nature.

Other investigators, however, believe that poltergeist activity is not caused by ghosts at all, but by certain living people under stress. “During a poltergeist experience,” writes Lauren Forcella, “the agent, in an attempt to relieve emotional stress, unknowingly causes the physical disturbances using mental forces. The mental mechanism that allows the poltergeist agent to unconsciously cause these physical disturbances is called psychokinesis.”


The skeptics’ point of view – if they are willing to admit there is anything to haunting experiences at all – is that they are all in our minds, or are products of our own minds. Ghosts, they say, are psychological phenomena: we see them because we expect to or want to see them. A grieving widow sees her dead husband because she needs to; she needs the comfort of knowing that he is alright and happy in the next world. Her mind produces the experience to help itself cope with the stress of the loss. Since we know so little about the power and capacity of our own minds, it’s possible that they can even produce physical manifestations, such as apparitions and noises – projections that even others may be able to see and hear. But they are not “real” in any sense, say the skeptics, just the conjuring of powerful imaginations.

Are there such things as ghosts? The phenomena of ghosts and hauntings are very real experiences. It is their true cause and nature that is the ongoing mystery.

Black Magic


Black magic & Evil spells is the use of negative energies and supernatural powers by some jealous people to harm and destroy other’s life and future. Ghosts & spirits are unsettled souls who have not reached their correct destination and spread ill-luck & bad vibes with their presence. All these evil influences can destroy a person’s happiness, luck & future prospects – he will not even get what he is destined for.

Black magic is the negative use of energies and power by jealous and malicious human beings of Kalyuga, whose main objective is to harm or deprive others from something, or influence them to do something wrong or negative. It is the evil side of the celestial cycle or negative energies.

Black Magic can be used to harm or hurt another person by performing certain acts even at a far away place – the effect of this technique can be experienced thousands of miles away. With increase of jealousy, frustration, greed, selfishness, negativity and inability to accept other’s happiness & growth, the use of Black magic has become the most common way to take out one’s vindictiveness and get an evil kind of satisfaction from the turmoil of others. This problem has intensified a lot in the last few years, and many are suffering all over the world, totally unaware of the attacks made by no other than their closest friends, acquaintances and relatives. Many prosperous and happy families are ruined by Black magic.

Its started when someone is jealous, frustrated, greedy, selfish, negative or full of revenge in his life with his/her enemy or someone who they hate most. People like this wanted to hurt their enemy or their hate ones in an easy manner and a easy way out so they will use Black Magic.

They will either seek “black” bomoh, dukuns etc or learn with someone professional in Evil spells in Singapore or some other countries. This types of people have the abilities to communicate with Jins and Demons and will seek for their help for giving extra abilities to make someone suffer. The person who intend to use this Evil spells they have a little believe in god and press their thoughts as the divine truth.

People who learn Black Magic can be found all over Singapore but it is really rare to see one. Some Magical powers which they have sometimes was also pass on from generation to generation in a natural way.

Another Reason for having Black Magic

As we know that Black Magic is a form of evil, some people make take it for themselves and not to curse on people. They will have special abilities such as doing magic tricks for entertainment or for their personal protection. On the other hand Love was their topics and they will use Black Magic or Evil Task to have their love ones back. A common factor was to have fun like as for the Man they would like girls all around them and some money minded would want wealth and to be very rich with big houses and Cars.

Symptoms of Black Magic

Black magic puts a block on a person’s wisdom and intelligence and all efforts to solve the problem go fruitless. One feels a mental block, gets disturbed sleep with bad dreams, and negative thoughts. There is heaviness and weight on the heart and constriction in the throat.

At times, there could suddenly be blue marks on thighs without getting hurt, or faster & erratic heartbeat and breathing without any physical exertion. There are quarrels in the family without any reason. One might feel the presence of somebody in the house. One feels one is not getting one’s due and can achieve much more. One feels suffocated & restless in all circumstances, and is never at peace. One remains depressed, with lack of enthusiasm or desire to live & rise in life.

All this was curse by someone who have Black Magic or learn Evil Spells. Some curse was by people who seek from bomoh and they will take their enemy belongings such as Picture (a common bait), a string of hair and many more that belongs to the enemy or their hates ones.

Effects of Black Magic

Black Magic can really play havoc with the life of the target person by destroying any aspect of life may it be career/business or wealth/prosperity, creating family problems or unnecessary tensions/phobias, adversely affecting children & family, creating chronic health problems, destroying mental peace, intelligence & happiness, cause inner turmoil, unrest & uncharacteristic/abnormal behavior and even cause unnatural deaths in extreme circumstances. Some may only stay in bed and suffer they cannot live or die because of the evil curse that has been attach to them.

Black Magic not only affects the circumstances and future prospects of a person, but also deprives him materially of everything he was destined for, but also affects the psyche of the victim in such a way that one looses the will-power & mental energy to get out of the sinister situation one is in, and has no desire to live or rise in life.

The effects of Black Magic become more chronic, dangerous and fatal with time, if untreated, like a horrible disease. It starts spreading like a contagious disease, affecting the person’s mind, brain, body, relationships, attitudes, work, money, marriage, career and everything in life.

Black Magic Task

Besides Evil Spells there’s also a physical ones like they have learn Black Magics Curse and to complete the task they must do some work. This works needs spirits, objects and living things.

