Sunday, August 15, 2010

another scare in the 60s

apart from the oily man scare, there was another scare in the 60s and 70s that inadvertently kept children at home, especially after dark. this was the rumour circulating around the island that young children had been kidnapped and killed and their heads used for supporting the foundation of some bridge that was being built.

this could have been attributed to the old indian and chinese beliefs that the river-god needed appeasing when man attempted to interrupt its flow by building a bridge across it. to the indians and the chinese, securing the favour of the god could be obtained by making some human sacrifices.

not only were children scared stiff by this story of human heads being needed to ensure the successful completion of a bridge, parents of young children were equally scared. many of them accompanied their young ones to schools and some even stayed to wait until dismissal time so that they could see to their children home safely.

according to my friend, there was yet another belief, this time involving the successful completion of buildings, especially tall buildings. it seemed that during the construction they had to bury 7 types of metal in the ground. burying inanimate objects was nothing frightening as compared to taking away the lives of small children.

incidentally, talking about bridges, there are 4 colour bridges in singapore - white bridge (pek kio), red bridge (ang kio thau, keng lee road), black bridge (orr kio, balestier road) and green bridge (chey kio, ord bridge). i think white bridge was the one along kampong java road, leading to dorset road. there is also orr kio thau (havelock road/ganges road).


PChew said...

The scare about children's head used for bridge foundation started earlier than 1960. I remembered hearing it in primary school, that was in the late 40s. I was really scared then.

FL said...

Yes, as kids during the kampong days in the sixties, we heard this story from the adults. Of course, we were scared then. I remember then that one uncle told us kids that many human skulls were required to build and stabilize the bridges!! We were about 9, 10 & 11 years then.

yg said...

philip, in the late 40s, i was too young to know anything; i was born in 1948. we were gripped with more fear by the 'beheading' rumour than the one about the oily man.

yg said...

fl, the story that i heard in my kampong days was the same as yours.

Thimbuktu said...

yg, i've heard these scary stories told to me my mother when i was very young. it may be superstitious but these scare from the past spread like wild fire to the kampong guys.

i grew up in bukit ho swee, specifically havelock road and beo lane at orr kio thau. both sides of the bridge are far, far away ;)

yg said...

james, i think the scare, like the other one on oily man, pervaded the whole island.
imagine, those days, without internet and sms, a rumour like that could go around the whole island.

Victor said...

I only heard the one about eating pork would make the little birdie even smaller - so much so that it would disappear into the body. Must have been in the 1960s or 70s.

Anonymous said...

Victor, they called this KORO.

yg said...

victor, i think you are referring to 'koro'. i have come across a posting of it in

Mrs.Irene Query said...

How I Got My Loan From A Genuine And Reliable Loan Company

I am Mrs.Irene Query i was in need of a loan of S$70,000 and was scammed by those fraudulent lenders and a friend introduce me to Dr Purva Pius,and he lend me the loan without any stress,you can contact him at ( Approvals within 4-6 Hours

1. Your Full names:_______
2. Contact address:_______
3. Country Of Residence:______
4. Loan Amount Required:________
5. Duration:_____
6. Gender:_____
7. Occupation:________
8. Monthly Income:_______
9. Date Of Birth:________
10.Telephone Number:__________

Email Us: