Confession by J
Written by Eugene Tay
Confessor was first introduced to me in Oct 2020 when I was researching on supernatural encounters in Punggol for a Halloween feature special. J is a Punggol resident and had a harrowing encounter at Punggol Point but was too embarrassed to talk about it on record. This is my attempt are retelling the story she shared with me. - Eugene Tay
This incident took place around the beginning of the lunar seventh month as I was coming home from a birthday gathering at Punggol Point. I live relatively close by, and by close by I mean that it would take me about twenty minutes walk to get back. The alternative would be to take a Grab back but at that time of the night, ten-ish almost eleven, it's not easy to get one. I reckoned that by the time I waited to get a cab, I would have already arrived home by foot.
I took the only road leading out of Punggol Point and then made a right turn to an adjoining lane. I am aware that most people who are not Punggol residents would equate this place with the supernatural because of its sordid history and colourful urban legends but if you have lived here long enough, quite frankly, the place isn't as scary as how people made it out to be.
Also, I'm one of those who never read ghost stories or watch horror movies. I don't fancy the idea of paying money to scare myself silly. So for me, my first thought, even though it was the hungry ghost month, was not one of the supernatural. When Christina [a common friend] asked me to watch your YouTube channel, I politely declined. Which was why when this.. this.. whatever you call it, this haunting happened to me, it took me about a week before I realised something was very, very wrong.
when this haunting happened to me, it took me about a week before I realised something was very, very wrong.
On my walk back home that night, I heard the cries of what sounded like it came from a young girl. The sound seemed to be coming directly on my right, It was as if the person was standing right next to me. Initially, I brushed it off as an insect but the sound persisted and continued following me.
The next part is interesting. Telling you this story is already making my hair stand. I begin to hear voices - lots of voices talking at the same time - coming from my left. The crying got even louder. I was having stereo quality haunting. There were houses around me but not a living soul in sight that could have made those noises - and mind you - they were not sounds that came from the surrounding, they were right beside me.
That's when - call it natural defence mechanism kicking in - I started to panic, and for no reason, I went from curious to frightened. Not just the normal fear of the unknown; what I felt was a full blown anxiety attack. A sense of desperate urgency to run away. After that I didn't know what happened to me. When I opened my eyes next, I was lying by the side of the road looking up at faces I've never met before.
When I opened my eyes next, I was lying by the side of the road looking up at faces I've never met before.
Apparently I had been screaming and acting erratic before falling unconscious. A young couple living nearby came out to make sure I was looked after. I was out for less than ten minutes but I felt utterly exhausted and my body felt numb. My mind however was on high alert. It was a strange sensation though, like what my brain thought and how my body felt seemed misaligned.
I went home showered and crashed. That night I encountered sleep paralysis for the first time.
I saw shadow people standing in my room, around my bed. They were talking at the same time; I couldn't make out what they were saying but their chatter got increasingly louder in my head until I almost blacked out from a severe migraine.
I know that if I tell people what happened to me they will think I'm just having a nightmare and they will tell me it's not real. On a logical level, I know it's not possible for it to be real, but the emotions I felt and the memories that appeared in my head were so real, so painful, that I spiralled into depression as if those thoughts were event that actually happened to me.
That night and every night after for almost two weeks, I was raped in my sleep. At around 4 a.m. each night, I would wake up in fear, paralysed in bed with a blinding migraine, and then I would feel like the spirit of the crying girl was inside me struggling and screaming for help as I watch the shadow people took their turns with her, using my body. I could feel everything but I couldn't do anything. I just shut my eyes and prayed, and when it was over and when I could move again, I would wake up crying hysterically.
I could feel everything but I couldn't do anything. I just shut my eyes and prayed, and when it was over and when I could move again, I would wake up crying hysterically.
The first few night it happened, my husband woke up startled and tried his best to console me. I would continue crying hysterically till sunrise and then the emotions would dissipate. After the third consecutive night of this same weird encounter, we went to visit the GP to see if there was anything wrong with me. We visited three different doctors throughout the week and all of them said that physically I was fine and there were no physical evidence to explain the phantom pain I felt at night.
