Punggol Town & WaterwayHailed as the Punggol 21 vision to transform Punggol into “A Waterfront Town of the 21st Century”, the Punggol Waterway was constructed in 2009, connecting the Serangoon and Punggol rivers across the entire estate. The 4.2 km Waterway is the central feature of Punggol, flanked on both sides of the banks with modern-style housing, recreation amenities and hipster diners.
Just slightly less than fifty years ago, Punggol was a rustic rural kampong area with rubber plantations and farms for poultry, pigs and vegetables. Gang rivalry between secret society members often result in deaths and unsolved murders. Bodies were dumped in the swamp area at the end of Track 13. Today, that spot is the housing estate that is bordered by Punggol Walk, Sentul Crescent, and Punggol Central.
Punggol Road was considered one of Singapore’s “dirtiest” roads with many motorist and cab drivers avoiding that area at night.
Punggol Road was considered one of Singapore’s “dirtiest” roads with many motorist and cab drivers avoiding that area at night. (The other three famous roads being Old Tampines Road, Mount Pleasant Road, and Lim Chu Kang Road). Perhaps one of the most popular Urban Legend circulating around were stories of cab drivers picking up lone female passenger at midnight and asked to be dropped where the old muslim cemetery was. The high number of accidents there were attributed to vengeful spirits inhibiting that area.
There were a total of 26 dirt tracks in Punggol. Many of them remained rural in nature even by the late 80s. Some of these tracks were disused and became dumping grounds for spiritual practitioners to “release ghosts” or conduct occult rituals. It was a common sight to find religious paraphilias and effigies left under trees tied with a yellow cloth. There was even an Urban Legend that Track 22 was where the “Gates of Hell” was situated and young spiritual practitioners would spend a night there to test their skills against the supernatural forces. The two other locations that have similar reputation is a location in Sembawang and what used to be the forested area between Tampines and Pasir Ris.
At Track 26, where the Masjid Wak Sumang, a small kampong mosque was, there were rumours of Pontianak sightings in that area. In one retelling by an old malay woman who grew up in that area, she recalled that on Thursday evenings, it was common for devotees to hear scratching and crying sounds on the roof of the mosque.
The question I think to myself whenever I walk along the Waterway is this: What happened to the spirits that once roamed the lands. Are they still present, hidden in plain sight? Have education and logic desensitized us to old wives tales and urban legends? There’s a story I’ve heard that would perhaps cause you to wonder as I have the next time you take an evening stroll around the neighbourhood.
Water Ghosts and Reclaimed Land
Confessions by Anthony, 76 year old retiree, lives in Pasir Ris but visits his son in Punggol frequently. Sometimes, he would jog across the bridge connecting Punggol to Lor Halus where he would take a shortcut home. One incident that took place in 2018 changed his life forever.
“Chinese believe that ghosts are drawn to places where there are large bodies of water. You may have heard of advice from old folks to avoid swimming during the lunar 7th month - hungry ghost month - because each year there is guaranteed to be some cases of drowning. Drowning doesn't only happen during the 7th month, in fact, people who are good swimmers are known to have drowned under unnatural circumstances. That’s because Chinese believe that restless spirits reside in water and will need to claim souls in order to reincarnate. Sure, telling you young people all these stories, you will think uncle is old and senile and talking rubbish, but would you risk it?
The Punggol Waterway may be man-made and cuts a scenic route through the Punggol estate, but the history of the land is mostly forgotten. These areas used to be very ulu. I believe in a bit of feng shui. Unlike before, now you have more people living here, the Yang ji (energy) is very strong. Even if the place has spirits, they are also all chased away already. Chased away where? Chased to empty and dark areas, especially along the waterfront, under the bridges, and areas where people seldom go.
From my son’s place to my home is about a 45 mins brisk walk back home. Taking a bus to the interchange and changing buses along the SLE to Pasir Ris takes about the same amount of time or longer. Very leh cheh (troublesome), so what I do sometimes is just walk along the waterway, cross the bridge and cut across Lor Halus and walk along the park connector. At night it can be quite windy and peaceful.
I have been doing this for a few months and got no problem but one time I think when my luck was low, something followed me back.
But one time I think when my luck was low, something followed me back.
That night when I got back, all of a sudden I felt very angry. I wanted to kill my wife and myself. I also don’t understand why. I went to shower and prayed before bed. That night and a few nights after I had disturbed sleep. Each night just as I’m about to fall asleep I would dream of a shadow standing in the corner of my room just staring at me. She - I can sense it’s a woman - was drenched from head to toe and she just stood there staring.
