Do you believe in bad juju? Or just electric shavers?

I’m often sleepless in Singapore, up until now for one simple reason — jetlag. I don’t know why, but I suffer more from jetlag in Singapore than just about anywhere else in the world. I’m not sure if it’s because of the schedule I keep when I’m here or if it has to do with the usual arrival times of flights. But that’s not the point of this post. Tonight I’m sleepless in Singapore, but for a totally different reason. I’m convinced the juju in my hotel just feels a bit off, and I can’t bring myself to turn the lights off.

Let me take a step back for a moment and explain. I spent last night at the W Sentosa Cove in Singapore, and had a great stay. In the evening I met a local friend for dinner, and he’s like a human encyclopedia when it comes to Singapore. If something has ever happened, he knows it (and trust me, there seem to be stories about every hotel here). I mentioned I was spending the next night at the Hilton Singapore, and he shared a couple of interesting stories about the hotel.

One story was from 2009 and involves a newlywed guy that “fell” from the 24th floor rooftop pool and was found dead on the side of the hotel in the middle of the night. Things like that happen, though I’m not sure how exactly you “fall” from a rooftop.

The more gruesome story is from 1974 where an Australian man supposedly killed his wife at the Hilton and then chopped up her body into 13 pieces, sealed it into a trunk, and only a couple of years later on his deathbed revealed it to his son.

Interestingly shortly after that happened the Hilton placed ceramic statues in front of the hotel, which represent real-life characters from China’s Tang Dynasty. The tradition of placing door guardians by entrances of buildings is said to keep wandering ghosts and spirits out of buildings. Is their placement at the hotel related to the murder or is just a coincidence? I don’t know.




Anyway, crazy stuff like that happens, and I’m not really a “spiritual” person. I’m also traveling with a friend, and during the taxi ride from the W to the Hilton she was telling me that she believes that places have “energy.” That some places feel positive and some feel negative. I had a hard time keeping a straight face, since I never thought I believed in that.

Guys, I’m literally going off the deep end here, because from the second I’ve gotten to this hotel the “energy” just feels off. Yes, admittedly it probably has a lot to with what I was told prior to getting here, since I may very well be “looking” for energy.

But everything just feels off. Really, really off. Initially we were assigned rooms on one of the club floors, and the floor above it is being renovated, and the noises from it were crazy loud.

So we went back to the front desk and were reassigned rooms. This time they were on a different floor, so we first checked out my friend’s room, which seemed fine, and then checked out my room. She agreed something felt weird about my room, though we couldn’t put our finger on what it was. Not that this is the reason it felt weird, but the piece of art on the wall must be hung nearly 10 degrees crooked, which is amazing since there’s no way to adjust it.

But there’s just something about the room that feels off, and I can’t put my finger on it. As we were in the room checking behind the drapes, under the bed, the closet, etc. (I swear on my life I wasn’t under the influence of anything other than “energy”), suddenly a loud noise starts in the other side of the room out of nowhere. I’m pretty sure I sprinted out of the room at this point, though when I went back in the room I figured out is was just my electric shaver in my bag that had gone off on its own. I don’t know, but that gave both of us a big laugh. But that’s not what felt “off” about the hotel, but rather something else I can’t quite put my finger on.

Anyway, I could go on and on, but I’ll stop, because I realize I sound like a nutty idiot. I realize a lot of my “issue” probably stems from what I was told prior to my stay, and I gave something a lot of thought that would otherwise never even cross my mind.

But I’m curious to hear from you guys not necessarily about my stay, but rather if you’ve stayed at hotels that you feel have “bad” energy and hotels that have “good” energy? Or do you believe in “energy” at all? Now the Hilton Singapore isn’t know to be haunted, though hotels like the Grand Hyatt Taipei are, and the Grand Hyatt has similar columns in front of the hotel to ward off the spirits and ghosts. In the case of “haunted” hotels do you believe in energy?

Again, I realize I’m a total idiot, though blogging is truly therapeutic for me. I can’t say how much better I’ve felt about my Royal Jordanian flight, for example, since finishing the trip report on it. In a way it closes one chapter of my life and opens another. Hopefully it’s the same here. 😉

Filed Under: Hotels, Travel
  1. Interesting story. I can’t say I have had an experience like you but my coworker did, so much so that she booked another hotel. As far as believing in “energy” I do not and neither does she. The only spiritual thing we believe in is God, but that’s probably for another discussion.

  2. hah, wow, i’m the type of person to believe in these kind of stories. i’ll be sure to avoid hilton singapore next year. (darn because it is one of my options.) good to know about the statues though. okay, time to go read your post about the haunted grand hyatt taipei.

