Hun­gry Ghost Fes­ti­val Spe­cial: Ghosts in Sin­ga­pore

Ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese cal­en­dar, the gates of hell open this month A re­tired ghost hunter gives us the low-down on the ghosts said to the haunt­ing our is­land.

CLEO (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

As Sin­ga­porean mil­len­ni­als, we know a lot more about ghosts than we think. Af­ter all, most of us had our noses in a Rus­sell Lee book as a kid, and in sec­ondary school, we were re­peat­edly cau­tioned about the haunted fe­male toi­let (ev­ery school seems to have that one spooky bath­room).

Then there were the chill­ing Tekong tales we’d hear a lot about when our guy friends en­listed for Na­tional Ser­vice, and the count­less times a friend of a friend sup­pos­edly “saw some­thing” in the dark of the night. All of this points to one thing: for a young and tiny na­tion, Sin­ga­pore seems to be home to a dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of tales of rest­less spir­its. But why?


Noel Boyd, a re­tired ghost hunter with over nine years of ex­pe­ri­ence in­ves­ti­gat­ing the para­nor­mal, be­lieves it’s be­cause many grim events have taken place here.

“Usu­ally, a place be­comes haunted af­ter a tragic in­ci­dent hap­pened there. It could be a traf­fic ac­ci­dent, mur­der, sui­cide or even sol­diers who died in bat­tle a long time ago,” he says. He’s re­leased multiple videos and a book de­tail­ing his eerie ex­pe­ri­ences.

It’s no se­cret that some ter­ri­ble things has hap­pened in Sin­ga­pore over the last cen­tury. Sev­eral ar­eas around the coun­try were once killing fields or grave­yards.

“Dur­ing World War II, the num­ber of deaths per square mile here was higher than in some other na­tions. It’s be­cause we’re such a small coun­try,” says Noel. But he’s quick to say that a place doesn’t only get haunted in the wake of a tragedy. “We be­lieve lost souls can also oc­cupy aban­doned build­ings.”

And Sin­ga­pore has no short­age of those. Many of us have heard spooky sto­ries about Old Changi Hos­pi­tal, Tan­glin Hill Brunei Hos­tel, Is­tana Wood­neuk and Neo Tiew Es­tate.

As if that’s not alarm­ing enough, Noel thinks that ghosts can re­side much closer to home. “I be­lieve ghosts can live any­where. They can live in trees and in an­tique ob­jects such as an old cup­board or a grand­fa­ther clock. You should be care­ful if you have dolls in your house be­cause I be­lieve ghosts love liv­ing in them,” he adds.


“You should be care­ful in if you have dolls your house be­cause I be­lieve ghosts love livinginthem.”

Ac­cord­ing to Noel, ghosts aren’t the only su­per­nat­u­ral be­ings. He says demons can cause the same dam­age, if not worse, and be­lieves that they

can de­stroy per­sonal re­la­tion­ships, busi­nesses and ca­reers.

“Some­times, ghosts show them­selves to you out of play­ful­ness. They want to get a re­ac­tion from you,” he says. “Other times, it could be be­cause they want you to leave a par­tic­u­lar area.”

Spooked?Here’s what­todo...

If you think a ghost is both­er­ing you, Noel ad­vises that you re­main calm and see if there are log­i­cal ex­pla­na­tions for the sit­u­a­tion. For ex­am­ple, could the strange noises be from a faulty elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ance or wild an­i­mals? But if you still feel that it could be a ghost, he rec­om­mends sim­ply telling it to leave you alone in a firm but non-ag­gres­sive tone.

“You shouldn’t show fear. Most of the time, they’ll leave you alone un­less you’ve pro­voked them or en­tered their ter­ri­tory un­in­vited,” he adds.


Un­less you know what you’re deal­ing with, Noel says it’s best not to get ac­tively in­volved with para­nor­mal ac­tiv­ity.

“While I don’t know of any fa­tal­i­ties, I have come across peo­ple who are no longer the way they used to be [af­ter a para­nor­mal en­counter],” says Noel. “Their per­son­al­i­ties changed a lot, and they not only lost jobs and friends, but also started speak­ing in lan­guages they weren’t pre­vi­ously pro­fi­cient in.” Ba­si­cally, he says you shouldn’t mess with things that just can’t be ex­plained.

You may be more aware of the pos­si­ble ex­is­tence of ghosts dur­ing the Hun­gry Ghost Fes­ti­val be­cause it can be a lot qui­eter at night dur­ing this time. But Noel be­lieves that they’re al­ways around and says he’s heard of haunt­ings that hap­pen in broad day­light.

Noel Boyd, Re­tired Ghost Hunter

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