Kranji War Memorial is a serene and quiet place.
The remains of those who died in the line of duty during the Second World War are buried.
Men and women from Britain, Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, India, then Malaya, the Netherlands, and New Zealand rest in the memorial's cemetery.
In spite of or because of the tranquil setting, it seems there might be more to the place than meets the eye, -- if the account of one of the memorial's former caretakers is anything to go by.
Kranji war cemetery haunted?
According to an old Malaya Tribune newspaper report on Aug. 13, 1950, a caretaker named Tan Tiong Thor claimed to have seen "a hundred ghosts" at the war cemetery, since he started his job in 1948.
However, Tan brushed these sightings off as figments of his imagination, and had kept them from his family, fearing that they would persuade him to move out of his quarters located at the memorial's entrance.
His account of an apparition that he repeatedly encountered is still pretty eerie, nonetheless.
According to Tan, he/ she/ it had "floated" before him on four occasions.
It was a black figure with a flowing beard.
Here's what Tan said of one of the occasions when he saw it:
"It happened at midnight when I (was) on my rounds to see if the two night watchmen were not sleeping. When I approached the ghostly figure and shone my torch on it, it disappeared, just like that."
Caring for Allied personnel both alive and dead
Despite his ghostly encounters, Tan seemed to take his job of caring for the war dead at the cemetery in his stride:
"Why should these ghosts trouble me, after all I am looking after their welfare."
This is because Tan had been through much worse.
In fact, he had earned a certificate of commendation from the British for his bravery during the war.
During the Japanese Occupation, Tan risked his life to smuggle food and money to Allied prisoners-of-war.
He was caught by the Japanese and tortured for his heroic deeds.
Tan had a heart for the welfare of Allied personnel both alive and dead, regardless of the haunting.
Top image adapted from KingAtrium’s YouTube video and pixabay.com