API Singapore Ghost Tour (Unique Cemetries, Old Changi Hospital)

13 September, 2009

Asia Paranormal Investigators (API) Singapore Ghost Tour

“Are you crazy?!?” “This is the last week of the 7th Month Hungry Ghost Festival and they are supposedly ‘hungriest’ now – why you still go Ghost Tour?!” That’s just some of the reactions I get from my friends when I asked them along for a “Spooky Thrills in the 7th Month” tour organised by 24seven and API.


According to API,

…this is not a thrill-seeking expedition, nor are you going to be aimlessly exploring abandoned places in search of ghosts or spirits. This is an expedition into the Urban Legends and Lost Heritage Landscape of Singapore … you will learn of the myths of abandoned places & the ancient practices that remain in modern Singapore.”

Good! Not a ghost-busting tour cos’ I am sure not trained for that 🙂

“Village of the Dead” – Bukit Brown Cemetery

We set off from Newton Food Centre at 9pm to our first stop – the “Village of the Dead” at the Bukit Brown cemetery area. From here, we were dispatched in teams of 4 to walk along a jungle trail marked by light sticks, to discover an abandoned village in the middle of the forest.

Along the trail, we were supposed to be spooked by API personnel dressed in scary attires e.g. Grim Reapers.  While not very scary cos’ we sort of expected them and can see them from afar, I admire their bravery to stand in the middle of this abandoned cemetery (sometimes alone) waiting to ambush us.

Our first stop was an abandoned graveyard caretaker hut.  It was really dark and I had to use my flashlight (we were given one each by API) to illuminate the hut so that I could take some pictures.  What I ended up taking was quite eerie.. <<WARNING – SCARY PICTURES>>

Can you see the red face in the second picture?

Bukit Brown Cemetery Caretaker Shack

Don’t freak yourself out.. 🙂  That was actually an API volunteer (a very brave lady)

API Volunteer on Ghost Trail Bukit Brown

As we left the hut to continue on the trail, we heard ‘scrub, scrub, scrub…’ from a distance and as we walk closer to the source of this strange sound, we saw a ‘ghost’ waving at us with another lady hard at work scrubbing clothes.  We wondered “Who would be washing clothes so late at night and in the middle of nowhere?”

So we waited and see what will happen next.  As we were busy snapping pictures to kill some time (about 5+ minutes), the lady suddenly stopped scrubbing and pointed to the trail we were supposed to continue on. 🙂  She must have been tired out by all that scrubbing and thinking “Why are you still here?  You are supposed to be spooked and move along!”

Bukit Brown API Ghost Tour Scary

Our last stop for this trail was a house built over a tomb.  It is known as the Tan Boon Cheng House after the tomb.  There is actually someone staying in this house and he lives in the dark as there are no electricity here.  He keeps a number of pets e.g. dogs, rabbits for company.

Bukit Brown Tan Boon Cheng House Tomb

A peek at the house interior seemed to indicate that he has all the basic amenities e.g. food, laundry (done by that scrubbing lady we met earlier? :-p), although the house looked quite messy.  His dogs are very agitated by visitors and barked madly at us – understandably since they don’t get much visitors here.

Tan Boon Cheng Tomb Caretaker House

The tomb is just behind the dogs (see red circle) and its in the middle of the house – giving rise to the claim that this house is built directly on top of the tomb.

Tan Boon Cheng Tomb

After this, we then took an uneventful short walk back to the bus for our next destination – Singapore’s Most Haunted Place (according to the API guys)

Singapore’s Most Haunted Place – Old Changi Hospital (OCH)

The Old Changi Hospital (OCH) was vacated in 1997 when the New Changi Hospital is built.  Rumors that a lot of people were killed around this area during World War II coupled with the fact that this was a hospital fueled the speculation that this is one of Singapore’s most haunted place.

This is not helped by the fact that the road leading to OCH is unlit (even though there were streetlamps) and one of the most haunted army barracks lie along the road to OCH.  The Commando barracks used to line the road leading to OCH.  Of all the abandoned barrack buildings, only one is fenced up and regularly patrolled by soldiers from the new Commando camp down the road.

