Writing about non-humans and the paranormal in Singapore

Singapore is a fantastic place for an urban fantasy story. Gleaming skyscrapers, blocks after blocks of apartments and a frenetic cosmopolitan city life. You get all sorts of people streaming in and out of the country, contributing to the “melting pot” or “garden salad” (we Singaporeans would say “rojak”, which is a local salad).

Some people might think that Singapore is boring. Too sterile and strait-laced. But just imagine: many races, many cultures and a land steeped in interesting (and bloody) folklore. The different races – the Chinese, Malays and Indians – bring into the whole tapestry their own mythologies and cosmologies. We get the paranormal types interwoven into our urban legends, mind you. Like the old lady who is found in the ladies’, licking soiled sanitary pads. Or long-haired female ghosts haunting isolated roads and graveyards. Or ghostly tigers haunting the keramat at Fort Canning. Or the Japanese soldier spirit wandering down some popular reservoir/park area.

We even pray to ghosts along roadsides, during the Hungry Ghosts’ Festival/Month. We even have our paranormal investigators! I mean, all the schools in Singapore seem to be haunted. Even the parks have their own spooks and spirits. Singapore can be and is a scary place. Judging by a local on-going series of ghost stories, people love the paranormal, the macabre, the scary.

I imagine the different races introducing their own non-human types and having to co-exist in a multi-cultural country. I also imagine the newer immigrants coming in and bringing in their own non-human kind (and associated politics)… all having their own agendas and desires. Singapore becomes their home, their eco-system.

That being said, I think Singapore is a fascinating place to create an urban fantasy world filled with interesting and diverse characters. =)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marie Hodgkinson
    Oct 28, 2010 @ 10:51:45

    From what you’ve said, paranormal fantasy and Singapore sound like a perfect fit! Even the combination of modern urban legend paranormal creatures and traditional ones could make for an intriguing (and potentially hilarious) read.


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