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5% Of S'poreans Have Claimed To See A Pontianak, Hotspots Include Yishun & Pasir Ris

5% Of Singaporeans Have Encountered A Pontianak: Poll

Does the Pontianak need any introduction at all? For Singaporeans and most of our neighbours in the region, probably not.

She’s become a bit of a legend, with her signature white robe and long tresses blowing in the wind as she glides from tree to tree.

In a poll of 1,454 respondents, 5% have apparently had an experience with the ghost.

Though seemingly elusive, the Pontianak has been sighted in multiple neighbourhoods around Singapore such as Pasir Ris Park and Yishun.

Some have had paranormal experiences with the ghost

The Pontianak is nothing like Casper the friendly ghost, and her backstory will tell you why.

She is, after all, the angry spirit of a pregnant woman who was tortured and killed before childbirth.

Her story is so compelling that Malay movie directors have made whole franchises around it.

Over the years, the Pontianak has developed into a pop culture icon — gracing movie posters and the big screen.

Source: Pesona Pictures Official on YouTube

However, not many have had the chance to see her in the flesh.

In a poll by gauging Singaporeans’ supernatural experiences, only 5% of 1,454 respondents said they had an encounter with the ghost.

33% of respondents voted neutrally. Source:

Of all the respondents, 18% heard unexplained sounds — those who’ve picked up the mysterious noise of marbles dropping in the middle of the night can probably relate.

12% of the respondents have sighted spirits, specters, or shadows.

Additionally, 11% of the respondents cited physical touch and an inability to move, in what sounds like sleep paralysis.

As it turns out, seeing the Pontianak is an exclusive experience in Singapore that not many get to experience.

This is perhaps also for the best as the ghost is not something to be trifled with.

Source: Getty Images via Yahoo! News

Rumoured to be a vampiric entity, she has a taste for human blood — specifically, unsuspecting men.

She takes the disguise of a beautiful woman to lure her prey, before transforming into a fanged ghost with deadly-sharp fingernails.

The only way to subdue her is to drive a nail into the back of her neck.

The Pontianak’s origin story

Legend has it that the Pontianak has been around for about two centuries since the late 1700s.

The earliest reports of the ghost came from West Kalimantan, Indonesia where they were, allegedly, the first inhabitants of an area called Pontianak.

As the myth goes, a powerful Sultan — and later, the founder of Pontianak — by the name of Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie had chased away the fearsome ghouls to set up base there.

Source: Sindo News

Today, Pontianak is the capital of the West Kalimantan province with a (human) population of about 640,000.

Perhaps that’s why the Pontianak is such a huge name around the region.

In fleeing what was their original home, they’ve settled down in neighbouring countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, and you guessed it, Singapore.

Pontianak hotspots around the island

While the chances of you coming across a Pontianak are low, it’s never zero.

Singaporeans have spotted the ghost in areas like Pasir Ris, Sembawang, and even Kallang.

Source: MustShareNews on YouTube

The North of Singapore, for example, is rumoured to be a popular haunt for the Pontianak.

Neighbourhoods like Yishun, Seletar, and Sembawang used to be part of the Nee Soon Rubber Estate in the 1800s — which is where the story started.

As the folklore goes, the Pontianak thrives in rubber trees, making the plantation the perfect spot for the ghosts.

Source: Melanie Mel on Facebook

The lush plantation soon made way for concrete housing, but this wasn’t enough to chase the restless spirits away.

Today, residents have seen them near their homes and at Sembawang Park — a faint reminder of their past habitat.

Some have also seen her perched on the trees in Pasir Ris Park, an area where black magic was allegedly practiced back in the day when it was a thick forest.

Source: TheSmartLocal

It’s easy to forget that huge swaths of Singapore were rural before it became a concrete jungle.

Back then, the Pontianak had its fair share of trees to haunt though now, they’re forced to coexist with humans.

Maybe that’s why not many Singaporeans have recently seen her, or some will argue that she’s just a hyped-up myth.

But to that, we’ll never know.

Have you had a spooky encounter with a Pontianak? Let us know in the comments.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from Kelly Jean Horror Photography for illustration purposes only.

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