I lost my appetite and I started feeling lethargic, even getting a slight fever. At first I did not tell my family because I didn’t want to worry them but as the fever lasted for more than a week and would only come during sunset, my wife started getting worried. Fortunately my son who was a fan of Supernatural Confessions managed to get some contact for someone to come help me.
When the spiritual master came, he was able to tell me what I was experiencing even before I said anything. Thankfully the problem was a small one. I had accidentally brought a spirit home with me that night and as she had nowhere to go, she just attached herself to me. The ritual was a simple one. The master instructed me to go back to the Lor Halus area to conduct a simple ritual with offerings. He said that he would help her “cross over to the other side”. I’m not sure if he meant crossing over to Punggol or go for reincarnation. That night I slept peacefully and my fever also subsided.”
About 3km away from Matilda House, through a long and dark stretch of road, is a jetty that connects to the site where the Sook Ching Massacre took place on February 28, 1942. Records state that 400 victims were killed and abandoned on the shoreline of Punggol Beach but some historians believe that the unrecorded numbers could be much higher. Even as recent as 1997, people could find skeletal remains from the mass killing on the beach or in the nearby forests.
The area of Punggol is one of the oldest known settlements in Singapore. It existed even before the founding of modern Singapore in 1819. That’s more than 200 years ago. Who knows what secrets are buried beneath the land especially since it’s common for people of that era to dabble in animism and shamanic practices. In the book, Malay Magic, author Walter William Skeat details the beliefs and folklore that was popular in Malay Peninsula during that time.
The area of Punggol is one of the oldest known settlements in Singapore. It existed even before the founding of modern Singapore in 1819.
The older generation who remembers Singapore during its kampong days still hold onto the memories and the superstitions that were passed on to them. These knowledge are not found online; and you can only listen to them through oral traditions. Sadly, many of these beliefs are slowly being forgotten, and it is easy to understand why such wisdom no longer seems relevant today when everywhere you look are high rise buildings and pristine parks. But just because our eyes cannot see what’s there doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. After all, things like Jinn and the souls of the restless dead are known to be able to anchor themselves in a place for hundreds of years.
An elderly woman I spoke to who claims to be a descendant of a family line of practicing shamans recalled the story that her grandmother had told her. Near the spot where Punggol Point is today, there was a very big tree that the kampong residents believe to be the home of an ancient Jinn. Back then this place was not even called Punggol yet. It was known as Tanjong Rangon. Lightning struck the tree one night and all that was left was its stump. People from other kampongs would come to this tree to give offerings. She suggested that was how Punggol got its name. Ponggol in malay means, “a tree stump”.
Raymond, 49 years old, recalls the stories that his father told him when he was a teenager. Raymond’s father used to drive the bus service 82, which was one of the only two buses plying the Punggol Jetty route. This was around the late 80s to the early 90s. It was well known amongst the drivers there that the place is unclean. In fact, the drivers pooled their money together to set up an altar near the drivers’ resting point to appease the wandering spirits so that they will not be harmed. There was a story of a new driver who did not believe in such superstitions and scoffed at Raymond’s father’s belief. He went to rest between his shift and when he woke up, he found himself in the forest and couldn’t get out. He kept walking around in circles and came back to the same red altar over and over. It was only after he lit the joss sticks and begged for forgiveness that he managed to see the rest stop.
Confession by Meng
Meng, a 55 years old property agent, enjoys fishing during his free time. He recalls a fishing experience that left him spooked till today.
“I remember this was the time I just finished national service. Bunch of friends and I were looking for jobs but haven’t been able to find any, so during the ba-long-long time (lull period), we would go fishing. Usually the jetty area would be quite crowded, so my buddies and I would go further down the left side to where it's more secluded.
It was late in the night, we don’t really know what time it was. The seafood restaurants around the areas were closed already so I think it was probably past midnight. One of our fishing rods caught something and started tugging. The small bell made the ding-ding noise and from the pull of the rod, it seemed like we caught a big one. The more we pulled, the harder the fish fought back.
Suddenly we saw something emerging from the water. It was quite dark. We had camping lanterns but it wasn’t enough to illuminate what we had caught. Also, it was quite weird, why would the fish float out of the water. This thing was black and rounded. It raised up of the water slowly. My first thought was that we got our line caught in a floating debris covered in seaweed.
But from the way it floated towards us, it seems to be somewhat alive. There’s a difference when something is moving at you and just randomly floating. This thing was moving towards us. When it got closer to us, it floated even higher and this time it was above the water level. That’s when I felt something was very wrong already. I told my friend to drop the rod and run.
It was quite weird, why would the fish float out of the water. This thing was black and rounded. It raised up of the water slowly.
No one seems to move. Everyone was confused. And that’s when we all heard it. A ear piercing scream. We all heard it same time and we ran. That voice was human sounding but at the same time it was nothing like I have ever heard from a human throat. We just left everything behind and made a dash for the main road. I took a glance backwards and I saw - I know this is going to sound crazy but I know what I saw - I saw a floating head. Just the head. No body. Flying around our fishing spot. Screeching.
We ended up at the small bus terminal area and quickly prayed to the altar there. Our hands were shivering and the fear was very real, but at least here there were more people and we felt safer. I have had strange occurrences during my army days and other fishing sites before but so far, those were just sounds and weird feelings. This was too real. It’s one thing to not be able to see them, but the sight of a flying head is not something I can try to rationalise and lie to myself that it’s an animal. I know what I saw. I can tell the difference between a head and a bird.
Because there was really no way to walk back out and our barang barang (equipment and belongings) were still there, we waited till day break before going back. We spoke to some of the regular anglers there and they told us that there’s a reason why no one goes away from the jetty even though there’s a possibility for a better catch there. Flying head sightings were common at that spot.
When we eventually went back to our fishing site in the morning, we found our items ransacked and the fishes that we caught all had their heads bitten off.
Punggol Point Park looks nothing like what it did before and the forested spot has been cleared out. I actually still go there to fish sometimes, mostly for old times sake. Many people don’t remember what Punggol Point was before but this memory will live with me forever.”
Confessions by Yang Guang
Yang Guang was an 18 year old student from Singapore Poly when he first ventured into the Matilda House.
I was in the photography club and I remember it was quite the norm back then for female models - the rocker and goth chicks type - to take photos in old buildings. Old Changi Hospital was a famous spot and the Matilda House was the other. My coursemate, Jo-An, who needed some photographs for her portfolio asked if I could help and I said okay.
Jo-An and I went down after school in the late afternoon, early evening. There was still ample light coming in. While the place did look eerie, to be honest, I was more focused in looking for the best spot to take the photos before we lost the last light. When I was busy snapping away, I just got this funny sense that something is in the room with us and wasn’t happy.
You know how sometimes you get to a place and it feels very uncomfortable like you just want to leave? I felt that.
The feelings suddenly just came. I wasn’t thinking about anything. I suddenly got the goosebumps and a chill ran through me. It was a strange sensation but not intense enough for me to react hysterically, lah. So I shrugged it off and just continued looking through the viewfinder. I saw Jo-An kept turning and looking over her shoulders acting quite agitated and distracted. I took a few more shots until the film roll ran out then we packed up and left.
It was only after we left the place that we talked about what we felt and confirmed each other’s experience. Since nothing major happened, we just brushed it aside and the conversation went back to photography. The horror only came after the photographs had been developed.
Some had a tall black shadow figure standing behind Jo-An, right at the spot where she kept turning to look,
The batch of film from the final roll of film came out looking very strange. Some were totally black as if a black translucent figure was standing right in front of my cam, some had a tall black shadow figure standing behind Jo-An, right at the spot where she kept turning to look, some photographs looked like it had a handprint across it - clearly visible with the shape of five fingers and a thumb. We were very spooked when we saw that. There are many things that can possibly go wrong especially with film photography but quire frankly the effects that I saw were not something that we can explain away with light seepage and faulty film.
Unfortunately, we were too scared to keep the photographs and negatives and Jo-An suggested we burned them to be safe. None of us wanted to die under mysterious circumstances from having a ghost mark us in photographs.
I live in Hougang but my family and I do travel to Punggol very often, especially on weekends. Till today, everytime we pass by Punggol Walk, I will automatically turn to look at the direction of the Matilda House and think back on my past. The memories are still as clear as yesterday. I haven’t shared this story in so many years but since I know you are doing a confessional piece on Matilda House, I feel it’s time I get this off my chest. Thank you, Eugene for listening to my story.
Matilda House is one of the oldest houses in Singapore located at Punggol Walk in Punggol. It was built in 1902 by the late Mr Howard Cashin’s father Alexander Cashin, and named after his paternal grandmother - Josephine Matilda Cashin. His grandfather, Joseph Cashin arrived in Singapore in the 1840’s and made his fortune investing in legal opium farms and later in real estate. Cashin Street, next to Bras Basah Complex, was named after him.
The Matilda House was a single-storey, tropical-colonial style, sea-front bungalow with four bedrooms, servant-quarters, a horse-stable and a tennis court. A large garden surrounded the home where the Cashins grew various kinds of fruit trees.
