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Most will probably run far, far away from the possibility of getting themselves involved in a ghostly encounter. For 46-year-old corporate trainer Desmond Wong however, it is the exact opposite.
The Stomp Team recently met the CEO of the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI) to find out more about supernatural occurrences in Singapore and how his team go about making connections with those in the afterlife. We invited our reader Stomper Lau Lap and his wife along too as they have a keen interest in unusual occurrences.
We met Desmond and his colleague, fellow paranormalist Yasser Matter, 42, at 8pm on Mar 26.
Unlike how ghost hunters are often portrayed on TV, both men were not armed with bizarre artifacts or clad in outfits filled with talismans. Instead, they showed up in the plain, black polo T-shirts and brought with them a rather big bag of electronic equipment.
After some introductions, the ghost-hunting duo, the Stomp Team consisting of 10 members, as well as our readers set off for our first location: Bukit Brown Cemetery.
We arrived at the location at around 8.30pm. Instead of lamp posts, the place was lit only with moonlight.
Before we kicked off our paranormal investigation at what's believed to be the biggest Chinese graveyard outside of China, we had a short chat with Desmond about his unusual interest for the supernatural.
Desmond revealed to us that the aim of the SPI is to provide explanations for supernatural phenomena through scientific means. The group was founded in 2001 and has expanded through the years. Currently, the SPI has 19 members.
Together with his team, Desmond regularly conducts paranormal investigations around Singapore as well as in nearby countries like Malaysia and Indonesia. On average, he goes on his 'ghost hunts' twice a month.
The SPI has a host of different electronic equipment to search for and communicate with supernatural entities. They consist of nightvision cameras, thermal detectors, audio-capturing devices, CCTV and frequency scanners.
The most fascinating gadget the team possesses is the electro-magnetic field detector, or, as the SPI calls it, the 'ghost meter'. The device helps the team communicate with entities through blinking lights. More of that in the videos below.
With that, we concluded our chat with Desmond. The end of the interview marked the start of our adventure with the Singapore Paranormal Investigators at the cemetery.
Bukit Brown Cemetery
We were first briefed about the ground rules. We were told to be respectful to our environment and not to use vulgarities. More importantly, we must refrain from challenging or taunting any entities we came across.
Desmond then led us on a walk around the cemetery. As we walked through the the stony trail, we were introduced to some interesting-looking graves, including one that had two figurines and stone dogs guarding it.
The highlight of the place was to be a huge grave on top a tombstone-ladden hill belonging to a businessman named Ong Sam Leong and his wife. Unfortunately for us, the path to the grave was blocked by thick vegetation. We will give paranormal forces the benefit of the doubt and blame nature instead.
Also at Bukit Brown Cemetery, Desmond gave showed us how the ghost meter worked. You can have a look at what he did in the videos below.
Thereafter, the entourage moved on to the next location: Pasir Ris Park.
Pasir Ris Park
We reached Pasir Ris Park at around 10.30pm. According to Desmond, parts of the park are known to be teeming with entities. He once recorded a chilling sound clip of laughter when he was there for an investigation previously.
We made our way through a dark boardwalk to a pavilion along Tampines River. There, Desmond explained to us that that was the place where he and his team once picked up the strange, laughing female voice. With the help of the ghost meter, he managed to communicate with an entity near the pavilion.
Following that, we were led to a wooden tower in Pasir Ris Park. Being four-storeys high, the tower is a popular spot for those who are into bird-watching. According to Desmond however, it was once used for a much more tragic reason. He told us some one once committed suicide by jumping off the tower and broke his neck just before he died.
We climbed up the stairs to the top of the tower and had a look around. There, Desmond suddenly asked for two volunteers. Two members of the Stomp Team stepped forward, unsure of what they were about to get themselves into. They were told to sit down at one part of the tower and try to make contact with an entity by themselves using a ghost meter.
A few moments into the 'experiment', the device started flashing, indicating that a spirit was interested in making contact. Having no prior experience in conversing with the supernatural, one the volunteers nervously started asking some simple questions. The entity responded initially but did not want to stick around and left.
Like him or her, we also left the park thereafter and headed to our final destination.
At 12.30am, we arrived at Labrador Park. The place is famous for its big guns that were installed to deter the Japanese during World War II. Why we were there however, had no relation to the events that took place in 1942.
Desmond had heard reports of a swing at a playground in the park moving on its own, and wanted to investigate the area. As it was just past midnight, he also said it was the time where entities are the most active.
At the playground, a ghost meter was placed under the swing. Like on previous locations, it flashed after a brief moment of silence.
Desmond spoke to the entity that responded, requesting it to move the swing to indicate its presence. He repeated the request several times, but to no avail.
Finally, Desmond requested the entity allow us to leave, to which the latter refused. We were told previously that a spirit has to give us permission to leave the area, if not it will linger on with the person who brings the ghost meter.
Thankfully, we were eventually released thanks to Desmond's diplomatic skills in inter-dimensional negotiation.
Before we left, a roll of sage leaves was burnt in our presence as a parting gift to deter any uninvited guests from following us home.
Our experience with the Singapore Paranormal Investigators was more educational that it was frightening.
It changed our perceptions about the afterlife and proved to us that portrayals of ghosts and ghost hunters on TV are often exaggerated.
Perhaps more importantly, the investigations conducted with the electronic devices has blurred our lines between science and the afterlife, leaving us with more questions than answers.
That being said, we also had our fair share of unexplainable moments on the trip. Stomper Lau Lap and his wife managed to capture some photos showing figures and orbs.
Have a look at the images they took, as well as our experience with the SPI, in the videos below. Check out the gallery above too for photos that were taken during the trip as well as photos that were taken by the SPI during previous investigations.
If you want more information about the Singapore Paranormal Investigators, you can visit their Facebook page here.