I used to stay in a haunted executive HDB at Teban Gardens. It belonged to my aunt who left it empty for 5 years as she was working abroad. We used it as an interim flat while waiting to move into a second hand unit that we had bought. My aunt's flat faced the Pandan Reservoir. When I first stepped in, I felt an instant chill and tickling sensation on my spine - like the presence of something watching me. Initially, I thought I was being too sensitive because it was after all a new and unfamiliar place. It also didn't help that these old units had huge rooms and were very spacious. Large empty spaces to a nine year old child can play all kind of tricks on the imagination. My mum, two siblings and I slept in one room. There were two other rooms - one with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves filled with old musky books - and a large storeroom that contained a mirror, a rocking chair and single hanging lightbulb, but was otherwise empty. Aunt said the stuff were left behind by previous owners. The items were old but in good condition so she felt it would be a pity to throw them away.
Strange things started happening almost immediately. My mum was cleaning the house and when she got to the storeroom, she suddenly felt her goosebumps rising. Instinctively she looked up at the mirror and saw in the reflection the single light bulb started swaying even though there's no wind. She looked closely in the reflection and saw the light bulb was twisting itself out of the socket! She turned around in time to catch the lightbulb just as it was falling.
Subsequently, my belongings started going missing. The peculiar thing was that the items that went missing were all white in colour - a tee, girl shorts and white velcro sandals. At first we thought maybe it was blown away by strong wind (SC's comment: When something supernatural happens, it's always easier to blame the wind). So my mum started securing my clothes with raffia and tape when she hung them up to dry in the kitchen. Again, some of them went missing. Here's the other weird thing: only my items were targeted. None of my siblings had their stuff go missing even though they were hanging on the same pole.
One night, my older sis’s boyfriend stayed over. We didn’t tell him anything about the strange occurrences. At that point, none of us rationalised any of these incidents as supernatural encounters yet. We just thought we were rattled by the sudden move and having our lives disrupted unexpectedly. We just didn’t put two and two together to think of these encounters as hauntings.
My sis's boyfriend slept in the spare room; the one with the old bookshelves. Around 3 a.m., he was rudely awoken with slaps to his face. He opened his eyes and saw an old lady standing over him, asking, " ni chi zhuang le mah?" Which translates from Mandarin to, “Are you awake or not?” He rubbed his eyes and the apparition was gone. He got out of the room to look around the house and saw no one. None of the other family members fit that description of the old woman. He thought maybe he had dreamt it and went back to sleep.
In another incident the following week, I locked myself in that same room after a fight with my sister. I can't remember what the fight was about but It was probably something lame that children, especially siblings, usually fight over. I sat in the farthest corner of the room and cried. To my surprise, through the sound of my sobbing, I heard the "tock" sound (It's the sound of the typical HDB bedroom door with a push button lock unlocking)! Then the doorknob turned and the door crept open slowly.
My first thought was - "those idiots found the door keys", but no one was there, and when I went out again, I found my siblings glued to the TV. I guess they could have faked it, but the time lapse between the door opening and me looking out the door was too short for them to have pulled that prank. Later, we found out that no one had the keys to the bedroom door, not even my aunt.
From that day on, I started feeling a sense of crippling fear. I can't explain why or what made me feel that way. Maybe it's my intuition trying to protect me: I was beginning to feel scared for no apparent reason. I wouldn't want to be on my own. Even when I was taking a shower, I would force my sister or mother to sit with me in the toilet to accompany me. Also, I witnessed, on multiple occasions, the rocking chair in the storeroom would move slightly at times, though to my naive kiddy brain, I always just thought it was the breeze.
Then my dad came back from an overseas deployment and stayed in the house for the first time. The next day he suggested to mom that the kids should stay over at another aunt’s place for a couple of weeks under the convenient excuse that it was the school holidays and we can spend our days playing with our cousins. It was only after we had moved out of the haunted flat that my parents told us what had really happen.
Dad always could sense "such things" his whole life. The first night he stayed with us, he was already able to sense an angry entity in the house. Although he couldn't see ghosts, he was able to feel them or catch glimpses of them from the corner of his eyes. The following morning when he came back from breakfast, he couldn't unlock the door with the keys. From the gap between the door and the floor, he could see a shadow moving behind the door, but the strange thing was that there's nobody home! He got angrier and angrier and scolded the “ghost”, demanding to be let in. He then stuck his talisman, the one that carried with him all the times, on the door. He felt the entity retreated from the door and then suddenly his keys could work again.
For the three months that my family stayed in that house, my dad and mum knew about the haunting but kept it from us because they didn't want to scare us. My two older siblings didn't really seemed to be affected very much. Perhaps I have inherited some of my dad's ability to sense spirits. Ironically, this experience increased my passion for anything ghost-related.
Confession by Rachel Y
Eugene Tay is a retired paranormal investigator and the author of the book Supernatural Confessions.