The Singapore government acquired the land that the Matilda House was on for redevelopment in 1985 and the estate was left abandoned and unoccupied ever since until a residential condominium, A Treasure Trove, was built on the exact grounds in 2015. The façade and interior of the Matilda House were restored and converted into the condominium’s clubhouse.
Mr. Howard Cashin who had the chance to see his old home in October of 2002, said he was quite shocked and confessed to being “a little shaken” to see his childhood home at the state it was in.
The state that Mr. Cashin was referring to is one that many locals who grew up in the 80s and 90s are familiar with.
Due to decades of disuse, The Matilda House looked like a dilapidated haunted house right out of a horror movie which inspired rumours of haunting to spread amongst the local community.
Due to decades of disuse, The Matilda House looked like a dilapidated haunted house right out of a horror movie which inspired rumours of haunting to spread amongst the local community.
It was known by a few names such as Ghost House, Istana Menanti (The Waiting Palace), but most notable, it is referred to as The White House and is one of the three infamous coloured haunted houses in Singapore’s paranormal folklore. The other two are the Red House and the Blue House, in Pasir Ris and Hill View respectively.
One of the popular urban legends is that the place had a very powerful spirit that prevented the place from being torn down. During the redevelopment phase, the land around the area was cleared but the ruins of the Matilda House clearly stood out against a backdrop of brown desolate land.
Some of the rumours abound was that there were evil spirits in the house and would kill anyone who entered and disturbed the sanctity of the place. Some even claimed that the place was protected by an ancestral spirit, and likely to be that of its namesake.
Naturally it became a haunt for many thrill seekers, budding paranormal investigators and avid photographers. Harrowing ghostly encounters from the White House spread like wildfire with many different variations, each even more dramatic than its predecessors. Matilda House soon developed a reputation as one of the most iconic haunted places in the annals of Singapore’s Paranormal Folklore.
According to A Treasure Trove developer, Sim Lian Group, the only reason that they kept the Matilda House as it is was because of the sale agreement that the building must be conserved. It has nothing to do with the rumours, they claimed.
A Treasure Trove resident Mr. Saradetch, who was born with the ability to sense spirits, claims that the clubhouse is indeed still haunted and it’s one of the reasons why the lights are never off.
However prayers have been done during the development phase and spiritual masters have been brought in to ‘negotiate’ with the entities.
However prayers have been done during the development phase and spiritual masters have been brought in to ‘negotiate’ with the entities. Certain promises had to be made to appease the spirits. This No-Haunting Pact will stand for as long as this promise is maintained.
Which is fact, and which is fiction?
Is the URA’s Conservation story just a convenient cover-up? I guess some secrets will remain a mystery and become fuel for the imaginative mind.
There are however some confessions provided to us, first hand, from people who had once dared ventured into the Matilda House and lived to tell the tale.
Article written by Eugene Tay
The Old Brunei Hostel was built in 1958 and was known as the Asrama Kerajaan Brunei di Singapura (AKBS). Situated on Tanglin Hill the place was also referred to as Tanglin Brunei Hostel. The property has been abandoned since 1983 though the land it sits on is still owned by the Brunei Consulate.
All the way up till 2015, the place was "open" to public. By open, we mean that the authorities have not barred the place and anyone can climb over the fence to go in. The few times I went down to explore, I saw film crews, families having picnics, and the usual spook seekers. The problem with such a large crowd is that the road outside the hostel is lined with cars and vans with their engines running and the gaggle of giggling teenage girls.
The old green fence has been mended an in its place we have proper metal fence. The building looks dilapidated and defaced (or decorated) with graffities but the lawn is well maintained. A police signage warns you that trespassing is a crime but that did little to deter curious spook seekers to try their luck. I can imagine the neighbours have the local police post number on quick dial.
The place looks haunted but is it?
Back when we were investigating, we only managed to have an intelligent EMF reading coming from one particular room. It's intelligent in the sense that it could cause a spike on the EMF device on command and move around the room with us. There were no other footages or sightings in other parts of the estate to support a proper haunting. The place felt more peaceful than on the set of USS Halloween Horror Nights.
Ever since the place has been shut off from public, it has had minimal disruption from human visitations. Any place left abandoned for too long becomes a home for wandering spirits. A spook seeker sent us a short video footage of a possible Pontianak sighting caught on camera.
Video footage submitted by Syafiq Noorman
According to Sonny Pereira who is able to see entities, she believes that a family of Jinns have taken residence there and that the figure in the footage is a Jinn that she has met before.
Confessions by Ad T
Hi, I've only recently started listening to your live shows on Fridays and now your previous podcasts on Spotify when I'm driving. Love your show and hosts! I think I am a little sensitive to spirits and energy. Used to see things with my mind's eye especially when I am at hotel rooms etc.