As for spirits they would hire them to either disturb the Enemy family or posses them. The objects they use is also to hurt the enemy such as taking the enemy soul and put it in a bottle and throw it in the ocean. If the bottle is not open, they enemy will still suffer till someone release him. Beside bottle there’s more which can be use. As for living things they would use insects like grasshopper with some curse attach to them. Upon the grasshopper arrive at their enemies house it will release the curse and start spreading.

These are 10 names (Malaya Races Black Magics) that author knows well,
• “Tuju Tuju” an orb that is use by egg and some evil ingredients. This orbs will travel through the sky and it is orange in colour and similar like a shooting stars.
• Oil chin and knee -An evil curse that is use by dead body burn oil.
• 40th tomb stones- A Black Magic task. To mark the 40th tombs to complete the task and receive some special abilities by the Dark force.
• 7 strings Banana heart-A Black magic task. A meditation under a tie banana tree heart
• “Ikat pochong” Also know as Tie Like a “Pochong”-An evil curse. By taking the enemy souls and tie it as in pochong form.
• Sleep Before death grave- A Black Magic task. A help from Dark forces by sleeping inside a grave before someone is buried the next day.
• “Pukau Mayat” illusion dead- A black magic task and curse. This magic will make the person invisible and will sneak into some one house and steal valuables.
• “Satau” Poison- An evil curse to make someone become crazy or schizophrenia.
• Buried the Unpleasant- A Black Magic task with curse. The enemy soul is taken and buried at a junction, the more people across it the more pain the enemy will suffer or a Dark spirits is buried near the enemy house and the spirits will never stop disturbing the family.
• Dolls As it actual form- a common practice by many evil witchcraft/voodoo, bomoh or people who learn evil spells. It is similar like the curse of a doll which they will poke the parts of the doll as the parts of the enemy will feel hurt and pain.

Throwing Spirits

Some People who have Black Magic, they also have spirits as their slave. And if they find the spirits useless and would want to throw it away, they will either take spirits and put in a bottle and throw it away till someone finds it and the spirits will have a new guardian. Some will attach it through Wind-chimes and turtles so as many things more like Nailed it to a tree or something. If the spirits is free by itself it will either be a Sea Ghost or Forest Ghost but if Demons take the spirits, they will become as ghost.

Breaking or reversing Black Magic Spell

Putting a Black magic spell on someone is very easy for those knowing even a little bit of Tantrik siddhis/ voodoo. But to remove the spell and eliminate it’s sinister effects needs lot of expertise, continuous & rigorous puja/worship and a combination Siddhis & Sadhna. Gurude curses those doing Black Magic on innocent people and destroying their lives and happiness for years to come.

Getting Rid Of Black Magic

If someone is curse by a EvilSpells or Black Magics and wanted to remove it, for Bad Points people will use his/her Black Magics to against the mastermind who had curse on the suffering person and therefore they will battle against each other with their Magics and EvilSpells. Whose powers is greater will win the battle it same as “winner stay loser out” Mostly people will Seek Magic-Wizard, Bomoh, Dukuns and the one that is expert in EvilSpell to work things out.

As for the Good Points people will find a holy person and to cure the curse ones. This kind of holy person is also very rare to find in Singapore and only a few are well know by others. This types of Holy person has a permission from God to do his Abilities to cure on curse people, their mission is to help people.

Death for Evil Bomohs

What happen after the Evil wizard dies?

Truly this Bad Wizards who have press their thought as the divine truth and rarely believe in God whom always seek help from the Dark Forces, God will never accept them and it is up to God to forgive them therefore their spirits will be roaming around till they get a new Gurdian to take care off.

But note this, after they dies their powers is still as strong as usual so the next Evil Wizard, Bomohs etc who found his spirits is a very lucky guy and a powerful ones.

Differences Between Black And White Magics

Simple now we knows that Black Magics is ruled by the Drak Forces and to destroy someone career etc but as for People who has White Magics they have the abilities to Cure a suffering person from Black Magic and has the permission from God to do all his good work.

• -Where Did he learn White Magic?
• -Who? How? Whose? When? Why? What?
• -Do White magic Is also a Pass on Generations?
• -Do the one who learn White Magic Really a Holy one?
• -Does the person who learn White Magic always Pray?
• -Those who learn White magic is an Old man or Young Boy?
• -Is he a Human Or Guardian from above?
• -TRUE or False?

Need to Know More Bout White Magic? You will find it at more at the White Magic Section Soon.

SPI Azri


Ghost Explained (Part 4)

Plasma and Psychospheres

by Marinus Anthony van der Sluijs

A Field Phenomenon

Perhaps one of the most intriguing mysteries to make it into the 21st century without ever having been resolved is the ghost phenomenon.[1] Such a vast literature has been written on the subject that I will not expound on anything in this brief paper, but straightforwardly introduce a possible working hypothesis that may guide us in future investigations.

In every ghost apparition essentially two participants can be identified:

• the percipient is the one and sometimes the group undergoing the experience;
• the agent is the ghost itself or the person who is represented by the ghost, himself often deceased.

