One of my favourite childhood reads is the True Singapore Ghost Stories series by the mysterious Russell Lee – and I’m sure I’m not the only fan! There’s something unnervingly intriguing about the unknown that makes us itch to take one step forward and probably 10 steps back. And, naturally, the closer we are in proximity to supposed hauntings, the more such unexplained encounters intrigue us.
Which is why I wasted no time in replying my interest when the opportunity to interview Li Kim – the host of The Paranormal Zone – landed in my inbox. The third season of this documentary, which recently premiered on Syfy (StarHub Ch 517), sees Li Kim once again knee-deep in investigations not meant for the faint-hearted. And this time, she travels to Singapore to explore some of our city’s creepiest locations.
Below, she reveals the top most haunted spots in Singapore. Are you ready to find out if there is a not-too-friendly ghost lurking in YOUR hood?
Haunted Location #1: Bukit Batok
History of the location: Over the past 20 years, a succession of high-profile murders and rape cases have happened in the Bukit Batok Nature Park or within the vicinity of Bukit Batok. It is often believed that an area with a history of unnatural and traumatic deaths is said to be haunted by the tortured souls who are trapped in that space. Scenarios such as the tragic passing of innocent victims in a specific place or when extreme violence is inflicted on someone, could potentially cause the remnants of negative energies to attract similar spirits. Also, it is possible that the souls of the deceased will linger and haunt the place for a very long time until they are pacified and cleared.
In 1992, housewife Bibi Noor Jahan was stabbed 26 times in her home at Bukit Batok and her murderer was finally found 19 years later. Closer to date in 2011, a young man who was believed to be mentally ill was found dead in the compound of Church of St Mary of the Angels at Bukit Batok East Avenue 2. In addition, many would certainly remember the brutal demise of Linda Chua in 2000, an avid jogger who was raped and murdered in broad daylight. The culprit is still at large.
Li Kim: “I felt negative energies such as sadness, pain and deep frustration deposited in the Bukit Batok area during both the recce and filming. Thus, it comes as no surprise to us that a large number of joggers and visitors at Bukit Batok Nature Park claimed to have seen unexplained beings lurking in the dark. Some of the people we interviewed also believe the beings were the discontented spirits who were once attacked, harmed, and perhaps lost their lives there.”
Haunted Location #2: Pulau Ubin
History of the location: Pulau Ubin, a beautiful island off the coast of Singapore, is not only a tourist destination for hiking, biking, and a good getaway from the flashing neon lights of the city; it is also home to the last kampung of Singapore. What is more interesting about Pulau Ubin is the shrines and places of worship. It is said that there are approximately nine temples and 11 shrines that many devotees flock to regularly or during yearly festivals.
Besides being the abode of deities and land protectors, there is one famous shrine of a German girl – a female spirit that is worshipped by the locals as well as devotees from as far as Thailand and Myanmar. Many locals told stories that they dreamt about the German girl who died during the British occupation when she was escaping from the British soldiers. She had fallen to her death into a quarry. Her remains were later buried by the plantation workers and kept inside a Jiangsu urn, which you can still see today at her shrine next to a Barbie doll.
It is claimed that people who visit the shrine wish for good luck and fortune, and they present offerings such as lipsticks, perfumes, and flowers. This may not appear to be a spooky or haunted shrine, but it is one that makes us wonder about spirit worship!
Li Kim: “During our investigation, I found that most of the locals knew about the German girl’s story and many even worship at her shrine. However, most of the people I approached were hesitant to reveal more.”
The third season of The Paranormal Zone is currently showing on Syfy (StarHub Ch 517).