Monday, June 11, 2018

Dempsey 3 years on! Almost unrecognisable

Been a while since the last post! unfortunately most of our members have since entered into family life, marriage and for myself, fatherhood 2 years ago. About 3 years ago we featured in our blog Dempsey undergoing a change and major upgrading - in particular the Tanglin Barracks were in the midst of renovation to be changed into businesses.

Indeed, 3 years on, the place is almost unrecognisable in terms of what it used to be, with the place being a place worthy of exploring some paranormal spots. perhaps the only constant here are the stray cats that have probably been around in the days 3 years ago, and perhaps they themselves have explored the various vacant and 'haunted' spots in Dempsey and in the Tanglin Barracks. If only this lazy cat sitting here with half closed eyes could communicate and shed some light as to how the place is today!

Dempsey is still a very nice place to take a walk around. it's lush greenery and open fields & spaces is thankfully what was still kept and untouched. for how long, we won't be sure. but it was still a nice afternoon that I decided to take a photo-tour around the place and revisit some of the spots that we had interesting experiences and explorations with. 

The whole stretch where the old Tanglin Barracks used to be situated are now totally filled with all types of businesses. the renovation or restoration done to the barracks must have been massive, as they look so new and funky now.

The place seems to be occupied by pretty atas restaurants, art companies and even what seemed like a boutique wedding gown company called the "Gown Warehouse". we cannot help but wonder if it should be called the "Ghost Warehouse" instead - as right in these premises it used to house the POWs of the Japanese Occupation, and many of the different rooms and chambers probably also housed various sections that could include torture chambers or cells.  

We wonder what the occupants of the past - if they are still present today, have to say about the many businesses that have propped up. we are equally curious if the current business owners or staff of the businesses have anything interesting they have experienced after taking over the places that used to be the Tanglin Barracks. walking around, everyone didn't quite look very friendly or open to share, in fact, we didn't quite see anyone around at all! 

Equally interesting how this place now also houses quite a fair bit of Korean and Japanese restaurants. walking around there was also quite a number of Japanese folks in this entire area, ironic that so many years ago, their country men were also here, with a totally different agenda, a totally different time and daily activities. 

I guess the only signs that still points to the dark past or "haunted" phenomena of the Tanglin Barracks premises are these various shrines located at different corners of the place. Taoist shrines with different types of deities - probably to protect the premises and ward off unwanted spirits or energies of the past. 

Seems also that Dempsey is still undergoing another phase of future development - the word future with this place of the past - is an ironic evolvement of this place.

Today, the nearby eateries are filled with people, guests and diners, all having a chill out afternoon, soaking in the sun and spending time with their loved ones. this place has totally taken on a new meaning and way of life. we wonder who still remembers or for that matter even know the history of this place back then. we cannot help but also realise how easy is it for history to fade and for our development to wipe out history too. 

As we walked around the area, there are absolutely no way of recalling what this place used to be, and also even realise how this place used to be one of the place of war, of torture, of pain and suffering. not a clue at all, until we chanced upon this little portrait of a soldier. 

the depiction of this soldier is kinda almost ghost-like. with haunting eyes staring at you. yet so easily missed if you don't pay attention. no one actually stopped, looked or take a picture at this fountain. it is as if no one bothered or no one even wanted to bother. perhaps this is also how the spirits that linger here feel - neglected, abandoned and perhaps sorrowful that their place in time is lost, forgotten and looked passed. well, we noticed. 

and perhaps the only fading souls are some of the business owners on the premises that seemed to be bored from the stagnant and empty shops they are sitting in.

well, we wonder what's next for this place. we hope that the government still keep to the high ceiling unique barracks that adorn this place. at least this is one piece of history that is still intact. it is still a marvel and joy to see these barracks and architecture. we hope it will not be torn down and replaced with condominiums.

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