The most fundamental issue at stake in the ghost phenomenon appears to be the question who or what triggers the apparition: who takes the initiative? Subjective theories argue that the percipient himself initiates the apparition, for example as the effect of his unconscious on his sensory organs. Objective theories, on the other hand, advocate the view that there really is physical substance and actuality in the apparition, in other words, that the ghost itself may really operate on the percipient.[2]

Taking all the evidence together it would seem that there are certain arguments in favour of both explanations. Given the strong neurological resemblance between ghost apparitions and hallucinations, for example, it sounds likely to assume that the ghost apparition is essentially a between-the-ears process. Yet other considerations vouch for the physical existence of the ghost:

• the ghost is frequently observed by more than one person, all in their right minds, and appears to each of them in the correct perspective;
• the percipient generally does not even remotely expect to see anything of the kind, as most ghosts come completely ‘out of the blue’;
• many percipients have skeptical views of the paranormal and are greatly surprised by what they see;
• the ghost often appears opaque, blotting out objects behind it;
• the ghost is sometimes reflected in a mirror;
• the ghost often looks exactly like the agent, wearing clothes or having physical characteristics that are by no means known to the observer;
• the ghost is occasionally seen by animals as well, who sometimes even point the apparition out to the human percipient.

Thus, on one hand there is no denying that the ghost apparition is connected with hallucinatory processes in the brain,[3] whilst on the other hand there really appears to be some sort of external trigger. It seems warranted, then, to assume in the final analysis that both objective and subjective explanations play a part in the process. Now, how could this be envisioned?

I think a theory of ghosts could greatly benefit from the use of a field model. Field theory is especially common in physics, where it is used to account for the simultaneous presence or operation of certain forces in different places at the same time. The best known fields are the gravitational and the electromagnetic fields. Fields have a number of basic properties which will turn out to be of great help in a theory of ghosts:

#1. A field is typically generated by a single object.

#2. Fields can only be felt or experienced if you are properly attuned to them.

#3. Two or more different fields can overlap if they are close enough or the spheres are large enough. The resulting force in the overlapping area will be the sum of the forces of the overlapping fields.

#4. The field radiates outwards from this objects with a gradual decline in strength. The strength of the field declines in space and time – in space, because the further you are removed from the centre the weaker the field becomes, and in time, because the longer after the original generation of the field, the weaker the field becomes.

These characteristics seem to make sense of many aspects commonly involved in ghost experiences:

#1. A large class of ghost apparitions, most notably the deathbed and near-death apparitions and so-called crisis apparitions, take place on occasion of extreme emotional stress, usually of a negative kind, but occasionally of a delightful nature. It would seem, then, that the psychological crisis experienced by the agent generates a field of some kind, which forms the basis of the apparition. I will provisionally call this field a psychic field or a psychosphere.[4]

#2. Many people never see ghosts and it even occurs that some people in a group see it, but one in the group misses it. There appears to be a selection of people who can observe a ghost. This could be explained by a field model, in which persons whose senses pick up the right wavelengths can see a ghost. This notion bears a close resemblance to Rupert Sheldrake’s suggestion of morphic fields, which convey information relevant to select groups of individuals, as well as to theories of telepathy. As a rule of thumb you could say that people who are closely related or know each other well seem to be better ‘tuned in’ to each other and that might help explain why so many ghosts are identified as family members of the percipient, dead or alive.[5]

#3. The discrepancy between the objective and subjective theories of ghosts could now be overcome by invoking the principle of an overlap of fields. If we might posit for the moment that every human being – or every animal with a brain – has his own psychosphere, then all types of non-verbal, non-visual and distant communication could be understood as the result of an overlap of psychospheres,[6] facilitated if the persons involved are tuned in to the same wavelengths. Thus, if someone sees a ghost it is neither enough to suppose that the agent is sending out signals nor to suppose that the percipient is hallucinating, but both are true at once, as it is a mutual process triggered by this overlap of psychospheres. The agent, typically on occasion of crisis, broadcasts strong signals constituting his own psychosphere, which are picked up by the percipient if he is tuned in properly.[7] The psychosphere must somehow be supposed to convey all the necessary information to ‘make a ghost’ and ‘deliver a message’, for which issue see below.

#4. The gradual decline of a field in time and space works well for the ghost phenomenon. Naturally, you would expect that the psychosphere is at its strongest close to the agent and at the moment of the crisis itself. This is, of course, why deathbed apparitions are such a common class of ghost observations. The two other dominant classes of ghost apparitions are haunters and crisis apparitions. Haunters and to a lesser degree revenants are classes of ghosts who are bound to one particular place and appear more than once in that area for an extended period of time. Many people can see the same haunters, including people who have no idea who the haunter is. Unlike haunters, crisis apparitions are ghosts who are seen in a different place than the place of trauma, often far removed from it, but this time almost exclusively by close relatives and friends of the agent. Thus, haunters and crisis apparitions appear to be each other’s opposites in terms of distance and familiarity:

location: seen by:
haunters: same place anyone
crisis apparitions: anywhere close family and friends

These observations receive an excellent explanation in terms of a field, as the two classes of ghost apparitions correspond to the peaks of field strength in space and time respectively. That is, whilst the field strength gradually declines after the crisis it can still be picked up either by being close to the centre of the field, where it was generated (haunters) or by being well attuned to the correct wavelength (crisis apparitions). If you are far removed from the source and are not tuned in to the particular person you will miss the signals.

This explanation requires, almost as a corollary, that a psychosphere imprinted by someone in mental crisis can linger on after the person’s death. This imprint could then be identified with a ‘soul’ or ‘astral double’, if you like.[8] It supposedly forms a double of the agent in crisis himself and sometimes even of his environment.

