Most Asians are brought up adhering to superstitions: old wives’ tales passed down from the generations and that are imprinted upon us as truths. I recall my grandmother forbidding me to step foot into the play ground at our neighbourhood after 7pm. I never understood what drove her superstitions and I spent most of my growing up years thinking those beliefs were irrational and defying scientific wisdom, until recently.
Report by Jane Franklin
One Friday night, my friends and I had gathered at the sheltered seats (better known as “pondok”), surrounded by a cluster of HDB blocks at Serangoon North Avenue 1. We were unwinding with a few drinks after a hearty dinner. It was about 2.30am when I suddenly felt that creepy, prickly feeling grab hold of me. Someone was staring. And it seemed to come from the play ground across from where we were seated. Humans are sensitive to the gaze of others and this biological phenomenon is known as “gaze detection”. Neurological studies have found that the brain cells that initiate this response are very precise. If someone turns their gaze off of you by turning just a few degrees to their left or right, that eerie feeling quickly fades. That eerie feeling never faded that night.
My 6th sense kicked in as I instantly recognised that spectral feeling. Intuitively I took out my phone and started snapping pictures of the playground. One of my two friends turned to me almost immediately and warned me to stop what I was doing. When I asked him why I should stop, he replied without flinching, “The boy doesn’t like it. And he said you’re making too much noise.” I was sure my friend had simply fabricated that story just to tease me, so I ignored him and carried on.
What I saw next in my collection of snaps left me dumbfounded. I had captured in my pictures, the apparition of a little boy playing on the slide. My friend was telling the truth after all.
Supernatural Confessions: Can you spot the boy in the close-up photograph? What do you reckon this is: A ghostly apparition disturbed by the loud chatting of the living who had no business being out so late or is there a more scientific explanation to this? A play of light and the imagination, perhaps? Have you heard stories of ghostly encounters at playgrounds? Share your story with us.
Eugene Tay is a retired paranormal investigator and the author of the book Supernatural Confessions.