Haunted places in Singapore

Every country has their fair share of horror stories. They are passed down and sometimes warped by each generation. But these are the stories we sit around telling each other. So, here’s a definitive list of the most haunted places in Singapore:

1. Woodleigh MRT – Pocong sightings

woodleigh mrt
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons 

Woodleigh MRT is on the list of haunted MRT stations that you might want to avoid when you come home late at night. Apparently, there’s been sightings of a type of Singapore ghostPocong – which is a Javanese ghost wrapped in white cloth that hops on 2 feet.

The Legend

Unlike other MRT trains that pass through our HDB’s and city buildings, Woodleigh MRT actually passes through an area that used to be Bidadari Cemetery. Back in 2000, close to 143,000 graves were demolished to make space for new developments, and half of these belonged to burial sites for Muslims.

One can only assume that the souls of these dead people can’t lay in peace because of reconstruction plans, but some people have claimed to see a pocong or 2 in the MRT station. 

Spook Factor: Medium

2. The Yellow Tower @ East Coast Park – Gruesome death of a young lady

yellow towerImage credit: @misspang22 via Instagram

East Coast Park is one of the most frequented places in Singapore. But every single time you stroll, cycle, or jog past this yellow tower in the park, have you ever wondered if there’s a story behind it? There certainly is – and it’s a tragic one at that.

The Legend

Years back, a couple was strolling around this area at night. It was precisely at this Amber Beacon Tower that the poor lady was brutally gang-raped by a group of thugs and subsequently stabbed to death, while her boyfriend was knocked unconscious. The criminals were never apprehended.

From then on, there have been claims of sightings of a female figure near this tower, while others allegedly heard screams of help. The Yellow Tower has been said to be haunted since.

Spook Factor: Medium

3. Old Changi Hospital – Torture spot during WWII

old changi hospitalImage credit: @search.singapore via Instagram

Changi Hospital has gone from being a British-owned hospital to being captured by the Japanese in WWII. It was used as a healthcare facility for prisoners of war then by Commonwealth Forces before being passed on to the SAF to treat servicemen. Currently, the hospital is completely vacant and has been for several years. 

 old changi hospital pathwayImage credit: @liamwillettsnaps via Instagram

The Legend

Rumours have been spread that the Japanese used this place to torture POWs rather than to treat them. Since then, there have been screams and shadows heard amongst the halls of the hospital. 

Spook Factor: Medium

4. Tanglin Hill Brunei Hostel – Abandoned hostel in 1980s

Image credit: The Daily Brunei Resources

At the end of Tanglin Hill lies an abandoned Brunei Hostel, untouched and uninhabited for more than 25 years. Although dilapidated and in a state of ruin, the unguarded old Brunei Hostel draws in many looking for spooky late-night adventures – or rather, encounters.

sightings at hostelWhat appears to be spirits lurking around the compounds were spotted by paranormal investigators.
Image credit: Supernatural Confessions & G.H.O.S.T Club SG

The Legend

In the early 1950s, Brunei was a very poor nation. They had a shortage of teachers and many students were sent overseas in an effort to educate the young. Singapore was one of those destinations. In 1958, this 4-storey hostel was erected to house the Brunei students until 1983, when the foreign study programme ended.

Explorers of the old Brunei Hostel have reported strange encounters and weird feelings, but nothing close to anything violent or sinister. It’s probably an abandoned place more steeped in history and memories than any paranormal activity.

Spook Factor: Low

5. Neo Tiew Estate – Sightings of Pontianak

neo tiew estate hdbs
Image credit: Neo Tiew Estate via Facebook

Deep within the recesses of the Lim Chu Kang area lies an abandoned HDB estate that’s probably the closest thing Singapore has to its very own Chernobyl.

neo tiew estate playground
Image credit: Ah Teo via Google Maps

The Neo Tiew estate is currently being used by the SAF to conduct Urban Warfare training and is out of bounds to the public. 

The Legend

There apparently was a powerful spirit that dwelled in a banana tree at the estate. A man, hoping to strike it rich, stuck 7 needles into the tree in hopes of summoning the spirit to get lottery numbers.

The man managed to win but failed to remove the needles, which caused the tree to die. The angry spirit continued to linger around Neo Tiew. Some say the spirit is a pontianak, who’s constantly on the prowl for new victims to kill.

Another urban legend tells of taxi drivers picking up a lady in white or red, requesting for a ride to Lim Chu Kang Cemetery or Kranji. All seems normal until it’s time for payment when the passenger forks over “hell notes” to the driver.

All’s said and done, the spookiness of this place lies more in the dilapidated state of Neo Tiew, rather than myths about this place. There probably isn’t much to actually fear here.