For years, I suspected there was something in my house, especially my room. Also had an weird incident during a trip to Thailand which apparently involved a minor demon (or 妖 in Chinese). I would like to share a particular incident that I believe something had followed me home. It happened a couple of years ago during the 7th month. I was out with some friends till late and was on my way home from Tampines to Marine Parade. Was driving on the ECP at that long straight stretch between Tampines and Bedok. I've driven many times on this stretch before but this time, it seemed like I had been driving on it for a longer time than usual.
I was feeling uneasy and was having goosebumps.
The air in the car seemed stuffy even though my aircon was on. There were no cars in front or behind me. I just focused on the road and kept driving. Finally I managed to reach the end of that stretch and just shrugged it off. Even when I got home, I still had an uneasy feeling. That night I had a very weird dream. I dreamt that I was in a bus and on the way home. When I got off the bus, I felt that someone was looking at me and looked back. Behind me, standing probably about 15m away was, you guessed it, a lady in white.
She was looking down and just standing there. Feeling the creeps, I started walking back. In real life, my block is just across the road from the bus stop. But in the dream, there was a open field between the bus stop and my block. As I cut across the field, I looked back a couple of times. Each time I looked back, she was closer and closer to me. I never saw her walk, she was still standing in the same position; but every time I turned to look she got nearer and nearer. By then I was panicking already, and picked up pace.
I took the lift to my house and when I was putting the key into my gate, for some reason I turned back. I live in a HDB point block, so there is no corridor and only 4 units per floor. Behind me should be my neighbour's gate, but now I saw a long corridor instead. And standing about 2m away from me, was the lady and this time, she was pointing at me.
Then she said in a creepy slow manner, "I know where you live now."
I lost it then.
I rushed to open the gate and just shouted at anyone in the house to get pomelo leaves or holy water or whatever to cleanse myself before I go in. I woke up after that and felt like there was still something behind me in my room. I finally managed to turn around and there was a dark shadow at the corner of my room.
I freaked out, turned around to face the wall and tried to ignore it. Until now, I am not sure if I encountered something on the way back, or just had a bad dream coincidentally. But I will never forget her voice when she said "I know where you live now".
Sorry if this story is kinda anti-climatic and long-winded. I just wanted to share as I felt that there was something with me that night.
Editor's notes: Most real supernatural experiences are "anti-climatic" because such encounters, unlike a Hollywood movie, don't have a beginning, middle, and end. Still, stories like this are extremely creepy because it could happen to anyone of us.
Written by Eugene Tay
There have been many stories surrounding the Pasir Ris Suicide Tower. Many of these Urban Legends have evolved into multiple variations since the late 80s until we can't really tell fact from fiction anymore; but such is the nature and thrill of ghost stories that keeps our imagination going.
Budding investigators have attempted to gather evidence of haunting and many claimed that it is one of the easiest spots to elicit a paranormal response. Personally, I have been a witness to multiple events in this location that defies logic. I am as strong a believer as there are others who are as strong a skeptic. This experiment that we have conducted is perfect in highlighting that dichotomy.
Just because someone is fortunate enough to not experience any haunting doesn't mean that the place isn't haunted.
In this two-part video, we attempt to record experiences from multiple perspectives - A psychic, four commoners, and one spiritual practitioner. Without the use of fancy western-influenced gadgets, what can each of these people sense when tasked to sit alone in what is reputed to be one of Singapore's most haunted location?
The results are varied and interesting. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the psychology of fear fueled by horror stories and odd sounds in the night can spur our imagination to see and feel things that may not be there.... or are they?
12:17 - 15:17 - Guru Murali Cleanse the Place
Guru Murali chanted a prayer to ease the lingering spirits towards the light. Does this mean the place is no longer haunted? Unlikely. Prayers help to bring whichever entity that is present at that time to the light but in a public area, and one that is isolated at the edge of a mangrove swamp, there will be other spirits to take its place in time to come.
Researched and written by Roger Lau
Edited and co-written by Eugene Tay
One of the most popular saying in Asian superstitions is that strange smell at night is a definite sign that ghosts are around. Superstitious belief from the Malay community states that the arrival of the Pontianak is usually proceeded by a strong floral scent, specifically, the frangipani flower. When the ghost is a malicious one or when the Pontianak is about to attack, the smell will turn into something extremely foul like that of rotting garbage.
Even in western paranormal culture, foul smell is an indication that a spirit is nearby. When you smell sulfur, it probably means the entity is demonic in nature. That belief probably came from the Christian identification that hell is made up of fire and brimstone. Brimstone is the synonym of sulfur.