  3. “I realize a lot of my ‘issue’ probably stems from what I was told prior to my stay, and I gave something a lot of thought that would otherwise never even cross my mind.”

    I would say 100% of your “issue” stems from what you were told before your stay. 😉

    When I hear smart people like you express derision at obviously untrue things like ghosts and good/bad energy and then turn around and emotionally believe in them, I understand the prevalence of religion.

  4. It’s also the Chinese seventh month, aka the Hungry Ghosts Month, so spirits are supposed to be out and wandering…

  5. Try visiting “Little America” in Flagstaff AZ.

    If that place doesn’t have the shining I don’t know what does.

  6. A few shots of booze will whisk those negative vibes right away.

    Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’m drunk at work.

  7. It happens…my former boss was extremely weirded out when she stayed at the Liberty Hotel in Boston, a former prison. She said she felt bad energy there. I haven’t had any issues, possibly because I’m usually taking ambien when I travel!

  8. I always do (1) when I stay at a hotel—

    Hotel rooms also tend to be a place where the ‘yang’ is weaker than the ‘ying’. People go in and out, but they don’t stay, thus causing ghosts to gather. Here are some things to observe when you enter a new room to make sure your rest isn’t disturbed:

    (1) Knock before entering the room, showing respect to anyone or anything that may reside there.

    (2) Flush the toilet. This means to flush out any bad influences.

    (3) Don’t place socks or shoes neatly by the bed, or it will be easier for ghost to find the bed and bother your slumber.

  9. I don’t know about “energy”, lucky, but I’ve seen and heard many a thing go bump in the night; not all of them can be explained by swamp gas or weather balloons.

    I’m pretty sure the placement of the Hilton statues are no coincidence (not that any of the staff will admit to it, though you might be able to wheedle a story out of the bartender?), but don’t worry about it. Unless management was reluctant to give you that room… then you might need an old monk and a young monk…

  10. I do believe there are negative and positive energies in the world and some people are more sensitive than others to them. let us know how the rest of the night went! Did you go bunk with your friend or get a room change?

  11. Singaporeans are known to be rather superstitious, just so you know!

    Anyway, head over to the cinema for “The Conjuring” and you’ll be able to sleep soundly tonight 😉

  12. According to my wife, singapore is known for things like this. A lot of it definitely stems from the idol worship in the pantheon of religions that are practiced there. We have friends that are sound mind and judgement that have experienced these unexplainable events.

  13. Great…. I am staying at this hotel starting on Monday for 8 days…. off to google feng shui solutions for removing bad energy.

  14. Mel’s right. There is a period in the summer which is well-known in some cultures as the Ghost Festival…so it’s a big deal for the more superstitious.

    Anyway, I am not at all religious or superstitious for the most part, but I know what you mean. It’s a fair question and I don’t think you’re nuts or anything, though sometimes, you have to be careful of phrasing it a certain way due to potential reaction or some people’s perception to topics like this.

    It’s like of like…if people tell me about UFO, I would think they’re nuts. 🙂

    Anyway, my physics teacher once said that energy cannot be created or destroyed (but transferred into other forms). She didn’t go beyond that, especially given that she’s very scientific about the subject, though there was a subtle implication…

    Yes, placement of those statues is a form of feng-shui, which is really important for those who believe in it.

    Personally, I once had a vacation where the energy was off, so off that the numbers (even the room numbers) were considered to be numbers of bad luck and a lot of things went wrong that — both during and in hindsight — had a lot of coincidental references. We ended up having to cut short the trip due to circumstances. So sometimes I don’t know what to think…just lots and lots of very strange coincidences or if something greater was at work.

    There was also a European hotel where I stayed at with a family member, and he felt the exact same way. He didn’t acknowledge it to me during the stay because he didn’t want to scare me (same with me), but evidently, we both felt bad energy (we actually argued quite a bit in the hotel, but none out and we don’t generally argue). Despite that, I told him not to go out of the place without me or lock the bathroom door… Hahaha.

    Sounds silly, but that seemed like a really good idea at the time (still a pretty good idea when I think about it now). It’s like a buddy system. 🙂

    Anyway, if you’re really, really bothered by it or it feels really wrong, switch to another room or hotel. If you think you can deal with it for a couple of days, then stick it out (it’s possible you could just be fatigued). Don’t drink too much, watch some tv, and get some sleep. More important than anything (also helps your “energy” level).

    Sorry for the long-winded post. Enjoy your vacation!

  15. It’s the Seventh Month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar, which is when the Hungry Ghosts would roam the Earth or higher-than-usual activities for these guys (it’s their ‘vacation’ time from the Chinese Underworld). So not at all surprised that you are detecting this. Should end around early Sept.