Spook Factor: Low

6. Pulau Tekong – Former recruit’s spirit roam the bunks

pulau tekongBunk in Tekong where a similar one was rumoured to have an extra door for spirits to get out.
Image credit: ​​Basic Military Training Centre Media Team via Facebook

EVERYBODY has heard the ghost stories from Pulau Tekong. Boys, you shared them in your bunks and then didn’t sleep at night. Girls, you heard them from your dude friends and thanked your lucky stars for the comfort of your own homes. 

The Legend

The most frequently told tale is of a young man for Charlie Company who went for his 16km route march and got separated from the pack. He was later discovered by his platoon commander with all his insides laid out next to his body. 

Beds in the recruit’s former bunk often shake for no reason and some people even report hearing his voice at night. Apparently, a 3rd door was built in the bunk to let his spirit out but he continues to roam the halls.

Spook Factor: High

7. Bedok – Sounds of spirits wailing

bedokBedok Reservoir.
Image credit: @clarissagoenawan via Instagram

Bedok is apparently a literal ghost town. It appears to be your average neighbourhood, but if the stories that have been told are anything to go by, it apparently has a rather shady past. 

The Legend

The scariest story is set in Bedok Block 99. A jilted wife committed suicide with her son after writing “It’s not over, darling” on the walls in blood. Her adulterous husband moved into the house with his mistress and later had a son who complained about being bullied by his “older brother.” The family also claimed to have heard cupboard doors banging at night.

Another urban legend features a boy who died near the Bedok North PIE. The area is reportedly haunted by his grandmother’s ghost. There’s also an abandoned hut on a hill near Kaki Bukit – the site of numerous hangings.

Then there’s a string of suicides that took place at Bedok Reservoir as well, where 5 bodies were found in 5 months. Some joggers have since complained about hearing ghostly wailing at night, and an invisible force pulling them toward the waters while on their runs at the reservoir. 

Spook Factor: Medium

8. Haw Par Villa – Route to ‘Gates of Hell’

haw par villaThe first picture is scary. The second picture is just plain disturbing.
Image credit: The Dead Cockroach via Facebook & @dailylifeinasia via Instagram

Even without the ghost stories, Haw Par Villa, with its graphic presentation of the 10 Courts of Hell is quite freaky. It’s currently a tourist hotspot that depicts various aspects of Chinese Mythology.

The Legend

There have been rumours that Haw Par Villa is where one of the gates to hell lies. If that isn’t scary enough, other people have said that the statues are actually dead humans covered with wax.

Whether you believe those stories or not, security guards have been heard to have spoken about how the place comes alive at night and have also mentioned hearing screams coming from the “10 Courts of Hell” area. The fact that not many people visit this attraction gives it a very eerie and creepy vibe in the evenings.

Spook Factor: Medium

9. Changi Old Beach Houses – Site of massacre

changi old beach housesImage credit: Rayna Tours

On paper, this place seems like a good idea. Need a break from hectic work life? Renting a house near the beach would be the perfect getaway. However, you might be in for something a little more sinister. 

The Legend

People have reported feeling like they were stared at and some have even returned home with scars. People have also complained about doors creaking open and shut non-stop, and at night, witnesses claim to have heard a woman wailing. 

The Sook Ching massacre that killed those who were suspected of being “anti-Japanese”.
Image credit: Humanities Portfolio

Changi Beach was used as the site of the infamous Sook Ching massacre during WWII and many people say the souls of the innocent slain continue to roam the beach, weeping, and wailing in the night. Passers-by also claim to have spotted bloodstains. 

Spook Factor: High

10. Coloured Houses – Strange “lady” guarding the house

coloured housesThe white house and green house.
Image credit: Urban Redevelopment Authority & James Tan

There are supposedly 3 haunted coloured houses in red, white, and green. The red is a chalet at Pasir Ris, the white is Matilda House in Punggol, and the green is Hillview Mansion. It’s not unusual for paranormal investigators to visit these locations in search of ghosts and ghouls.

red house
The red house before it was converted into a preschool.
Image credit: Entree Kibbles

The red house has since been transformed into a preschool, the white is now a condominium clubhouse that’s off-limits to the public, and the green has been demolished. 

The Legend

At the red house, there are reports of a doll that sits in a rocking armchair that would scream if you tried to move her. There are also lion statues that sit at the entrance that seem to watch your every move as you make your way in.

Over at the white house, there’s said to be a spirit that looks after the property, preventing anyone from tearing down the house. In fact, a story goes that 3 workers died when they tried to demolish the building. The house was given conservatorship by URA and converted into a clubhouse as part of a condo’s facilities.

