If you’re into stranger things, these spooky places will get your hair standing
So we survived another Hungry Ghost Festival in Singapore, now we’re moving on to another equally frightful month, Halloween. We’re not talking about scare actors at Halloween Horror Nights and haunted houses in malls – but the real deal. Okay, whether you believe it or not, everyone knows Singapore has a rep for being haunted.
We’re all for science and facts but sometimes when there’s just been too many stories, reports and urban legends surrounding particular areas, it’s hard not to shake it off. As a treat, we’ve compiled some of the most haunted places in Singapore, from derelict buildings to old hospitals. It’s not one for the scaredy cats, but feel free to explore these spooky spots only if you dare!
Yellow Tower at East Coast Park
This haunted spot in the popular family destination, East Coast Park actually comes with a tragic history. Allegedly haunted by the spirit of a murder victim, the Amber Beacon Tower near Carpark C has been an active site for curious paranormal investigators as well as some passers-by who have claimed to have seen a female apparition crying for help on some nights.
Research shows that a murder did happen at the beacon where a young lady died from stab wounds – could this be the ghost haunting the tower?
The site is relatively well-known in Singapore – for being a suicide destination. Morbid, but over 2011 to 2012, six suicides (and one attempted suicide) took place at the reservoir and its reputation as one of Singapore’s most haunted spots was here to stay. The multiple suicides sparked some government intervention when an inter-religious blessing was organised in November 2011:religious leaders from eight faiths took turns to bless the site. Ironically, on the morning of the blessing ceremony, the 6th body was found.
It’s become the subject of paranormal investigators and curious thrill-seekers even now but perhaps the most chilling thing that will strike you at Bedok Reservoir are the signs for 24-hour crisis hotlines to remind you that life is precious.
Literally meaning ‘the dark one’ after a solar eclipse that happened in 1821, Siglap has undergone quite the facelift to become a hip and lively neighbourhood in the East. That said, this neighbourhood has a creepy history.
For one, you can’t miss the Kubur Kassim cemetery along Siglap Road, with its bright yellow gates, lush trees and sprawling grounds – a foil to the developed estate it is surrounded by. The 90-year old cemetery is the burial grounds for many Muslims who lived in the area in the past – and if you manage to get in and look close enough, you may be able to spot some grave plots here dedicated to the ‘Orang Bunian’, supernatural human-like beings from Malay folklore. On top of that, Siglap inspired the Malay classic film Pontianak – because of real pontianak sightings in the area.
What, the island dubbed the State of Fun is spooky? Well, you would know if you’re aware of its dark history as Pulau Belakang Mati – the former name of Sentosa which roughly translates to the ‘Back Island of Death’ were numerous executions happened on the pristine beaches. There’s been sightings of ghostly soldiers haunting the quieter spots on the island (we hear one of them is the Jurassic Park area of Universal Studios Singapore) so we could say that it is indeed a State of Fun for both the living and the dead.
Old Changi Hospital
The vacated colonial-style building, constructed as part of a military base where more than 50,000 prisoners were detained during the Japanese Occupation, is definitely not for the faint of heart: crying and moaning sounds in the vicinity and fearsome sightings of shadowy figures and ‘pontianaks’ (a Malay banshee slash vampire) have been numerously reported. Little wonder it’s been named as one of the most notoriously haunted places in the world.
These days, the commando barracks adjacent to Old Changi Hospital have been converted to a boutique hotel, Raintr33. We haven’t heard any spooky reviews yet out there but we’d love to hear some – if there’s anything out of the world.
Haw Par Villa
The former theme park, also known as Tiger Balm Gardens, is just as freaky in broad daylight, what with wealth of the old and bizarre statues that depict Chinese legends and folklore. Probably the spookiest spot on the property is the Ten Courts of Hell, which describes in gruesome detail the torture and punishments for sins committed in one’s lifetime.
There have been rumours that Haw Par Villa was the location of one of the gates to Hell, and security guards have spoken about how the place would come alive at night. It was also said that some of the statues are actually dead humans covered in wax, or possessed by wandering spirits. Yikes.
It’s no secret that the former Mediacorp headquarters is super haunted. People who have worked there have openly shared their creepy experiences in the sprawling place – that is located behind Bukit Brown Cemetery (another famous paranormal hotspot!). From strange voices calling your name to ghostly figures in dark corners, we’re pretty sure the Mediacorp gang are happy to be moving to their new shiny digs at Mediapolis.
Neo Tiew HDB Estate
This small public housing estate situated in Lim Chu Kang was vacated in 2002 under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme, but it remains empty and deserted. Currently used by the Singapore Armed Forces for military trainings, these low-rise HDB blocks were gossiped to be rife with vengeful banana tree spirits, and residents in the area claimed to have seen pontianaks outside windows.
National Museum of Singapore
Beautiful as it looks, the notorious Victorian-style spiral staircase at the century-old museum first built in 1882 is the most haunted spot in the place. Visitors and staff have claimed to see the wandering spirit of the former museum director, British doctor and zoologist Carl Alexander Gibson-Hill. He suffered from poor health in his later years and according to some rumours, he committed suicide.
Others have reported sightings of a priest-like figure, unexplainable cold spots or drafts, and there were several reports of people being stopped and tripped by an unseen force when they attempted to climb it. That’s probably why the stairway is currently sealed off from the public.
View Road Hospital
A secondary mental institution built to ease the overcrowding problem at Woodbridge Hospital in 1975 and later a foreign workers’ dormitory named View Road Lodge, this now-unoccupied property is said to have trapped both the living and the spirits of past patients within. A strange watchman, phantom scents, poltergeists, and bloodstains had also been reported.
Tucked into the woods in the Holland Road and Tyersall Road area, Woodneuk House or Istana Woodneuk was formerly owned by a Sultan of Johor. Now covered by vegetation after a century of being empty, the place is out of bounds to outsiders and is not charted on any modern maps of Singapore.
As with all abandoned houses, this one also comes with creepy sightings and the sorts but it’s probably the decay and deterioration of the house that is more scary above anything else.
Like this story? Check these out:
(Mostly) true ghost stories from the Honeycombers team
Local superstitions: consider yourselves warned
Asians do it best: the horror movies that cannot be unseen
The dos and don’ts of Hungry Ghost month: we learned the hard way