  16. I kinda have to agree with BrewerSEA here. Call it bad energy or whatever, though, I totally understand what you mean about perceiving a place to have it. It’s just that it isn’t anything supernatural, it’s just that circumstances lead you to have a certain emotional response. Switching rooms or hotels might help, or maybe just a day out in the fresh air clearing your head. I’m not sure that getting drunk would help… that might make it worse.
    Good luck with your next night’s sleep!

  17. I heard that in March, one guest committed suicide after learning about Hiltons massive devaluation. The spirit of horror haunts Hiltons worldwide.
    Kidding !!!!

    Seriously now, I do believe in energy and ghosts. Energy does not disappear, it transforms itself. We are energy and we don’t die !

  18. Stayed at that Hilton 30 times never had an issue. Columbus Ohio yes. You want energy? How about the dishes moving in the night. Lights going on and off. Doors closing, the shower being turned on. Yup all happened one night in Columbus at the Hilton. I haven’t been back since!

  19. I have stayed at Hilton Singapore in 2003 and have not experienced anything unusual. Despite I studied in a high school in Hong Kong where the campus served as a military hospital in WW2 under Japanese occupation, and stayed until late night due to school activities, touchwood I have never met anything “supernatural”.

    Concerning coming into contact with supernatural, according to “theory”, several criteria is required:
    1. Like tuning frequency for radio and tv, you must be “in tune” with the supernatural world to see/feel them. Most people are “out of tune” for all their life. Some may get “in tune” in several periods of their life (periods of “trough”, or “bad luck”), very few are “in tune” for all their life.
    2. Female are more likely to see/feel them, as female means “yin” of “yin-yang”, which means “dark” of “dark-light”, “low” of “low-high”, “death” of “death-life”.
    3. Environmental factors are met, such as the 7th month of Chinese calendar, peak at 14th day of this month (i.e. for this year, 20th August, 2013). Other Environmental factors includes history of the site, and nearby existing cemeteries/mortuaries (mostly death), hospitals (slightly negative, as birth balance out death), etc.

    Speaking of hotel, the following feng shui theory applies:
    1. Avoid rooms at ends of corridor, due to least “life energy” (human) would walk there, which translates into “dark energy” aggregates there. (however in reality I prefer there for least foot traffic means least likely waken up in early morning)
    2. Avoid rooms which can view construction site (s) nearby. As construction site which digs into the ground hurts the “integrity of energy” of the landform, and you may fall sick easily.
    3. Be wary if the Bible, or any religious book in the book is found open by default. It may signifies that some “negative energy” inside the room requires “positive energy” of the religious book to suppress.

    Feng Shui is not like modern day science, but rather a set of “observed trend” from statistical data accumulated over the centuries. However, due to various reasons like political unstable and existence of trickster using Feng Shui as a tool, the whole set of Feng Shui theory nowadays may not be a complete and correct version as that of old days.

    During the ancient times, people did not know the reasons behind their observed phenomenon, so they applied the theory of “energy”. With modern day understandings, a number of fung shui theory can be explained/coincide with modern science theory (e.g. environmental science/Urban planning, geography, biology, psychology, etc), while some others are yet to be discovered by science, if possible.

    Environmental Science – Construction site leads to dust which is bad for health.
    Geography – Living near steep mountain prone to landslide, living near open sea without island or sufficient flatland in front shielding risks tsunami.
    Biology – Toilet (bacteria) door facing bed easily leads to sickness.
    Psychology – If a shopping street crosses a main road, pedestrian crossing is preferred over footbridge and pedestrian subway. Feng Shui theory is that if pedestrian crossing is not used, the main road “cuts off” the “energy” of shopping street, leading to better business on one side and worse on the other, nowadays we all know we are lazy to climb stairs.

  20. Your “electric shaver in my bag that had gone off on its own”, and you think this was normal? Does this happen to you very often? Never before….?

    I’d say if the energy in the room is strong enough to turn on your shaver inside the bag, then that answers the question of the room being “off” or not.

  21. Here’s something to consider. When you meet people, you get a vibe from them, right? You can get sense for someone without actually meeting them, but just observing them. It’s all energy and some people are more observant than others. Nothing to be afraid of, either.

  22. I found this thread after a weird experience last night at a hotel in a remote part of Montana. Nothing happened, I just had a profound feeling that something “bad” was in the room or lurking just outside. I don’t normally have these feelings and I’m not easily scared, but I felt frightened. I focused on everything except the room, said a prayer, and read for a bit. Once I got my mind to stop thinking about what was negative; I was able to relax. I had a terrible night’s sleep, hope that never happens again!

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