13 Most Haunted Places in Singapore History And The Legends Behind Them

The most 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 when we try to scare one another during chalet outings.

From our collective experiences, we’ve gathered a list of the most famous ghost stories in Singapore. We then did our research on them to uncover their origins to provide more insight into each one – and we’ve ranked their spookiness from “meh” to “spine-tingling”.

So here’s our definitive list of 13 of the spookiest places in Singapore and the stories behind these famous ghost legends.

1. The Yellow Tower @ East Coast Park

Image credit:

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.

A group of paranormal investigators attempted to communicate with the female’s spirit. They vouched with certainty that she exists after having spent an hour chatting with her. Watch how they did so in the video below.

Spook Factor: Medium

2. Old Changi Hospital

Image credit: @search.singapore 

Changi Hospital has gone from being a British owned hospital to being captured by the Japanese in WWII and used as a healthcare facility for prisoners of war to being used 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. 

Image credit: @liamwillettsnaps


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

Spook Factor: Medium

3. Tanglin Hill Brunei Hostel

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.

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

Scores of photographers, graffiti artists and explorers have had their go touring this compound. Even the Singapore Paranormal Investigators arrange tours around the building after dark! 

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 four-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, weird feelings and experiences in scattered forms, 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

4. Neo Tiew Estate

Image credit: Neo Tiew Estate

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. The pictures are pretty creepy, to be honest. 

Image credit: Ah Teo

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

The king of the banana trees was apparently planted here and someone, looking to strike gold, prayed to the banana tree hoping to win the lottery. He threatened the king by sticking 7 needles in the tree and when it worked, he ran off with the cash and forgot to take the pins out.

The banana tree died and the spirit of the king lingered on, and continues to haunt the area to this day. Lim Chu Kang estate residents sometimes claim to have seen female banana tree spirits, or pontianak, appearing outside apartment windows – hunting for victims to mutilate and devour. 

Another urban legend tells of taxi drivers picking up a lady in white or red, who then requests a trip to Lim Chu Kang Cemetery or Kranji. Upon reaching the destination, the drivers get the fright of their lives when they count “hell notes” in their final payment!

When all’s said and done, however, I’d say the scariness of this place lies in the look more than in the story. There probably isn’t much to actually fear here.   

Spook Factor: Low

5. Pulau Tekong

Bunk 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

EVERYBODY has heard the horror stories from 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 third door was built in the bunk to let his spirit out but he continues to roam the halls.

Spook Factor: High

6. Bedok

Bedok Reservoir
Image credit: @clarissagoenawan

I didn’t know this, or perhaps I blatantly chose to ignore it because I live nearby, but 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 one of the stories I’ve heard is set in Bedok Block 99. The tale begins with a jilted wife who 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.

How can we forget the string of suicides committed at Bedok Reservoir as well, where five bodies were found in five 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

7. Haw Par Villa

The first picture is scary. The second picture is just plain disturbing.
Image credit: The Dead Cockroach, @dailylifeinasia

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

8. Changi Old Beach Houses

Image 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

9. Coloured Houses

L-R: White house, green house
Image credit: Urban Redevelopment Authority, James Tan

The three houses are the red, white and green houses. The red is a chalet at Pasir Ris, the white is Matilda House in Punggol and the green is Hillview Mansion. There have been endless horror stories from these three houses and many thrill-seekers go there to get their adrenaline pumping.

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

In the red house there have been reports of a rocking armchair with a doll on it and lion statues that stare at visitors as they enter. The white house has been said to house evil spirits ever since it was abandoned in the seventies and the green house apparently holds evil spirits of a family who were burned in a fire, never allowing renovations to be completed. 

When the white Matilda House was set to be demolished, the story goes that three workers died trying to demolish it. A lady with long hair has been spotted sitting in the branches of surrounding trees. 

Spook Factor: Low

10. Old Tanglin Camp

Tanglin 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

11. Nee Soon Rubber Estate

Image credit: Melanie Mel

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

12. Kopi Hill AKA Bukit Brown Cemetery

A statue of a Sikh guard protecting a Chinese tomb
Image credit: @roxtarlette

Avoid the forests. The ever-present 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 by ship in the 19th century, owned this plot of land and used it to grow coffee. Three 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 the 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. If you’re feeling brave, conquer your fears with a visit to Bukit Brown and you might just spot something otherworldly. 

Spook Factor: Low

13. St. John’s Island

Most of us know St. John’s Island as the place for a relaxing getaway. Just South East 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.

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

Not many people know about St John’s Island and even less 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 sinister human-sized chessboard 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

Haunted places in Singapore

I don’t know about you but I’d rather stay away from all these places. But if you’re one of those brave souls who’s always looking for new things to get your heart pumping then be my guest. 

Don’t say I didn’t warn you though. At the very least, when you’re out at night, we at TSL suggest you avoid trees, secluded buildings, and suspicious women with long hair covering their faces.

Check out other spooky stories: 

Cover image adapted from: Urban Redevelopment Authority, The Daily Brunei Resources, @abhijit_dutta_ad, 3 Playgrounds
Originally published on 2nd June 2014. Last updated by Priscilla Tan on 26th October 2021.

Hevina Kaur

Hevina likes clothes and movies and not having to spend a lot of money. She also likes her dog. A lot. She kind of loves her dog actually.

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