You know Hungry Ghost Festival is around the corner when there are tables with offerings being set up, and you hear faint getai music in the night. Singapore may be small, but the horror tales go beyond our size. With so much development going on in our small country, do horror stories get to strive? We look at 4 supposedly haunted places in Singapore that have sort of faded in the limelight, perhaps with Singapore’s need for rapid development.
1. Bishan MRT
Many used to witness apparitions at Bishan MRT when the station first opened in the late 1980s. Bishan MRT was said to be built on a former cemetery, and required exhumation before development was possible.
Back in the days, Bishan MRT was the only station that was half-underground, half-elevated – the station was on low-lying ground. We’re pretty sure this gave the station extra “feels” for something spooky to occur. One of the horror tales deals with a woman, on the last train service home, saw a headless lady next to her in the cabin through the reflection.
Today, the station has been changed to a completely underground one, complete with the doors and air-conditioning. Trains are getting more crowded than ever for people to feel spooked out by Bishan, which experiences heavy human traffic due to it being the interchange for Circle Line. People are probably more fearful of the unpredictable and dreadful train breakdowns these days to be bothered by these horror tales.
2. Matilda House
In view of the Soo Teck LRT station in view, many horror stories has come about the abandonment of the Matilda house. With appearances suffered from the age of time and ruins, it is now a lonesome house in barren land, at least for now. It will be part of a clubhouse for the new condominium project in Punggol, somewhat aptly titled ‘A Treasure Trove’. Expected completion is this year!
3. Old Commando Barracks at Changi
Once a place for thrill-seekers and myth-busters, the old commando barracks at Hendon Road, in proximity to the infamous Old Changi Hospital, has been revamped into a luxurious getaway hotel.
Raintr33 Hotel Singapore has retained much of the magnificent colonial architecture, and boasts of impressive facilities for travellers and locals looking for a nice staycation. Every grandeur of the hotel has pushed back the scary tales of the area further into memory.
4. Bukit Brown Cemetery
There is no place for cemeteries in Singapore. The Bukit Brown cemetery, a burial for the Chinese since the 1920s, is in the process of exhumation to pave way for a new dual four-lane road. The road will be able to relieve some congestion in the Thomson, Adam and Lornie road. Soon, instead of a forested area with a rich history and horror stories, the area will become an alternative route for drivers. With the need for development, will more horror stories go further into memory and history?
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng