Real-life ghost stories


Horror shows, movies and ghost stories are always a hit with those who can stomach jump scares and creepy supernatural beings. But what makes these extra scary are the ones that are actually true

In the spirit of Halloween, we asked our readers for their real-life experiences with the otherworldly. Warning: don’t read these alone at night:


1. The soul ripper


Used to live in a landed property, and one time I heard my dad let out the most drawn-out, bloodcurdling scream I’ve ever heard in my life – like, full-on horror movie type of scream at around 2AM-3AM.

Then, I heard footsteps shuffling up the staircase really slowly. No one was awake at the time, and as my room was directly in front of the staircase, I realised, with growing horror, that there was something in the house… and it was headed straight for my room. 

I did what any terrified teen would do – I hid under my blankets. My stupid a** at the time hated sleeping with the doors closed and for some reason, I placed a full-length mirror right in front of my bed. Then, I heard it stop right outside my door, and I just knew if I peeked out of my blankets, I’d either see it IRL or in the mirror.

I don’t exactly remember what happened next, but the thing didn’t do anything else and I think I just laid under the blanket scared out of my wits right until the time I usually woke up. 

Dementors Harry Potter
Dementors from Harry Potter are known to devour your soul
Image credit: Fandom

Of course, I had to ask my dad why he was screaming in the middle of the night, and he told me this: basically, he dreamt he saw himself on a bed, and there was black shadow or something standing over him and trying to rip his freaking soul out of his body. 

He was screaming both out of pain and in terror, and the only reason why he was alright was because another white light – he said it felt like my late grandmother – was there, trying to protect him from whatever demon this thing was. It didn’t happen again, but until today, we still have no idea what that thing was. But that was the scariest thing I’ve experienced – I keep my doors closed at all times now.

– Anonymous


2. The unexpected goodbye


There’s this belief that when someone in the family passes, their soul will linger on earth for 7 days before they move on. My grandma passed before Chinese New Year back in 2009, so my relatives and I were waiting for her to “appear”, especially my dad being the youngest and closest to her. 

On the 7th day, my dad was away so my mum asked me to sleep in the master bedroom with her so she wouldn’t be alone. My parents usually sleep with a night light which was on and music, which hadn’t been turned on yet. I was lying on my dad’s side of the bed and my mum went to the kitchen to smoke. 

I heard snoring in the room. In my head, I was like, “oh f***, what the f***” because I was the only person in the room

So I said aloud, “Popo, if you are here, can you wait for me to sleep first before you sleep? Because I’m scared if you are really here.”

Then the snoring stopped. I freaked out and covered myself with a blanket to try to sleep. That night in my dreams, I got scolded by my grandma for being scared of her. But she told me that I was the easiest person for her to reach out to and that she didn’t have much time before she had to go. She gave me some messages to pass to my relatives too. 

I woke up the next morning tearing up, but I recorded everything she said to my dad via WhatsApp and he passed the message to my relatives. 

– Liqing


3. Lack of personal space


This happened when I was in the army during BMT and it was my first supernatural experience ever. It was during field camp on the first night. I had finally fallen asleep at about midnight when I heard heavy breathing in my face. It sounded like someone panting heavily and it was really in my face. 

My eyes were closed and I thought it was my buddy, so I wanted to tell him to shut up. But when I opened my eyes, I saw my buddy asleep on the other side. I instantly froze with fear because there was nothing there . I just shut my eyes, hoping it wouldn’t return and eventually fell asleep.

The next morning, I asked my buddy and he said he slept soundly and didn’t experience anything weird. Nothing happened the next night so I brushed the experience off as my mind playing tricks on me since I was tired from training – or it was just a nightmare.

Ghost stories - BMT
Image credit: Basic Military Training Centre

The night after that, we moved to a new location. We were tasked to dig our own “graves” and I was the unlucky one who was placed at the far end where I had to dig next to this huge tree. That night we had to sleep in our “graves”. 

