My supernatural encounter started when my son brought back a painting from a play that he had performed in. Cast and crew were allowed to take a piece of the set or a prop from the stage as keepsake. He chose to keep the vintage portrait of a lady. The stage manager bought it from a garage sale from an expat family who were moving back to their home country. The painting, held in place by a simple wooden frame, depicted a Peranakan styled woman staring blankly in front without smiling. The history of the painting and the identity of the woman remained a mystery. Whoever painted it, took effort, you can tell. This wasn't just one of the mass printed art piece.
According to my son, some crew members reported seeing an old lady wandering the stage during setup when there should be no one, other then the workers, around. Cast members would complain that the air-con was too cold in the room even though the air-con was off. Some said they can see shadows moving from the corner of their eyes or just an overall unnerving feeling of being watched.
My son didn’t believe in ghosts or other superstitious things. He said that there’s always some ghost stories floating around in theaters and that it was “normal” for people to react in such ways. He himself wasn’t affected by any of these stories, he said.
The first day the painting entered my house, I didn’t like it already. It was almost as if my sixth sense was trying to warn me. My son tried hanging it in his room but for some reason the 3M hook wasn’t strong enough to hold it up. It would fall in the middle of the night. This happened consistently over the next few nights at exactly 4.44 a.m. My son suggested drilling a screw into the wall but since we didn’t own any drill, we just left the painting in the storeroom in the interim until we found a neighbour with a drill we could borrow. As this wasn't a priority, life got on as usual and the painting got left in the storeroom.
Everyday for the next two weeks since the painting arrived, I had nightmares. I dreamt of an angry old lady standing outside my room door trying to get in. She would try the doorknob, and failing to budge, she would then hover towards the storeroom and disappear. The nightmare would replay itself night after night at around the 4 a.m. hour.
My husband would sometimes sit out in the living room to watch football till late. He would get this sense that someone was standing behind the couch and watching him. It would affect his mood and agitate him. Generally the whole house felt very “hot”. I remember the family arguing a lot during that month but I can’t recall what we argued about. Everyone was just very irritable.
Being the more superstitious one in the house, I decided to remove the painting from our home and see if it made any difference. I had half a mind to dispose of it but I felt that might just anger my son and bring the already strained relationship to another level. So I found one afternoon when my husband and son was out of the house, I removed the painting from the frame, rolled it up in newspaper and left it by potted plants outside. Just as I closed the door behind me and had taken a few steps in, I heard knocking on the door.
I turned around and waited. I didn’t see anyone outside just moments ago, how can there be anyone knocking on my door now? Then the knocks came again. More urgent this time. I looked at the peep hole and saw an old woman outside staring back at me.
I ran to my bedroom and prayed. The knocks came a few more times but eventually just stopped.
That night my son’s girlfriend came by to stay the night. She does this occasionally so it was nothing out of the ordinary. What was strange though was that she came in with the wrapped painting and said, “I think you left this outside.”
I asked why she brought it in but she just shrugged and said that while she was standing at the door she heard a voice telling her that I had left this wrapped item outside. So instinctively she just picked it up.
That night, I finally broke down and told my husband about the experiences I had. I thought he would debunk whatever I said but instead he listened intently and shared what he had experienced too. It was clear that there was something in the house with us and the painting was the trigger. That night my husband and I took the painting out, drove to a nearby park and left it under the tree. We didn’t know what else to do. We just hoped that we dump it far enough so that it won’t come back to us. We thought about burning it or throwing into the dustbin but I was afraid that that might just anger the spirit and cause it to harm us even more.
Now after all these years when I retell the story, my husband would joke that the knock on the door I heard might actually be a live old lady asking for help or one of the PA community members making their rounds and I just scared myself unnecessarily. I really want to believe that is true but somehow in my mind I still can’t shake out the feeling that what I saw was the spirit of the woman in the painting. These days I still do wonder who might have found the painting and if the new owner is haunted by it.
Confessed by Sally Y
SC's Note: And that is why you should never pick up things left under trees. It's quite a common reaction for people to buang (throw) cursed items under trees in public area. We are trying to trace the location of the painting now - so if you or anyone you know who is haunted by a vintage painting please reach out to us with your confessions.
About Painting of Oei Hui Lan (the woman in the cover pic above)
She is the beloved daughter of the famous sugar businessman from Semarang, Oei Tiong Ham whose wealth is well known throughout Asia to Europe. Oei Hui Lan is married to Wellington Koo, one of the Chinese ambassadors and sociable with European noble families ranging from Queen Victoria to Queen Belgium. Oei Hui Lan died in 1992 at the age of 93. Before she died, Oei Hui Lan had written and published a book titled No Feast Last Forever which recounts the journey of her extraordinary life. One of the relics of Oei Hui Lan is this painting which is located in Hotel Tugu, Malang. No one knows who the painter is, but clearly the appearance of Oei Hui Lan in this painting is pretty creepy.
A new case just came into our mailbox early this morning. A family living in Yishun claims that their house is haunted. They moved in about a week ago and have been experiencing strange phenomena.