I was afraid to go to sleep and tried to stay up but that didn't help. The more tired I was the easier it was for 'them' to take over my body. Every night at around 4 a.m. I could feel their presence around me and there's nothing I could do to prevent the episodes. By the second week, my husband was getting frustrated and told me not to talk rubbish. When faced with something he couldn't understand, his knee-jerk response was aggression. I felt alone in this and couldn't talk about it to anyone. Even if someone was willing to listen, I don't even know what it was i'm dealing with to be able to articulate my thoughts coherently. Needless to say I had no interest in intimacy whatsoever and that put a further strain on our marriage.
Trust me, Googling up for help on such a topic is pointless. You won't get any answers out there on the internet. By the end of second week, I'm practically moving around half dazed from lack of sleep. At work, I still put on a front and acted professionally. Throughout the day I seemed to be getting emotions out of the blue that aren't mine. I know that because I would suddenly breakdown in the middle of the day and cried over my dead baby. I don't have a dead baby or ever had an abortion so where were these thoughts coming from?!
One of my colleague apparently have the third eye. We weren't very close so it came as quite a surprise when he approached me on a Thursday afternoon to tell me that I need to take a flower bath. When I pressed for a reason, he eventually relented and said that he could see a spirit of a woman that was attached to me, hiding in my shadows.
He could see a spirit of a woman that was attached to me, hiding in my shadows.
I didn't know what to make of it to be honest, and at this point I was emotionally and physically exhausted. The last thing I need was for someone to come up to tell me even more problems.
I did not take the flower bath as recommended but fortunately a week later, the strange nightly episodes ceased entirely, and for once, since the start of the seventh month, I slept peacefully. Life went back to normal.
My husband feels that my odd behaviour and sleepless nights were just due to my hormonal changes or work related stress. I cannot shake off the uncanny coincidence that my colleague was able to pinpoint that there was a spirit of a girl following me. I certainly did not talk about my experience to anyone. So that's something I find it hard to explain. I don't necessarily practice in seventh month rituals but being Singaporean, I am aware of the taboos our grandparents told us. What are the chances that the haunting started on the first day of seventh month ended exactly on the last day?
I think what happened here is that J crossed paths at an exact time where a traumatised spirit was reenacting its past and somehow got itself tangled up with J. J being a sensitive person ended up taking on the imprint of this spirit and with it, the emotions and memories that came along. - Eugene Tay
Confession by Alvin Yeo
This was a famous story that made its round as an urban legend and many boys serving national service would have heard it, but we've finally found the person who was the one who first experienced it when he was serving in the Police Academy, intake 115. This is his confession. - Eugene Tay
Late one night after a hard day of physical training (PT) exercises and drill training, I was damn shagged and knocked out early. Midway through my sleep I was awakened with someone gently nudging me. “Bro, can follow me go toilet?”
In my sleepy stupor, and barely able to see, I said ok and climbed off the top bunk to follow my buddy to the toilet. He walked in front of me and I just followed, weary eyed and still half asleep - you know that sleepy state where everything is a blur and you can’t really focus or see properly.
We were at Bravo Company (coy), which was the building just between the mass canteen and Alpha coy (or OCT barracks), in front of the basketball courts. Behind the coy, where we hung all our laundry, was a forest with a cluster of banana trees.
The toilet is on a half level down, between first and second floor. I followed him and reached the toilet. He went into the cubicle stall to take a shit while I went to the urinal. I didn’t really have to pee, but since I was there, might as well.
Now, I’ve always been a bit afraid when it came to camp toilets as I’ve read all the stories and listened to all the horror tales. So as far as possible, I avoid looking at the mirror and the ceilings, for fear that I might spot something in the reflection or looking down at me. I don’t have the special third eye, but who knows.. better to not see.
“Damn shag leh today, the drills and PT was damn tiring”, my buddy said from the stall.
“Ya, tomorrow morning will be worse. IPPT coming up so confirm will kena from FI”, I replied, still peeing.
“Yeah, but luckily got lesson in the afternoon so can relax a bit”, my buddy added. He could only be heard since the door was closed.
I finished peeing and went to wash my hands. “Eh, faster leh, I wanna sleep!”, I chased.
"Wait la, stomachache”, he explained.