Then the same thing happened again. That heavy breathing in my face but this time there was no tent covering me. I was out in the open and this “invisible thing” was just breathing heavily in my face once again. I was scared s**tless and could only close my eyes and pray in my head that it would go away, which it eventually did.

That was my ghostly experience in Tekong during my BMT days. Company line is surprisingly “clean”. It’s just the forest area that’s “dirty”, in my opinion. 

– Kai


4. The sleep demon


I was studying for my O-Levels so I had really irregular sleeping hours. One night, at about 4AM, I woke up suddenly. I could feel my skin touching the blanket, but I couldn’t move anything, not even my eyes. My breathing started to become ragged. Being unable to move or see was pretty unsettling.

At that moment, I felt “someone” sitting at the edge of my bed, and that weight was moving closer to me. It shifted from left to right, like hands and feet making a slow crawl towards me. I swear I could even hear the bed creaking. 

Soon, that thing was sitting on my chest and I found it hard to breathe. There was a ringing in my ears and I desperately tried to pry open my eyes. 

I finally did and to my horror, I saw dark figures around me, shuffling around the room. I heard them muttering something incomprehensible. I said my own prayers in my head. After about 30 seconds of praying, I could finally wriggle free from my paralysis.

I went to my parents’ room to tell them about it and they said, “young people liddat one. Go sleep.” 

– Julian


5. The resort guest


This was in 2015, when vacationing in Batam was all the rage. I had booked a Valentine’s Day staycation with my partner at a pretty popular resort there, and even though the bungalow villa was way too big for the both of us, we enjoyed the privacy. But an experience had us re-thinking if we were really…. by ourselves.

See, we headed out for dinner at the resort’s restaurant, which we travelled to via a buggy service. After dinner, on the way back, our buggy was heading down slope towards our villa, when my boyfriend commented that we could actually look into the unit’s interiors from the windows. It was then that I turned and saw the back of someone’s head, with long hair in a bungalow unit. 

To our surprise, the buggy driver said that we’d reached and we realised that it was our unit that we saw someone inside.

However, when we entered there wasn’t anyone inside. We even wondered if it was the cleaner, but there was no exit other than the one we had entered from. Feeling a tad shaken, we pretended like we didn’t see anything. But within 30 minutes, I felt uncomfortable and suggested staying in the bedroom for the rest of the night. Feeling so spooked, I even locked the bedroom door for good measure. 

We didn’t talk about what we both saw until we were on the ferry back to Singapore. I shared this story with friends and some of them had similar “uncomfortable” stories about this particular resort too.

– Chris


6. The shower buddy


This happened in my aunt’s house in Malaysia about 1 year ago. 

I was taking a shower in the master bedroom’s bathroom which is on the second level. No one else was there. Halfway through, I heard a male voice calling my nickname. I thought it was my grandfather at first since it’s a nickname that only my grandparents use. 

But as I was about to respond, I suddenly recalled that before I went into the shower, I walked past my grandfather’s room and he was asleep. Plus, he hardly goes into the master bedroom. Also, my grandfather is pretty old so his voice is quite weak, but the voice was clear and loud,  so I felt really weird about it and decided not to respond. 

Instead, I used my phone – yes, I bring my phone into the shower with me – to call my sister to come up. I asked her if anyone else was in the master bedroom and she said no. After I showered, I realised my grandfather was still asleep in his own room, so it couldn’t have been him. 

The rest of my family said everyone was downstairs at that time and no one went upstairs at all, so it couldn’t have been anyone in my family. So… who was it? I have no idea. 

Also, this isn’t the first time something eerie has happened. A few years back when my sister and I were in the master bedroom, we heard someone knocking the balcony door super late at night. We really freaked out because no one was in the balcony and it was facing outside, so it either means someone climbed onto our balcony or…?

– Anonymous


7. The “cat”


I’m not sure if this really happened or not. I used to live in a low-level flat where my bedroom faced a side street. I had a habit of not wearing my glasses, even though I had slightly blurry eyesight. 

