Friday, July 18, 2008

The "Haunted" Staircase

Here’s a little more about the infamous spiral staircase at the National Museum of Singapore …

Legend has it that the staircase was originally found in a private residence. The engraved patterns are said to resemble a similar staircase in the Victorian Albert Hall in London.

The staircase at the second level, is reputed to be the most haunted part of the museum. Apparently many sightings have been made at or near the staircase.

The best known spirit reputed to reside in the museum is none other than its last expatriate director Carl Gibson-Hill. He was a keen naturalist and dedicated scientist. Plagued by ill health and personal problems, he was thought to have committed suicide in August 1963. His death was covered in a small front page report in The Straits Times. It said he died of an overdose of sleeping pills in a bathtub at his home in Seton Close. However some believe the man actually hanged himself in his museum office. Why the discrepancy is anyone’s guess. Since Gibson-Hill’s death, many museum staff, according to legend, have seen his spirit in the halls of the museum.

Here’s another take on the haunting of the spiral staircase … rumour has it that someone died after tripping and falling down the staircase. Eye-witnesses have reported seeing a “priest-like” figure roaming the vicinity. People who have tried to climb the staircase said they felt an unseen hand pushing them down – and that’s why it still remains closed off to the public.

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