Ghost Story – Singapore

“I feel that there are a lot more ghosts and scary stuff in Asia, then there is in the states. It’s because most of the buildings here in LA are newer, and don’t have so much history. Whereas in South East Asia, just walking around the streets at night I really can really fear it. You just sense that fear a lot more, whereas here I simply just don’t get the chills. Like in my boarding school in Singapore. I woke up once in the middle of the night and our room for some reason it looked like a lab, like a science lab. And then this fat guy walked in, he was a soldier. And he was walking around our room. When I saw him I thought SHIT don’t come to me. Next thing I knew I felt very cold and I saw that he was standing at my bed. I pretended to sleep and was lying on my stomach. He kept leaning over trying to see my face and called “Alex!” and wave. I just ignored him. Suddenly I could feel his hands pressing down on my shoulders, it was SO COLD. I was trying to call out to my friend “Sam! Sam!” but I couldn’t scream loud I felt paralysed, it was a strange feeling. Suddenly I was able to break free and I said “SAM!” and I woke her up. She said she heard me the first time I called her but said she thought I was dreaming. That proves exactly that I was not asleep. To make matters worse, all along I knew that my school was and old Hospital during World War 2”.

As far as my informant is concerned, this story is 100% true. Having grown up in Singapore myself, I know that the idea of ghosts, especially wandering Spirits is a belief that is not questioned at all. This informant is an example of a Singaporean that despite being very exposed to contemporary western culture, where most of the people are sceptical, this story to her greatly affects her belief system on what she believes regarding human life, the afterlife, and whatever comes in between. I would further like to include in this analysis the following quotes from my informant:

“When I’m in LA I don’t sense the wandering spirits, but in places like London where all the buildings are old, I already sense that chill. It gives me a feeling of fear and I am automatically reminded that there are spirits here”

“There is definitely a war going on between angels and demons going on here on earth. Only those who have a third eye can see it”.

I would also like to add that in Singapore, although many people have adopted Christianity, they still do not denounce the idea of wandering spirits but instead incorporate this into their Christian beliefs, that is they would say that sin is all around us and that they often come in the form of spirits. This story and stories like these are not told on any particular occasion, but instead count as normal life experience, not necessarily everyday, as paranormal encounters are not frequent. Another quote I would like to add from my informant:

“My friend sees them all the time and is completely used to it. Sometimes we are sitting in the living room and she looks and my grandfather clock and says she sees an old man in there dressed in an old-fashioned suit. We told my mother, she thinks its just the clock maker”.

Although I grew up in Singapore, it is only my mother that is Singaporean whilst my father is actually German and thus I integrated a lot with the western community when I was growing up. However when I entered the Singapore military, the basic military training camp was said to be extremely haunted. There were countless stories of spirits walking around the soldiers’ bunks at night. What I found interesting was that our superiors never denied any of the stories. For an example, many instances where someone brought in a snack that was barbecued pork, a popular dish in Singapore, a ghost would always appear at night to the person who possessed it. Our superiors simply said “Do not bring pork in, just don’t do it”. I explain to you this story because I found it very peculiar that military superiors, who need to ensure that you get your 7 hours sleep between full days of rigorous training, would want to put thoughts like that in your head. What I did not understand was that denying something like that is an abstract idea to them. Therefore they simply insisted that you follow certain abstract practices or rules to ensure that you get your 7 hours sleep and pass through your basic military training time as soon as possible.

To refer back to my informant’s story, I have heard many similar stories to this, and particularly in Singapore they often involve themes of the Second World War, the Japanese Occupation, and the torturing of the prisoners of war.