It was said that there was a face of the Devil painted on the walls of this building as a mascot of the Commandos back in the 70/80s.  When it was decided that army units should adopt animals as mascots instead, the soldiers tried to paint over the face with another image.  However, the face of the Devil will always resurface the next morning after it was painted over.  Thus they decided to leave it alone and designated it as a Store Barracks (with no store), fencing it out from the outside world to prevent anyone from going in.

Devil Face Store Commando Barracks

As we proceeded to one part of OCH, we noticed a number of colorful talisman circling the area.  This was apparently placed by priests to appease the angry spirits around here.  You will see one of the youngest participant in our group in the picture below – recognize her?  She was the one waving at us while her mother scrubs during the Bukit Brown cemetery trail.  I think they are volunteers with API.

API Ghost Tour Old Changi Hospital

Talisman Old Changi Hospital

To detect the presence of ghost in the area, the API team sprinkled flour to form a circular perimeter (we are supposed to stand inside it).  If ghosts are walking around, we should be able to see some footprints – we didnt see any though.

Flour Ghost Detection Changi Hospital

Then they set aside a number of gadgets around the perimeter – a motion sensor coupled with ghosts’ favorite food – tau sar piah and flat torch which they could trigger to indicate their presence.

Ghost Detection - Tao Sar Piah Motion Light Sensor

The API also made use of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) where ghosts can communicate to us via White Noise.  Charles set up a White Noise thing in his iPhone and recorded any “ghostly” conversations that might occured.  Well.. other than a few false alarms (the motion sensors are pretty sensitive) which spooked out some of us, nothing much happened despite Charles’ numerous calls to the spirits to appear to us in some forms.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon API EVP

You can see Charles Goh – the founder of Asia Paranormal Investigators, explaining to us why and what we are doing here.

API Founder Charles Goh Ghost Tour

We then proceeded to the main complex of Old Changi Hospital (OCH).  We walked around its complex grounds and couldnt go into the rooms as this hospital is gazetted as government land and entering the premises will constitute trespassing and if you are not already haunted by the angry ghosts inside, the government will haunt you with fines and lawyer letters… so better be obedient and peep in from the outside.

Old Changi Hospital Graffiti Eerie Ghost Tour

Old Changi Hospital Ghost Tour

Guess what these symbols – Head, Medicine & Head, Anaesthesia means?

Head Medicine Eerie Changi Hospital Symbols

They are actually assigned carpark lots for the hospital management. 🙂

“Unclaimed Tombs” at Chua Chu Kang Cemetery

Our last destination for the day – Unclaimed Tombs at Chua Chu Kang Cemetery.  These are not the typical tombstones that one would expect when going on a ghost tour to cemeteries.

Chua Chu Kang Unclaimed Tombs Cemetery

In the 70-80s, as more land are being redeveloped, graves situated in these redeveloped areas are exhumed and those which were forgotten and unclaimed were then cremated and a stone marker was placed in cemeteries.  Serial numbers are indicated on these stone markers in case someone is looking for these graves.  Graves from the same area are grouped around this plot of land and the area is represented by a mini-hut (see above picture) where people can make their offerings.

Unclaimed Tombs

Some of these stone markers also represent stillborns or aborted children.  It was said that during Children’s Day, you will be able to see people making offerings to their unborn child.

Unclaimed Tombs Offerings

With that, we were driven back to Newton Food Centre where we started out our journey.  The caring API team even gave us a cupcake each for our supper! (with the added caveat that if the cupcake is tasteless, we shouldn’t eat it because that would be what food offerings to ghost will taste like! Gasp!)

Luckily for me, my Jolly Rogers cupcake tasted sweet and yummy – a perfect way to end an interesting and educational spooky trail!  Thanks Charles Goh and the API team for the enlightening tour.

