Real Singapore ghost stories, told by real people. 100% true – except maybe, one.
So we covered some real haunted houses in Singapore and some fun haunted houses for the sake of Halloween, but we know it’s the juicy ghost stories that people love here. We gathered some ghostly encounters the team experienced and compiled them for some light scares. Take that, Goosebumps!
Snacks with Da-ge
When I was a child we lived in Kuching, in Sarawak. We had a lovely Chinese Malaysian housekeeper called Helen. She was at least 70 years old when she was working for us (well, maybe 60? I was a kid after all). During the day my sister and I would often hang out with Helen, following her around the house; we’d also follow her to the market – where one day I saw a guy go amok and chase a chicken around the wet market until he chopped off its head with a parang! The other place we regularly went to, at least once a week, was to the Chinese temple that was on the hillside nearby our house. When we were there we would hang out with Helen’s brother. She’d sit with him and tell him what she’d been doing, how the family was, stuff like that. My sister and I would just sit and eat rambutans and throw the skins at each other.
These visits went on for years, from when I was about 5 years old, but by the time I was 11 or so, I started to notice that Helen’s brother never seemed to change (we never seemed to know his name, he was just referred to as Da-ge (older brother in Mandarin). He always wore the same khaki green, dirty pants; he never actually seemed to eat any of the food we brought with us, and he didn’t seem to get any older. Eventually I asked Helen why Da-ge was always at the temple. Was he a monk? I asked her. ‘Oh no,’ she replied. ‘Da-ge died in the war.’
– Niki, Editorial Director
I’m not sure if it’s just fatigue but after finally coming home from the hospital I’ve had scary recurring dreams of my baby falling off our balcony. My son was born premature so we had to leave him in Mt. Alvernia’s NICU for almost a month. I never told anyone about it (even my husband!) until my visiting mom shared that she was bothered by a bad dream. It had all the same elements in place — that same balcony, my baby, falling 5 floors. Chills!!!
–Eunice, Sales and Relationship Manager
Too many to count…
When we lived in a condo in Tanah Merah our eldest was terrified of his bedroom (not ideal). There was a bathroom between his room and his sister’s and he swore the door used to open all the time by itself (a sliding door) and the bathroom light turn on (his sister was in a cot at the time so not her playing pranks!). He was also convinced he was being watched in there, and would never play in his room even during the daytime, and refuse to go in there at night until we had put a light on and checked for ghosts. When we moved to a new condo the bedroom issues stopped immediately. Creepily, having spoken to other neighbours around the condo, they had similar tales of their kids being petrified by weird noises in the nights and terrible night terrors.
Another scary story happened to a good friend’s father in his brand new condo along East Coast Road. He put washing into his new washing machine, left the building (he had moved in a few days before) and when he came home the washing machine was still running but had turned 180 degrees around in its cubby and was now ‘back to front’. He was convinced someone had broken in and was playing tricks, but CCTV confirmed nobody had come in or out of the building while he was out (and he was the only apartment occupied in that block of the small development at that time). The mystery was never solved!
Another local – but not totally local story happened to another friend when she was in Bintan. Her husband – a total non-believer – woke up to find a headless man in their bedroom. He jumped out of bed to attack the intruder (my friend saw him too) but when she put the light on, it disappeared. Apparently Bintan is MEGA haunted…
Also, Lindene (Editor of HoneyKids Asia) saw an old lady ghost in the toilets here at the Honeycombers HQ yesterday…
– Tracy, believer of all things paranormal and HoneyKids Asia Writer
This happened to me a few years ago during the Hungry Ghost Festival.
Walking past an altar, I briefly wondered why it had offerings of Yakult, toys, and biscuits on the floor – then remembered that these offerings were meant to appease young spirits. I moved on and never thought about it again. During an afternoon nap on the same day, I had a vivid dream about two kids trailing behind me as I was walking home. “Help us…help us…”, they said in unison, again and again until we arrived at the lift landing below my apartment. I remember telling them, “I can’t help you and I don’t know what you want. Please go home.” They disappeared and I entered the lift alone…or so I thought.
As the lift began its ascent, I could see two ghostly faces staring at me from behind through a reflection on the glass windows. Here’s the thing about these kids. They looked normal, except for one thing: they. had. no. legs. When I finally arrived home, the two stopped abruptly at the door – they couldn’t enter because I had a fengshui bagua mirror (a pentagon-shaped symbol believed to ward off negative energy) hanging at the front. “Let us come in. We have unfinished business. Please help us so we can move on,” they pleaded. At this point, I was frustrated and in exasperation, said, “I CAN’T HELP YOU, LEAVE ME ALONE!” They then disappeared, and that was when I woke up from my nap. Till today, I avoid breaking any Seventh Month superstitions. Just in case.
There are plenty of ghost stories surrounding my old office, and it had everything you’ll find in an Asian horror flick: long and winding corridors, dimly lit corners, “haunted” toilets… It could get creepy, especially if you’re alone.
I had to pop into the office to run an errand on a Saturday and as I was packing my stuff, I caught a sudden whiff of perfume – a strong, sickly-sweet floral scent, as if there was somebody standing beside me. BUT there was nobody around and the AC was switched off. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I left quickly after that. In Malay urban legends, unexplained floral scents are associated with the presence of a pontianak, or a vampiric female spirit. Was it a supernatural “encounter”? Who knows. It definitely gave me the chills though.
