The Reason Why Some Buildings Are Painted Red, and How Feng Shui Will Affect the Residents
Photo via Lianhe Zaobao
Disclaimer: It is important to note that the beliefs expressed in this article are based on superstition and not necessarily grounded in fact or logic. I am in no way insinuating that block 640B is haunted and in no way should this article reduce the value of that estate. This article is to educate and share local superstitious beliefs passed down from previous generations.
Written by Eugene Tay
Block 640B of Tampines North Street 62 GreenVines made headline news this week when netizens shared a photo of the new Build-To-Order (BTO) flat that looks like it’s a set for a horror movie.
Initially I thought it was just a design feature thought up by someone who isn’t chinese and approved by someone who isn’t superstitious. I didn’t think much about it, until I received a text message from a contact who knew something about the history of the land the estate was built on.
A Bit of Backstory of the Plot of Land that GreenVines Sits On
The place was a heavily forested area untouched by urbanisation until recent years when the land was cleared to make way for housing development projects. Back in the days, the area was a popular spot for spiritual practitioners to discard cursed items, trap spirits inside of trees, or release them into the “wild”. There are a few places like that in Singapore but the numbers have been significantly reduced now. Another famous place for discarding spirits was in Bedok South. The place is also taken over by another BTO project (Hori-cough-cough-zon). That’s a story for a different time.
Tampines North was the last part of Tampines to be developed, and over the years it has accumulated a lot of spiritual energy enough for some practitioners to believe that the place has opened up a rift for spirits to travel freely between two worlds. From the late 90s to the early 2000, there was a movement amongst young thrill seekers to spend the night in this part of Tampines North to test their courage and mettle against the spirits. Stories of possession and spiritual attacks were plenty, but to be fair, it was hard to verify the authenticity in many of these experiences.
In the late 2000, I suspect the Housing Development Board must have stepped in to invite some spiritual masters to intervene, and the place was gentrified, spiritually speaking. Yellow cloths were tied to certain trees and the process of “herding” lost souls begun.
Chinese Culture and Feng Shui View of Red
In Chinese culture, while red is often associated with good luck, prosperity, and happiness, when used sparingly (decorations, clothing, and accessories only), it can also be seen as a bold and aggressive colour that can bring bad luck or misfortune when it becomes overwhelming.
In Feng Shui, the colour red is generally not recommended for use in homes because it is believed to be a very strong and fiery colour that can create an overwhelming or unbalanced energy in the space. The colour red is associated with the fire element and is believed to be “too hot” for a home environment.
According to one Feng Shui master, he said that buildings that are painted in red are likely to create these two scenarios.
If you or someone you know is living in 640B Tampines Street 62, and have a supernatural encounter to share, please reach out to me (+65 94594931).
Note: Regardless if you are a believer or a skeptic, most people will agree that the red was just a tad too much. Repainting work started on 1st March 2023, and the place doesn't look like it did in the photos.
In a CNA article, Housing Development Board (HDB) feedback that the GreenVines estate was inspired by tropical fruits, and block 640B reflected the colour of dragon fruit.
Confession by Luca
Hi, I am a student at Maris Stella High School and here is my confession. One day last year, it was just before my exams and I wanted to revise, so my friend and I decided to come to school early.
The first day we were meeting early, I had misjudged the time taken to get to school and arrived early at about 6.20a.m. When I got to class, it was still locked, so I waited for about ten minutes for the school caretaker to go about his rounds to unlock the doors. arrived and let me in.
Being the playful person I am, I decided to scare my friend as he was coming in. I kept the lights and the fan off, and the windows closed as they were. While crouching in the corner, I suddenly heard the sound of something being dragged. I was spooked because the class school had been dead silent before that. Wanting to see what was making the noise, I decided to turn on the lights.
It was a table that had been dragged about 2 m across the floor. I was shocked. The tables are quite heavy, with the frame being made of metal. I thought that it was impossible for the wind to have done this. At that time in the morning, no one could have placed strings either. Out of all the tables, all arranged in the usual exam format.