Anyway, one night I came home late, a bit tipsy but very conscious. I looked out the window while getting ready for bed and saw something sitting on a manhole. I tried to make out what it was. It looked like an infant – grey in colour – just sitting there, and it looked like it was fiddling with a toy, tapping it on the tarmac much like an infant would.

Ghost stories - toyol
Scene from the 2011 movie “Alamak…Toyol!” Toyol are said to have an infant-like appearance.
Image credit: Dailymotion

Since I was tipsy and my eyesight was blurry, I told myself it was a cat and went to bed. 

– YY Fong


8. The mysterious voice


Every Saturday, I stay over at my boyfriend’s house and on Sunday morning we drive out to buy breakfast. One weekend, his younger brother told us that he wanted to join us to buy breakfast, so we set our alarms to 8:30AM and went to sleep. 

The next morning, we were getting ready to go out. We saw that the common toilet was occupied so naturally my boyfriend and I thought that his younger brother was inside. My boyfriend said, “Eh” and we heard a reply from the toilet. My boyfriend continued to say, “We wait for you downstairs” and heard another reply from the toilet. 

I walked down the stairs and saw the brother sitting on the sofa waiting for us. I literally jumped and asked the brother if he was messing with us and talking to us from the toilet. He denied it, and when I went up to check, the toilet door was closed but no one was inside. 

– G


9. The tall lady


Lightning in Singapore
Image credit: Fin Barr

15 years ago, I was 10 and alone at home – there was a thunderstorm, and it was dark and raining on a no-school day. I was watching cartoons on the sofa. My sofa was facing the kitchen, and the toilet was on the left. 

All of a sudden, I heard a loud thunder clap. It was the loudest I’d ever heard, and the light from the outside flickered throughout the entire kitchen. 

It was at that moment that a tall lady stepped out of the kitchen. She was like a shadow – all black, so I couldn’t see her face at all. All I know is that she was tall with long hair, and no one in my family was that tall. 

Another thunderclap came, along with the flicker, and she was gone. I was completely frozen. I cried and called my mom to hurry back home right after. I never saw the tall lady again after that, but fear to meet her again in the future. 

– The Tall Lady


10. Seeing double


Spiderman double meme
Image credit: Know Your Meme

This happened during one of my poly camps a few years ago. Because I was quite fair and had long hair at that time, I was tasked to be the “scare person” for one of the night walk activities, so I had to dress up as a ghost. 

Apparently, many people felt that the atmosphere was a little off when the game started. As it went on, some people began seeing things and we had to cancel the event and end the night halfway through. 

I myself did not see anything, but one of my seniors who could see “stuff” said that he saw two of me in the same room. The ghost was actually a little girl who wanted to play and join in on the fun, so she made herself look like me. 

– Anonymous


11. The vanishing item


This happened at my old home. I realised that the deodorant that I used daily was missing, so I told my mom about it and she looked for it for two whole days. Mind you, my mom’s a typical Asian mom and she never allows a corner to go unsearched. Still, she didn’t find it.

I was applying lotion that night – it’s placed right beside where I usually place my deodorant – wondering how it could’ve gone missing, while staring at its empty spot. 

Then I left my room, closed the door and went to my mom’s room to ask her for a new one. This whole process took less than two minutes, and everyone else was in their own rooms. I went back to my room and the deodorant was back at its spot, beside the lotion! My house wasn’t big and it was clear that my room door never opened. 

That was the last straw; apart from all the odd noises and missing socks and dark shadows my sister and I sometimes saw. We moved out within a month after the incident.

– Charmaine Theng


12. The bedroom guest


This happened during the Hungry Ghost month this year. I have this habit of going out to buy supper, groceries or snacks at late hours, usually after 11PM, and I continued this habit even during the Hungry Ghost month.

I think this happened on either the 14th or 15th day of the Hungry Ghost Festival. I went out to buy supper at around 2AM, tabao-ed my food and went home. There was nothing amiss until I went to sleep at about 4AM.