What Type of Field?

The upshot is that a field theory of some sort would seem able to make sense of the communication aspect of the ghost experience. The next step from here would be to determine what type of field this is and how exactly it can convey information about the form, the behaviour and the message of the ghost. In the large majority of cases the ghost turns out to look exactly like the agent, often displaying features of which the percipient was by no means aware. Does the field somehow contain a three-dimensional image of a visual type, so that the percipient’s brain, receiving these data turns them into a hallucinatory vision, giving the percipient the feeling that he has actually observed the ghost with his eyes and other senses?[9]

A first step towards the answer is to remember that the human brain and nervous system are of an electric nature.[10] The impulses sent from our eyes, ears, nose and skin to our brain are electrical signals transported through our nerves. Thus, the information constituting a ghost experience always ends up in an electric format in our brains, but if we want to find out whether the ghost is merely a set of field parameters picked up by our brain or a real observed object, we need to know if the psychosphere itself could be an electromagnetic field. Now, interestingly, there are telling clues that ghosts do indeed have a close connection with electromagnetic phenomena:

A neighbour boy enlisted to the Marines, and was serving in the Pacific. His parents heard nothing for about six weeks, his mother was wild with anxiety. One morning I stood looking across our yard toward our neighbor’s mailbox thinking ‘If only Bob’s mother could get a letter’. As if in answer to my prayer, there stood Bob, right near the mailbox, in his Marine uniform. He and his uniform appeared pale in colour and fuzzy in outline. He neither moved nor spoke … After Bob stood there for a minute or two impressing his thought on my mind, his ‘body’ started to rise. It stretched out longer and thinner – not straight into the sky, but at an angle of perhaps 30 degrees from the vertical. When the head and shoulders were perhaps 3 metres above where they had been at first they suddenly turned into (or went into) a bright shaft of light, like a very bright electrical bolt. The balance of the figure followed the head and shoulders into the light and disappeared. The bolt appeared about a metre long and 12 centimetres in diameter. The queer thing was the sparks of blue and green light that appeared to radiate from the lower edge of the bolt, and the yellow and red sparks that came from the upper end … Bob’s last two letters came that day, and in September came a ‘missing in action’ telegram.[11]

Filmed for a television documentary, investigators headed by William Roll and Andrew Nichols, both of them professors of parapsychology in American universities, found significant electromagnetic readings in houses where hauntings were claimed.[12]

Eastman, Chief Engineer at the Rhodes Electrical Company, London, was working with his colleague Harold Woodew in a darkened room, arranging high-tension wires to form a magnetic field. To their astonishment, a luminous blue sphere began to form over a dynamo revolving near them. Then, as the light grew brighter, they saw a form resembling a human hand appear in the centre of the sphere. They watched it for several minutes, until it faded away. For four days, the two men worked to re-create the conditions in which the phenomenon had occurred. When they eventually succeeded, the sphere again appeared, but this time the form which appeared in the magnetic field resembled a human head, white in colour and slowly revolving.[13]

During an apparition the percipient’s hair is often raised and the person frequently feels a chilling passing wind as well:

Percipients quite often tell us they have a feeling of something strange before they actually see their ghost … At one point during the Cheltenham case, Rosina Despard notes, ‘I felt a cold icy shiver’ when the ghost bends over her while she is playing the piano. On another occasion five of the witnesses feel ‘a cold wind, though their candles were not blown about’.[14]

Ghosts sometimes produce Poltergeist effects, such as lifting tables, or closing windows or doors. These observations could be explained in terms of electromagnetism as well.

It would seem, then, that the psychosphere is an electromagnetic field or at least has an influence on electromagnetism. But how could an electromagnetic field possibly take on the visual appearance of a ghost? This question has to my knowledge never been answered in existing literature and it is at this point that I would like to introduce plasma as the possible key to decipherment of the ghost enigma.[15] A plasma is an ionised gas, which is by definition located in an electromagnetic field. The particles of the plasma rearrange themselves according to the field lines of the magnetic field, so that a plasma in a field with a sufficiently strong current becomes a visible manifestation of the magnetic field. The shape a plasma takes on, therefore, is the shape of the magnetic field. It is now generally acknowledged that plasma accounts for 99.9 % of the universe; well-known examples of plasma formations are stars, the sun, the auroras, lightning, and fire. I would now propose the following working hypothesis for a new theory of ghosts:

A ghost is a plasma formed when the percipient’s electromagnetic field overlaps with the electromagnetic ‘psychosphere’ of the – often distant – agent and the combined field strength ionises the gas particles in the air.

This hypothesis could be tested by a detailed comparison of the morphology of ghosts with plasma physics. Although I am in no way a specialist in plasma physics, a general reading of literature would support the following observations:

• Ghosts often glow or are visible in the dark. This is a property of plasma.
• Ghosts run the gamut of sometimes being completely transparent and sometimes being completely opaque. Opacity is a function of the density of the plasma.
• Ghosts occasionally produce sound, but they often have difficulty with it, fail to say something, or merely utter an eerie cry. Plasmas, such as auroras and lightings, are frequently accompanied by sound.
• Most ghosts are stationary, but some are engaged in some activity or move around. Plasmas could be either stationary or mobile.
• Ghosts are sometimes seen passing through walls, but often open doors like ordinary people. There would be no boundaries for moving plasmas, although it appears that the agent urges the plasma to react as a living person would do.
• Ghosts never leave physical objects behind. Plasmas are simply ionised gases.
• Many ghosts start off as a ball, then become a ring or a humanoid form. Witness the following examples:

