One of the most famous “haunted” places in Singapore is now undergoing redevelopment.
The private residence at 191 Jalan Loyang Besar was once a favourite haunt for thrill-seeking youngsters in their supernatural-hunting activities. Nicknamed the Pasir Ris Red House (or Loyang Red House), the building had been nominated by the local paranormal groups since the nineties as one of the three most haunted “coloured” houses in Singapore; the other two being the White House (Punggol Matilda House) and the Green House (Hillview Mansion).
Jalan Loyang Besar used to be a narrow and bumpy road that was linked directly to the main Loyang Avenue. A large portion of it was removed when Pasir Ris New Town and Pasir Ris Drive 1 were constructed in the eighties. Today, it is more popularly known as the road leading to the chalets and holiday resorts at Pasir Ris.
According to API’s (Asian Paranormal Investigators) research, the Red House has a significant past.
It was built in 1938, and was purchased by the McNeice family in the late 1940s. Sir Percy McNeice (1902-1998), well-known for his contributions in housing, family planning and social welfare, was a British civil servant who had served as Singapore’s first president of the City Council. His wife Loke Yuen Peng (1917-2012), also known as Lady McNeice, was the daughter of Loke Yew, British Malaya’s richest man before the Second World War, and sister of Loke Wan Tho, the founder of Cathay Organisation.
The old Pasir Ris was made up of several villages; Kampong Loyang was a fishing village, largely made up of Malay families, that existed until the eighties. Before the establishment of the People’s Association (PA) in 1960, the Red House was used for providing communal services for the villagers of Kampong Loyang.
In 1964, the property was sold to CK Tang (Tang Choon Keng, 1901-2000), where the boss of the Tangs department store and his family was said to have lived in the house for a brief period of time. The double-block house once enjoyed a clear sea view of the Johor Straits, before it was blocked by the development of the Pasir Ris Park and the NTUC and UDMC holiday chalets in the late eighties.
By the nineties, rumours began to circulate that the house was haunted. It did not help when the property, by then, had been left vacated for four decades and was in a derelict state. The popularity of the nearby chalets and holiday resorts was also a possible reason for the spread of the rumours, as many youngsters sneaked out at nights to “explore” the Red House.
Stories such as the pair of haunted stone lions at the gates, a weeping doll on a rocking chair inside the house, or white shadows spotted within the compound, failed to deter people from going to the house. In fact, more were lured to the place. The rumours, however, did start to fade away in recent years.
With the redevelopment of the Pasir Ris Red House, it spells the end of the legendary “haunted” houses of the past. The Punggol Matilda House has already been converted into a clubhouse, whereas the Hillview Mansion was razed to the ground in the mid-2000s.
Also check out Cavin Teo’s photos of the Pasir Ris Red House in a more dilapidated state several years ago.
Published: 30 March 2014