It was the table in the corner that moved.
While investigating the sound, the window near the spot I had been hiding slowly creaked open. At this point, all my rational thoughts just flew out of my mind.
While investigating the sound, the window near the spot I had been hiding slowly creaked open. At this point, all my rational thoughts just flew out of my mind. I'm not ashamed to say, I was really freaked out! I know for a fact that I had closed and locked the window shut the previous day. I was the last one out of class and the first one in this morning. I left the classroom immediately.
I feel that it is also worth mentioning that my school is known for hauntings, I do not know how true, but supposedly it is built on a cemetery. We are also right beside Bartley crematorium. While I was in Maris Primary, there was a toilet that was supposedly very haunted. It was behind the stage in the Hall. It was always quiet but there are stories of screams and singing coming from there, even apparitions have been seen. In the secondary side, there is a terracotta warrior and during camp nights, when students sneak off to roam around for fun, the statue is said the disappear or move its hand. There is also a winding corridor on the 5th level. It really creeps me out. It's always quiet and deserted. We only go there when we are playing catching. People have said to have seen figures walking around, the disappearing, some even of a woman with long black hair, wearing a blue dress. When there are turns in that hallway, there are mirrors, maybe it is to help students see what's around the corner. Overall my school definitely has creepy vibes, especially in the early morning and night.
Confession by Haye
Eugene: For some background information of the confessor, she is 'gifted' with the psychic ability to sense things that people cannot see. She had plenty of encounters growing up. This confession is one of the scariest she had encountered. This experience took place on a ghost walking tour that she attended with her uncle, auntie, cousin and her husband. There were five of them on this trip.
We started off the tour at Kent Ridge Park, it wasn't too bad, I did see a few fleeting shadows and smell the sweet scent that is often associated with a specific type of supernatural but the main part of this story starts at Labrador park. We were going to be walking through a forest. The tour guides told us to switch off our phones and they gave us candles to help us see in the dark.
I could already sense there were spirits there, but I felt it was normal since it is their home. we walked into the forest for about 400-500m when my cousin said, 'Hey, we need to wait for our aunt and uncle!'. So I turned around and waited.
I was the only one facing my aunt and uncle, so when they were walking towards us, I noticed my cousin's husband was behind them, standing slightly further back and staring at the ground. I thought it was strange that he would be that far behind when he had been walking with my cousin and I this whole time. There was this feeling in my heart telling me there was something off about him.
Suddenly, I felt a tap on my shoulder. It was my cousin's husband; he had been standing next to me the whole time. "Let's go," he said.
So what was that taking on his form? I turned back to look at the doppelgänger but it had vanished
I was seriously freaked out but it was too late for me to turn back now, and I didn't want to scare the others as well. So I kept this incident to myself and continue walking the forest trail.
When we passed by a toilet, my cousin's husband and uncle said that they needed to go "take a piss" in case their bladder gets full later and they are forced to piss on a tree. In our local superstition, pissing on a tree might attract spirits to follow you back. The toilet lights were activated by motion sensor. At this time of the night, it will remain dark unless someone or something large moves in the proximity. A moment after my cousin's husband and uncle came out of the toilet, the lights turned off on its own. We continued the journey but a few seconds later the lights turned on by itself again. I turned to look at the toilet; I had a nagging suspicion that there's something looking at us. I kept turning around to look at the direction of the toilet until the lights turned off again. This time I saw it - a white shrouded entity - a Pocong - was standing right at the spot where my uncle was. I quickly turned away and hurried in front.
This time I saw it - a white shrouded entity - a Pocong - was standing right at the spot where my uncle was.
But here is where things got crazy for me. The tour guides stopped in the middle of the trail as they wanted to share a story about World War 2. We were gathered around in a semi-circle, and the guide started sharing with us what happened during the war in Labrador park. Suddenly I felt someone tap my shoulder three times.