Of all the evidence that Paranormal investigators try to capture, smell is the only component that is impossible to record. However smell is still one of the most important and foremost part of an investigation and investigators will mention that experience on camera. While still very much a personal experience, a supernatural scent usually appears differently to different people but at the same time.
These odors sometimes tell a story, putting a time stamp upon a life that once lived. Yet, for whatever reason after death – do not depart...
Have you ever woken up to the smell of cooking, yet there are no one in the kitchen? Or, smelled a strong whiff of cologne or perfume in the air when being the only one in the house? Had the odor of flowers, and you have no plants in the home? Or perhaps the smell of wet animal fur, much like after a bath, when there are no longer any animals in the residence? If so, you may very well have had a paranormal encounter; and not even aware it has happened.
Unexplained smells from reported experiences and incidents have included food cooking, tobacco (cigarettes, cigars) cologne, perfume, deodorant, hair spray, body odors and occasionally the smell of rotted meat or even decomposed animals. It is thought a house (or building) can literally absorb these past odors and replay them in short bursts at times. Skeptics will reason there’s nothing paranormal about it - there must be a scientific explanation behind it. That may be the case but..... these odors seem to always tie in with the deceased former resident and while that may be a simple coincidence, it's also harder to rule out the possibility of a paranormal phenomenon.
My mother was awakened once in the wee hours of the early morning by an overwhelming odor of what she described as “grandmotherly” perfume.
The smell emitted from inside her room and it was so dense that she almost got choke from it. And just as quickly, it suddenly disappeared. It was surely not the smell of any perfume she uses. And from our neighbor, we learned the first owner of our house had been an elderly lady. Coincidence? The skeptical side of me would like to think so, but yet, I have my nagging suspicions.
My father died in 2012, passing away on a armchair in our living room. When he was around he literally farted a lot. Silent but deadly; but we still loved him. After his death – for many months – this fart smell would suddenly surface, and then just as suddenly disappear. Coincidence? An old memory perhaps?
Had my dad chose not to leave? Did he even have a choice in the matter? Is he still around watching us? I don’t know. Most of what we believe in the supernatural field is made up of what we want and choose to believe.
Will paranormal research and science be able to prove this occult gray areas? One day, perhaps, but I expect it to be for many more years to come. Paranormal odors are just another piece to complete the puzzle.
Written by Eugene Tay
In such modern times when material gains and tangible evidence are valued greater than the fear of the supernatural instilled in us from our grandparents, most of us have grown to become quite skeptical of the metaphysical.
What's metaphysical? It comes from the word metaphysics
Metaphysics is a major branch of philosophy. It concerns existence and the nature of things that exist. In layman speak, that's Feng Shui.
Feng Shui, unfortunately, has the bad reputation of sounding like hocus-pocus. Which is why modern spiritual masters are forced to reinvent their image to sound more "sciencezy" to fit the modern perspective. We are at an era where people will say "It's 2020 already and you still believe in ghosts" as if time has anything to do with the existence of the paranormal.
So it comes as no surprise that a circular that had made its round at Farrer Court, especially during the time of a bitter en-bloc battle, was largely ignored and debunked as a scare tactic to force residents to sell their units out of fear of pantang (superstitions).
The time in which the circular was distributed was unfortunate, and to be fair, it made me doubt its authenticity and question the motivation of the person behind this act. During the mid 2000s many people got rich overnight from the sale of their old homes. We are talking about million dollar deals here and greed will drive people to do just about anything. That is why it makes it hard to take this Feng Shui treat seriously.
However, many of those who are familiar with feng shui or have the third eye, they believe beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Farrer Court is sitting on bad land. By bad land, we mean land that has a high Yin energy. The Chinese believe that there is both Yin and Yang energy in this universe and they must be balanced to achieve harmony. Too much Yang energy and you will have high tension, flaring temper and restless unbound energy. Too much Yin energy and you will attract the negative entities, which in turn will bring about depression and suicidal thoughts. Balance is the key.
But when a place is unbalanced, like in the case of Farrer Court and even some specific blocks in Admiralty, Eunos, Ang Mo Kio and Yishun, just to name a few, you will find a higher level of suicide cases in these areas.
Because such cases don't have a clear supernatural distinction, many people are able to chalk all that figures down to pure coincidences and live peacefully with the mentality that "it won't happen to me."
A few cases that I have attended to personally started off with what seemed like a spat of bad luck or maybe some mild paranormal haunting. Many masters tried to cleanse these homes, but try as they might, there seem to be an over-abundant of bad energy in the area that just can't be cleared. Like trying to scoop water out of a sinking ship with a soup spoon.