I sleep in a very unusual way: the blanket covers me completely so I’m hidden inside, with pillows around me. I’m not the type who can instantly fall asleep so I would be idle in bed for at least 15 minutes before I eventually drift off to dreamland. 

That night, after approximately 15 minutes, I felt this odd sensation of footsteps on top of my blanket. It was very light, like as if a toddler was trampling on my bed sheet, and I could really feel the blanket being pressed down like it was moving from left to right. 

Ghost stories - Poltergeist
Scene from the 1982 movie “Poltergeist”
Image credit: IMDB

I just remained still under my blanket while these “footsteps” continued to move up to my waist level and it was slowly approaching my face level where I decided to man up and confront it. I pushed the blanket aside and got up but there was nothing in my room. I was drenched in cold sweat and mind you, my room is usually cold whenever I sleep at night at about 21°C. 

I went back to sleep and nothing happened after that.

The next night, I slept around 4AM again and this time I was awakened by my bed shaking. I got up and it stopped. Whatever this thing bothering me was, it seemed really mischievous. 

This “invisible force trampling on my bed” thing happens from time to time till today. It can sometimes happen on consecutive nights and sometimes there won’t be activity for up to a week. Now I’ve grown accustomed to it but couldn’t be bothered anymore. 

– Kai


13. The worst night ever


I was 10, and it was at this resort in East Malaysia. We were travelling as two families and it was all jolly and fun… until the second night. As the youngest siblings of both families, my friend and I ended up sleeping in the room opposite the kitchen. It was the only room on the first level of the bungalow. 

Right before sleeping on the second night, my friend and I had a squabble over a game we played, and she ended up going to sleep with her parents. I was extremely stubborn and insisted I’d be fine sleeping alone despite my parents’ offer to sleep with them. Worst choice ever. 

It was around 12.30AM-1AM and it started getting very cold. I was adjusting the air con when I heard knocks on the window panes. It went from one pane to another, and every single pane was knocked twice. I froze, not knowing if it was my ears playing tricks on me. But it didn’t end there.

At around 2.30AM, I heard furniture moving in the living room, and it was loud. I stepped outside my room and saw that the dining chairs were scattered all over the dining area! I put the chairs back in their place and went into the living room. 

The moment I sat on the sofa, the TV turned on by itself, displaying nothing but black and white static. Just when I was about to reach for the remote, it turned off by itself. My tears were flowing but I didn’t dare to make a sound. I walked to my room and then I heard a sound coming from the kitchen.

In the kitchen, I saw a pile of what looked like black and white static and it turned out to be a whole lot of ants on a white cloth. I let out a small scream and the back door suddenly opened. The wind was super strong by then, and when I tried to close the door, it wouldn’t budge – like there was a force pulling it from the outside. Then it yielded and I could suddenly close it. 

At this point, I was like, “okay, I’m going up to sleep with my parents”. I did a time check and it was 5.30AM. As we were supposed to wake up at 6.30AM for breakfast, I decided to suck it up since it was just 1 more hour. Another mistake.

I went to the upstairs living room which had another set of sofas, a TV and a small coffee table. It had a small balcony too. I sat down and finally dozed off after a quiet few minutes. Then the knocks came again! This time it was just three full-length glass panes, but there were three to five knocks on each pane, to and fro, nonstop. 

While I was staring at it in horror, the TV turned on again, showing the same black and white static, before turning off again. I did a time check on my watch and it was 6.15AM already. I calmed myself down, went into my parents room, and acted like I was there to wake them up. 

This happened in 2004 at a resort which apparently had a few murders, and I only found out from Crimewatch six months later.

– Charmaine


Ghost stories by Singaporeans


Halloween’s a fun time for many, not just because we get to play dress-up, but because of the slew of horror flicks and stories that come with it. If shows and movies are getting a little farfetched to be believable, then these real-life ghost stories experienced by Singaporeans ought to do the trick. 

Read more spooky stories below:


Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Cover image adapted from: Basic Military Training Centre & Fandom