I assumed it was one of my relatives but when I turned I came face to face with someone I did not recognise. That's when I knew I had messed up big time. Suddenly everything around me amplified: I could feel the air around me thicken and grew heavy. I heard footsteps crunching on the gravel around me. There was a scream coming out of the forest. Then a strange mechanical buzzing sound from overhead - much like an old propeller plane flying by. Then the intense feeling of sadness set in. I could feel the tragedy of this place; the deaths, the suffering, the souls trapped in time. Everything.
it's not uncommon for me to be able to sense whether a place has good/bad history. sometimes when i walk into a person's house I can tell whether they're a tight-knit or a dysfunctional family just based on my senses, but the psychic imprint of this place was extremely strong.
The tour guide stopped talking at this point. He said he sensed a sudden change in the atmosphere. He pulled out a radio box that supposedly allow for ghosts to communicate through it. He asked a few questions such as, 'who are you, are you a foreigner or a local' etc. The spirit didn't speak, but instead communicate through another device - a K-II Electromagnetic Field meter - blinking once for no and twice for yes. The answer the tour guide got from it was it was a female.
When it was my turn to hold on to the device, the light on the meter went straight up to the maximum number of dots, meaning there was a presence, or multiple presence, around me. We decided to move away from the spot. The red LED light stayed at the maximum reading all the way through the rest of the forest trail. Even the guide commented that he had not seen such a strong, persistent, reading before.
Confession by Lawrence Akm
This incident took place in 2020.
My cousin, his friend and I went for a run at Mount Faber around 9pm. We drove up to the summit to park our car and started our run from there, down Mount Faber Park and towards Labrador Park. After we ended our run, we took a short break before making our way back towards Fort Canning. This was when things started getting strange.
It was a direct route but for some reason, we couldn’t find our way back. We used a map app and it led us on a roundabout and we kept coming back to the same spot. Eventually we decided to ditch the walking path and take the road instead. If cars can come in and out via the road, that would be our best bet to find a way out of the park. So we took a narrow one lane road up the hill.
There were some buildings there which looked like a chalet or some sort. It was already dark and the orange glow from the old lamps along the pavement did not help much. We checked the time, it was only 10.30pm; too early in the night for us to be spooked out but for some reason we were all feeling a bit uneasy at that time.
As we were making our way up the hill. I turned back to look for any cars behind. That was when I spotted a leaf on a banana tree shaking violently; it was not only shaking, it was twisting! It was almost as if an external force was playing with the leaf. If it was the wind, I thought to myself, then the other leaves should be moving too but in this case, I double checked, it was only that one single leaf moving and twisting. Mind you, I wanted so much to believe that it was the wind but it was a warm and windless night. This does not look at all right to me.
I quickly turned back and told my cousin and his friend about the strange leaf. His friend immediately asked me to be quiet and keep walking.
I quickly turned back and told my cousin and his friend about the strange leaf. His friend immediately asked me to be quiet and keep walking.
There was something ominous about the way he hushed us up that no one wanted to ask anything and we all just kept walking.
We eventually came to a spot with no street lights but the road led on into the darkness. We decided that perhaps this was not going to lead us back to our car and turned back to find a different route up. As we were making our way back out of the narrow road, I turned back to look at the banana leaf one more time. It had stopped moving.
When we finally reached the mainroad and found civilisation again, we started to exchange notes about our individual observations. My cousin told me that if I see these things - things that cannot be explained - I should be quiet and not say anything about it, because as soon as “they” know that we have noticed their presence, they will continue disturbing us.
Until today, I could not find a scientific explanation for what we encountered. Maybe it was an insect or a squirrel, I keep telling myself, but deep down inside I know what it was that I saw that night - It must be the hantu.
Written by Eugene Tay
Peace Centre, situated in the Bugis Bras Basar district and at the arse end of Middle Road, is one of Singapore's oldest surviving mall that has not been upgraded since it was first built.
