I’ve always been drawn to the supernatural. As a believer, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to come face-to-face with the unknown. So, when the opportunity arose to explore 2 of Singapore’s most notorious haunted locations, Spooner Road estate and the “suicide flats” of Taman Jurong, I eagerly accepted the challenge.
As an ardent fan of YouTube ghost-hunting series such as Buzzfeed Unsolved and Sam & Colby, I had vicariously delved into countless eerie adventures from the comfort of my screen. But this time, it was different – I was about to embark on my own paranormal quest!
The haunted HDB flats at Spooner Road estate
The HDB blocks at Spooner Road are among the oldest in Singapore, with a history dating back to the mid-1970s. The estate comprises two blocks of flats – Kemuning (Orang Jasmine) and Melati (Arabian Jasmine), along with the M.R Running Bungalow, which served as housing for Malaysian staff in the 1980s working at the nearby Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
After the station ceased operations, the flats remained vacant for years and were said to have attracted wandering spirits. Eventually, they were used as rental apartments for low-income residents; with tales of strange disturbances, unexplained sounds, shadowy figures, and even alleged suicides leaving a chilling mark on Spooner Road’s reputation.
Today, a now-defunct railway yard, police post, and abandoned railway building are all that’s left standing as a reminder of its past.
My personal experience at Spooner Road
I had anticipated an eerie atmosphere at Spooner Road, but to my surprise, it just seemed like any other normal, old HDB flat. There were plenty of people around – perhaps residents or curious explorers like myself – and the vicinity was relatively well-lit. This, accompanied by the aroma of someone’s dinner wafting through the air, and the gentle murmur of a TV coming from one of the units, made the place seem pretty homey.
The flats here are reminiscent of HDB blocks in the 90s and early 2000s, with metal window shutters lining the corridors, old-school elevator doors, and fitted laundry racks built outside first-floor units.
As we continued exploring the area, we came across an uncle who was burning paper offerings in front of the abandoned railway building. I found the scene to be rather spooky, especially since the lunar ghost month had already concluded. However, there was also a sense of calm that came from witnessing this oddly tranquil scene.
I observed that the unit directly facing the railway building prominently displayed a “no trespassing” sign and was equipped with a CCTV camera. It was clear that someone lived there, and they probably had their fill of trespassers or individuals who frequently visited and caused disruptions. The railway building itself was also equipped with numerous CCTV cameras, likely intended to dissuade anyone from attempting to enter.
My colleague, John, downloaded an online EMF reader to aid in our hantu-busting adventure. FYI, EMF readers are said to detect fluctuations in electromagnetic fields, which are believed to indicate ghostly presence. While we didn’t experience much activity, there was one instance where the EMF reader’s readings spiked briefly as we attempted to communicate with potential spirits.
EMF reader responses from GhostTube at Spooner Road.
Another app, known as GhostTube, uses one’s phone’s sensors to detect alterations in magnetic energy. It functions similarly to an ovilus, a device believed to enable spirits to generate auditory responses from a database of words and syllables, triggered by fluctuations in temperature or magnetic fields. During our session, we received a few significant responses, including one that eerily read, “You are annoying.”
I’m aware that this might come across as pseudo-science, but just humour me for the sake of this article.
EMF reader responses from Ghost Hunting Tools at Spooner Road.
Using a similar app that offered single-word responses, we received the word “bars,” potentially alluding to the window bars on the building. Other words that came up included “top,” “bottom,” “nightmare,” and “breath.” My attention was immediately drawn to the top right window of the railway building, which had rumoured sightings of a female spirit. Luckily – or unluckily, depending on your perspective – I did not spot anything out of the ordinary.
Our team also took the elevator to the highest floor and explored the area. About half of the units were abandoned, with broken windows revealing nothing but pitch-black darkness. We also noticed mailboxes full of letters that appeared to have gone unclaimed.
If you decide to explore Spooner Road for yourself, do remember to be respectful of the residents living there. Spooner Road is easily accessible from Kampong Bahru Road in Tanjong Pagar or via the Rail Corridor.
