Singapore Ghost Stories
We live in flats here in Singapore. If you’ve never lived in a flat[apartment] before, well, let me tell you it can be quite noisy because you’ve got neighbours all around you—above, below, and on both sides. Ok, that is nothing peculiar, but what I’m about to tell you is.
Quite often, at around 2 or 3 am, I’d be awakened by an annoying sound of bouncing marbles from the flat above.
What kind of parents would allow their kids to play with marbles at the wee hours of the mornings? I often wondered.
I’m not the only one who has experienced this; my friends have reported the same thing too.
Once, I was so frustrated, I got dressed and walked up to the flat above. From the frosted glass window, I could see no light. It appeared that no one was awake. Since I was already up there, I waited for some time for the clicking marble sound to come back, but I heard nothing. Then when I was back in bed, the sound started again.
Since the marble bouncing sound is heard by others too, I must just let it rest in the realms of the unexplained. If you have an answer, I hope you will leave your answers in the comment page.
Donald, 23.Salesman – 22 Jan 2003
LOST SOUL at the BUS STOP
There is a bus stop at Upper Aljunied Road that I am told is haunted. It is a Road that sits between two cemeteries—a Christian one and a Muslim one.
I’ve been in many taxis, and when the drivers are talkative, they will likely tell you many of their ghostly encounters, especially if they have travelled along Upper Aljunied Road in the early mornings.
I’ve heard if you travel along Upper Aljunied Road between midnight and 4am, and if you are the chosen one, you will see a young Malay woman with a baby in her arms waiting at a bus stop by the quiet road. The taxi drivers know all too well not to stop for her. But on one occasion, there was an ignorant cabby who did pick her up.
Alak Chew scanned the dark and bushy road shoulders for a possible passenger before retiring for the night. A lonely bus stop was approaching on the left side of the dual carriageway. His heart leapt as his eyes landed on a figure of a woman sitting on the cement bench under the fibreglass roof. At the bus stop, he slowed down and peered through the side window. He could not see her face, for her head was tipped downwards. But he could see that she was fair skinned and slim and that she was cradling a baby. He could not resist a fare, so he stopped. Instantly, the woman stood up and walked towards his taxi. She opened the door, sat in the back seat, and pointed with her chin to the road ahead. Frowning, Alak drove on. He kept a steely eye on her through the rear-view mirror to see if she would look up, but she did not.
Since the woman did not utter a word, the slightly bald driver decided to ask her where she wanted to go. With her face hidden under her shawl, the mysterious woman lifted her hand and waved for him to keep going.
Upper Aljunied Road stretches quite a distance, so when the taxi reached the crossroad junction, the Chinese driver asked his passenger again where she wanted to go.
“Balik rumah,”(going home) she replied with an annoyed, raspy voice.
The forty-eight-year-old Alak became quite peeved himself by her curt reply, so he made his impatience known.
“Ya lah, lu mau balik rumah, mana lu punya rumah lu misti cakap lah, ayah susah lah ini macam.”(Yes, I know you want to go home but where the heck is your home? Gosh, you’re giving me a hard time!).
His harsh words made the woman sob.
Feeling guilty, the Chinese driver apologised. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but I need to know your address otherwise where should I take you?” he said in Malay.
In between sobs, the passenger apologised for not remembering where her home was, and begged him to take her back to the place she boarded his taxi.
Furious and cursing under his breath, Alak made a sharp U-turn and headed back down Aljunied road. He tried but could not contain his anger; some Chinese expletives seeped through his greeted teeth as he clenched the steering wheel. He was so angry that he sped down the road without a glance into the mirror. Only when the vehicle came to a stop did he look in the mirror. Perplexed that he could not see her, he turned his head around.
The back seat was empty!
Then, the smell of sweet Frangipani began to fill his cab. [Frangipani is a popular flower used to decorate condolence wreaths] Suddenly, it dawn on him that she was not real. Without another thought, he stepped on the accelerator and screeched off.
Since that night, Alak has only travelled along upper Aljunied Road in the daytime. After midnight, he refuses to go on that road, no matter what.
Other taxi drivers have also picked up the Malay woman with a child but have different experiences with her. Some would realise immediately after she came on board that she was a ghost. Others would not even notice anything strange until they smelt the sweet scent of Frangipani.
Photographer – 13 Mar 2003.