Notice how there are fewer and fewer ghost stories circulating in our nation these days? That’s because it’s so hard to be a ghost in Singapore these days, as opposed to, say, Korea. With increasing urbanisation and and a higher population density, you can’t catch a break even in the afterlife, since you’ve got to share the same space with the living. Don’t believe us? Pretend to be a ghost and think about how you’ll navigate these five obstacles to the undeads in Singapore.

1. HDB flats are hard to haunt

Ugh, colourful flats. Why  can't they just be black for ghosts to blend in? Credit: Channel Newsasia

Ugh, colourful flats. Why can’t they just be black for ghosts to blend in? Credit: Channel Newsasia

While we do hear of the occasional “dirty” HDB flat, the truth is that the logistics of our shoebox housing make it very difficult to haunt the living. A scream in one flat is easily heard by at least eight other units (one on the left and right, three upstairs, three downstairs), so if a ghost keeps scaring the same person, there’ll be eight other families out to get it.

Then there’s the issue of hiding. As a ghost, you can really only hide in the storeroom. Even if you can pass through walls, you’ll either end up in another bedroom, toilet or the next unit’s rooms. Sure, you can turn invisible, but even ghosts want some peace and quiet once in a while (there’s a reason the phrase is “rest in peace”).

2. Sunny Singapore means it’s horribly bright

Sunlight, the bane of the undead! Credit: Lyanlua.com

Sunlight, the bane of the undead! Credit: Lyanlua.com

Being an equatorial country means we get a beautiful 12 hours of sunlight every single day, give or take a half an hour. And our sunlight isn’t the idyllic, fairytale type – it’s a scorching blaze that actually physically hurts a human being who’s exposed to it for too long, in the form of sunburns. If even the living can’t tolerate that much sunlight, what makes you think an undead creature of the night is going to survive long in this glare?

3. Frequently relocated cemeteries

Even our cemeteries are orderly. Credit: Poskod

Even our cemeteries are orderly. Credit: Poskod.sg

Our land-scarce island necessitates relocation of the cemeteries every now and then. Now, if you’re a traditional ghost, you’re probably anchored to your earthly remains and that’s the closest thing you have to a home. So imagine if one night, you go around haunting some poor fellow in a coffeeshop toilet, only to come back and find that an MRT station has sprouted where your gravestone and corpse used to be.

You’ll be doomed to wander the land, forever seeking your lost body. And you won’t even have an EZ-Link card to make use of the new MRT station at your former home.

4. Old and abandoned buildings are nowhere to be found

Every ghost loves to come here. Credit: 360 Snapshots

Every ghost loves to come here. Credit: 360 Snapshots

Ghosts are known for two things – being ancient and wanting to be left alone. So old and abandoned buildings are usually their choice of residence if their earthly remains have been destroyed. The problem is, there are precious few old and abandoned buildings in Singapore. Everything old gets torn down and rebuilt, and there’s hardly an abandoned room to be found, let alone an entire building.

Maybe that’s why Old Changi Hospital is so popular – it’s the equivalent of a mature HDB estate for ghosts.

5. Google is not your friend

Every human wants to work here. Every ghost wants to run away from it. Credit: Indesignlive Singapore

Every human wants to work here. Every ghost wants to run away from it. Credit: Indesignlive Singapore

In the past, poltergeists were fearsome because so little was known about them, and it was difficult to obtain information about such esoteric topics. Now, people can Google everything and anything – even ghost hunters in movies are shown Googling their supernatural foes. If you’re a ghost, someone’s either going to find a way to defeat you, or they’ll ascribe your hauntings to something completely mundane (like the marbles-dropping-on-the-floor ghost – sorry mate!).

The Priests opens 7 January, 2016. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The Priests opens 7 January, 2016. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

But sometimes the more traditional ways of ghost hunting work better, which is what they also do in the upcoming Korean horror movie, The Priests! Catch Kim Yoon Seok at work as Father Kim and Gang Dong Woon as Deacon Choi as they race against time to stop a deadly foe in The Priests!

Credits: Channel Newsasia, Lyanlua.com, Poskod.sg, 360 Snapshots, Indesignlive Singapore, Golden Village Cinemas