Despite being a modern, cosmopolitan city, you can’t deny the existence of the supernatural in Singapore. Whether it be NTU in the west or Old Changi Hospital in the east, it seems like every other building in Singapore is hiding a spooky tale.

You know what’s worse? People who manipulate the unseen for their own benefit. I’m not talking about pastors who secretly use church money to fund the music career of their tone-deaf wives, okay? I’m talking about witches. Yes, not all witches are as beautiful and smart as Hermione.

If only all witches looked like Hermione. Credit: Hermione Granger Facebook Page

If only all witches looked like Hermione. Credit: Hermione Granger Facebook Page

In Singapore, they come in the form of evil bomohs and hags and all sorts of decrepit nasties that can curse you. So to stop yourself from being cursed, watch out for the following ways that witchcraft can be used on you.

1. Curses involving metal nails

Nails for a coffin, maybe? Credit: Pixabay

Nails for a coffin, maybe? Credit: Pixabay

We’re talking about nails that get pounded in by a hammer here, not fingernails. For some reason, you can find metal nails being used in both white and black magic. Perhaps it’s because there’s a sharp pointy end, and sharp objects always carry some sort of spiritual significance. It’s also marginally less dangerous than a shard of glass and more durable as well.

But to invoke a curse on a location, evil witches often hammer a nail somewhere discreet in the premises. It acts as a sort of focus for the dark magic involved, like dropping a Google Maps pin for a curse.

Wait a minute, is that why it’s called a pin in Google Maps?

 

2. Curses involving sanitary pads

No, they're not used. Credit: Kiya's Stockpile Sales Facebook Page

No, they’re not used. Credit: Kiya’s Stockpile Sales Facebook Page

Legend has it that a beautiful woman once went to a bomoh for the secret to eternal beauty, and he told her to drink a potion and not look at her reflection for 30 days. Unfortunately, she did so on the 29th or 30th day (maybe she wanted to take a selfie?) and the spell backfired on her horribly, transforming her into a hideous hantu who needed to drink the blood of young virgin girls if she ever wanted to regain her youth.

So goes the story of Kum Kum, which might have been a old wives’ tale if not for the fact that in the 80’s, there was a rumour circulating about how Kum Kum was sighted in the toilet of an all-girls primary school. She was drinking the blood of sanitary pads that had been carelessly discarded.

So be careful where you throw them, because you really don’t want her drinking your blood.

 

3. Curses involving hair

A framed lock of hair. Credit: The Library Company of Philadelphia Facebook Page

A framed lock of hair. Credit: The Library Company of Philadelphia Facebook Page

Besides sanitary napkins, another thing you should not randomly leave around is your hair. More specifically, enough hair to make a lock out of it. If there’s one commonality that both Western and Asian witches have, it’s that a lock of your hair is enough to place a curse on you. Maybe they will make a voodoo doll out of it, or maybe they will just curse it and it magically transfers itself to you.

Nevertheless, watch out for who cuts your hair and where it goes!

 

4. Curses involving fox spirits (狐狸精, hulijing in Mandarin)

A fox. Credit: Madara & Obito Facebook Page

What did the fox say? Credit: Madara & Obito Facebook Page

While 狐狸精 might be a derogatory name for a promiscuous woman, they actually reference real, devious fox spirits who have the power to charm and seduce men.

Fox spirits are not native to Singapore, since foxes aren’t native to Singapore in the first place. Although it might seem weird that supernatural creatures can be native to particular areas, the fact is that fox spirits generally come from Hong Kong, China, or Taiwan. The thing is, given our frequent contact with those countries, some of those fox spirits can be sighted in Singapore. So if you suspect something’s off about that lady you just met, she might just be… a 狐狸精.

But please don’t call her that out loud.

 

5. Curses involving photographs

Technically, a selfie is a photo with one person in it. Credit: Pixabay

One is an odd number. Credit: Pixabay

If you’re the superstitious sort, then you know never to take photographs with an odd number of people in it. Somehow, the universe likes even numbers, so it will strive to make the number of people in your photograph an even number. And for the purposes of creating even numbers, it can make use of things that used to be human. You see where this is going.

The problem is when the non-human entity gets immortalised in the photo and thus somehow attaches itself to the people in the photograph.

Don't Knock Twice. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Don’t Knock Twice. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

“Knock once to wake her from her bed, twice to raise her from the dead…”

Now that’s another curse you don’t want to be involved in! It’s an American urban legend cautioning you against knocking random things, since you never know what might awaken. That’s exactly what happens in Don’t Knock Twice, when young Chloe (Lucy Boynton) seeks out her estranged mother (Katee Sackhoff) for help after she’s knocked twice.

Let’s hope nothing happens the next time you knock twice at someone’s door.

 

Credits: Hermione Granger Facebook Page, Pixabay, Kiya’s Stockpile Sales Facebook Page, The Library Company of Philadelphia Facebook Page, Madara & Obito Facebook Page, Pixabay,  Golden Village Cinemas