Explore Singapore series: 4 abandoned places you won't last a night at

Explore Singapore series: 4 abandoned places you won't last a night at
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - There are nooks and crannies in Singapore brimming with stories of a forgotten past - a past that is slowly being revealed on Instagram feeds and blogs belonging to daredevil explorers.

But much of this rich history remains buried beneath overgrown foliage, and stands invisible next to towering luxury condominiums built all across the island.

Often, these derelict buildings offer more than a slice of nostalgia - left unguarded with empty hallways and boarded up windows, these haunts can be downright creepy.

We've all grown up with horror tales of Old Changi Hospital and listened with rapt attention to ghostly encounters on St. John's Island.

But there's more.

Sit tight folks, you're in for a wild ride.

1. Fort Serapong

Just before the entrance to the sprawling luxurious estates of Sentosa Cove, lies a narrow side-road leading uphill.

A lone mouldy sign "Serapong Hill" stands sentry to the tarmac path, and the barrier was wide open. We took that as an invitation and began a 15-minute ascent to the barracks.

Five minutes into the walk and it was obvious that the island's management had maintained the area quite well; some of the old structures had been converted into store rooms.

The fort, a British army base back in 1879, was huge. Exploring the site felt almost like discovering an archaeological find, as we followed trailing roots and broken cement blocks to arrive at gun batteries and bunkers.

Since forts had to be sustainable, the site housed an underground reservoir. Going Places Singapore went on a day trip with Urban Explorers of Singapore, where they got a full tour of the cavernous gem.  

Here is where it is on a map:

2. View Road Hospital

You may recognise this building from local television dramas, but what really happens when the crew rolls out of its metal gates?

Our colleagues at SPH Razor interviewed local band Caracal, who filmed their music video in the abandoned hospital. The band revealed how a crew member told them of a strange experience at the boarded up shack in the backyard.

The crew member had just wrapped up filming at the shack when he noticed that the footage had disappeared. His mobile phone and other camera equipment went missing as well. The strangest part was that footage of the rest of the compound was fine, save for the one by the shack.

A security guard who prowls the area explained that a large "python" resides in the shack and that it shouldn't be disturbed as it is the hospital's 'landlord". 

Check out their video here: 

The hospital was a mental institution from 1975 to 2001. After its closure, the building was leased out as a foreign worker dormitory in 2008. Once the workers moved out four years later, the site fell into disuse again.

The compound is state property and remains out of bounds to the public. Thrill-seekers should take note that trespassers do indeed get prosecuted - as this reporter learnt it the hard way.

Here is where it is on the map:

3. House on hill of St John's Island

Not much is known about this place, but it made the list because it ranks seven out of 10 on the creepy scale.

Looking for the trail can get tricky here, and we took 20 minutes before spotting the moss-covered stone steps.

Tip of the day: Moss-covered anything is always a good sign that you're on the right track.

The steps led deep within the foliage and we had to cross fallen logs and brambles to continue the climb. After about five minutes, an old building came into view.

The property was fenced in, but the perimeter gate was wide open. Inviting, yes, but one look at the windows above stopped us from venturing further.

There were no signs of life in the compound, and the surroundings were eerily quiet. Yet the sight of several white jackets hanging by a grimy window on the second floor was enough to unnerve us.

Funny how simple, daily sights like these in an unfamiliar landscape can be jarring on the senses. We didn't wait to see who was home, and bolted down the steps much faster than you can shout "boo".

Blogger Cavin Teo shares some photos on his own trip here: 

Here is where it is on the map:

4. Istana Woodneuk

Gaining popularity on social media in recent years is Istana Woodneuk. Johor Sultan Abu Bakar had built this grand residence for his fourth wife Sultana Khadijah. The house was eventually passed on to Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar.

Where a road that serviced royal dignitaries used to stand, the tarmac is now cracked and riddled with potholes. Abandoned, the roof of the palace had fallen in, and years of decay have consumed whatever grandeur remained.

Stepping into the palace was a strange experience. The hall was plastered with graffiti and cigarette butts littered the floor. Most of the rooms were boarded up but cracked window panes offered glimpses into the rooms beyond - an assortment of furniture, metal cabinets and office chairs stacked and left everywhere.

Just as we were about to scurry through the narrow dark hallway into the sunlit backyard, we heard a discernible crash.

"Animals," my companion offered, and we shrugged off whatever insecurities we had, and braved through the exploration.

Since 2015, Istana Woodneuk has been made out of bounds and those attempting to sneak in can be arrested.

Check out SPH Razor's video on Istana Woodneuk:

Here is where it is on the map:

If you know of any other abandoned places around Singapore to recommend and have photos to share, drop us an email!


More about

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.