Thursday, October 4, 2012
October Haunting - The Haunting of Changi Series: Changi Hospital
With its classical design, one can see that OCH is a typical replica of buildings built by British Colonial architects in the early 20's. Surprisingly OCH was not meant to be a hospital when it was first built (same for the A/E). The British was planning to have a heavily guarded military location in the east of Singapore. The site was strategically selected for it is high on top of a hill overlooking the sea surrounding most of the east side and the south side of the island. For about 10 years before the war, this classical 7-storey high building compound was used as military command quarters and barracks.
During the assault of the Japanese aggression from Malaya in February 1942, Changi was targeted as one of the first attack points. In a day or two, it was occupied by the Japanese army moving from Puala Ubin. Soon after that OCH was converted to a military hospital where all the wounded soldiers and civilians were attended to. After the Japanese Occupation ended, it was converted back to its original self, as a public hospital and later with a Military ward on the third level.
From February 1997 onwards, OCH was closed for its hospital operations were replaced by the new Changi General Hospital. It got isolated and left vacant there since then. According to some insider sources, the abandoned OCH will remain as it is but it will be re-open for the 'public' soon during 2005 for the Army Camp or for the Officer Cadet School (OCS) Trainees.
However, stories about the building being haunted started in the early 40's. The Hospital itself had 70+ years of rich history when it survived from the dreadful World War II that took place from 1942 to 1945, witnessing the fall of Singapore and the brutal tortures towards the prisoners of war (POW) that happened there. Therefore, seeing spirits of all races and of different nationals wandering around in the compound would be a common sight.
Old Changi Hospital is one of the most notoriously haunted places in the world. During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Singapore and the beaches of Changi were soaked in the blood beheaded civilians and prisoners of war. The Japanese military took the original Changi buildings and made it their headquarters. There were many rumors of horrific torture chambers and the bloody executions of POWs. After the war, the Japanese themselves became the executed and paid for their war crimes with their own blood in the same Changi area.
In the 1950's the former military barracks were turned into a public hospital. A perpetual portal for life and death, the premises was proclaimed haunted by the public throughout the years. Witnesses claimed to see ghosts, Japanese soldiers and even pontianaks -- a Malay vampire. Some locals even believed that suffering through a serious injury was better than going to the haunted Changi hospital for medical attention.
In 1994, the original Changi Hospital moved its location. The buildings have been abandoned ever since 1997, only to be vandalized by those who dare enter. It's been reported that some explorers never come back out. But for Singapore thrill-seekers, the attraction to Old Changi Hospital is always there.
Spirits of different races and nationalities have been reported wandering around the premises.
If you are thinking of visiting the hospital in the hope of bumping into a spirit of any nature, go with 2 or 3 friends. If you go beyond that, you will never see it as they are all hiding behind the window pane or the back of the door WATCHING you. But of course, you can go there alone, however you will never find yourself ALONE.