The haunted diamond flats of Taman Jurong
Our ghost-hunting adventure continued at Taman Jurong, home to the infamous diamond-shaped “suicide flats.” I was particularly eager to visit this location, as it has garnered quite a reputation, and I was curious to experience it firsthand.
Dubbed the “diamond blocks”, it comprises blocks 63, 64, 65, and 66; which are connected to form a diamond shape with an open courtyard in the middle.
The Taman Jurong diamond HDB flats are marked by a grim history of suicide cases, including the tragic deaths of 2 children rumoured to have fallen from block 64 in the 1980s. These unsettling events date back to the 1970s when sporadic suicides plagued the area. One particularly distressing incident involved a pregnant woman who allegedly jumped from the building, ultimately impaling herself on a bamboo tree.
Constructed in the 1970s, these towering 21-storey buildings initially served as housing for industrial workers, including foreigners. The majority of the former JTC blocks were eventually razed, but 4 blocks on Yung Kuang Road remained in use as rental units. Fast-forward to 2009, the blocks found a new purpose, providing low-cost housing for individuals without permanent homes. Then, in 2015, they were repurposed to offer temporary accommodation for families awaiting their new BTO flats.
Today, residential units spanning from the second floor all the way to the very top remain vacant, and public access is prohibited. Nevertheless, businesses on the first floor continue to thrive, including one of Singapore’s oldest NTUC Fairprice outlets, a couple of mini-marts, a resident clinic, a barber shop, a public toilet, and an Indian eatery.
Paranormal explorers who’ve ventured into the diamond blocks have experienced spooky sightings and an overwhelming sense of unease. Some have even reported developing unexplained fevers.
My personal experience at Taman Jurong’s diamond flats
We arrived at the courtyard, greeted by bright lights and people going about their day. The unexpected sight of so many individuals – predominantly migrant workers who were lounging around the area – gave the place a lively atmosphere, starkly contrasting the spooky tales we’ve heard about the place. I was also enthralled by the unique shape of the flats, which prompted me to snap a few pictures.
Unfortunately, our exploration of the flats was curtailed as the stairwell access was blocked. The presence of CCTV cameras and numerous “no trespassing” signs left us with limited options for our ghost-hunting venture, which primarily involved peeking from outside the locked railings.
Despite being unable to approach the corridors directly, we could discern their contents from our vantage point: scattered trash, such as discarded alcohol bottles and cardboard. On one occasion, we heard the sound of something rustling amidst the debris, but instead of encountering a spirit, we discovered that it was just a family of cats.
EMF reader responses from GhostTube at Taman Jurong.
We also used the GhostTube app at this location, which yielded some intriguing responses. When one of us asked if there were any spirits present, the app responded with “I hear you” and “Up here.”
EMF reader responses from Ghost Hunting Tools at Taman Jurong.
However, the most eerie piece of “evidence” obtained was during our attempt to communicate while standing outside a clinic. The word generated by the app was “physician.”
We also utilised an online SLS cam, a device commonly employed in paranormal research to identify human-like figures or entities. This technology projects an infrared grid into the space being investigated, capturing human-like forms by recognising deviations in the grid pattern.
While our earlier attempts with the SLS cam didn’t yield significant results, towards the end of the night, it briefly detected the outline of a figure sitting in an empty chair. Spooky.
Exploring Spooner Road & Taman Jurong’s Haunted HDB Flats
Do I think Spooner Road and the Taman Jurong diamond flats are haunted? It’s possible, but the spooky vibes alone can’t confirm anything. Although I’m someone who believes in the supernatural, I tread carefully in the realm of definitive statements. I have yet to encounter an actual ghost, and while I’m fascinated by the possibility, I also find the prospect utterly terrifying.
After visiting both of these locations, I was left contemplating a myriad of thoughts. I lean towards the belief that the suicides in these places, particularly the ones at Taman Jurong, were more likely the result of complex issues such as drug addiction and mental health struggles rather than supernatural occurrences.
The atmosphere, while not overtly eerie, carried the weight of these tragic events. While the allure of the supernatural is undeniable, there are times when the stories of the real world prove to be far more haunting.
Read our other articles here:
- How to protect your home from supernatural entities
- Tan Tong Meng Tower
- 6 most haunted HDB estates in Singapore
Photography by Shawn Low.
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