3 a.m., Pork Buns And A Haunted School
It happened yesterday. Early in the morning, at around 3 a.m., when I got hungry.
So I went out to the 24-hour coffee shop for some takeaway pork buns. I reached the dim sum stall, woke up the sleeping night-shift worker, paid for my buns and left carrying the two buns that were packed in a styrofoam box.
At this point in time, the situation was normal.
Then I reached the public housing block next to mine where I had to traverse through a narrow corridor before reaching my destination. And that’s where I encountered another person, a lady, out roaming the quiet pre-dawn streets. Taking care not to startle her, I maintained a proper distance behind her. Between 10 and 15 meters.
At this point, the situation was still normal.
Until my fellow walker walked behind a pillar.
I continued walking at the same pace. But when I didn’t see her walking in front of me, I turned back and looked. That was when I realized she had disappeared. Since I was behind her all along, I knew for sure that she didn’t just backtrack round the corner and run away.
She had simply walked past a pillar and disappeared.
To make sure she didn’t just fall down, I looked around the corridor for her but there was nobody around, except me.
I wasn’t really afraid back then because the atmosphere wasn’t eerie. Although it was 3 in the morning, the corridor was brightly lit. And unlike typical scenarios in horror movies, the lights weren’t flickering and there wasn’t any eerie music playing in the background. The lady, had simply disappeared. One second she was there and the next she simply wasn’t.
When I finally reached my flat, I made a post on Facebook and ate my buns.
This personal encounter with the spooky reminds me of another spooky encounter starring another disappearing lady. But I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the following story since it was recounted to me by a colleague. It didn’t happen to me.
According to my colleague, he was doing closing-duty at the school because he didn’t trust the new orderlies to switch off the lights. So off he went, walking through the empty school in the dark. The time was approximately 8 p.m.
And he was right to do so, he said. Because although the pair of orderlies swore blind earlier that they had switched off all the lights, he could see that some corridors still had their lights on. So he made his way along those corridors, switching off the lights one by one.
He was walking along one corridor when he saw her. A female student sitting at the bench with her books sprawled in front of her. Probably doing some after-school revision or homework, my colleague decided. But how did the two orderlies miss a student sitting out there in the open? Had he taken their advice and locked the gates, this girl would have been stuck here for the night!
So before continuing his rounds, he told the student to pack her books and leave the school. Like right NOW. The girl murmured something and started to leisurely pick up her books. It would probably take her some time to move her butt, so my colleague continued to walk down the corridor, promising himself to check up on her progress when he’s finished patrolling this particular stretch of corridor.
But halfway down the corridor, maybe several seconds later, he turned to ask the girl something. Maybe he wanted to know if she had other friends with her and if he should go check up on them too.
And that’s when he got a shock.
Because although he had just turned his back for a few seconds, he found the bench suddenly empty. No girl, no books and no bag. What just happened? Did the girl decide to play a prank on the elderly security guard? Maybe she had swept away her books into her bag, lightning fast, and hid round the corner once my colleague’s back was turned?
My colleague didn’t think so. Because he had locked the school gates when he went on his patrol and when he went down to let himself out, he didn’t see any student hanging about waiting for the gates to be unlocked. So he let himself out, locked the gates and went home.
And when he returned to work the next day, nobody, student or teacher, complained about being locked up in school the previous night.
I have always wondered why those disappearing apparitions never want to stick around to tell their side of the story.
Teck Y. Loh