Haunted… Abandoned… These words just stir something in us. Whether it’s some late-night conversations to spook your friends or one that follows a horror movie, we’ve all shared our favourite ‘ghost’ stories as if a competition to see whose is the scariest! Singapore truly does have its haunted and abandoned moments scattered around the island, and here are ten of the spookiest ones that gave us goosebumps. Read at your own risk, for these haunted places have some haunting stories!
Singapore’s Haunted and Abandoned Places
Old Changi Hospital
We all know that the list would be incomplete without this notorious location. No longer in operation today, this hospital was built in 1935 as part of a military base camp. It includes two main military buildings which had been built by the British colonial government – Blocks 24 and 37. Part of the Kitchener Barracks, these blocks housed the British Army’s Royal Engineers. However, in 1942, these grounds were seized by Japanese troops and it became a prison for prisoners-of-war (POWs). It is said that Blocks 24 and 37 were used as torture chambers by the Kempeitai (Japanese military police), but at the end of the day, they’re just rumours.
Those that have dared to explore this eerie place have shared their supernatural encounters – sightings of what appears to be a nurse carrying a baby, a mysterious black figure by a window before vanishing seconds later, a little boy that sits and stares, and soldiers walking around. There have also been bizarre rumours of Satanists performing demonic rituals. Well, it’s against the law to enter the hospital, possibly to protect you from what lurks inside. But Old Changi Hospital is one of Singapore’s most infamous haunted spots, and now you know why.
Pasir Ris Park – Suicide Tower
The kind of stories that have been told to earn the tower this sinister nickname is enough to keep you up at night and stay away. Located in Pasir Ris Park is the ominous Pasir Ris Tower which was built in 1988. It was meant to be a viewing tower to provide Singaporeans with a bird’s eye view of the stunning landscape. But urban legends have shattered that image, for this tower has some haunting stories.
One of the most popular legends is one of a group of boys cycling at night, with one of them having a “third eye” that could see spirits. He’d apparently seen something which led him and his friends to cycle there at night. While his friends were resting on the ground, the boy suddenly ran up the tower. And jumped down. His friends rushed to him and in his final breaths, he revealed that something – or someone – had pushed him down. The boy apparently passed away on the way to the hospital. After which, there have been other paranormal sightings of Pontianaks (Malay vampires) or just a chilling presence that makes you feel uneasy, earning the tower the nickname, the Suicide Tower.
Neo Tiew Estate
This one gives us the creeps. It’s abandoned and not open to the public, though it is used by the SAF for Urban Warfare Training. Pretty apt since it takes only the brave souls to venture into a place as eerie as this. An entire HDB estate completely abandoned – what went wrong here? It is named after one of Singapore’s most prolific businessmen and entrepreneurs, Neo Tiew. He’d built hospitals, schools, and roads in the Lim Chu Kang area, for which he was honoured by having the estate named after him.
But the stories of what lingers here are what give the estate its ominous reputation. One of the most popular stories is that of a gambler that trapped a Pontianak after he forced it to help him win the lottery. The gambler allegedly used seven pins to summon the Pontianak from within the banana tree the spirit resided in, but did not remove them. This killed the tree and angered the spirit. People have reported sightings of the Pontianak in this area. As if this couldn’t get more twisted, another spooky urban legend is that taxi drivers near this area pick up women dressed in white or red who ask to be dropped off at the nearby Lim Chu Kang Cemetery. Upon arriving at the destination, they realise they’ve been handed “hell notes” as payment. Looks like you know what colours not to wear if you ever head to this area.
Amber Beacon Tower
The second tower to join this list, this one is bound to a crime that actually took place on 15 May 1990. 21-year-old Kelly Tan Ah Hong and 22-year-old James Soh were at East Coast Park. They’d known each other for 10 years but it had only been two days since the couple started dating. The couple was seated on the spiral staircase when two masked men attacked them from behind. James Soh fought off the attackers and attempted to get help from a nearby restaurant. The couple was sent to Singapore General Hospital but Kelly Tan passed on from her injuries. To this day, due to the lack of evidence, the murderers have not been found.
Since the tragic incident, it is said that Kelly Tan haunts the tower. There have been reports of a female apparition dressed in white looming around the area and fresh bloodstains on the steps and railings, while others passing by the tower have even heard of a wailing sound coming from the top. It is said that the spirit continues to haunt the tower till the murderers are captured. According to an article by PropertyGuru, a paranormal investigator who visited the tower had told them that he’d seen and even communicated with a shadowy figure believed to be a woman. Communicating with her via an electromagnetic field meter (EMF), he shared that the spirit was receptive and friendly, but there was a sense of sadness. Overy thirty years have passed, yet the crime remains unsolved. A chilling yet heartbreaking tragedy.
Haw Par Villa
This is one of those ‘if you know, you know’ locations. This was once a thriving theme park in the 80s, but today, it’s a hotspot for the ghostly stories of what lurks around. No longer a theme park today, this popular attraction looks (somewhat) unsuspecting with the statues that intend to depict Chinese legends and folklore. But in the darkness of the night, these very statues hold some unsettling stories. This park was built by the brothers that founded our household favourite, Tiger Balm: Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par.
Rumour has it that when the park was newly built, the brothers brought in a witch doctor (also known as bomoh) late at night to communicate with the paranormal world. The witch doctor would communicate with the spirits to help make his clients’ wishes come true. But after using these spirits, he would just leave them in the park and they would have nowhere to go. Hence, they possessed the statues in the park, especially the notorious Ten Courts of Hell attraction. Some other creepy rumours have it that Har Par Villa may be one of the gates to Hell, or that some of the statues are really dead humans covered in wax. Security guards patrolling the park have also claimed to have heard petrifying screams from inside. One word: sus.
