Which Type of Ghost Have You Seen?

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By: Annabelle Maria Jeffrey and Lakshmi Ganesan

Every country has their fair share of local ghosts. Singapore is not stranger to that.  Most of us know the famous Pontianak, but what about the rest? If you are planning to go ghost hunting on Halloween, we suggest that you equip yourself with some knowledge of Singapore’s ghosts just in case you run into them!


A female Malay ghost that is said to have died while pregnant, a Pontianak targets pregnant women and sometimes-even men. It appears as a pale beautiful woman, with long hair and dressed in white along with the smell of frangipani flowers surrounding them. However, like the saying “never judge a book by it’s cover”, as beautiful as it may seem the Pontianak is only after your blood and will do just about anything to get it. However, driving a nail into the nape of her neck is one way to fend her off. So be sure to keep a nail handy with you when you go ghost hunting today!

Taxi- Ghost

This ghost does not have a specific name but many taxi drivers in Singapore have experienced similar encounters while driving on a specific road in the middle of the night. This female ghost who takes the form of a human is always dressed in white. She hails a cab and her destination; always the same, will be a cemetery.  Upon arriving at her destination, she hands over cash that shockingly turns to hell bank notes when the drivers check them the following morning.

Orang Minyak

Orang Minyak, also known as the oily man is a supernatural that targets young unmarried women and rapes them. It appears in the form of a man with its body fully covered in black oil. According to legends, the orang minyak was an ugly and deformed man who tried to win the love of a woman but was rejected. He then turned to the devil and was given the powers of black magic along with a new body and look. However, to keep his powers, the orang minyak had to rape virgins. He covers himself in black oil and has managed to slip past anything and anyone while on his haunt for virgins. If a girl has been raped, a smear of black oil would be visible on her forehead!

Marble dropping ghosts

Drop…Drop…Drop. If you live in a HDB flat, you’ve probably heard these ghosts before, playing marbles on your ceiling. Unfortunately, no one has seen the marble dropping ghosts before, only heard them. It is argued,though, that there is a scientific explanation to these sounds. Whether to believe these sounds are caused by ghosts or not – that’s up to you. Why not visit the actual scene of crime to determine the truth yourself?

Toyol or Tuyul

It’s green, resembles a child and could possibly be mistaken for a Goblin. That’s the Toyol, also known as “Guai Zai” in Hokkien. Under its master’s orders, it could possibly steal items or even commit murder. However, Toyols get easily distracted from their assigned tasks when presented with marbles, beans and garlic strands. Mirrors frighten these little ghosts, as they scared by their own reflection. How odd! However, Toyols are said to be passed on from generation to generation – so if you’re grandparents owned a Toyol, it is likely to be passed on to you.


Meeting a Pocong would probably deeply scar someone for life – for how can you forget the face of a ghost that has two holes where its eyes are supposed to be? Furthermore, Pocongs have green faces with a white funeral cloth wrapped around their bodies and they hop rather than walk around. Could Pocongs possibly be the more ancient version of mummies? Well, we don’t know. What we do know is that these ghosts are created when the bounds of the shroud of a diseased person’s body becomes untied after the body is buried. So, do be careful when and if, touchwood, you dispose of a diseased body.