First sign was their cat; she would hiss at empty corners and dash under the coach, refusing to come out. At first the family thought it must be the stress of relocating to a new place. But then the wife also started reporting that when she’s alone at home, she sometimes could see a black figure from her peripheral vision standing at a distance. She tried to ignore that feeling but the ominous presence seems to only be coming closer and closer each time.
The husband was in the living room watching television one night when he thought he heard someone calling his name. Thinking that it was his wife, he answered her and asked what she wanted. The voice told him to go to the kitchen and look out the window which he did. For reasons that he cannot explain, he was moving in a daze as if he was functioning on autopilot. He registered a black figure standing by the window and that at that moment he was curious to lean outside the window to get a closer look at the ground below. Thankfully the kitchen grill was locked and as he was looking for the keys the thought just dissipated.
He went straight to the bedroom to look for his wife and found her sleeping. This incident spooked him but he chose not to confront her in the night.
Image is a placeholder to depict what a Singapore HDB kitchen looks like and not the actual shot of the location.
When he woke in the morning, the night’s event felt like a dream to him. He don’t remember turning off the TV before going to bed but when he woke, he found the TV turned off and his wife in the kitchen making breakfast. He checked with her about the previous night’s event and she denied calling for him. The TV was also already turned off when she got up. He shelved away the incident as just a bad dream.
Sensing something was wrong, his wife pressed him for details. The urgency of her actions and the worried expressions startled the husband. When he revealed what he thought he experienced, she began to break down. She didn’t know how to tell the husband of her experiences before for fear that he would find her claims ridiculous, but now upon hearing that her husband had also seen something similar, it validates that what she saw might be real after all. They spoke to their teenage daughter as well but apparently she have not had any unexplainable encounters so far. According to her father, the daughter was genuinely curious why the father had called the family for an urgent meeting.
The family has invited the SC team down to investigate in the hopes that we are able to debunk any paranormal presence in the house and set their mind at ease.
Most Asians are brought up adhering to superstitions: old wives’ tales passed down from the generations and that are imprinted upon us as truths. I recall my grandmother forbidding me to step foot into the play ground at our neighbourhood after 7pm. I never understood what drove her superstitions and I spent most of my growing up years thinking those beliefs were irrational and defying scientific wisdom, until recently.
Report by Jane Franklin
One Friday night, my friends and I had gathered at the sheltered seats (better known as “pondok”), surrounded by a cluster of HDB blocks at Serangoon North Avenue 1. We were unwinding with a few drinks after a hearty dinner. It was about 2.30am when I suddenly felt that creepy, prickly feeling grab hold of me. Someone was staring. And it seemed to come from the play ground across from where we were seated. Humans are sensitive to the gaze of others and this biological phenomenon is known as “gaze detection”. Neurological studies have found that the brain cells that initiate this response are very precise. If someone turns their gaze off of you by turning just a few degrees to their left or right, that eerie feeling quickly fades. That eerie feeling never faded that night.
My 6th sense kicked in as I instantly recognised that spectral feeling. Intuitively I took out my phone and started snapping pictures of the playground. One of my two friends turned to me almost immediately and warned me to stop what I was doing. When I asked him why I should stop, he replied without flinching, “The boy doesn’t like it. And he said you’re making too much noise.” I was sure my friend had simply fabricated that story just to tease me, so I ignored him and carried on.
What I saw next in my collection of snaps left me dumbfounded. I had captured in my pictures, the apparition of a little boy playing on the slide. My friend was telling the truth after all.
Supernatural Confessions: Can you spot the boy in the close-up photograph? What do you reckon this is: A ghostly apparition disturbed by the loud chatting of the living who had no business being out so late or is there a more scientific explanation to this? A play of light and the imagination, perhaps? Have you heard stories of ghostly encounters at playgrounds? Share your story with us.
Our signaler claims he saw a Japanese soldier hanging from one of the branches smiling at him.
This happened to me about a year ago in the army, so its more or less still pretty fresh in my mind. Its not overly scary but it did creep me out for a month or two. For the most part, a lot of this could be explained as tricks of an overstressed brain, being in a jungle and all, although seven people seeing the same thing doesn't strike me as stress.
On the very first night, my section mate, who's Malay, woke up to something pulling on his shirt and telling him slowly 'Don't disturb me again' repeatedly. This happened throughout the night and creeped me out like hell, also due to the fact that every hour or so he would wake me up asking if i heard it too.
The following night, another of my section mates, from Papua New Guinea (he's an immigrant), was the sentry for my section. He spotted a black figure making its way towards where we slept and immediately assumed it to be one of our commanders sneaking up on us to make sure we had a guard awake. My mate loudly requested identification, and actually screamed when it jumped on the trees that grew right above us. We all woke up in time to see it practically Tarzan its way up the hill.
Later, when we were tasked to dig shell scrapes, we were assigned the same spot of the hill. 10 minutes into the digging, we found that right under where we slept, there was a huge slab of red rock that was considerably smoother than the earth around it. It turned out to be a tombstone of sorts, about a century back when natives still managed the island. We actually sort of got lost in a century-old cemetery that was in the jungle as well, but i guess ill leave that for a different post
The day after we found the tombstone, we had a navigation exercise that had us, as a section of seven people, find checkpoints all over the island. Technically, this isn't too hard to do, almost like a scavenger hunt, except that the points were small slips of paper tied to four or five of the thousand trees on the island.