The floor tiles, wooden hand rails, and faded pastel green coloured walls are all reminiscent of the 70s decor. Back in its heydays, Peace Centre was home to an eclectic mix of shops selling anything from bespoke tailored outfits to Kachang Puteh* . Over the years it housed dodgy businesses that catered for all manner of vices - sex trades, alcohol, gambling, drugs; and these are the ones that I personally know about. I'm sure there might be other more nefarious and darker deeds going about that place that are only privy to those in the industry.
*Kachang Puteh literally translates to White Nuts. These are roasted nuts covered in white sugar. It was a popular snack that one would buy to eat in the cinema. Peace Centre might be the only place left in Singapore with a Kachang Puteh seller.
I was a tenant of that building from 2007 to 2012, and had forged very close friendship with the neighbours. Even the lady boss who was in-charge of property management would sit with the tenants at the third floor cafe to chat during the slow weekday afternoons. Ghost stories, especially in Asia, is the one conversational topic that creates an immediate bond between the different races and cultures, and for an old building like Peace Centre, the stories were endless. Many of these tales, though as scary as they are when narrated, often times were urban legends - someone who had heard it from someone who had heard it from someone else.
The 7th Floor Haunted Management Office
This story is slightly more believable because it came directly from someone who worked in the management office herself. T is not known to be someone who joked a lot. Besides my mother, T is the only other person I know who can smile with a frown. I have a love hate relationship with T. She's my landlady and each month when I see her, it's usually to pay rent, but there are also times where she and I would just sit down and gossip about the events that took place next building at Peace Mansion.
I remember in one conversation where I was due to renew my rental agreement and I asked for a cheaper rate, she offered her 7th floor office as an alternative. It had bigger floor space, and she was practically giving it away for free. So I asked her what's the catch.
"It's haunted," she said. Just like that. No set up, no preamble. "Things can move around. Cupboards can open and close by themselves."
"But you were in that office for many years, aren't you afraid?"
"This place quite common. You can see spirits walking around the corridors at night. It's not harmful. They are like our tenants. We are used to them. That's why you see some offices will leave packet drinks and sweets outside their doors."
"Then why move out?"
"Last month the haunting in the office started getting violent. Got one new staff said he don't believe in all these nonsense. Around 5pm, before we knock off, he heard the office chair rolled around. He went to check but most of us had already left for the day and there's no one in the adjoining room. He decided to scold the spirit.
He went to check but most of us had already left for the day and there's no one in the adjoining room. He decided to scold the spirit.
That's when the glass partitioned shattered and a large piece of glass cut his neck. He didn't die of course but since then, many of us in the office don't feel safe anymore. The energy got a bit darker. So we moved to third floor."
"Any ghost there?"
"Yeah have, That one quite interesting. The room used to be rented by a church for their congregation, but then they moved out already and we used it as a store. There's a timid child spirit there, and I think over time, the place attracted other children spirits to that place. The shifu [a holistic movement practitioner] on the fourth floor said that these are aborted child spirits. They got no where to go. But the mood is a lot better than on the seventh floor. They like music. Anytime of the day, our office radio can turn on and play on its own. Sometimes they even change the channel on their own. If you walk past and you hear music, that's not for us; it's for them."
Do Not Deny The Beggar
This one was shared with me by the security guard who swore that he got the story from the father of the kachang puteh seller. This urban legend started in the 80s when Singapore still had beggars that sleep at street corners. As the story goes, there's a old indian man that would only appear during dusk to ask for food and money. There was one young man who would often take pity on this beggar and bought him food and offered him money. Though this young man wasn't wealthy himself, he had a kind and generous heart.
One evening, when the young man had delivered food to the old beggar, the beggar reached out for his hand and asked him to stay. The young man did.
"Young man," the old beggar said. "You have a kind heart. It is my turn to return you a gift."
"It's okay, uncle, you don't have to give me anything," said the young man.
The old beggar just chuckled and palmed a dirty old coin in the young man's hand. "Keep this in your pocket at all times, you will never be lack of money," the old beggar said.
