Without peak hour traffic and the heat from the sun, driving at night has its perks. But, less-travelled roads can be scary at night.
The lack of other commuters and the darkness of the night can only serve to heighten fear and cause your imagination to run wild especially during the Hungry Ghost Festival period, this month of September.
For the faint-hearted, here are 7 roads you should absolutely avoid during this time of year. Or, if you’re more of the adventurous kind, knock yourself out and add these haunted roads in Singapore to the list of places to visit!
(What is the Hungry Ghost Festival is anyway? Find out more about this “Chinese Halloween” here.)
A lengthy remote road away from civilisation, with an extremely straight section that could be repurposed as a temporary runway for the Republic of Singapore Air Force, it is no wonder that Lim Chu Kang Road is a hotspot for illegal drag racing.
Just hundreds of metres from where the loud fancy cars duke it out with each other lies numerous cemeteries, which line the sides of this otherwise serene road.
Leading to mostly farms and industrial areas, this road tends to be deserted and tranquil most nights. The foliage around the area only adds to the sinister atmosphere, toying with your uneasiness that something eerie might just happen. There have been various accounts of other-worldly encounters, ranging from taxi drivers picking up non-human passengers who vanish the moment they step out of the vehicles, to drivers seeing spirits at the numerous bus stops along the road.
One of the newer residential areas in Singapore, which has been extensively developed into a waterfront town in the recent years, Punggol is now littered with many food and beverage establishments, one of which is the Punggol Settlement located at the end of Punggol Road, which helped to liven up the once quiet area.
Punggol Road is a narrow two-way road, which leads to the furthest end of Punggol, Punggol Beach, one of the sites of the Sook Ching massacre by the Japanese soldiers during the Second World War, where hundreds of Chinese civilians were executed.
Human remains have since been found on Punggol Beach back in the 90s. Despite the development in this area, the dark past looms over Punggol Road and anyone who has tried cycling down this road at night would attest to its sinister atmosphere, undoubtedly making it one of the scariest roads to travel alone in Singapore.
Long before the Singapore Grand Prix was held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit that we are all familiar with, there was the Thomson Road Circuit in the 1960s to 1970s. It was a street circuit that consists of the old and new Upper Thomson Road.
Filled with challenging sections with menacing names like ‘Devils Bend’ and ‘Murder Mile’, it was notorious for claiming seven lives during the 11 years of the Singapore Grand Prix held there.
Even in the more recent times, the road continued to claim lives. Around 10 years ago, two polytechnic students lost their lives when the car they were in crashed on Old Upper Thomson Road. Couple its dark past with the stories of cabbies picking up passengers who pay with ‘hell notes’ and claims of ghostly sightings, this is certainly a road that both the faint-hearted and inexperienced drivers should avoid.
Branching out from Thomson Road, Mount Pleasant Road is a narrow windy road, which connects to Bukit Timah. It is situated in the vicinity of the former Bukit Brown Cemetery as well as the Old Police Academy, locations that are often mentioned in hair-raising horror stories here.
According to urban legends, when driving through this road at night, the smell of Frangipanis might seep into the car, signifying that a Pontianak (a female ghost in Malay mythology) is around. A brief search online would bring up stories of an encounter with a floating lady in red on this road, scary! Like Punggol Beach, this was also one of the sites where the Sook Ching massacre took place during the Second World War.
It seems like Mount Pleasant Road isn’t as pleasant as its name suggests after all. If you do travel there and encounter the smell of Frangipanis, pray hard for enough horses under your hood and grippy tyres.
One of Singapore’s longest roads, spanning from Serangoon to Thomson Road and cutting through Ang Mo Kio, Yio Chu Kang Road is often the subject of supernatural encounters. There is a story circulating online of a driver who encountered an accident when avoiding a non-existent ‘cyclist’ who vanished along Yio Chu Kang Road.
A ‘Phuah Pak Tiong Road’ (Plantation Avenue) branches off from Yio Chu Kang Road, which was where a cemetery used by Tan Tock Seng Hospital before the Second World War, was located. It was also the location where the body of kidnapped and brutally murdered ‘Biscuit King’ Lee Gee Chong was found.
Nowadays, Yio Chu Kang Road snakes through various neighbourhoods and is no longer as secluded as before, but its troubled past and the eerie recounts still make it one of the creepiest road to drive along at night.
Anyone who has travelled on this road would have noticed how narrow and uneven it is, making the danger of driving here at night clear for all to see.
Many freak accidents have occurred on this stretch of road. In 2015 a truck was smashed by a piling machine being transported by a flatbed trailer. And earlier, in 2014, two girls lost their lives after a night out partying when the car they were in lost control and crashed on this stretch of road.
Tampines Road is also often mentioned in variations of the story of taxi drivers picking up other-worldly beings, such as ghosts who pay them with money that turns into ‘hell notes’. The numerous temples, which line this road are said to have been constructed to ward off the evil spirits lurking around this area. There is no doubt that this is a road to avoid during this seventh lunar month period if you are not the thrill-seeking kind.
Car enthusiasts would probably know this road as Gao Zhup Gao Wan or ’99 bends’. It is a twisty stretch of road made up of a series of sharp, banked hairpin turns with varying elevation, which makes it a tricky road to navigate. A narrow two-way road with challenging turns, driving recklessly and carelessly here would be a risky move that might get you into accidents.
It is also located in close proximity to Opium Hill (Bukit Chandu), the site of a fierce battle against Japanese troops during the war, its dark past adds to the spooky factor of this ominous stretch of road surrounded by thick and tall trees.
By Goh Zhi Xuan, SGCarMart.com / Updated August 2019/ Updated by Jashleen Kaur, August 2020
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