So I waited, still trying my best to avoid looking at the mirror and the ceiling. My mind was filling fast with ‘what if’ scenarios, and I was getting a little paranoid at what I might “accidentally” see if I’m unluckily.
“Quick leh”, I chased again. No reply. He must be concentrating.
So, I went to the next stall and climbed on the toilet bowl to peep over the connecting wall.
There was no one. Absolutely no one.
I climbed back down and went back to the sinks. Trying to keep calm and not reveal that I KNOW no one was in the stall, I said, “eh, I go back first la, damn shag. I wanna sleep liao.” And begun to slowly make my way towards the door.
‘He’ replied. The voice still coming from inside the cubicle, “You sure you really tired and wanna go back? Or you know who I am now?”
My skin crawled and goose bumps ran all over my body....
My skin crawled and goose bumps ran all over my body....
I quickly ran back to my bunk and saw that my buddy was still in the lower bunk, soundly asleep. I immediately shook him and woke him up. “Bro! Something just pretended to be you and asked me to follow it to the toilet!!!”, I exclaimed, scared out of my mind.
He was utterly confused and had the ‘what the fuck’ look on his face. I went to turn on all the lights, much to the annoyance of my squad mates who were awakened by the sudden brightness. I quickly recounted my experience to them. Many were shocked and the more religious among us started to pray - some reciting the Quran, some reciting the Lord’s Prayer, and others went to take their Buddhist or Taoist amulets for protection. I had my rosary in the locker, so i quickly wore it around my neck.
After a while, when we thought things were safe, we turned the lights off and went back to sleep at around 5am. We had to be up in a while so we tried to get a bit more sleep, though I’m not sure how many actually did sleep on.
The next day, we told our Field Instructor (FI) and Officer-in-Command (OC) what had happened and they arranged for the barracks to be blessed. We were allowed to book our early as it was a Friday, and all weekend OB duties (apart from guard duty) were cancelled.
So yeah, the old police academy is definitely haunted.
Confessions by Zijun Huang
We recently moved into the new BTO flats near Punggol settlement. I usually work late and one night as I was returning home from work, I took a wrong turn and ended up walking through Punggol Seventeenth Avenue, where the private estate is, and saw something that gave me goosebumps; even now as I'm recalling the story.
The time was a little past midnight and before 1 am. I was walking past the Raffles Kidz Childcare Centre. Some of the street lamps were flickering and the road was a bit misty. Suddenly, I heard woman crying hysterically. The crying got louder and louder. I was the only one on the street at that time. Then I heard someone shouting in Japanese. I didn’t understand what he was screaming about but the voice sounded very fierce.
I looked around thinking it’s the TV sound coming from one of the houses but there were no occupied houses there. That was when, from a far, I saw a woman in traditional cheongsam behind the gate of a very old house.
That was when, from a far, I saw a woman in traditional cheongsam behind the gate of a very old house.
I panicked and started running down the street, past the house, and towards the direction of the nearest main road. The crying sound only faded away after I ran quite a distance past the house.
I was seriously very, very scared. It's the first time I've seen or heard anything like this. I prayed and chanted all the way home. I showered quickly and went straight to bed.
The next few day I came down with a really bad case of fever. For nights after that, I would have recurring nightmares about the crying woman and the Japanese man. My mum brought me to a old temple in Punggol and with the help of the temple medium, my fever eventually subsided.
When the medium learned where I had my supernatural encounter, he nodded and said, "no wonder". Then he shared his memories about the Punggol point area. During the Sook Ching Massacre at Punggol beach, the Japanese raped and murdered many villagers in that area. There were many mass graves around the place, many of them were never officially documented.
One of the mass grave was on the site directly opposite the Childcare centre. He said if you ask anyone staying there, 9 out of 10 would have had experienced some degree of strange encounters there. There is a also a church nearby. The choice to build the church there was to keep the angry spirits at bay but clearly that had very little effect. According to the medium, he believes that is why many of the houses there are unsold as those who are 'pantang' or superstitious would avoid buying properties in that area.
Although my fever have since subsided after my visit to the temple, the haunting nightmares never stopped. Each night when I try to sleep, I would see the image of the screaming lady in cheongsam behind the gate.
