Beware of restless souls and pontianak sightings at Bedok Reservoir


Ah Halloween – the season where we don costumes to party or scream our lungs out at Halloween Horror Nights.

Sadly, the pandemic rears its ugly head once again with cancellations; but we are not going to let 2020 suck all the fun out of it, even if it means the spookiest night of the year will be a much tamer affair.

After all, our little island is a hotspot for mysterious hauntings at even the most seemingly harmless locations. We take a trip east to Bedok Reservoir, a popular jogging area with a dark history.

If you live in the ‘hood, it’s a calm and quiet place. Water sports enthusiasts also come flocking for kayaking and wakeboarding, alongside anglers hoping for a good catch.

That said, it’s also a place that has seen more than a couple of unfortunate incidents in the area. Between 2011 and 2012, the reservoir saw a rash of suicide cases that took the news by storm.

And rumour has it that their lingering souls still wander the shores and have even given swimmers a little tug or two from the depths of the water.

Not to mention the string of suicides started with an especially gruesome case that left us shuddering. In June 2011, Chinese national Lin Xiao, 23, was found floating in the waters and was deemed as a suicide case despite missing the upper half of his body.

It was reported that the apprentice mechanic had fallen into a state of depression after coming to Singapore. Another case that tugged at the heartstrings was that of Madam Tan Sze Sze, 31, and her three-year-old son, as a result of a messy custody battle.


Even after representatives from the Inter-Religious Organisation gathered for a prayer session to bless the park, tragedies continued and authorities decided to beef up preventive measures.

You can spy hotlines and helpful information on signboards all around for the Samaritans of Singapore and an increase in patrols in the area.

While that may deter any more potential deaths, keep a wary eye out for reported sightings of infamous pontianaks around the reservoir too.

For the uninitiated, pontianaks are vampires from Malay and Indonesian folklore. Instead of channeling Twilight vibes of being pale, sparkly and good-looking (to some), they’re the incarnation of vengeful women who died in childbirth.

While they might give the illusion of looking beautiful with long black hair, pale-skinned and clad in long white dresses to seduce men who are their primary target, their true appearances are a terrifying sight to behold.

Should you hear the soft cries of a baby, howling of a dog or catch a whiff of sweet frangipani flowers, just remember one word – run (and never look back). Stay safe and have a happy Halloween!

This article was first published in City Nomads.