In that instant, the young man saw a shift in the old beggar's face, for a split second, but in that time the young man thought he saw the form of Bhikshatana. Bhikshatana is an aspect of the goddess Shiva in Hindu mythology.
In that instant, the young man saw a shift in the old beggar's face, for a split second, but in that time the young man thought he saw the form of Bhikshatana.
That was the last time that the young man saw the old beggar but he did remember to keep the coin in his pocket at all times. In fact, the young man prospered during the decade and owned a few business that operated out of Peace Centre. The rumour about his unnatural success was cemented when his businesses outlived his competitors. In the later part of 2000s, most of his businesses folded and he moved out of the building. No one has heard of him since.
This led many of the neighbours to believe that he must have lost his magic coin.
To this day, the older tenants would advice their staff who are working late to never deny the beggar asking for food if they met one at Peace Centre.
Now the next bit might be entirely a coincidence but I cannot help but think back on this urban legend and wondering many times later in my life if I had indeed came face to face with the aspect of Shiva.
I knocked off around 10.00pm one night and I was taking the side stairs down towards middle road, The only light illuminating this stairwell was the light from the street lamp nearby. As I walked down towards the second floor landing, I met an old Indian man making his way up. At this time of the night, there is no reason for anyone to be going into the building, and for us tenants, we pretty much knew most people by face. This man however, was unkempt, clearly hadn't showered in a while, and I think he might have been drinking. He curled his fingers and brought it to his mouth in an action that most people would interpret as "eat". He rubbed his stomach with the other hand and repeated his actions.
I fished out for my wallet and as luck would have it, for him, I only have a ten dollar bill in my wallet and no smaller change. Remembering the urban legend shared by the security guard, I did not hesitate to part with my money even though that would mean I would have to skip dinner. The man took my money and happily made his way upwards. I walked away feeling conflicted. Half of me feeling stupid, and the other half consoling myself that I've done a good deed.
Later that night, I found a folded fifty dollar bill in bus number 65. How would you explain that?
The Girls of Peace Mansion
Come evening time, that place is a sight to behold. Many fine ladies in the tightest and tiniest of dresses, tottering around on the highest of heels would make their way down to have their meals before starting work at their respective nightclubs and karaoke bars in the vicinity. Danny and Anthony were two well known characters who would hang out everyday at the foodcourt area of Peace Mansion. They consider themselves entrepreneurs who truly understands what customers want, namely vices. The drinking and smoking tables at the food court are limited so we always end up sharing tables. As regulars, it is inevitable that bonds are forged and especially over common interest like booze and girls.
That was how I got invitation into house parties and saw the human side of Peace Mansion. It is easy to look at these working girls, pimps, and colourful characters and pass our high society judgment upon them, but when you had the opportunity to speak with them as a person as I have, I found that they are no different from my conversations with investment bankers, the traders, and the get-rich-quick "coaches". They all just want to make as much money as they can. Greed is the name of the game; It is a cut throat industry and respect is measured in dollar bills.
And with greed, especially in Asia, spirituality comes into play. I have heard stories of magic needles/beads that were surgically inserted under the skin in necks, cheeks, foreheads, and genitals, all in the name of business improvement. The ticket out for some of these girls were to snare a rich man who would keep them as a mistress. When that failed, magic is also used to take down a rival; and this was what, in my opinion, led to Peace Mansion having the haunted reputation it did.
Initially the bulk of the working girls were from China, but Thais, Vietnamese and even Mongolian girls started flooding the scene. Each bringing with them their own spiritual beliefs. Some of these fights can lead to bitter ends and if these tales were to be believed, magic was responsible for some of the suicides and sudden death cases. While the law could not catch them, it is said that blood debt requires blood sacrifices. These girls would use the lives of their unborn fetus as payment.
Any place with a high concentration of negative energy will attract spirits and entities from around the place, and over time, I was told, portals will form. For those dabbling in vices, they welcome such portals in their place of operation.
"The more spirits, the better. Then we can bind them to our will and ask them for favours," said Danny.