A party of young people and myself determined on All Hallow’s Eve to play at the childish game of sitting separately in dark rooms, with supper laid for two, with the intention of awaiting the appearance of a future husband or wife. Thinking the whole thing a joke, and not in the least expecting to see anything, I distinctly saw, first, a flimsy cloud which rose up at the other end of the room, then the head and shoulders of a man, middle-aged, stout, with iron-grey hair and blue eyes – not in the least the picture which a young girl would imagine she saw on such an occasion.[16]

Frau Schmidt-Falk is climbing alone, when she happens to miss her way: ‘… Having started a little late for the return, and light beginning to fade, all of a sudden I found myself in a really dangerous position … All of a sudden I noticed a sort of a big ball of light, and this condensed to the shape of a tall, rather Chinese looking gentleman … The gentleman bowed, spoke a few words, led me a small path to the tourists’ way, and disappeared as a ball of light.[17]

When we were about five, Aunt Sarah died … About two weeks later, Bud and I were playing by the side of the house at twilight (sic!). I happened to look up and saw a cloudy, swirling vapour. It became Aunt Sarah, standing there by the house.[18]

(While working with medium Marthe Béraud) ‘I see something like a white vapour, about 40 centimetres from me. It is like a white veil or handkerchief on the ground. This whiteness rises, becomes rounded. Soon it is a head, level with the ground: it rises further, grows, and becomes a human figure, a short man, wearing a turban and a white robe, with a beard …[19]

I was lying on a divan, reading, at about 5 p. m., when I saw at the doorway a little luminous circle, like the reflection of a mirror. I could see nothing that would cause such a light. The luminous circle became larger, and when it was as big as the door itself, a kind of dark shadow appeared in the middle of it. A human figure formed more and more distinctly, then detached itself from the wall and advanced towards me.[20]

Other than the visible plasma, the intruding psychosphere might contain additional electromagnetic information to be read by the brain of the percipient, which could perhaps account for the missing information, important advice, correct hiding place and so forth transmitted by the ghost in many ghost experiences. Needless to say that the investigation has only just begun.


The following is a very brief extract of the findings of Hilary Evans’ detailed study of ghost apparitions:

Types of ghosts[21]

#1 from the past:
#1a revenants
#1b deathbed and near-death
#1c haunters
#2 of the present:
#2a crisis apparitions
#2b living ghosts
#2c autophany and bi-location
#3 of the future
#4 out of time:
#4a aerial battles and other events
#4b archetypal ghosts

Characteristics of ghosts[22]

#1 a ghost is generally life-like in appearance;
#2 a ghost is usually ‘seen’ in much the same way as if it was real;
#3 a ghost may be seen either collectively or selectively;
#4 a ghost may change its appearance during the sighting;
#5 a ghost generally adapts to its surroundings (by minding doors and so on)
#6 a ghost may appear by forming from a luminous or misty shape;
#7 a ghost is generally dressed naturally … but sometimes not;
#8 a ghost may be clearly defined … or fuzzy;
#9 a ghost may be seen in whole or in part;
#10 a ghost’s appearance may contain details unknown to the percipient;
#11 a ghost may be opaque or transparent, may reflect or not, cast a shadow or not;
#12 a ghost may or may not be seen by its own luminosity;
#13 ghosts can make sounds;
#14 a ghost may perform a physical action … but if so, the action is trivial;
#15 a ghost may be touched and felt … but lack material substance;
#16 a ghost may respond to the percipient or act as though s/he isn’t there;
#17 a ghost generally makes a once-only visit … but sometimes returns;
#18 a ghost may appear in two places simultaneously, or within an impossibly short space of time;
#19 a ghost may depart naturally, or vanish abruptly, or simply fade away;
#20 a ghost never leaves any souvenir, memento or trace;
#21 a ghost may be seen by the ‘wrong’ person;
#22 a ghost frequently fails to establish its identity;
#23 ghosts are frequently sensed.

Purposes of the ghost experience[23]

#1 apparitions offering comfort, counsel, help
#2 apparitions requesting comfort, counsel, help
#3 apparitions warning of danger
#4 apparitions seeking to complete ‘unfinished business’
#5 apparitions manifesting malevolence
#6 apparitions as messengers of doom.

Marginally related phenomena[24]

#1 dreams
#2 hallucinations
#3 religious visions
#4 battlefield helpers
#5 folklore entities
#6 angels and women in white
#7 demons and men in black
#8 bedroom visitors
#9 extraterrestrial beings
#10 séance-room materialisations

Those who have the ghost experience[25]

#1 exceptional people
#2 sensitive people
#3 ‘encounter-prone’ people
#4 exceptional states
#5 mystical states
#6 exceptional circumstances
#7 violent death and reincarnation
#8 immediate circumstances
#9 geophysical parameters.

So, if a person experiences a severe electric shock, or his house is built on clay, or he is susceptible to thunderstorms, or he is laid low by fever, or eats the wrong food or no food, or dallies with drugs or abuses alcoholic beverages, or pushes himself too hard at the office, or drives alone at night or sails alone across an ocean, or undergoes a spiritual transformation or quarrels with his partner at the breakfast table – in these or a hundred other situations, he may be rendered more likely to have a ghost experience.[26]


• Because we know that the subconscious … can visualize a hallucination, we may accept this as the process whereby an apparition is perceived, the suggestion either originating in the individual’s own subconscious, or suggested to it by an external agent.