–Chelsia, Secret scaredy-cat and Creative Services Editor
Pontianak outside my window
It was 3 am. I was up doing god knows what. I happened to look out the window (it was slightly ajar). I saw a huge white cloth floating by my window. No, there’s no way that was a bird. It was human sized.
Fast forward. I had dinner in a restaurant which faces the forest in Ubud. I saw the same thing flying from tree to tree. I didn’t tell anyone about it until we left Bali. NEVER EVER ACKNOWLEDGE GHOSTS/SMELLS/SIGHTINGS.
–Nafeesa, Senior Writer
Sleep paralysis… or was it?
This happened to my brother. It was a Saturday morning and my brother came into my room and asked, “Did you wash your feet when you came home last night?” He said that something disturbed him the night before. When he was sleeping, he felt a weight on his body and as his eyes drifted open, he saw a figure with long hair sitting on his body and looking right at him. The next morning he said it might have been a nightmare but he didn’t seem sure either. In a Malay household, it was believed that if you did not wash your feet when you come home, you’re inviting bad spirits into your house with you.
– Hazirah, Videographer and Graphic Designer
Urban legends (esp in Singapore) have it that when you smell the sweetness of Periwinkle or Frangipani, a nightmare is near (think of it as a Lord Voldy). I’ve never experienced this before, but one night I woke up with a full bladder and ran to the toilet, as you would. I thought I saw something white in the corner of my eye outside of the window. I flushed, and brushed the thought off, as one would do when you’re trying to be brave af (keyword: trying). Went back to bed, and woke up (like I literally shot upright – 90deg and all) at 3am (sharp, according to my clock) due to a strong deodorant-like smell. I thought it was me, so I sniffed my armpits thinking I went overboard with my Nivea roll-on, but nope. I sniffed around the room, but to no avail. So I shouted, “Leave me alone. I ain’t playin’, I will whoop you, fam.” – because in Singapore, being fierce (rather than scary) is the real OG – just ask anyone who’s seen their mum with a cane.
What not to do on Hungry Ghost Month
Like a total newb, I was absolutely fascinated by the offerings around Telok Ayer Street on my first Hungry Ghost month in Singapore. And like a total fool, I not only took photos of an offering, but Instagrammed it. I even hashtagged it. Even more stupidly, I did my Instagramming at home, when it was late at night and I was the only person in our apartment still awake. I was sitting on the sofa while I did this, and out of nowhere heard the sound of little bells jingling – as if a cat with bells on its collar was coming from our back door, through the kitchen and down our hallway. We don’t have a cat. And there was nothing there.
For months afterwards I’d hear the sound of a ball bouncing in my kids’ room at night (while they were asleep!), whistling when there was nobody there and I’d sometimes feel as if a child was by my side – when I’d look down expecting to see my toddler, there’d be nobody there.
Something at the window
For some reason every time I sleep next to a window (to be specific: closed but with nothing like blinds or curtains covering it), I’ll be plagued by the same bad dream of some creepy thing whispering in my ear intensively. It was especially bad when I was living in an ulu part of Pasir Ris. A friend of my mom came over to our house one day for dinner and while my mom was showing her around the house, she stopped at my room where I was reading on the bed (which was next to the window). “Why did you put your bed next to the window?,” she asked. I thought it was a weird question and said that it was because I liked having the sun in my face in the morning. What she said next was weirder: “But you get nightmares right?” She figured out the answer from the look on my face. She told me to put a side table as a buffer between the bed and window and everything would be fine. Strangely, things started to improve.
When we moved out, I asked my mom about the encounter and what her friend saw. My mom said nonchalantly, “Oh just “things” licking your window.” More recently, at a staycation in a nice boutique hotel in Singapore, I experienced the same thing – my bed was facing a long glass window. I stared at it hard on the 4th time I had woken up from bad dreams and but saw nothing. After getting my husband to lower the blinds, I slept fine!
– Delfina, Lifestyle Writer
It was a normal evening and as always, I’m having my very late dinner of chicken curry and rice. Everyone went to bed early that night and I was the only one awake at 11pm. The view of my dining room and kitchen were facing the dense vegetation which was pitch black. As soon as I was done with my meal, I brought my plate to the kitchen to wash up. As I was washing up, a strong gush of wind blew in the kitchen window. Dry leaves started flying in the kitchen and I immediately closed the window with my wet hands. I wiped my sweat and continued washing up. As soon as I was done and looked up and saw something white at the corner of my eye. I tried to look through the kitchen window to see if there was anything. And then I saw it again – the white figure at the corner of my eye, this time in the dining room. The hair at the back of my neck began to stand. I ran to the bathroom and slammed the door, hoping it would go away but no! The white figure was still there. Why must it follow me?!
I looked at the mirror and realised that there was a grain of rice on my eyelash. That’s the only ghost story you’ll get from me. Happy Halloween.
– Hubab Hood, Video Producer
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy:
- Hungry Ghost Festival and its superstitions
- Halloween Horror Nights returns this year
- Haunted places and creepy spots in Singapore