Halloween isn’t complete without a touch of terror. Want to go beyond your usual classic horror films and experience something more real? Test your courage and visit terrifying haunts. Thankfully, we Asians love our fair share of ghost stories and spooky urban legends, so there are tons of places within our area with a tale or two. Read on and take a peek at some of the most popular haunted spots you’ll find in Asia. Beware though, these might not be for the faint of heart.
Himeji Castle, Hyogo, Japan
Though populated by tourists during the day, this World Heritage Site is known to be haunted by a ghost at night. The ghost is said to be the spirit of Okiku, a woman who served a samurai who once ruled over the Himeji castle. There are numerous versions to Okiku’s tale, but the more popular ones say that, because Okiku did not reciprocate the samurai’s affection, he hid one of the 10 valuable plates that were considered treasures of the castle and framed her. The samurai offered not to punish her if she became his lover, but Okiku still refused, so she was thrown down the well in the castle grounds. Now, hundreds of years later, many say that her wailing spirit could still be seen roaming and looking for the last plate.
Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand
If you’re looking to find haunted spots in Asia, Thailand is another destination you should visit. In fact, you don’t even need to travel to unknown and dangerous locations to find one. Unbeknownst to many tourists, the Suvarnabhumi Airport where they land on is a haunted ground as well. Stories say that the modern airport was built over a graveyard. Before it opened in 2006, a nine-week exorcism involving 99 monks had to be done to keep the evil spirits away. Still, airport workers claim to see Poo Ming, the old graveyard’s caretaker, as well as other spirits wandering about. So next time you see someone pale and blue, think twice before brushing it off as jet-lag.
Manila Film Center, Pasay, Philippines
Metro Manila has its own share of spots that tell a horrifying tale. In the CCP Complex in Pasay stands the Manila Film Center, infamous for a construction accident that happened back in 1981. A few months before its grand opening, a scaffolding collapsed and more than a hundred workers have fallen under and buried under cement. It is believed that they were left on purpose to not delay the construction of the grand building. Decades after the incident, ghosts of the workers are said to still be roaming the now desolate structure.
East Coast Park, Singapore
(Photo from: Lixing Ang - flickr.com)
Believe it or not, Singapore also has a few chilling tales to tell. East Coast Park, one of the most frequented spots in the city, actually comes with a tragic story. Years ago, a lady and her boyfriend were brutally attacked by a gang. The guy survived but the criminals responsible were never found, and since then, passers-by claim to have sighted a lady crying for help nearby the Amber Beacon Tower where the crime was said to have occurred. Because of that, this site has been a popular one for paranormal investigators hoping to know her story.
Kellie’s Castle, Perak, Malaysia
Don’t forget Malaysia if you’re in search of haunted spots in Asia. Head over to Kellie’s Castle in Batu Gajah, said to be one of the country’s most haunted destinations that's popular with paranormal investigators. The construction of the structure started in 1915, but the plans came to a stop when its Scottish owner, William Kellie-Smith died on his trip. The mansion soon fell into disrepair and became a spot where Japanese soldiers during the World War II dealt with their prisoners. Spooky sightings include the departed war prisoners, but some claim to have also seen Smith and his daughter’s spirit haunting the grounds.
Too creeped out? Enjoy your Halloween with these non-scary films instead.