Home > Horror News > Local Horror News > Tales From The Crypt In Singapore
Tales From The Crypt In Singapore
By: RSS/News Feeds

Wong Shun Feng says he has seen spirits, been afflicted by supernatural phenomena and taken advice from gods — and that it’s all just part of the job.

Affectionately known to his friends as “Tua Ya Pek” after a Taoist god of the spiritual underworld, Wong is a gravedigger who exhumes the bones of the dead to make way for development in Singapore.

According to Taoist belief, Wong is among the first to greet the dead when they embark on their journey beyond the grave.

But instead of guiding the spirits towards reincarnation, nirvana (transcendence) or the “nine hells,” he sends them to a new earthly resting place as cemeteries make way for roads, housing and public services.

The dead are not always willing to move, he says.

“I’ve seen spirits hovering beside me as I dig their grave, heard them whisper to me ‘Ah Tee (young man), please don’t move me’,” Wong recalls matter-of-factly.

But not all spirits are so benign, he said.

The 53-year-old, who has been a gravedigger for almost 30 years, says he once saw a tree standing over a grave he was exhuming “shaking violently when trees next to it were still — and there was no breeze”.

He said once he was even “punished” for disrespecting the dead when he swore at a grave.

“In the evening after the dig, my left forearm was completely stiff even though I did not injure it, like the forearm of a corpse, and it was only after midnight that I regained use of it,” said Wong, gesturing to the affected area.

Nevertheless, he says he is not afraid of the supernatural.

“As long as you have a good heart, they won’t harm you,” he said.

Neither does he care that people here might look down on him as an anachronism in a Westernised society, despite the fact that superstition has deep roots among ethnic Chinese, who account for 75 percent of the 3.6 million population.

“People might think that this type of work is taboo but I’m fine with it. I like the rugged life,” he said.

A stocky man, Wong cuts an imposing figure with a variety of tattoos, the most prominent of which are the images of Tua Ya Pek and Li Ya Pek emblazoned across his chest and back.

The images of the two Taoist deities, who are said to be in charge of keeping spirits in line, are not there for decoration.

“I respect the gods, that’s why I tattoo them on my body,” said Wong, who claims to have seen apparitions of the gods and received lessons on life and work from them.

On a recent exhumation conducted by the Singapore Land Authority to clear a Chinese cemetery in northern Singapore for redevelopment, it took Wong and three colleagues nearly three hours to dig a narrow hole about four metres (12 feet) deep.

Using simple tools such as plowshares, crowbars and wicker baskets, they burrowed through soil, sand and cement, which the rich used in the past to seal their graves, before finally reaching the coffin.

Prying open the lid, Wong and another gravedigger picked out the bones and washed them with rice wine before handing them to the family, who gave them red packets containing token sums of money in appreciation.

These envelopes are the main source of income for gravediggers because the 100 dollar (65 US) payment for each exhumation only goes to one individual and the gravediggers take turns receiving it.

“The income is not fixed. It depends on how generous the families are with their red packets,” said Wong.

As the work is not stable he supplements his earnings with odd jobs such as house painting and repairs.

But he has his hands full for the moment as the 70,000-square-metre (753,000-square-feet) Guang Xiao Shan Cemetery, near the border with Malaysia, has been earmarked for conversion into a train depot.

The pace of Singapore’s development has meant that between 1970 and 1998, more than 240,000 graves in 100 cemeteries were exhumed, the latest available estimate shows.

And according to Wong, all the deceased, including the current “residents,” must be placated.

“Ghosts are the same as human beings,” he said. “They have feelings and emotions as well. How would you feel if you had to shift after living in the same place for 50 years?”

When asked about his own mortality, Wong shrugged as he pointed to the tattoo of the deity Li Ya Pek smiling serenely on his chest.

“I haven’t really thought about it. Let’s see what my big brother says,” he said with a laugh.

Follow HungZai across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.
Search And Rescue Officer

Haunted Punggol Flat

Gong Tao In Batu Pahat

Diving Spooky Incidents

The Opera Song

Tekong Kampung Unum

Tomb Mystery At MacRitchie Reservoir

A Wrong Ritual At A Wrong Time

My Haunting Incidents

Fisher’S Ghost

Haunted Apartment

Tekong Ferry Jetty Toilet

Kuman Thong

Sembawang Naval Base Incident

Krabi Diving Incident

SPF Spooks

The Good Visitor

7 Nights

Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary Lab

Negeri Sembilan Kampong

Possession At Funeral

The Missing Mahjong Tiles

Third Eye

Highway In Nantou

Kampong Dog Barking

Rented Flat In Tekka

Diving Adventures

Sharing Some Incidents

Malaysia Road Trip

Slamming Door

The Thomson Park

The Altar

The Hanging Chicken

The Spooky Lift

Sentosa Museum Incident

Haw Par Villa

Tekong Camp 1

Hide And Seek

Spooky Encounters

Prowling Incident

My Haunted Old House

MBS Carpark

The Spooky Mountain Adventure


House Hunting

The Old Lady

My Stories

Haunted Train Track

Hitting A Ghost

World War II Ghosts

The Third Eye

Ting Ting Ting Sound

Red House Visit

Phuket Hotel Dirty

Humming Sound

Dragging Sound

The Missing Customer

School Of Signals

Girl At Tengah Airbase

The White Lady

The Haunted Stagmont Camp

Office at 3:00 am

Main Convent Ipoh

Spooky Lift

The Cat

Back For The Last Time


Day Light

Clementi Town Secondary

Jalan Bahtera

Flying Bottle Cap

The Curse In My Family

Third Eye Charm

Jean Pereira

Haunted School In Changi


My Fearless Grandpa

An Unexpected Guest

Did Not Expect

Spooky Incident In Toilet

About Us | Contact | Privacy Policy @ Hungzai.com 2020