That's when we expand our search to the surrounding area and more often that not, we'll find a new structure built around the neighbourhood that has affected the flow of energy.
In one home at Bukit Timah situated behind National Junior College, we found that the series of death and illnesses that plagued the family in recent years were due to three flag poles that were erected on the school grounds. In the evening when the sun sets, the shadow of the three poles will be directed at the house. The erection of the 3 flagpoles serves to invite death as in feng shui, such a set up resembles 3 jossticks at the altar for the dead. That was the negative energy that then plagued the family ,unfortunately.
A similar case we encountered was a home at Siglap. A newly constructed roof top by a neighbour across the road blocked the flow of energy to the home and the owner claimed that he suffered from an uncanny level of bad luck during that time. His thriving business failed spectacularly and he was involved in three automobile accidents that year.
The old Spottiswood Park condo was apparently built on Yin land and faced a direction that did not help its position. For years, that condo was notorious for suicides and divorce. The spiritual master attending the case said that he could only help to shift the flow of energy but it's only temporary.
In all three cases, the solutions weren't as simple as just putting up a mirror or swap the position of your dining table.
The examples are plentiful, but the point I'm trying to make is that for those who believe in the supernatural, Feng Shui is a very real thing, and because the effects of bad Feng Shui is not as immediate and obvious, most people prefer to be masters of their own fate than to depend on ancient Chinese books telling them where to place their furniture and what colour they should wear.
Feng Shui, to modern people, is an inconvenience and unproven by science.
I've taken the liberty to type out the content of the circular so that it would be easier to read. You can also click on the image to see the original content. Once you are done, head on to Part 3 of the Farrer Court Saga - Farrer Court: Place for Murders and Suicides to read another confession sent in by a resident who had lived in that estate and who has the ability to see ghosts. Or read Part 1 of the Farrer Court Saga - The Red Ghost of Farrer Court for an ex-resident's confession.
Another Farrer Court Suicide - Why?
Dear Residents and Friends,
We are writing to you to share with you something critically important to the health and well-being of you and your entire family.
Have you or your loved ones been experiencing:
1. recurrent ill health or even death?
2. bad luck at work and at home?
3. inability to make or retain wealth?
4. poor family relationships including divorce?
5. have only female children or grandchildren?
6. poor studies in school and exam results?
We have long asked why such problems have plagues us and our neighbours since we moved into our home in Farrer Court.
We have also noticed that our estate has had its fair share of suicides, and have personally witnessed the ones that happened in Blocks A, B, and C since we moved in. We have also heard that there was a bizarre murder case in Block F involving a maid killing her employer. On Tuesday 6 Mar 2007, a maid jumped to her death in Block B in the wee hours of the morning. Why?
At first, we attributed these problems as being part and parcel of life. But when things got worse, we went to consult not just 1 but 4 different Feng Shui Masters from different schools, because we desperately needed to know why so many things are going wrong.
We are going to share with you what we have learnt.
Farrer Court as, through the years, accumulated an excess of Ying energy, which is the female or dark energy. This energy is in the very land that our homes are built on.
So the homes built on this land will experience too much Ying energy and this is very bad.
These homes that have this type of bad Feng Shui will lead you and your family to suffer from bouts of illnesses with bad luck and multiple troubles. You may either find that you can't make much money, or even if you do, you will be unable to retain the money, because you will have problems that will lead you to spend it all away.
Someone more sensitive to this dark Ying energies will actually fall critically ill or even die. You may notice many funerals occurring, even during the recent Chinese New Year. The Ying energies also attract people who want to kill themselves to die here (proven by the three non-residents who committed suicide in Black A, B & C)
Furthermore, the MRT tunneling has disrupted the energy roots of our land, leading to even more poor luck for our descendants, because the foundation of our homes have been rocked and weakened stirring up more Ying energy.
Having underground tunnels is like having rivers below ground which will carry away all our wealth so you can expect to lose more money or spend more ("lou chai"). Big canals around the perimeter also carry away the good luck and wealth of the occupants in the blocks.
Some of you may say that you have lived here for so long and things have been fine. But why are things worse recently? Based on one Master, any family can only live in their Farrer Court house for 10 years. After the first 10 years, things will start going downhill and worsen with each passing year. True enough, our troubles started after we passed the 10 year mark and we have had problems non-stop.
The occupants of the Type A slab blocks also suffer from having their front and back doors in line and this causes double "Sha Chi" or "Killing Energy" entering the home. This leads to increased ill health, disease, disability, bad luck and even death. The main "Chai Wei" or "Wealth Seat" of these Type A flats also occur in the extreme diagonal, which happens to be in the toilets of the master bedroom! That's why your wealth gets flushed and washed away every time you use that toilet or bathroom.
