Looking for a scare in this season of horrors? We’ve gathered a collection of five real spine-chilling supernatural encounters — straight from the mouths of the people who experienced them
Singapore has its fair share of creepy urban ghost stories. You may be familiar with the tales of Old Changi Hospital, the grandma-grandchild duo patrolling army bunks and the children playing marbles on the roof of your house.
Not that accounts such as these are definitely untrue but tales of the supernatural are the scariest [And most real?] when heard from the horse’s mouth. We spoke to five Singaporeans who opened up about their spine-chilling supernatural encounters.
So grab a pillow, pour yourself a warm cup of kopi or Milo and huddle under your blanket. Things are about to get chilling.
1. THE PONTIANAK IN THE SCHOOL TOILET
Jane Surin, 29, Dance Studio Manager
“This happened when I was in Secondary 3 at a girls’ school in the East. It was around 6.30pm, and three of us — Calli, Mel and I — headed to a restroom. There had been rumours about weird happenings in this toilet.
Mel waited outside, and I went in to accompany Calli. While Calli used the loo, I tied my hair at the sink.
Gazing into the mirror, I suddenly noticed a girl standing in an empty cubicle. She was wearing our school uniform, and her face was turned away and facing the wall. She had a red string tied around her neck.
But here’s weirdest part: She was gesturing with her hands for me to go to her.
I was so frightened that I bolted out of the toilet and frantically told Mel what I saw.
She explained that if a person ties a red thread from the foot of his bed to a banana tree of a Pontianak (a female ghost), the Pontianak would become bound to that person’s will.
When Calli finally came out after ten minutes, she was surprised to see me outside. She insisted that she had been talking to me inside the toilet, and ‘I’ even responded, ‘Ah. Ah. Ah.’ Mel and I grabbed Calli and ran as far away from that toilet as we could.
Needless to say, we never used that restroom again.”
2. THE GHOST MARKET
Wong Ah Sian (not her real name), 76, Retiree
“I used to live in a shophouse in Tiong Bahru opposite the old wet market; these units were called war-houses because they’ve been around since World War II. I raised my seven children there.
I didn’t tell my children this story until they grew up and asked why I decided to move away.
In the middle of the night, after everyone had gone to sleep, I would hear noises from across the street, from the wet market. It sounded like the usual morning crowd of people chattering and hawking their groceries. But all the stalls are closed at that hour.
It would get even louder during the Chinese Seventh Month. I closed all my windows and shut my curtains because I was afraid of what I might see.
We sold the house more than ten years ago.”
Also read: Ghostbusting, Singapore-style
3. A ‘STRANGER’ IN THE NEW HOME
Colin Ng, 37, Pilot
“In 1987, when I was nine years old, my family moved into another flat. As Catholics, it is a practice for us to invite a priest to bless the house. Before we did this, I experienced a strange presence in my room.
Being an only child, I slept alone. One day, after coming back late from a family gathering, I lay on my bed trying to fall asleep.
Then, I heard it: A loud breathing noise as if someone was inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Chills tingled down my spine but, being tired, I dismissed it as my father snoring, and went to sleep.
After a few nights of hearing this, I decided to investigate if it was my father, so I walked over to their room — only to find that all was quiet.
Upon re-entering my room, I heard the noise again. As I made my way back to my bed, it became clear that the breathing was coming from the corner of my room where my cupboard stood.
By now my pulse was racing and I was scared out of my wits. I lay motionless on my bed and tried to peer towards my feet at the dark corner where the breathing was coming from but I saw nothing.
I started praying, but it didn’t stop.
Finally, plucking up my courage, I grabbed my bolster and blanket, darted out of my room into my parents’ room and dove onto their bed. I just gave an excuse that it was too warm in my room and slept there instead.
After that, being in my room made me feel very uneasy.
Thankfully, after the priest blessed our home, the incident never occurred again.”
4. POSSESSED BY AN ANGRY SPIRIT
Zulhelmi Ahmad (not his real name), 27, Flight Steward
“My maternal grandfather inherited a waris, or guardian spirit, which protected him over the years. Different waris have to be ‘raised’ differently but my grandfather only had to recite the Quran to protect himself.
Since my grandfather was the last male of his bloodline, the waris was desperate to latch onto a new owner. My grandfather started falling ill and became weaker, and the waris grew increasingly agitated and aggressive.
One night, when my family was visiting my grandfather, the waris possessed my young niece. She started shouting things like ‘This one is mine!’
We were on the seventh floor. My uncle could hear the screams from the coffee shop, where he was, downstairs. At one point, she even managed to shove her mother against a wall.
We recited verses from the Quran and said prayers to weaken and drive the spirit away. Afterwards, my niece had no recollection of her actions.
My grandfather has since passed away, and we’ve never heard or experienced anything from the waris since. It may have disappeared or could have latched onto someone else. Whichever the case, I don’t want to know.”
5. THE WRATH OF THE INFAMOUS RED HOUSE
Mr Lai, 31, Real Estate Agent
“This incident happened around 1996, when my secondary school friends and I had a gathering at a chalet in Pasir Ris. During the wee hours, a friend suggested we explore the ‘Red House’ nearby.
This friend apparently has ‘the third eye’ and advised us to walk close to one another.
The house was surrounded by a fence but we could go through a hole in the back. It was dark and, just as we entered, I felt a dip in the temperature.
Suddenly, my friend with the third eye hurriedly told us to turn back. Incidentally, right then, there was a bright flash of light (that could’ve been lightning) from outside that scared the wits out of us, and we rushed out.
When we reached the chalet, two of my friends started vomiting, and the clairvoyant guy just sat down with a weird look in his eyes. He fell into a fever after that. One of my friends and I (incidentally we were both Catholic) were fine.
When we finally discussed what happened, one of the guys revealed that he’d accidentally stepped on some offerings outside the house, which perhaps angered some spirit. We never brought up that incident again.”
By Pamela Chow & Lester J Wan for Weekender Singapore