Each night when I try to sleep, I would see the image of the screaming lady in cheongsam behind the gate.
The temple medium told me the spirit needed my help because her soul was stuck in a tormented cycle. He asked me to return to the spot at Seventeenth Avenue to burn a particular set of incense paper for her. I hesitated for a while as I am extremely scared of going back there. It took me a couple of weeks before I finally got the courage to go back there again, accompanied by the medium and one of the temple helpers.
The weather seemed find when we arrived but during the prayer ritual the cold wind suddenly picked up and it began to rain. A black cat walked over towards us and sat close by to watch us pray. Maybe it’s a coincidence but the temple medium said it was a sign. The entire ritual would take about half an hour and involved chanting and burning of Hell Money for the tormented soul of the crying lady, but the rain and the wind kept putting out the fire. We were forced to abandon the ritual when the rain got too heavy.
The temple medium told me that this was a sign that the spirit or spirits in the area did not accept the offering. We waited for the rain to subside and left without completing the ritual.
I really hope she can get out of this vicious cycle and reborn again in a better world. I really wish I can help her but it seems like there are stronger forces at work.
Photos of site and offering submitted by confessor.
Confession retold by Eugene Tay
This story was told to me in 2009 by a close family friend. This incident took place during the late 80s, early 90s era at Kaki Bukit estate, Singapore.
Kaki Bukit had a new HDB development that was built upon old kampong grounds and cemetery for those who can recall it. Our house faced a hill which leads up to an old mosque. Currently you try to find that place on the map, it would show just a cluster of new HDB blocks. No more hill, no more mosque, and apparently no more news of a Nenek Kebayan roaming the area.
I stayed there for 12 years before moving out to Seng Kang. I had 2 miscarriages in that house and the final incident is the most painful memory I had to bear. So to many people, my husband included, the legend of Nenek kebayan is a myth, but to me I believe that’s who was responsible for those deaths.
I had 2 miscarriages in that house and the final incident is the most painful memory
My husband was working in offshore marine line and I was a full time housewife. We were wedded for about three years and living with his parents in that time before getting a place of our own at Kaki Bukit. So naturally when the new home came we tried to start a family.
It didn’t take long for me to get pregnant with our first child. My husband would work shift so that would mean there was about 2 weeks to a month, sometimes, he will be out at sea. My mother would come by to help out during those times. So what I’m about to tell you is not just the ramblings of a pregnant woman, my late mother, bless her soul, was able to corroborate my experience.
I was in my third trimester, I remember. We were ready to welcome the arrival of my first born. That’s when I encountered this Nenek. Back in those days it was common for us to leave our doors open. All the neighbours pretty much knew each other and in the afternoons the Malay neighbours from downstairs would come to door to door to sell gorang pisang (fried banana fritters). We knew all the maciks (middle aged malay ladies) there so when the Nenek* appeared we were quite puzzled.
*Nenek literally translates to "grandmother". A polite term to address an elderly malay woman.
She wasn’t selling anything, she just wanted to come in to our home to congratulate us on the pregnancy. Although I remember feeling very uneasy at that time, I didn’t want to appear offensive so I let her in. She was quite unkempt and smelled stale like someone who had not had a shower in a while.
She placed her hands on my belly and smiled. Talking to my unborn kid in Malay. I didn’t understand all the words but It really made me uncomfortable. My mom was asleep at that time. She usually takes her afternoon nap and would wake up around dinner time. This took place around 6pm, I recalled, because I was secretly hoping for my mom to get up soon so I have an excuse to disengage.
She placed her hands on my belly and smiled. Talking to my unborn kid in Malay.
Eventually, I made an excuse to go to the kitchen to make her a cup of coffee. She smiled at me, her teeth were in terrible condition. That’s what made her so memorable. She merely nodded at me and kept that grin plastered on her face as I went to the kitchen.
From the kitchen I could see the main door. So if she had left my home, I would be able to notice her leaving; and she’s quite old and walked with a shuffle, so even more so it would be easy to spot her leaving. When I went back to the living room with the coffee she was no where to be seen. I checked the rooms, but no sign of her. I shrugged it off as probably something that I might have missed and was glad that she decided not to stay around.