• Because we know no limits to the creativity of the human mind, we may accept the possibility that many ghosts … are visualizations, exteriorized by the percipient’s own subconscious and accepted as real by his conscious mind.

• Because we know that the mind is occasionally capable of remote viewing we know that psi exists, and because the mind can be capable of precognition, we know that super-psi exists; and because we know no limits to super-psi, we may conceive it possible that the mind can obtain unlimited access to information of every kind.

• Because we know that projection takes place, we know that the extended self, or something like it, must exist. If so, it is a likely candidate for many types of apparition, notably living ghosts and those which seem to involve bi-location.

• Because the extended self, in the course of projections, displays memory, awareness and other indications of intelligence … we may accept that these faculties can exist apart from the physical body.

• Because the extended self, possessing awareness, intelligence and memory, can seemingly exist apart from the physical body, we may further conceive that it could survive the death of the physical body, and even continue to display signs of individual personality.

• Because we know that ghosts sometimes communicate information known to no living person, and utter veridical warnings, we know that whatever causes them enjoys seemingly unlimited access to knowledge; this could be the percipient’s own subconscious, or the extended self of the surviving dead, using super-psi.

• Because there are cases in which more than one person sees the same ghost in natural perspective, we may conceive that the subconscious, or the extended self, or the two in collaboration, can create a short-lived apparition which has some degree of material substance.[27]


[1] Along with a host of closely related phenomena such as UFOs, saintly visions, battlefield helpers, folklore entities, angels, demons, women in white and men in black, extraterrestrial visitors, séance-room materialisations, and bedroom visitors, see H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 130-165

[2] Compare: We have basically two models for the experience: • The subjective model, originating with the subconscious of the percipient. Either of its own accord, or in response to information obtained via psi or super-psi – comprising telepathy, clairvoyance, and unlimited access to information including precognition and retrocognition – the subconscious initiates a visualization process whereby it exteriorizes an image which can be perceived consciously by the percipient, and perhaps by others, as an apparition. • The external model, originating with an external agent – by which we generally mean the extended self of a person still living, or the surviving extended self of a person once living but now dead – which is able either to manifest as an apparition, or to impose an image by suggestion on to the subconscious of the percipient(s) and cause it to exteriorize an apparition … in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 235f.

[3] Compare: Psychological variables of many kinds are the building blocks of the ghost experience: hallucination is no more than the process which enables them to find visual expression as the devil, an extraterrestrial alien or Aunt Jane’s ghost, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 137

[4] William Roll calls this a psi field: Because the ‘telepathic charge’ of a haunted house is similar to the magnetic, gravitational, and other fields that surround physical objects, I have used the concept of psi field to describe psi phenomena that seem to depend on such objects. We can think of the psi field of an object, whether animate or inanimate, as a pattern of associations … In the same way as a magnet may magnetize another piece of metal and then be destroyed without affecting the new magnet, so may the images, ideas, and so on of a person continue to exist as part of the psi fields of objects with which he was once in contact, after he has gone. The image of a person seen in an apparition, whether this image was produced by him or someone else, may survive his death without being inhabited by his consciousness, William Roll, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 250

[5] James Crenshaw has toyed extensively with the idea of different realities with different wavelengths, as the following quotes show: Aside from the considerations of pure spirit, the same kind of vibrating energy, the same kind of dancing wave patterns that we encounter here are to be found there. Only the wavelengths, the incredibly rapid rate of vibration – frequencies of high orders unimagined in our world – appear to be different, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 271. The residents of the next world are able to take on a lower frequency, allowing them to manifest in our space and time. This is like a different radio or TV frequency, to which you need to be attuned if you are to receive the signal, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 271

[6] Compare: What happens when a witness perceives a haunter, in Price’s view, is that there takes place an ‘overlapping or interpenetration of two psychic atmospheres, the one which surrounds the percipient’s body and the one which pervades the room’ (which he supposes has been, as it were, left behind by the haunter after her death), in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 232

[7] Compare: One way of accounting for the crisis apparition would be if our subconscious is continually scanning the cosmos, like the radar scanner at an airfield, and picks up on happenings relevant to itself …, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 233

[8] Adolphe d’Assier in 1887 deemed this the ‘post-sepulchral spectre’: It is the phantasmal replica of all the organs of the human body. It has been seen, in fact, to move, speak, take nourishment, accomplish, in a word, the different functions of animal life. The molecules which constitute it are evidently borrowed from the organism which gave it birth. It may then be defined as a gaseous tissue offering a certain resistance, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 258

[9] This view is defended by Hilary Evans: It is attractive to suppose that the subconscious of some percipients – those that are, as it were, on the same wavelength as the psi field – may pick up a message from the psi field and externalize it as an apparition, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 250

[10] Compare: Like any brain process, hallucinations are essentially electrical; so in principle they can be recorded, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 142

[11] Pearl Ullrich, Bellingham, Washington State, 3 July 1944, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 88f.

