[Slider photo courtesy of Guido]
There are no lack of haunted places to visit around the world, and particularly in Asia, such places have also spin off an interest in haunted travel, as each place has its own ghostly legends. I sieve out the ten most haunted places in Asia for you to visit.
Old Changi Hospital, Singapore
Old Changi Hospital, located on a small hill along Netheravon Road in Singapore, was a small British military hospital named Royal Air Force Hospital. It was used by the Japanese soldiers during World War II as a healthcare facility for the prisoners-of-war detained at the Changi military base nearby.
Changi Hospital, Singapore (Photo courtesy of Brian Jeffery Beggerly)
With more than 70 years of rich history when it survived the war from 1942 to 1945 witnessing the fall of Singapore and the tortures of the prisoners-of-war that happened there, this hospital is one of the most haunted places in Asia. Stories about the building being haunted started in the early 1940s. In particular, the morgue always had sightings of ghosts without heads and feet, and seeing spirits of different races and nationalities wandering around the compound is very common. However, there are recent plans to turn this area into a lifestyle haven of resorts, spas and restaurants.
Lipe Island, Thailand
Lipe Island, Thailand (Photo courtesy of Guido)
A small island in the Adang-Rawi Archipelago of the Andaman Sea, Lipe Island, or rather Koh Lipe or Ko Lipe as it is usually called, is situated in the Satun Province of southwest Thailand. This island is home to a group of sea gypsies, originally direct ancestors of a one nomadic sea-faring group of people, called the ‘Chao-Le’ people, an ethnic group that is nicknamed the “Gypsies of the Sea.”
Still choked with animist beliefs and a deep connection with the spirits of the immediate “living” world including coconut trees, snakes, sharks and the surrounding sea, the Chao-Le gypsies think that their island is full of rowdy spirits which they refer to as ha-too. These spirits are said to demand attention from the people and must be appeased regularly with offerings of cupcakes and cold strawberry drinks. And most frightfully, tourists have claimed to feel invisible forces when they are on the island.
Tao Dan Public Park, Vietnam
Tao Dan Public Park covers 10 hectares of Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, and contains more than 1,000 huge, shady trees, interesting statues and people exercising and practicing tai chi.
This park is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a young man who is searching for his lover. The loving couple was attacked in the park some ten years ago, and the man was killed while his girlfriend was raped repeatedly. After dark, visitors to the park often see a young man floating in the park looking for someone.
Victoria Institution, Malaysia
Victoria Institution, one of the oldest schools in Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, and was established by the British to commemorate her golden jubilee.
However, the school was converted into a torture chamber for captured soldiers and civilians by the Japanese during World War II, where many were brutally tortured to death in the basement and some older buildings on the campus. Apparitions such as the ‘Hantu Jepun’ are common in the day and in the night, and so are violent, spiritual possessions among students. The possessed boys would behave strangely and even harm other students and teachers, and then snap out of it a few hours later, remembering nothing.
Manila Film Centre, Philippines
Manila Film Centre, Philippines
A national building located at the southwest of the Cultural Centre of the Philippines complex in Pasay City, Philippines, the Manila Film Centre was the subject of controversies due to an accidents that happened during the final stages of its constructions in 1981.
Rushed into construction to meet the deadline for a film festival, the accident happened when the building’s scaffolding collapsed and claimed the life of at least 169 workers. The contractors was told to pour concrete over the remains in order to stick to the schedule.
Today, strange voices are often heard throughout the Film Centre, and various ghostly activities were reported on the site, including also mysterious sounds and poltergeist activities. Attempts to appease the spirits numerous times have yet to succeed.
Yu Shan Fan Dian, China
Located in Chengde, north of Beijing in China, Yu Shan Fan Dian is a 220-room hotel besides the Yangtze River. It is built on the very same grounds where Manchu royalty would escape the summer heat of Beijing.
Over the years, guests have reported seen the Dowager Empress Cixi tending her beloved garden in the hotel. Such sightings occurred both inside the hotel and on one of the balconies. The hotel used to be part of the Qing Dynasty’s gardens, so the Empress is probably just tending her flowers and plants. There is also a man dressed in western clothes appearing on the 8th storey of the hotel.
Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong
Tuen Mun Road is a major expressway in Hong Kong, connecting Tuen Mun with Tsuen Wan, within New Territories. Built in 1977, it was once the major trunk route linking the northwest New Territories to urban Kowloon.
Since then, due to the fact that the road has not been redesigned to take all of the modern traffic and its heavy usage, it is well known for its frequent traffic jams and horrendous number of road accidents. Drivers claim that it is due to ghosts who suddenly appear in front of the cars, which then violently swerve to avoid hitting them. To intensify the situation, the ghosts of the crash victims are also rumoured to linger around the area.
Mount Everest, Nepal
Mount Everest, Nepal (Photo courtesy of Rupert Taylor-Price)
Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world with a peak at 8,848 metres above sea level and the 5th tallest mountain measured from the centre of the Earth, is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas, in Nepal.
It is said that the ghost of a climber Andrew Irvine, who died in his attempt to reach the top of the mountain in 1924, is the source of haunting on the mountain. His spirit visits the tents of other climbers, providing them with the confidence in their ascent.
Pemba Dorji Sherpa, who scaled Mount Everest, said that he saw “black shadows” near the summit on his way up. These spirits were stretching their hands and begging for something to eat. He said that the bodies of many climbers who died are still on the mountain and one climber who died from an accidental fall is still hanging from a rope.
More than 200 people have died attempting to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Bhangarh Fort, India
Bhangarh Fort, India (Photo courtesy of Shahnawaz Sid)
Bhangarh Fort, located in Rajasthan, India, is claimed by some to be the most haunted place in India. According to a legand, Singhai Sevra, a wicked black magic sorcerer had cursed the residents of the palace after being spurned by the princess Ratnavati, so that they would die an unnatural death and their souls will stay there for centuries without rebirth.
Some spooky stories have been associated with the fort and town. Locals said that whoever has tried to stay inside after sunset was never found, and since then, the authorities have warned visitors not to enter the ruined city after dusk, as according to rumours, birds and wildlife fall silent as the spirit of the sorcerer approaches at night.
Another interesting point to note is that the village households found here are without roofs, because whenever a house is built with a roof, the roof collapses.
University of Seoul, Korea
Founded as Kyung Sung Public Agricultural College in 1918 and later renamed University of Seoul, the university is one of the top three universities without medical school in Korea.
There are tales of spooky stories within some of the older dormitories, and it is said that there are many souls belonging to the living dead, and several poltergeists. It is believed that depending on whom you are in contact with, you could either be helped or disturbed by these souls. Some dormitories are filled with a sweet smell while others feature an unnerving scent. Also, there was a student who complained that he felt a hand on his shoulder while he was sleeping, and the air conditioner turned off by itself and the lights went on and off many times.
Other haunted places in Asia include the University of Pancasila and the Jakarta History Museum in Jakarta, Sector W, Defense Housing Society, a 2-storey house in Pakistan and the Xinhai Tunnel in Taipei, Taiwan.
Read about other haunted places in the world.
Finally, if there are thrill-seeking tourists out there who will like to experience the above places, do email me about your encounters!