We did manage to find all of the checkpoints though, but at the end we were faced with a 400m bash through the swamp to reach back to base camp. What we didn't expect though was an abandoned cemetery in the middle of the swamp.
The place was filled up to our knees with thick mud, and one of my section mates fell into a spot (we think it was a grave) that covered him to his chest before we managed to pull him up. There were bottles of ashes scattered around and a sealed up well that reminded me a lot of the Ring.
Now this is all pretty ordinary standard stuff but what made it really creepy was that in the center of this swamp there was a patch of extremely well kept grass, almost carpet like, with this tree growing in the middle.
My buddy muttered something along the lines of 'get out of here before its dark' and led us north-west, the supposed direction towards camp, and towards the tree. Now, i'm not exactly sure what happened after this because all of us seemed to experience different things. My Malay mate heard someone scream 'Why are you still here?' a few metres from him, while our signaler claims he saw a Japanese soldier hanging from one of the branches that was smiling at him.
I personally seemed to have the mildest experience. Where the top most branch was, there was a man and a woman sitting on top there. I always expected ghosts to look hazy or greyish but these guys looked completely normal, less the sitting on a 5 metre high tree in the middle of the forest. The rest of my section just claimed to hear the same crying we heard the night before. We picked up our pace and practically ran past the tree and out onto a makeshift road.
It might sound cliche, but at this point our comm set which had died for an hour, somehow turned itself back on. We were hearing constant reports about how my section hadn't reported in yet, even though it was 2 hours past the allocated time.
Funny thing was that we were in the swamp for less than half an hour at 2.30pm. When we exited it was around 7.30. We obviously didn't report this to our commanders but the time lapse was something that kind of rattled us.
I was doing regimental duties in the office next to mine a month ago when nature called. This happened around midnight as i was 'closing' several of the books. Now, the toilet is based outside round the curve of the corridor. When you open the door, you're met by a wall that doesn't connect all the way to the ceiling, leaving about 1/4 of the length empty. It serves as a partition to one of the cubicles.
Well as i was saying, nature called, so i had to rush out to the toilet to take a huge dump. Upon entering, and I shit you not, there was a kid sitting on top of it. It didn't look like some The Grudge crap. The kid looked real enough, though i couldn't tell what gender it was either.
Besides those two occurrences, there'd been minor things happening too. Like hearing clapping while there's no one else in the office. Office computers logging in themselves. My boss is convinced its some chinese feng shui issue.
Shared by Patrick Timothy Boey
[Story Source: Supernatural Confessions]
[Image Source: Pinterest]
I saw a recent submission on your page about a deceased construction worker and it sparked off a memory of my own.
I used to live in the now defunct Goodrich Park condo situated somewhere in Kovan with 3 of my university buddies. We had rented the place at a really affordable price as the condo complex was about to be torn down. Towards the last 6 months, I noticed several units had been leased to Indian and Thai construction workers. They used to gather around the pool side and have frequent drinking sessions. No one minded as the pool was hardly utilised as most of the residents had already moved out.
One night as I returned home from uni, I noticed that the police and ambulance were in my condo complex. Upon further inquiry, I came to find out that a heavily intoxicated Indian construction worker, Shekar had drowned in the condo's pool. He was found floating in the pool, face down, by a neighbour. The thought of it was really disturbing. I said a silent prayer for his soul and went my way.
Several nights after, I had arrived home at about 11pm when I decided to stop at the pool side for my usual cigarette before heading into my apartment. I sat on a deck chair while drinking a can of beer to unwind from the long day I had. My headphones were on and I was engrossed in my music and handphone while enjoying my smoke. Through the blaring music, I suddenly heard the sounds of water being splashed, like as someone had jumped into the pool. When I looked up, there was no one around and the swimming pool water was as still as the night. Assuming it was my imagination, I didn't think too much of it.
As I reached for my can of beer, I felt a sudden gust of wind and the hairs on the back of my neck stood instantly. The temperature had abruptly dropped and it was unusually chilly. It was then that I looked up and saw a lone Indian man standing at the other end of the pool area. He was staring hard at me and there was just something unusual about him. His stare made me feel as if I had done something so gravely unforgivable. I looked away as I reached out for my can of beer again. However, my beer can seemed to be missing! I searched around the deck chair and there was no sight of my beer. I looked towards the mysterious man and he too was gone! There was no way someone could have taken my beer can without me noticing in than span of a few seconds.
I started to feel scared and decided it was time to head back into my apartment. I told my housemates what had happened and we all agreed that the recently deceased Shekar was looking out for me, making sure that no one else suffered the same untimely, fatal death that he had.
Shared by Hui Shan, 29, Teacher
[Story Source: Supernatural Confessions]
These are stories that were shared on the Supernatural Confessions Group or with permission from personal sources.