Confession by Cara Wong
Cover Photo Credit: Nikko Pascua
This was shared with me by a friend who lived in Tanglin Halt, Blk 31. (Very bold to tell you guys the block this time because the incident didn't happen in his house).
My friend worked in the same fast food joint as me but typically preferred to work the closing shift, which meant he would get home sometime around 2 or 3am.
He recalled on that fateful night, there was no change in his routine as he got off the cab. He remembered it being a super hot night and that he couldn't wait to get home to shower.
So in order for him to get to his block, he had to walk this long winding pavement that basically connected all the blocks and ended at the then-existing, Tanglin Primary Sch. (I drew a yellow crisscross line on the map so you can visualize the path he had to take to get home).
He recalled brisk walking to his flat but just furtherup the path he could see what looked like 2 people and they were heading his way fast. At first he brushed it off as 2 other late commuters like himself but quickly got alarmed when they were half a block away and in the dim streetlights, he could make out that not only was one of them inhumanely tall, 1 was completely decked out in a black outfit and the other next to him was quite the opposite - wearing a total white outfit. He recalled the one in white also had a very tall stiff looking white hat which made him look even taller than he already was, and that the hat had some red characters on it. He also held something upright in his hand.
What truly shocked him though, was when he realized the one in white also had its tongue lolling out of the mouth and was so long that it was halfway down its body.
The one in white also had its tongue lolling out of the mouth and was so long that it was halfway down its body.
Needless to say, my friend freaked out and realizing that there was no way he could get to his block without passing the 2 of them, he quickly headed to his left and ran to the void deck of Blk 29 - barely seconds as the 2 of them passed him by,
He said they looked like they were in a hurry and didn't even stop to look at him and when he turned around to look at them, they had disappeared.
The next morning, he described his experience to his mother and the 2 spirits he had bumped into. His mother suggested they quickly visit a temple and speak to a priest just in case he had offended the spirits by crossing their paths and staring at them.
At the temple, the priest mentioned that what my friend came across weren't spirits but hell deities, also known as Hei Bai Wu Chang (黑白无常) and they were probably on their way to escort a dying person to the Underworld.
He also mentioned that the white one was extremely temperamental, and if you caught him on a good day, you would be blessed with fortune and good luck but if it was a bad day, he was just as likely to curse you with misfortune.
On an ending note, my friend has since converted to Taoism and interestingly enough has the 2 deities tattooed on his back because the priest told him it is not often that Hei Bai Wu Chang (黑白无常) appears to the human eye, so they must have revealed themselves to him for some reason.
"In Tanglin Halt you can find home temples dedicated to varies deities both in heaven and in hell, their imposing effigies line red alters blacked with soot. This harks back from the kampong days where residents ran places of worship within their residence. This practice was carried over to housing flats when the villagers came over. Home temples are meant to be temporary and is not meant for public worship, however that last bit is a grey area and hard to enforce. The sight of the ominous red glow and scent of incense creeping out of someone’s home is a declining trend." - Eugene Tay
Confession Journal is a collection of stories and reviews submitted by the public.