The 14th and 15th of February each year mark one of the most significant days in Singapore, not just because of the Valentine’s Day season, but also because these are the days in 1942 which led to the fall of Singapore. The same days which led to what is known as one of the world’s greatest war-disasters. The same reasons why Singapore is dubbed the most haunted place in Asia.
To commemorate the Total Defense Day, the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI) was invited by the National Archives of Singapore to conduct a demonstration and an experiment at the two significant venues: “Reflections at Bukit Chandu” and “Memories at Old Ford Factory”.
On 14th February 1942, after intensive attacks and bombardment from the invading Japanese troops, the Malay Regiment in defense retreated to Bukit Chandu, where they made their final stand. Many lives were lost and many died a violent death as a result of the violent battle. It is believed by many that vengeful spirits of the Japanese and Malay soldiers still return to this very site to resume the fateful battle; what is known to many as the “residual haunting”.
On the following day after the decisive battle at Bukit Chandu, 15th February 1942, the defending British troops in Singapore surrendered unconditionally to the invading Japanese troops. The signing of the surrender treaty took place in the boardroom of the Ford Motor Factory (now known as the Old Ford Factory). It marked the beginning of the 3 years and 8 months of the dreadful Japanese Occupation in Singapore.
During the Japanese Occupation, the Ford Motor Factory became a Japanese facility for assembling military vehicles for the occupying Japanese troops. The same factory is also believed to have become a suicide ground for many Japanese soldiers and officers who chose to end their lives the “samurai” way during their surrender, and hence were left the spirits lingering in the premises.
Rumours were that the subsequently abandoned Ford Motor Factory became well-known as one of the most haunted spots in Singapore and many had witnessed paranormal activities. SPI investigated the abandoned Ford Motor Factory several years before it was renovated, and the investigators had spooky encounters themselves.
Upon invitation, SPI returned to Bukit Chandu and the Old Ford Factory to conduct investigations. The plan was to set up simple Japanese offerings, as accurate as possible to actual Japanese traditions, and to detect any changes to the offerings over a period of time.
Besides Japanese Sakae (or wine), food and pastry which were included in the offerings, candles and incense were also lighted over the area, forming a “path” for the lingering spirits to the offerings.
Samples of the offerings before and after were collected. The samples were then tested for anomalies using professional laboratory equipment.
SPI investigators reported that for both days, there were no obvious changes to the offerings except what seems like a slight change in the acidity of the offered Japanese Sakae. Volunteers who tasted the samples reported that the offered Japanese Sakae produced a slight odour compared to the un-offered sample. The samples of the offered sushi also tasted sour when compared to the un-offered sample. Is this evidence of food being consumed by spirits? Or is this a result of food being exposed in air for merely 2 hours?
Remote observation and recording equipment, on top of the large arsenal of gadgets and high-tech equipment assembled and modified by the SPI gadget team, were also placed in carefully planned and selected locations of the two investigated venues: The 2nd level corridor of Bukit Chandu and the infamous Boardroom of the Old Ford Factory.
Recordings at the Bukit Chandu did not reveal any anomalies. However, at the Old Ford Factory, a portion of the recordings revealed that the wireless signals were somewhat being distorted by unknown sources, despite being left untouched and undisturbed. At almost the same time, an SPI investigator who was at the vicinity of the boardroom, noticed a fluctuation in the readings from the Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF) meter.
It was the same kind of distortion which had led to the failure of the video-signal transmitter during a similar investigation a few months ago at another proclaimed haunted spot in Telok Blangah. The equipment were later checked and confirmed to be in perfect working order. Then what had caused these disturbances? Did entities manifesting from the boardroom produced the electro-magnetic forces that caused the distortion in the video signals?