[12] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 187

[13] Eastman, Woodew, London, circa 1930?, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 188

[14] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 92

[15] James Crenshaw’s theories came very close, but James had apparently never heard of plasma. He postulates fields of force as the basic building blocks of the universe: the particles which make up reality as we know it are merely ‘evanescent indicators’ of the emergence of these fields of force into our physical world of space and time. It is these fields which control the kind of growth and development exemplified by, say, the directive process of cell division, and – I suppose – the whole forward-progressing course of evolution. Crenshaw suggests that similar processes may result in apparitions and materializations: ‘the apparition appears to be made up of the same kind of transitory, emerging matter. It appears and disappears, can sometimes be seen and felt before disappearing, occasionally moves objects and leaves material traces …’ in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 270

[16] Mrs Gordon Jones, Anerley, England, Autumn, 1881, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 70

[17] Elsa Schmidt-Falk, Bavarian Alps, 1950s, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 109f.

[18] De Leon, Bonham, Texas, 1889, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 127

[19] Charles Richet, Villa Carmen, France, 1904, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 163

[20] N. Heintze, Moscow, Russia, 15 April 1884, in H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 163

[21] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 13-57

[22] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 58-94

[23] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 105

[24] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 130-165

[25] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 192-214

[26] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 213

[27] H. Evans, Seeing ghosts; experiences of the paranormal, John Murray, London, 2002: 273

Types of Ghosts

Types of Ghosts

It is indeed a tough job to precisely classify ghosts.  There are lots of different types of ghost, which behave in lots of different ways.  The variety of reported hauntings spells trouble for theories about where ghosts come from, because any theory that claims to be able to ‘explain’ ghosts also has to explain a mass of contradictory ‘ghost facts’.  For instance, one may believe that ghosts are only spiritual forces that influence mind to induce hallucination or vision of ghosts.  Then what about Poltergeists that are able to generate noise and move things?

In general, a ghost is a spirit, apparition, or presence of something or someone that isn’t really there.  Ghosts have been reported by every culture throughout history.  The stereotypical ghost is the spirit of a dead person that appears as a transparent mage, but there are many other types of ghost – they don’t have to be of people (they don’t even have to be dead).  Ghosts typically, but not always, haunt a specific location or person.

Given such wide variety, we attempt to define several general types of ghosts as shown below.  This classification is limited only to those pertaining to dead, and ordinary level of spirits often intertwining with human beings.  That means, it does not include a full domain of spirits such as deity, fairy, angel, devil, demon, goblin, or goddess etc.

  • Human ghosts
    • The unquiet dead
    • Re-enactment ghosts
    • Cyclic ghosts
    • Ghosts of the living
      • Crisis apparitions
      • Doppelgangers
  • Inhuman ghosts
    • Creepy critters
    • Planes, trains, and ghost ships
  • Poltergeists

Human Ghosts

The unquiet dead

The most usual theory is that ghosts are the souls of the departed, trapped on Earth for some reason.  This theory explains why ghosts might appear, and also why they disappear when laid, but it doesn’t explain ghosts of the living, ghosts of inanimate objects, or ‘boring’ ghosts that seem to have no purpose.

Here we have one example of classic ghost.  One of the earliest and famous ghost stories is the tale of Athenodorus, as told by Roman writer Pliny the Younger (61-113CE).  According to Pliny, there was a house in Athens haunted by the spectre of an old man in rags, who would moan and rattle his chains.  This terrible apparition frightened off all potential tenants until a visiting philosopher, named Athenodorus, decided to spend the night.  A few hours after dark, Athenodorus duly heard the clanking of chains and saw the ghost.  He followed it to a spot in the courtyard – digging the next day revealed a human skeleton in chains.  The bones were given a proper burial, and the ghost was never seen again.

Pliny’s classic tale illustrates many of the elements of the stereotypical ghost.  The typical ghost is the spirit of a dead person, which appears as a pale or transparent version of its living self.  Usually the apparition is wearing clothes and if it interacts with living people at all it does so in a limited way (it may not be able to speak, or it may only be able to repeat a few words).

Often a ghost seems to have a motive in appearing – to get the living to perform whatever ritual or process is necessary to let the ghost rest in peace.  This is known as ‘laying a ghost’.  In Pliny’s tale, the ghost’s original body was not properly buried, so its spirit was condemned to haunt the night.  This motif is found in ghost stories as far back as the ancient Assyrians and Egyptians, and as for afield as Asia and Europe.

Re-enactment ghosts

Not all ghosts act with a purpose.  In fact many of them seem oblivious to the real world or living people, and display no form of intelligence or consciousness.  An example of this sort is the ghost that re-enacts a sequence of actions when it appears, passing through walls and closed doors and sometimes appearing to stand above or below the level of the floor.

Re-enactment ghosts are thought to be following a route they took in life.  They are usually linked to violent or traumatic events – battles, murders, executions, accidents or suicides.

A famous example is the Treasurer’s House in York, England.  Witnesses have described troops of Roman soldiers in full armour marching through the cellars of this historic building.  Crucially, the soldiers appeared to be knee-deep in the cellar floor – at the level of an original Roman road through the area.

One popular theory to this is called the Stone Tape theory.  Many ghosts seem to be linked to traumatic or significant events, and this has led to the theory that people and events can somehow leave an impression on their surroundings, as if they were recorded in the stones of a house – hence the ‘stone tape’ theory.  Hauntings are replays of these recordings.  This theory explains why some ghosts seem not to be conscious, e.g. re-enactment ghosts; but not ones that interact with the living, or ones that are seen away from where they lived and died.