We also asked why we had girl children rather than boys. The Ying energy causes more female children to be born to families in Farrer Court. Ask and look around, and you will find it to be true. This is bad for the family name is Chinese tradition.
The Feng Shui masters all agree that there is only one solution for our home and this land: "Ta Tong" or "Big Move". This is the only way to get rid of the accumulated Ying energy of the land.
Any other Feng Shui remedy is temporary and not able to counteract this Feng Shui disaster. All the Feng Shui Masters strongly advised us to move out as soon as possible.
So we will be moving out soon. We can't stand our kids falling sick, us working hard and getting nowhere, our cars getting into accidents, our kids doing badly in school. We have had enough.
We really like the facilities around here and are sad to go. We enjoy the convenience of this location but we really have to go so that we can have better health., peace and harmony in the family, and maybe a boy child. We are really hoping the en bloc can go through because the en bloc occurs and they dig and move the land around, maybe we'll buy back the new flats they build. Hope they build it according to good Feng Shui this time round.
We are sharing with you before we go.
If you are not bothered by this, then ignore our crazy ranting.
But if you have been plagued like we have, if you had just about up to here with bad luck, money problems and ill health, now you know why.
Your fellow residents of Farrer Court.
Confession by Irma
As mentioned by the previous confessor in The Red Ghost of Farrer Court, Block H was the innermost block in Farrer Court and being full of trees, that place was always shaded. Every other day coming back from school, even from a distance I would see someone in a red dress at the pillars.
This can happen even in broad daylight. Many times, it would be me walking under the block and seeing some lady in red walking diagonally but when i pass the spot, there is no one on the other side of the pillar. This was a common occurrence all my life so I have learned to identity what's ghost and what's not.
I know what I saw at Farrer Court is not from this world.
I checked with another friend of mine, Maya, who lived in Block G, a 25 story point-block on a hill that's adjacent to ours. Her family has stayed there since like forever and when I told her that I kept seeing this woman in red lingering under my block, she said, "oh, a few years back there was a suicide at my block. A lady dressed in full red outfit had committed suicide by jumping off the balcony. The apartment belonged to her boyfriend and people suspected their relationship had gone sour and this was her way of getting back at him."
[Editor's note: In Asian folklore, we believe that taking your life while dressed in red will cause your soul to return as a vengeful spirit to haunt the person who did you wrong.]
Every night without fail, when everything was extremely extremely quiet, I would hear a ball bouncing at the basketball court. My room window was overlooking the tennis and basketball court and it is quite clear that there was absolutely no one there but yet u can hear the ball bouncing, just bounce bounce bounce.....
I strongly believe that that place makan* people every few years. It must be the land because for some weird reason people are attracted to go there to commit suicide. The place just attracts death.
[Makan* literally means "to eat" but in this context it means "to claim the lives of"]
There was a murder that happened at Block F, I remember, which is a block I would have to walk under to get to my own block. A maid went berserk inside one of the units in and stabbed the employer multiple times. The employer died from the injuries and it was a bloody scene. My friend who lived in Block G was gave me live commentary as the struggle was happening because she could see everything as it was unfolding. The police eventually managed to apprehend the maid after kicking the door open, and reaching through the gates but it was all too late. The resident of the property could not be saved.
There were many other murders; murders and suicides. It didn't happen all the time, of course, but it happened frequent enough for it to be peculiar, and not all of them were reported in the papers.
Funnily enough, in trawling the internet for that Block F murder, I chanced upon an article which covered another recent murder that happened in the new estate that took over the land where Farrer Court used to be. So maybe that's something that Supernatural Confessions can go and investigate. Maybe there's a bloodthirsty Penuggu* on that plot of land that needs to be satiated every few years.
[Penuggu* is a tutelary deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place]
Map of Farrer Court. Photos and block placement created by Dian. You can check out her Farrer Court confessions here
Editor's note: Speaking of frequent suicides that led to a many raised eyebrows reminds me of the infamous Bedok Reservoir Suicide cases. 6 suicides in 3 years. Of all the places, of all the gin joints, in all the world, why are suicides drawn to very specific places? It leads one to consider the possibility that some places just might have some form of dark energy that we cannot be explained. Feng Shui perhaps? If you are looking for some answers, maybe Part 2 of the Farrer Court Saga - Farrer Court: Bad Feng Shui or Dirty Tactics might provide some answers.
Confession Journal is a collection of stories and reviews submitted by the public.