As for the green house, rumour has it that the house was intended for the owner’s partner, who unfortunately fell to her death while inspecting its construction. Her weeping spirit now roams the estate. Another tale states that a family living here was burned in a fire and now they haunt the place.

Spook Factor: Low

11. Old Tanglin Camp – Sounds of people being tortured

old tanglin campTanglin Barracks’ officers’ mess in the 1910s.
Image credit: Roots

The Tanglin Barracks was home to military troops in Singapore but was captured by the Japanese during WWII and said to have housed Australian POWs. The camp had blocks including a hospital, psychiatric branch, and a “Dead House” where bodies of deceased soldiers were kept before being dispatched for burial.

The Legend

Naturally, with such an interesting background, there are bound to be rumours of ghosts lurking. One major reported hearing sounds of metal studded footwear and creaking floorboards followed by the sounds of people crying out – as if they were being tortured.

Spook Factor: Low

12. Nee Soon Rubber Estate – Hotspot for Pontianaks

Image credit: Melanie Mel via Facebook

​Think you’re safe from pontianaks? Think again – these bloody banshees live in rubber trees as well. 

The Legend

In Singapore’s early days, Sembawang was home to the Nee Soon Rubber estate. That’s right, an entire estate of rubber trees, also known as pontianak magnets. 

Even though the plantations have since been cleared to make way for flats and industrial buildings, the spirits remain. Sembawang residents have reported pontianak sightings everywhere – from the edge of the park to their own balconies. 

There are also tales of a “kindly” ghostly woman in white who turns up at night. She greets HDB residents by saying she’s been “waiting for them” at their doorsteps or the stairs to their homes. Watch out – she teleports. 

Spook Factor: Low

13. Kopi Hill AKA Bukit Brown Cemetery – Laughter during the night

kopi hillA statue of a Sikh guard protecting a Chinese tomb.
Image credit: @roxtarlette via Instagram

Avoid entering forests, as pontianaks have also been sighted amongst the branches. This time, they’ve got some flamboyant company – visitors sometimes spot an old lady in a red cheongsam, fanning herself while sitting atop a tombstone. 

The Legend

George Henry Brown, who arrived in Singapore in the 19th century, owned this plot of land and used it to grow coffee. 3 clansmen from China later bought it and donated it to Hokkien clans to use as a burial ground. There are also a number of watchful statues at the graves, likely a reference to the Sikh and Indian bodyguards of wealthy Singaporeans in the old days.  

It sounds harmless, but Singapore Paranormal Investigators once set up camp there to scope out potential supernatural disturbances – only to have the batteries in their equipment drain without explanation.  

If that wasn’t enough, evil laughter has been heard ringing through the cemetery at night – though why anyone would want to be there at that hour is beyond me. 

Spook Factor: Low

14. St. John’s Island – Prisoners beheaded in the past

st. john's island

Most of us know St. John’s Island as the place for a relaxing getaway. Just southeast of Sentosa, the island is a big hit with would-be fishermen and nature lovers, with white sandy beaches, clear waters, and vibrant plant life. It has bungalows and a holiday camp for stressed-out city-dwellers.

chessboardThe chess board that was rumoured to have been used by the Japanese to torture POWs.
Image credit: 3 Playgrounds

Not many know about St. John’s Island and fewer know about its gruesome history.

The Legend

Cholera and leprosy were a big deal in the late 19th century, so St. John’s Island was converted into a quarantine station and burial ground. All vessels heading into Singapore were forced to call at this port before passing through to the mainland. The island was also used as a penal settlement for political prisoners and gangsters.

In the heart of the compound lies a human-sized chess board of unknown age, likely built at the height of British colonialism. During the Japanese occupation, the Imperial Army took over and used the island to house prisoners-of-war (POWs) en masse.

Legend has it that the Japanese soldiers lined the POWs on this board and used them as live chess pieces – with every “captured” prisoner being beheaded on the spot. Even today, people hear screams coming from the board at night.   

We think this landmark is one of the most frightening – it reminds us all that there are times when human nature is darker and more violent than any ghost story.

Spook Factor: High

Explore these haunted places in Singapore

If you’re one of those brave souls who’s always looking for new things to get your heart pumping then be my guest, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. At the very least, when you’re out at night, maybe avoid the trees, secluded buildings, and suspicious women with long hair covering their faces.

For other spooky stories, check out:

Cover image adapted from: The Daily Brunei Resources, Urban Redevelopment Authority & @roxtarlette via Instagram
Originally published on 2nd June 2014 by Hevina Kaur. Last updated by Iffah Nabilah Norhishm on 15th September 2023.

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