With a torch in one hand and an electromagnetic meter in the other, paranormal investigator Charles Goh scours some shrub land in suburban Singapore, searching for hidden graves that could give clues to a ghostly encounter he had three decades ago. Goh’s investigations have led him to the residential neighbourhood of Yishun, an area little visited by tourists that has developed a repute for crook, extraordinary and every so often supernatural events in one of the most world’s safest cities.
Lately, Yishun has seen buses spontaneously combust, cats strangled, strange murders, giant caterpillars and supposed ghost sightings – spawning reams of satirical sites, online memes and native media coverage.
Even Netflix, the world’s largest streaming service, has poked fun at the town’s unlucky repute to elevate the supernatural mystery series ‘Stranger Things’ and other horror satisfied to native audiences. One blogger coined the ring street that circles the town “the satan’s ring”.
A block of public housing flats is pictured in Yishun, Singapore, October 28, 2020.
Native politicians say there are rational explanations for these events and statistics show crime rates don’t seem to be extraordinary.
But Goh, a safety manager for a construction firm, has a theory that ancient burial sites disturbed right through the town’s rapid development could have been at the back of the spooky encounter he had at a military camp in Yishun thirty years ago. “In the day time I look out for the living, in the night time I look out for the deceased,” said Goh, who went on to form the Asia Paranormal Investigators society in 2005.
Others who have investigated Yishun’s “bizarre and every so often dangerous” repute, like Japanese YouTuber Ghib Ojisan have come to less exciting conclusions. “I discovered that it is only a nice neighbourhood,” said Ojisan, who started making videos approximately Yishun final year. But the normalcy of his encounters with friendly locals, tasty food and neat parks haven’t dampened interest for his videos, attracting tens of thousands of views.
Paranormal investigator Charles Goh looks for signs of former settlements in a jungle close Yishun, in Singapore October 15, 2020.
He says a part of the fascination for his chiefly Japanese audience is that Singapore is seen as a boring place. It used to be ranked as the second one safest city globally final year, at the back of Tokyo, in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Protected Cities Index.
Native MP Louis Ng said that Yishun’s repute can also be put down to the truth that “naughty news sells faster than good news” and that this can be a protected town with a strong sense of community.
As for paranormal encounters, Ng quipped: “We have got numerous temples around in Yishun, so confidently that will help to curb this curse and the supernatural powers that are at play.”
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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