"The more spirits, the better. Then we can bind them to our will and ask them for favours," said Danny.
"But don't get us wrong. We don't use these spirits to do bad things. We also dedicate merits back to them. So everyone wins," Anthony added. "You think these KTV places all don't play with such things? I tell you this entire block has more ghosts than humans ah."
"So it's haunted?" I asked.
"Everywhere also got ghost lah," Danny replied. "You don't disturb them, they don't disturb you. But if you need help you can ask, but then you need to give them something too."
"Like that, isn't it easy to get rich? Just ask ghosts for help can already," I asked.
"It's that easy. The more greedy you are, the more you ask, the more you have to pay back. For me, I just ask for small blessings. Make me better looking so people will like my face and want to do business. Anthony here always asking for bigger cock. That one need miracle. Ghost also cannot help."
The table erupted with raucous laughter and exchange of generous expletives.
Danny continued: "But seriously, making money is not hard - if you dabble in the spirit world - it's keeping your money and knowing how to keep your promises that's."
This is a featured story based on my interaction with some interesting characters in Peace Centre. Personally, the scariest thing about Peace Centre is the toilets. The area around Peace Centre also have pretty interesting stories - Mount Sophia, Park Lane and the Old Cathay Cinema. Perhaps you might have some confessions of your own to share. We would love to hear from you.
Confessions by Tan Ei Leen
"This story references Karak Highway in Malaysia. It's important to note that Karak Highway has an international reputation for being one of the most haunted locations in Malaysia. The urban legend talks about a yellow Volkswagen Beatle that would keep appearing despite drivers passing by it. There were also many tragic accidents that took place on this highway." - Eugene Tay
Now I have calmed down to write my encounter last night.
As you all know, Selangor MCO started today (6th May 2021) and Raya is coming, my clients has assigned me to send Raya hampers this week.
Supposed those hampers is divided to 3 days delivery but as we are also uncertain as to travel restrictions, we decided to clear everything yesterday. We informed the recipients and they agreed to receive at night as well. All was good until approximately 9.55pm. I was at the MRR2. My GPS showed that the recipient house is 3km away and 6 mins to reach.
So I followed the GPS and suddenly it rerouted saying that I overshot. Well, sometimes we do take wrong turn so I was like... ok. Follow the rerouted route to a U-turn.
So the nearest U-turn was the Genting highland old road. The dark kampung road next to the Karak highway. I used to U-turn tat road in daylight. When entering that road will reach a traffic light. At traffic light turn right and will have a junction and we will reach the main road.
Last night at the traffic light, I turned right but can't see the junction. I can only follow the road.
I didnt suspect anything and followed the road as per GPS. I remembered that time the road show 6km to reach destination. After about 2km I guess, suddenly the GPS showed 8km. I felt weird.
Then I look at surrounding. Both left and right are trees. Front and back no cars. I was all alone. There were no street lights.
Then I look at surrounding. Both left and right are trees. Front and back no cars. I was all alone. There were no street lights.
Then i saw an abandon factory a few metres ahead with an abandon crane. No choice i turn there so i can make a U-turn. GPS still gave me weird directions but my guts tell me not to follow and to take the road back the same way I came in.
I tried so hard to chant "na mo ah mi tho for" but I was panicking and the words seem hard to come out. So I switched to call for Guan Yin Pu Sha. I couldn't chant the words properly.
As the 黑白无常* (underworld gods) is my 乾爷 (patron), I just kept calling out 乾爷，救命 ("godfather, please help"). Soon after, I saw the main road junction and quickly exited the junction.
Once I exited the junction, one yellow mini cooper (I think) dashed out of nowhere and I jammed on my breaks real hard and thankfully avoided an accident. That car was speeding and almost collided into me. If I had delayed for even one second, I would have been dead.
*黑白无常 also known as dua di ah pek and underworld deities who help the living. Devotees often call them terms of respect such as 'godfather' or 'boss'
The Shadow People of Punggol
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.
The Crying Ghost of Punggol Point
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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