That night I woke up with a terrible cramp in my abdomen. The contractions were excruciating but I knew it was too early for delivery. I bled all over the bed; my mom called for an ambulance but by the time I was taken to the hospital for check, the baby was gone.
By the time I was taken to the hospital for check, the baby was gone.
I did not see the Nenek anymore and didn’t tell anyone about it either. My husband and I decided to try again the following year and again in the third trimester, the Nenek appeared at my door again.
All the old memories came flooding back. This time I did not let her enter and I quickly closed the door on her. She was outside hurling insults and curses, demanding to be let in.
I went to the room to wake my mother up. My mom went to the peephole to look at the Nenek and immediately told me to stay in the room and start praying.
I’m not a very devout Catholic. I was introduced to the religion by my parents but besides going for the occasional Sunday mass, I was mostly Catholic by name. But that day I poured my heart into my prayers. My whole body was shaking in fear. I could sense whatever outside was evil. In my heart, I had always suspected the Nenek was behind my first miscarriage but now I’m sure.
From the room I could hear her growling outside and cursing. Then there was a foul stench so strong it was like the the sewerage had burst or something. Very foul smell and it seem to come and go.
Outside my door I could hear my own mother calling upon the Lord’s name. This went on for sometime and finally all was quiet. I continued staying in my room. My mother came in and comforted me. She didn’t want to elaborate much on it but many years later my mother revealed that through the peephole she was able to see the Nenek’s true form and it was hideous. She knew about such creatures from her growing up years in kampongs but that was the first time she has seen one up close.
Through the peephole she was able to see the Nenek’s true form and it was hideous.
I did not feel good the entire week; worried that I might bump into her if I went out so I just stayed home.
The following week when my husband came back, we left home only for my regular Gyne check up. That’s when we found out that my baby’s heart had stopped beating.
My husband does not believe in all these stories and attributed the miscarriages to me being stressed or purely biological. But to me, I’m going to my grave with the belief that it was that Nenek that took my both my children.
When I had my third child, we stayed at my in-laws place and there was not trouble at all. We moved back after the baby was born despite me being hesitant to do so but living with the in-laws weren’t very convenient. In the first five years that we returned home, I would sometimes smell that same foul smell at night and hear nails scratching on my windows, but no outright knocking or appearance.
We moved out of that house as soon as we could and thankfully till today I’m glad to say I had no other further encounters like that.
The legend of Nenek Kebayan has been passed down from ancient times to the present in the Malay community, with the most recent sightings reported in Perak in 2019. She is described as a hunchbacked old woman walking with a stick. She is believed to be a human woman who had acquired her powers through occult practices or making bargains with spiritual entities such as Jinns or Orang Bunians.
A video of what looks like a hunchbacked creature walking with a stick fits the description of a Nenek Kebayan.
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Confession by Beibei Lim
I wonder if the second daughter is the soul of an aborted child. When someone is near their end of life, the begin to think back on all their past deeds. In some instances, confessors claim that they can see their deceased relatives. - Eugene Tay
So this story happened, before my grandma passed away. She was bed ridden due to a bad fall.
Back than I used to live with her in her flat at Tampines, and she would always tell me during the night if I hear or see anything I should just ignore. At this point my grandpa had already passed on, but at night we could hear chairs moving around/someone using the toilet. Each time we heard the sounds, my grandma would ask ask me to shush and ignore.
At this point my grandpa had already passed on, but at night we could hear chairs moving around/someone using the toilet.
My grandma sustained a bad fall and was bedridden. I already moved back with my mother at this point of time but I would go back to visit my grandma daily.
One day, when I was visiting her as usual, she told me she had a “visitor“. Out of curiosity I asked her who it was. The people that visited my grandma was just me and I did not bring anyone along so I was quite puzzled by this news. She said it was her “2nd daughter” that came to visit her BUTTTTT here's the thing - she has no second daughter at all! The 3 children that she have are my mom and her 2 brothers.
My grandma described her visitor aka the 2n daughter as “ long hair , long nails , and weird smile “ this one is the most creepy shit.
The saddest part of this story is that she passed away on the one day that I did not came over to visit her.
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.”
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.
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.
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 Journal is a collection of stories and reviews submitted by the public.