It’s that time of the year when you’re bound to spot joss papers burning in the streets. Yes, the Hungry Ghost Festival AKA 7th month is upon us. Talking about ghosts and given our grim history under the Japanese occupation, it’s no wonder we’re obsessed with horror stories and haunted places in Singapore.
Whether you’re a sceptic or a believer, check out these most haunted parks in Singapore known for ghost sightings and paranormal experiences. Not for the faint-hearted.
Following the tales of curses and spells, Sungei Api Api in Pasir Ris Park is rumoured to be a place where black magic was practised in the 80s, and thus a hotspot for paranormal investigators.
In 2020, a group of Singaporean paranormal investigators known as Xtrackers tried to contact an entity in Pasir Ris Park. The night did not end well. One of the team members got possessed by not 1, but 2 demonic entities. Within the comments section on the video, it’s easy to find more people who have had similar experiences or their own spooky stories to share about the park.
Image credit: @hoimengyu via Instagram
In fact, the internet is rife with ghost stories of entities attaching themselves to passers-by who live around the area and walk through the park at night. Beware of who – or what – is lurking in the shadows.
The Pasir Ris Tower is another purportedly haunted part of the park. There are tales of suicides from the tower that never made it to the official news. This includes an urban legend about a boy who ran to the top and jumped down, falling to his death. Before breathing his last breath, the boy told his friends that he felt he was pushed by someone. Shudders.
Changi is arguably considered the most haunted park in Singapore, especially because of the notorious Old Changi Hospital nearby. Going back to our secondary school history books on WWII, remember the chapter on Operation Sook Ching? To jog your memory, there was a mass execution carried out in 1942 on this very spot.
The Japanese militants decapitated Chinese civilians suspected of anti-Japanese sentiments, carrying out a massacre of over 50,000 men. If that doesn’t give you the creeps, well, the story doesn’t end there. Once the Japanese surrendered, Changi Beach Park became a site where war criminals were executed.
With all these horrific killings, it’s no wonder the place is full of haunted spirits from the past. Witnesses have been known to see decapitated bodies floating around and hear cries of anguish.
You’ve probably heard of the infamous Amber Beacon tower murder story that happened at East Coast Park (ECP). The park has a morbid history of being the spot where a woman and her boyfriend were stabbed in 1990. In an unfortunate turn of events, the young woman, Kelly Tan Ah Hong, did not survive and her offenders were never caught.
Numerous people have claimed to see a white figure around the tower and believe it to be her restless soul demanding justice.
These once popular chalets at ECP are no longer around.
Image credit: Goldkist Beach Resort Singapore via Facebook
Supernatural storyteller HANTU recounts the story of a haunting in 1998. In short, a girl who stayed overnight with her friends at the ECP chalet was possessed by a cheeky spirit that wanted to play mahjong together. Other overnight campers have also mentioned feeling an eerie presence in public, even though they knew they were alone.
While Bedok Reservoir Park is very popular amongst residents nearby, it is also infamous for being a suicide spot. The worst year was 2011 when 6 bodies were found in the reservoir – all suspected suicides. In fact, The Straits Times reported that the 6th body was only discovered an hour before 8 religious leaders performed a cleansing ceremony there.
Rumour has it that some people believe there’s an invisible sinister force drawing people to the water. So, maybe don’t go running alone at night?
Probably one of the most retold ghost stories in Bedok involves the wife of a cheating husband. She committed suicide but not before declaring “It’s not over, Darling” – written in blood on their house walls. Her spirit haunted the mistress for years.
Back in the day, Sembawang Park used to be part of the Nee Soon Rubber Estate. If you’re familiar with the different types of Singapore ghosts, you’ll know that Pontianaks like to reside in rubber trees. Men, beware of your surroundings because they’re known to only prey on unsuspecting males.
This spot was also where a mass execution took place during the Japanese occupation. Back in the 90s, frightful stories were told of headless apparitions being sighted.
Deeper into the forested area is Kampong Wak Hassan, where you’ll come across a spooky sight of strewn idols and statues of deities. This was a popular spot for spiritual masters to perform cleansing rituals, and bury cursed items said to be holding evil spirits.
Another tale going around comes from those fishing at the beach. Word has it that the spirit of an old pakcik guards the area and tries to prevent people from entering the village.
In the history of Singapore’s most gruesome crimes, the case of 27-year-old Linda Chua is fairly well-known. This female jogger was brutally raped in Bukit Batok Nature Park and was later found in the trenches with serious injuries. She succumbed to them 8 days later, and till today the attacker has not been found.
In another unfortunate incident, AsiaOne reports that a 28-year-old property agent was assaulted by serial criminal Rosli Yasin, and left to die at the foothill of Bukit Batok Nature Park in 2008. Her body was only found 4 days later.
These horrifying true crimes have led visitors to believe the angry spirits of these women still roam the area, making the park a popular haunted spot. In fact, a few people, including a paranormal investigator who goes by Mohd Ariffin, have claimed to see a creepy white figure at night. This one really sent shivers down our spine.
During WWII, there was a 48-hour-long Battle of Pasir Panjang that took place at Kent Ridge Park between the Japanese and Malay regimen. Leader of the Malay Battalion Lieutenant Adnan Saidi was captured by the Japanese soldiers, tortured, and hung head down from a tree.
The Japanese soldiers prevented anyone from taking down his body, and so, he was denied a proper burial. Decades have passed, and people roaming the park at night claim they heard screams of the tortured soldiers while also sensing Adnan’s restless spirit.
You’d probably never expect for Macritchie Reservoir, the go-to popular hiking spot, to be haunted. It’s believed that spirits of Japanese soldiers still roam a part of the park, specifically the abandoned Syonan Jinja, known as the Light of the South Shrine.
The shrine, initially built in 1942, was dedicated to the soldiers who fought in WWII. To protect this sacred temple, a group of Japanese soldiers committed mass suicide through a method called Sepukku, which literally translates to bellycutting. Once the Japanese surrendered, the shrine was set on fire – supposedly to prevent anyone from defiling the sacred altars.
But that’s not all – researchers have found a couple of unidentified water graves in the reservoir itself, noting that they can only be seen during low tide.
There haven’t been any ghostly sightings reported – mainly because access to the shrine is off-limits to the public. But those who’ve gone searching for it have gone lost for hours at a time. That’s what happened in 2020 when a couple of 14-year-olds got lost in MacRitchie looking for the shrine. While the park is definitely a big area, it still does seem kind of … sus.
Unsurprisingly, there are numerous paranormal investigator groups that have visited these haunted parks in Singapore, corroborating real-life stories of such hauntings first-hand. In the process, many have discovered their own hair-raising findings.
While these parks are still popular spots for recreational activities, a quick Google search to plan your visit will result in tons of ghost stories and confessions of people who have experienced supernatural experiences. Whether or not they’re true, there’s only one way to find out.
For more spooky reads, check out:
Cover image adapted from: @myphotosdigitaldiary via Instagram
Originally published on 5th August 2022 by Aditi Kashyap. Last updated on 26th August 2023 by Iffah Nabilah Norhisham.
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