Cyclic ghosts

Many ghosts are said to appear ‘cyclically’ on significant anniversaries, these are known as ‘cyclic ghosts’.  Famous examples include Catherine Howard, one of Henry VIII’s wives, who is supposed to be seen running screaming through the halls of Hampton Court Palace on the anniversary of her sentencing to death.

Respected psychical researcher and author Ian Wilson regards such claims with skepticism, pointing out that if ghosts really did reappear that predictably a ghost hunter’s job would be extremely easy.  Another problem is that the calendar was changed in Europe in 1582 (1752 in England), with the loss of 11 days, so that if Howard really does appear she will effectively be 11 days late.

Ghosts of the living

Crisis apparitions:  Ghosts of the living usually involve people who are experiencing or approaching a crisis.  Hence they are known as crisis apparitions.  Typically a friend or relative , possibly many miles away, will see the person, who may look quite real and appear in an unremarkable fashion (e.g. popping in to say hi).  Later they discover that their friend died or experienced a crisis at the same time or very shortly afterwards, and couldn’t have been anywhere near where they were sighted.  Crisis apparitions do not fit into most theories about ghosts; the people are still alive, they are far away and they don’t seem to have much purpose.

However, many people argue that crisis apparitions are actually telepathic projections of some sort, in which sudden physical crisis boots psi power for a moment.

Doppelgangers:  Another type of living ghosts is a double; an apparition that looks exactly like the witness.  These ghosts are known by their German name ‘doppelganger’.  The appearance of a doppelganger can often be a bad omen, but not always.

Many people argue that doppelgangers, like crises apparitions, are actually telepathic projections, not ghosts.  There is also a rare medical condition, known as autoscopy, that causes people to hallucinate a transparent mirror image of themselves.

In Celtric lore, a doppelganger is known as a ‘fetch’.  In Iceland they are known as Fylgja, and in Norway as Vardoger.  These Scandinavian doubles announce someone’s arrival by appearing a few minutes before the actual person.

Inhuman Ghosts

One major problem for the theory that ghosts are spirits or personalities that survived death is that there are many reports of the ghosts of animals and even inanimate objects (mainly vehicles).

Creepy critters

Belief in animal spirits is common in hunting cultures.  Hunters sometimes perform elaborated ceremonies after killing an animal so that its spirit will not be vengeful.  In arctic Siberia, for instance, hunters hold a festival in honor of each whale they kill, so that its ghost will not frighten off other whales.

Ghost dogs are a common feature of western folklore, especially large black dogs with glowing eyes, known as barguests, devil dogs, gyrtrash, or shuck-hounds.  Barguests are usually thought to be bad omens, but can be helpful, protecting travellers in lonely places.

Planes, trains, and ghost ships

Probably the best known ghost vehicle is the Flying Dutchman.  This legendary vessel is said to be a 17-centuary sailing ship crewed by dead men, whose caption is doomed to sail the world forever as punishment for his sins.  Many sailors have reported encounters with the ship, which is usually described as glowing red or ghostly pale.


The most convincing type of haunting, the poltergeist, may not be caused by a ghost at all.  The word poltergeist is the German term for ‘noisy ghost’, and is the name given to a type of haunting in which the ghost, if there is one, is invisible, manifesting itself through a variety of physical phenomena.

Bad behaviour

Common symptoms of a poltergeist haunting or infestation include: objects being moved or thrown about; banging, rapping and knocking; small fires that start mysteriously; appliances going haywire; inexplicable wet patches; and foul smells.  Generally poltergeists are more of a nuisance than a danger, although in at least one case: the infamous Bell Witch of Tennessee, which tormented the Bell family between 1817 and 1821, and eventually poisoned John Bell, the head of the family, a man has been killed.

The epicentre

The other distinguishing feature of a poltergeist haunting is that it tends to be centred on one person, and often follows that person if he or she attempts to move house, for instance.  The focus of a poltergeist haunting is known as the ‘epicentre’.  Epicentres are most commonly children or adolescents.

All in the mind

The things that happen in a poltergeist infestation are very similar to the phenomena produced by psychokinetics and their close relations the physical mediums.  This, and the fact that an epicentre is usually involved, have led many people to argue that poltergeists are not ghosts at all, but instances of psychokinetic powers that are not under conscious control, technically known as ‘recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis’ (RSPK), produced by the epicentre.  One of the theories behind RSPK is that puberty triggers the sudden development of uncontrolled mental powers.

Poltergeists provide convincing evidence that something unusual is really happening, whether it is supernatural or paranormal, for two reasons.  Polergeist hauntings follow the same pattern in most cases, wherever and whenever they occur.  This undermines the cultural source explanation, and suggests a genuinely supernatural or paranormal phenomenon.  Secondly, investigators have exposed many poltergeist hauntings as hoaxes, in many other cases they have observed inexplicable phenomena at first-hand.

The skeptical viewpoint

The skeptical explanation is that ghost sightings are the result of a complex mix of sensory confusion, faulty memory, cultural influence, and exaggerated or false reporting.  In other words, ghosts exist only in the mind.  Skeptics claim that their theory is the only one that accounts for the whole range of ‘ghost facts’, and that the huge variety of ghost reports results from the individual and cultural variety of the witnesses.  But the skeptics can’t explain the hard core of reports of ghosts experienced by more than one witness, or cases where ghosts know things that living people do not.