This Halloween, I want to encounter ghosts. Not humans in tacky costumes.
I love the occult and I think that magick is a valid culture. We shouldn’t simply shun a concept just because it is not ‘normal’ to us. This Halloween, me and my horror-obsessed colleagues were hellbent on not joining the “Halloween Horror Nights” wave. Let’s be real—it may be located at Sentosa, one of Singapore’s most haunted spots, but no spirit or ghost is going to haunt you at a sweat-packed venue filled with people and lights. And we weren’t going to pay money to be jump-scared by other humans. So we looked for off the trail tours and signed up for Pelago’s ghost-hunting tour. Not going to lie, I was curious but a little apprehensive about stepping foot in a Chinese cemetery at 10:30PM.
Orbs, Spirits and Entities. How to spot them?
I’m ‘sensitive’. As a kid, I was always able to ‘see’ things but that ability vanished when in my pre-teen years. I’ve had my fair share of spine-chilling encounters including one that involved a ‘toyol’ hiding under my school’s stage (more on this another day). Now, I am 26 years old and only able to ‘see’ things when I sleep, through apparitions, visions, and ‘dreams’. When a bad thing is about to happen, I get nauseous, extremely sick, and my head starts spinning. Each time this happened, I would receive news about a person’s death or an extremely serious incident shortly afterwards.
So to say I’m ‘sensitive’ would be an understatement. However, unlike some of my ‘gifted’ paranormal junkie or medium friends, I can’t see full figures. I can still see visual disturbances; these often manifest in the forms of orbs, darker and denser shadows, or streaks. It takes practice and experience to discern them. Most of the time these are harmless nature spirits or energies! But if they make their presence known and reveal themselves to you, you better hope you have some religious article on you because only the malevolent and bold ones want to be seen, heard, and felt.
So I made sure we prepared ourselves with a few artefacts before boarding the tour bus at Haw Par Villa. Here’s what we saw at each stop on the tour.
Kent Ridge Park, Bukit Chandu
Bukit Chandu was the infamous battleground where Adnan Saidi killed numerous Japanese soldiers while defending Singapore. We arrived at about 8PM with barely any crowd except lone joggers. Our first stop was a long bridge, overseeing Harbourfront’s skyline, flanked by thick foliage. Right off the bat, I sensed the presence of curious entities watching us with baleful eyes. These were wandering from quite far back, deep within the foliage of the trees. However, they felt more like nature spirits, native to the environment. On our left, at a distance below us, I noticed a plain empty field. Interestingly enough, more so than the spot we were supposed to be at, looking at this patch of green immediately made me very uneasy.
I couldn’t put my finger on it or the significance of the spot but it gave me goosebumps and I sensed multiple dark entities concentrated in a state of unrest. Even though I only glanced over for a bit, I felt slightly entranced so I quickly stepped up the pace and joined the rest of my colleagues ahead.
PSA: if you ever find yourself in a trance-like state while around spiritual places, shout a vulgarity or ‘pee’ to quickly snap out of it. Usually it is a sign of your energies succumbing to that of entities and could quickly escalate into possession. Later, the tour guide told us it was normal for sightings at about 2-3am according to residents nearby.
He also told us that the Japanese, after eventually defeating the Singapore Malay Regiment, hung the survivors upside down on the trees above us and bayoneted them to death. To this day, many of the bodies are still missing and thought to be buried inside the hill. Perhaps most of the bodies were buried under the field that gave me chills.
At this juncture, we were told that this spot was off the beaten trails with no lamp posts, so we had to use candles to navigate our way through the dark. We were also given EMF readers that indicated the proximity of entities by beeping out a range of lights from one to five. A reading of four or five would mean that the detected entity is right beside you.
As much as the supernatural is not unfamiliar to me, I did feel a bit anxious. The energy here was a lot darker and ‘wider’; it hung around in the air and in the ominous breeze. I could tell there were many ‘things’ wandering around. Some were looking at while some were trailing behind us as we walked. I could sense them in a crowd but they were far back enough not to throw me into any panic.
Halfway through the path, I felt oddly cold. I double-checked with my colleagues if they sensed anything and they quietly nodded. There was a sinister, weathered down pavilion flanked to our left and I quickened my pace to pull my colleagues to the front. The guide warned us that some of her tourists reported seeing a lady with her back facing them, so I was already mentally prepared. But when we walked by, she was looking at us directly. It was also at this spot where some of our EMF readers shot to a full reading of five.
I reminded myself to stay calm and avoid eye contact. Malevolent entities that made their presence visible are antagonistic, and any sort of confrontation is not advised. Further down the path, I saw more movements and sensed other lingering spirits staring at us. So I took some photos to document them. Although it wasn’t orbs or spirits that can be captured, you can make a form out in the images. There’s also one with a vengeful human spirit. Do you see them?
Bukit Brown Cemetery
This was the last spot on our itinerary and we stepped foot into the cemetery after 10:30PM. Overall, the atmosphere was peaceful; many of the graves here are empty as the remains were exhumed. There were pockets of darker energies within the messier spots with half-broken tombstones. However, the well-constructed and grand tombstones had a very still energy.
From a spiritual perspective, mess and clutter breed negative energy. Over time, these negative energies can cluster and mutate to have a life of its own, forming an entity. This would explain why graves with descendants that visit often and keep them clean, are free of any dark energy while forgotten ones, overgrown with weeds and scattered with litter, had more sinister vibes to them. None of our EMF readers shot up during this phase of our exploration.
Like most South-Asian cemeteries, there were deities overseeing the graves. These deities guard the dead and establish control over their grounds. Most disasters at cemeteries are attributed to offending these deities or calling upon them without knowing the consequences of doing so. Some of my spiritual practitioner friends perform rituals at these cemeteries by seeking permission from the deities and getting their blessings. Sometimes when they’re rejected, they leave immediately.
Respect the supernatural, even on Halloween
If you’re a paranormal junkie like me, sign up for this tour at Pelago, and let me know what you encountered. What we encounter is dependent on our energies and how ‘visible’ we are to spirits. Some people are natural magnets that induce more curiosity than others. Either ways, most of the time these entities mean no harm unless you trespass or instigate them. We share our worlds so even if you’re a skeptic, try to be respectful while exploring these spots.