This station was built where the Bidadari Cemetery used to be, which means that graves had to be exhumed to make way for the new station. Of course, this is bound to spell trouble. Interestingly, the station was built in 2003 but was only opened to the public in 2011. What happened during those eight years?
Apparently, stories say that the spirits were unhappy with this redevelopment which caused their eviction. During the time that this station was not operational, passengers in the trains that zoomed past this station reported seeing some white ghostly apparitions or figures moving about. There have also been rumours of sightings of a pocong (an Indonesian and Malaysian shroud ghost – the soul of a dead person trapped in their burial cloth) at the station. But now that the station has been open to the public for over ten years, could anything – or anyone – else still be lingering? Most importantly, do we want to find out?
This house was built in 1902 and has stood testament to time, having witnessed both World Wars. With six bedrooms, this single-storey bungalow in Punggol is surrounded by a horse stable, a tennis court, servant quarters and an orchard to envy. This house has been passed down generation by generation until the Singapore government acquired the property in the 1980s.
Villagers have shared sightings of a woman with long hair sitting at the property as if guarding the Matilda House against any uninvited guests, while others who have visited the property share about seeing some white mist in the corridor. Legend has it that the ancestral spirit roams the house, protecting it. This could point to a reason why redevelopment of the property has never been able to happen, potentially due to supernatural interferences.
During a scheduled demolition of the Matilda House, three construction workers mysteriously passed away. The developers working on the project left it immediately and vowed to never return. Matilda House has since been renovated into a clubhouse, during which, spiritual masters were activated to negotiate with the spirits that lingered in the house. Today, for “safety” reasons, the lights of the Matilda House are never switched off. Spooky? Check. Goosebumps? Check. Moving on…
The gentle crash of the waves hitting the shore is easily the most peaceful sound. But if it’s on the very beach where 66 were ruthlessly killed during the Sook Ching Massacre, is it really all that peaceful? These 66 were killed together. They had been tied to each other and as they walked to the water, they were all shot. Those that did not succumb to their gunshot wound were left to drown. Even after that, to ensure they really were dead, their bodies were retrieved and slashed apart with bayonets. No words can describe the brutality of their deaths and the ache we feel hearing about them.
A myriad of recounts shared inexplicable sounds that could be heard, like wailing, weeping, and calling out for help. Some even shared about hearing gunshots along the empty shoreline. Sightings include blood puddles forming on the bed of soft, grainy sand. But that’s not even all – heads of Chinese men either flailing with the waves of the water, or even, bizarrely enough, flying across the shoreline at high speeds, and even headless bodies walking along the sea.
Once again, there’s more. Some recounted sightings that can only be a sort of paranormal reenactment of the actual execution as it had happened during the unfortunate massacre. According to Amy’s Crypt, this has been thought to be some sort of trapped paranormal energy resulting in a residual haunting, due to which scenes of the past are doomed to replay throughout the continuum of time. A relatively common sighting of spirits in the nearby beach houses is one of a woman in white that wails as if she lost a loved one. Such painful history lies within the peaceful sea.
Back in the day, Sembawang was where the Nee Soon Rubber estate used to lie. Rubber. Rubber trees. Does it ring a bell? Well, it’s believed that Pontianaks reside in rubber and/or banana trees. Connect the dots. Even after the plantation was cleared, the stories of someone staying behind and lingering didn’t stop. In fact, many residents and visitors to the park have shared about the strong fragrance of frangipani in the area. This is often a telltale sign of the presence of a Pontianak.
Pontianaks have even been spotted by residents of Sembawang on their balconies. Some have heard their name being called while they fish at the canal or stroll Sembawang Park. A creepy encounter is one of a woman in white telling residents that she’s been ‘waiting for them’ at the doorstep of their homes. Some have said that they’ve seen her staring at them as they walk through the park alone. When Singapore Paranormal Investigation ventured into the park for an investigation some years back, they claimed to have felt a strong presence and reported a sudden drop in the temperature. What’s stranger, is that the team had brought a set of fully-charged equipment, but the battery inexplicably went completely flat. A team member also claimed to have been poked on the shoulder twice. I think it’s safe to say that this place is unsafe.
We all knew something in Yishun was bound to join this list. While the whole area is just sketchy and eerie, with criminal, strange and even supernatural occurrences, Yishun Dam has some stories that mess with your mind. It’s a popular spot among bikers in the North, but cycles aren’t all that are popular there.
During the Japanese Occupation, a mass beheading took place here. That could explain the many sightings of headless ghosts in the area. Many have also heard chilling screams and cries. A frequent sighting is one of a faceless female ghost with long hair. She often stands behind those fishing nearby, looking at what they’re reeling in. It’s almost as if she is hoping that someone would fish out something – or someone – that she has lost. What’s the mystery behind Yishun? That in itself is a mystery that might never be solved.
These are ten haunted places with eerie stories you can tell at your next slumber party or ghost story spree! Of course, at the end of the day, these are just stories. There’s been no confirmation (and quite frankly, there never might be) of what truly lurks among us. They are all recounts and beliefs. Regardless, be careful and refrain from going full-on ‘Ghostbusters’, trying to find out yourself! It might be unsafe. So enjoy these stories the way they’re intended to be – in broad daylight, tucked into the comfort of your blanket at home!
But aside eerie haunted places, if you are looking for some new places to explore in Singapore, and safely at that, here are some of our ideas on what you can do on your very own Singapore Tour!