API Ghost Tour Jolly Rogers CupCake

Other interesting cupcakes custom-made for this Spooky Ghost Trail courtesy of Cupcake Momma:

Interesting Design CupCakes

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (29)

  • DCReply

    13 September, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Interesting post!

    I hope none of them followed you home!
    .-= DC´s last blog ..Lost Maltese =-.

    • ZhiqiangReply

      13 September, 2009 at 3:40 pm

      @DC, I hope so too – 2 days already + I took the necessary precautions 🙂

  • kelvinReply

    14 September, 2009 at 2:04 am

    OCH…i hate tat place…people just pee anywhere. Well, the time i went there, it totally spook me out…one of my friends stepped on bones of a dog and we hear babies crying inside a ward…There was once a cult was doing a ceremony there and we can still see the things there. But wonder if its been remove. And once more thing, the mosquitoes there are fiercer the then “good brothers” there.
    .-= kelvin´s last blog ..They love toilet bowls. =-.

    • ZhiqiangReply

      14 September, 2009 at 7:54 am

      woah Kelvin, that sounds very spooky.. I guess because we were in a large group of 20+ so a lot of “Yang” Qi – then we didnt experience this 🙂

  • DCReply

    14 September, 2009 at 2:06 am

    Kelvin, the mozzies are commando-trained. Commando camp is just nearby. Haha
    .-= DC´s last blog ..至死不渝的爱情 =-.

  • Kia AiReply

    14 September, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Very informative, gives me a gist of what such tours are like.

    Btw, your camera is good yea, night mode still can capture a number of images very well. Btw, the first photo on OCH looks kinda 3D. Looking closer and longer at it, it seems kinda eerie.

    • ZhiqiangReply

      14 September, 2009 at 11:44 am

      @Kia Ai, my camera so-so only. With flash, the pictures all will turn out ok, although you have to guess what you are shooting at since the LCD screen shows nothing. :-p

  • Kia AiReply

    14 September, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Sorry… left out a question in my previous post, u meant there is people staying at the Tan Boon Cheng house currently? Did API say who are these people, why are they staying in the forest midst?

    • ZhiqiangReply

      14 September, 2009 at 11:46 am

      @Kia Ai, The caretaker of the tomb built his house over the tomb and stays there. He does not have to pay any rent or taxes for his house and saves time and money on the commute to work (which is to take care of the tomb). 🙂

  • 9Reply

    14 September, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Head, Medicine

    means the Head of the Medicine Department. That’s my guess…which i believe is correct. Cheers. 🙂

    • ZhiqiangReply

      14 September, 2009 at 5:48 pm

      @ 9, you are correct – those are designated parking spaces for the Head of Medicine in OCH. 🙂

  • avontflexReply

    20 September, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    next time must bring carol to such walks, she enjoyed horror movies anyway… maybe she can catch some live actions =)

  • tigerReply

    25 September, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    yes … pls join us for more exciting tours …. the website is http://www.api.sg , http://www.api.sg/forum

  • Night Safari Halloween Horrors Tour ReviewReply

    12 October, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    […] explored the dark realm of abandoned villages, hospitals and cemeteries during the Hungry Ghost Festival, we decided to take on a similar morbid challenge for the […]

  • MayjoyReply

    17 October, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Now, i don’t want to go to Old Changi Hospital!! ‘Cause, this blog says that, Government will punish you and there are many angry spirits there!! I don’t want them to devore me!!

  • 2Fun2JoinReply

    17 November, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Woah..Sounds fun n interesting.But aren’t you guys scared at all?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      17 November, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      not really – there was quite a big group of us going for this tour 🙂 but thinking back, part of the tour seems quite scary.

  • ShearmanReply

    15 December, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    This article is informative. I need more info on this topic.

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  • Catharine MilushReply

    22 December, 2010 at 5:08 am

    This post resolved my puzzle, A lot of thanks.

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    23 December, 2010 at 10:34 pm

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    23 December, 2010 at 10:36 pm

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    24 December, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I trust it is pretty fine for us.

  • Kaylee NeidichReply

    24 December, 2010 at 12:17 pm

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  • GenaReply

    25 March, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Hey are there anymore of such trails? Pls email

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