Ex-actress Melissa Faith Yeo had to sell Toa Payoh ritual murders HDB flat & then found out its history

It was Yeo's first task as a junior realtor back in 2016.

Ilyda Chua | September 23, 2022, 04:57 PM

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Avid true crime readers and those who were traumatised will remember the Adrian Lim ritual murders case of 1981.

Lim, a self-proclaimed healer and medium who claimed to have supernatural powers, kidnapped, tortured, and killed a pair of children in his Toa Payoh flat with the help of his wife and mistress.

The case shook the nation owing to its brutality.

The trio were sentenced to death and hanged on Nov. 25, 1988.

Newspaper clippings of Adrian Lim. Newspaper clippings of self-proclaimed medium Adrian Lim. Image from Mothership

Nothing unusual

The HDB flat in Block 12 Toa Payoh Lorong 7, where the murders took place, was subsequently repossessed by the state and put up for sale.

Over the years, the flat was put back on the market.

In 2016, the first task of actress-turned-property-agent Melissa Faith Yeo, who was a junior realtor back then, was to help sell that very Toa Payoh flat.

Oblivious to the flat's gory past, she went down for the viewing with a potential buyer without noticing anything unusual.

"It just looked like a normal HDB three-room [flat]," she said in an interview with interview with content creator Singaplex in June 2022.

Asked specific questions about flat

But she soon began receiving very specific questions from potential buyers about the listing — for instance, about whether it was facing the garden, and if it was on the seventh floor.

"I was like, 'How do you know this house?'" the perplexed Yeo said.

Details about the flat, such as it being located at the end of the corridor, were well-publicised and part of crime lore owing to the extensive media coverage of the murders previously.

A flat with "history"

A fellow agent eventually spilled the beans about the flat's dark history.

After Lim's arrest, HDB repossessed the flat and put it on the market, where it remained for a "very, very long" time.

Eventually, a non-superstitious Catholic family moved in, she added.

It was bought by the new owner in 1987, several years after the crime occurred.

HDBs in Toa Payoh HDB flats in Toa Payoh. Image from Google Maps.

No unsellable property

The agent in charge of the listing eventually "got too spooked out" and dropped the unit, Yeo told AsiaOne.

But Yeo said the experience taught her that "there's no such thing as an unsellable property in Singapore".

She added: "I tend to think the dead aren't as scary as the living."

Houses with history for sale

In December 2021, a HDB flat in Potong Pasir made the news for receiving keen interest from at least one potential buyer — despite housing the skeletal remains of its previous occupant for as long as nine years.

According to a report by Lianhe Wanbao, the calendar in the flat was still turned to the month of June 2011 when NEA finally discovered the body in 2020.

This led to the deceased man's relatives to believe that the body had laid undiscovered in the flat since then.

Speaking to Wanbao, the potential buyer said: "I am harmless, and there is nothing to be afraid of."

"If the deal goes through, I will ask a priest to recite prayers before I move in, and set up an altar. There is nothing to be superstitious about," she added.

Spooky stories about HDB flats have since permeated through the online space.

In July 2021, a Facebook post went viral for claiming that a flat at Jurong West Street 81 was haunted.

The poster, who went by the name of Cyrius Lee, cautioned in the since-deleted post for people to avoid buying a cheap resale unit just because it is priced attractively.

The claim was later revealed to be a recycled urban legend from the mid-2000s.

Top image from Mothership.sg and Singaplex.