Expedition to St John’s and Lazarus Island (21 Dec 13)

On 21 December 2013, the Singapore Paranormal Investigators, led by Chua Chee Chay and Kweh Ting Ting, organised an expedition to St John’s and Lazarus Islands.

The expedition was for the purposes of having a BBQ on the St John’s Island, as well as to have a spooky tour of some notable hotspots on St John’s and Lazarus. This was not a formal investigation though, as this was not commissioned as such. Furthermore, no equipments for the recording of EMF, EVP or other paranormal phenomena were brought along.

Photos courtesy of Anna Ng.

The event began by taking the last ferry out from Marina South Pier on to St John’s Island on that Saturday evening. We then had a brief walkabout of the 3 major spots that we were interested in observing further later that night, followed by a lovely BBQ dinner.

At 12 midnight on 21 December, we started our spooky tour. We first went to visit the infamous human chessboard, where legend has it that Japanese colonial officers would play against each other using POWs as chess pieces. Any chesspiece that is “knocked down” by an advancing chess piece from the opponent would be beheaded. We each took turns to stand in the dead centre of the chessboard for 5 minutes, and we would try to feel for anything sensory that could explain the presence of paranormal phenomena. Most of us did not feel anything significant, save for some slight pushes forward and issues with balance.

We moved on to the next station, which was an abandoned house at the top of a hill. Now, this house has been abandoned for years. Prior SPI expeditions have not seen anyone in that house, but there are nonetheless signs that someone might be there. We saw three shirts hanging on the window, and new airconditioning compressors, but there was no other human activity.

Prior SPI expeditions also have noted significant paranormal activity there, and we wanted to see if we can replicate those findings. We took turns in groups of 2 to stand in front of the house to see if we could observe anything through the windows. Observe we did not, but we did hear dull noises coming from inside the house. It sounded like thumps to some, footsteps to others and like furniture being dragged to others. We only managed to send 2 pairs to observe at this particular hotspot, because some of the other team members who were waiting by the side were feeling physically uneasy. We took that to be our cue to leave. Later on, we would discuss this, and a very pertinent overall feeling is that that hotspot has remnants of a very sad past. There are energies there that suggest as such to us.

We moved to the next station which was a very small house with an annexed kitchen. There was an handprint on the kitchen wall, presumably of oil-based paint, but that handprint looks as fresh in 2013 as it did in 2009, when a member of the team visited that hotspot. Some of us, who were not feeling well as a result of the previous hotspot sat this one out, while the others made their observations. There was a strong feeling of energy presence at this hotspot. Some of the team members even reported a malevolent presence.

Our last trip was over the bridge onto Lazarus Island. Reports have suggested that people have heard screams coming from where the old Malay kampungs used to be on Lazarus. We, however, did not manage to observe anything on Lazarus.

We checked out of St John’s Island the very next day by the first ferry. All in all, we think that the house on the hill and the house with the handprint is deserving of further research.


Contributed by
Yasser Mattar