Tired of haunted houses, where tired low-wage actors make perfunctory attempts to scare you without physical contact as to avoid a lawsuit?
Well, here’s some good news, Singapore is home to the real deal. After all, why shouldn’t some of our tiny island play host to visitors from the afterlife? If only they’d learn how to communicate, instead of just floating around crying, or possessing people at random. Here are Singapore’s top 10 haunted places.
What’s so scary about our little island outcrop of extremely overpriced real estate and sad dolphins? Well before it was rebranded as the allegedly party-friendly name of Sentosa (peace and tranquility), it was known more commonly as Pulau Belakang Mati, translated roughly as “The Island of Death from Behind”... or “The Back Island of Death”. We think you’ll have to agree that no matter how you jumble the sequence up, any name that involves the word “Death” is just not that appealing. From purported hauntings at the quieter beaches, to ghostly soldier sightings at the old Fort Siloso, Sentosa certainly is a place to party, for both the living and the dead.
9. St. John Island
St. John’s Island isn’t just a place for secondary schools to stick their students when they’ve run out of ideas. It was also where Sir Stamford Raffles anchored, before reaching the shores of our mainland. But since those long ago days, it’s certainly had quite a checkered history: quarantine centre, lepers colony, prisoner camp and drug rehabilitation centre are but some of the phases that the island has gone through.
Now it might be an idyllic little nature-filled getaway, complete with quaint holiday bungalows and camps, but the sorrow and pain of its past residents linger on. Many a school excursion has been joined by uninvited “guests”, with students often reporting spectral sightings of men in military garb.
8. Fort Canning Park
It was known as Bukit Larangan, or the Forbidden Hill by the locals. Long before the British arrived, Fort Canning was already a sacred rise, exclusive to the ancient rulers of the land, their graves and temples. During the war, it was a base of military operations for both the British and eventually, the Japanese. Nowadays, it is as popular with joggers as it is with music lovers, who make merry on the grounds, perhaps unaware that their concerts take place over what used to be a Christian cemetery.
Perhaps the concert attendance might sometimes be bolstered by the otherworldly denizens of Fort Canning Green. Some joggers have reported the uncomfortable sensation of being watched, when they pass the older bits of the park, as well as Keramat Iskandar Shah, a shrine dedicated to the enigmatic ancient ruler of Singapore.