Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Interesting Comments by Travellers to Changi Cove (from Tripadvisor)

Been a while since the Old Roberts Barracks, one of the haunted buildings in Changi, had been turned into a hotel. A hotel called Changi Cove had emerged from the old empty building that stood there for decades. these were pictures that was taken of the Roberts Barracks in the past. 

not a glory sight with its old walls and eerie looking facade. more than the facade, this place is also adorned with  plenty of stories from people who were there before, to explore the place or know someone who heard stories there. 

But not today. it is a pretty decent hotel that is given pretty good ratings overall in TripAdvisor. it is rated 3.5 stars out of 5 stars, and rated 134 out of 306 hotels in Singapore! not bad for a hotel that was previously occupying a not so illustrious past and land. about 68% of the travellers rated this hotel good or excellant, which is a pretty good performance and standard, we have to say!

Picture from: Tripadvisor.com

Of course at the same time, as all businesses and establishments, the positive comments are a good indication of what was done right, it leaves good encouragement for us to keep things up. however, it is the negatives that businesses would want to take note of and also keep taps on because these are the information that do make or break and can sometimes share good insight or possibility of the unpleasant side of a business. Curious, we took a look at the negative comments that was provided by travellers. Several people were puzzled by an apparent hotel rule that they would collect full payment of your stay first, and refuse any refund for sudden cancel or cutting short of the stay. 2 travellers voiced their puzzlement to this rule that one claimed most hotel do not have such policies (comments taken from Tripadvisor.com):

While nothing much was explained about this rule except for the fact that it is a management policy of terms that included non-refundable conditions, one cannot help but imagine or think that could it possibly be due to the nature of the place and its history, that if guests were to experience some strange (unexplained or haunting) experiences and wanted to leave the place, and if more people were to do so, this would have a damaging economical effect on the company? so to safeguard this way of 'losing money', this policy could be possibly drafted as such? you decide, as we are not here to make judgement but to offer an alternate perspective to think and ponder.

Secondly, there was also a guest who interestingly, feedback that he had smelt rotten fish smell during his stay at the hotel and wondered if there was a fishing market nearby. To which the management replied that it was the first time they had heard of a guest reporting the smell of rotten fish. this brings up a very interesting thought that we wanted to dig further to try to understand.

firstly, there are always a certain kind of travellers who would expect high demands and would complain at every single thing at every hotel. they are the disgruntled, unreasonable type of people that are what hotels call 'your worst nightmare'. however this particular traveller who smelt the rotten fish upon checking her other ratings, she was not such a traveller. in fact, out of 7 ratings she gave, she only gave 1 poor rating (which was for Changi Cove) and most of her ratings were Good or Excellent. Hence we concluded that she was not an unreasonable or over demanding person. and it gives us good faith that her feedback was genuine and real. She really did smelt 'something fishy'.

Looking at her profile picture, it was one of her doing some yoga pose in front of a sunset scene. she might be someone who does yoga/meditation and seem to be someone who could be in tuned with her surroundings and open to nature around her. this gives credit that she could possibly have felt some of the history of the place. you can imagine that in the past when Roberts Barracks was filled with POWs who had suffered from illness, disease or poor conditions of rotting wounds, poor sanitary or conditions, the smell would exactly be that of 'rotting'.

Could she have smelt the rotting wound, rotting flesh or smell of death that had plagued this hotel space many years ago during the war? Also, a person who is unaware of what the smell is could jolly well associate the smell as rotten fish because this is the only smell they have encountered that is closest to the smell of rotten wounds or flesh. indeed, this interesting comment yields up more thoughts and curiosity that can never be verified, because afterall, the paranormal and other side is not something that can be concretely proven by scientific means. but at times the coincidences that happen and the way of gathering different factors point to theories that can indeed be intriguing and makes us think further - is there more that we don't know of? 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Old Tanglin Barracks becoming a spanking new Artisan zone in Dempsey!

Tanglin Barracks is undergoing a serious make-over! Back in the early days of Ghost Club SG, we went for a little exploration there, the long hallways, high roof and big quarters is filled with intrigue and history. Tales of supernatural occurance in Tanglin Barracks is also aplenty, from the various accounts online of officers who were attached there when the SAF was still operating there (see below).
Read more here:
In the early days of the 19th century, the Tanglin Barracks area was actually a nutmeg plantation. It was only in the mid 19th century that Colonel George Chancellor Collyer gave the approval for the construction of Tanglin Barracks in 1861 for the accommodation for the European troops, which gave way to how Tanglin Barracks looked today.

Above: Tanglin Barracks (1900s) and below (1930s).
Credit: Pictures from National Archives of Singapore Photography data bank
In the most recent years, CMPB and Mindef were located here from 1972 -1989. The camp was also home to military facilities such as The Medical Classification Centre, Officers’ Personnel Centre, Naval Training Department and SAF Careers Centre.
One such military staff who was attached there, Maj Low Wye Mun, described an interesting history that few knew about Tanglin Barracks. He mentoned:
"Even the original "Dead House", where the bodies of deceased soldiers were kept prior to despatch and burial, finds a medical use today. But I doubt if the SAF's Psychiatric Branch would want its patients to be made aware of this little-known historical fact."
Read more here:
By the early 90s, Tanglin Camp was decommissioned and handed over to the former Land Office before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took over in 2001. It was handed over to SLA which subsequently used it as an area to rent out for commercial spaces. However, the main Tanglin Barracks was left mainly untouched and in slight ruins, until early this year, renovations started to transform this place as an extension to the Dempsey flavor. Check out the transformation in progress here:

The majestic high roof and undoubted colonial feel remains.

The long doors and passageways aplenty at each block around Tanglin Barracks. 

Being given a new coat of white paint, it makes the place look new yet with a touch of ghostly feel. It is as if the place is brought back in time in the 1800s when it was just built. Can imagine it probably looked as grand as it is now with the new white coat of paint!

While the place is being renovated in batches, some parts still remain old and still works in progress. Remnants of the past, the wooden doors and broken parts of the high roof still stands, for now...

Below: a small room that looks a little like a store, with different shelves on different levels, still made out of wood from the past. We believe they will soon be gone too. Glad to capture some of these before it is really gone.

Another small room with a green backdrop, could be some sort of an admin area or office with the back drop. in ruins and decay.

A nicely renovated new shop already in operation in one of the small blocks. We wonder if the owners have any experiences of wierd noises as they operate at night.

Vandalism from recent years? or words from the dead?

In one of the blocks, we managed to enter the building, the tall wooden roof gives a very airy and cooling, almost haunting feel to the place, whereas the tall pillars that hold the roof together are majestic and grand. the block is being partitioned into several parts, to allow different businesses to operate out of that 1 block.

Common long corridor - block 73 here. And below, beds shifted outside. It looks like the old military beds that we used to sleep on.

We will provide a update soon when the place is completed to share with interested parties on what are some interesting businesses setting up space here!