The History Behind Haunted Amber Beacon Tower

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The History Behind Haunted Amber Beacon Tower

From a floating lady in white to bloodstains on the steps, the deadly past of Amber Beacon Tower has made it the most haunted spot in East Coast Park

After over three decades, the grisly attack on a young couple at the Amber Beacon Tower remains one of the most heinous and mysterious crime ever committed in Singapore.

Amber Beacon Tower is said to be named after the nearby “Amber area” which consist of Amber Close, Amber Garden, and Amber Road. The area is said to be named after the Amber Trust Fund which was established by Serena Elias to help poor Jewish youths in Singapore further their studies.

The Encounter

On 15 May 1990, 21-year-old Kelly Tan Ah Hong and 22-year-old James Soh were spending the night out at East Coast Park. Both knew each other for almost a decade and it was just two days ago when they started dating.

After a long walk along the park, the couple decided to take a break at the Amber Beacon Tower, not realizing the tragic attack that is about to happen.

The Amber Beacon Tower is said to be coated in a bright yellow paint and shaped like a beacon/lighthouse to warn ships that they are close to the shores.

The Attack

Sat at the spiral staircase leading to the top of the Amber Beacon Tower, Soh and Tan were chatting about their day when two men appeared and walked up the stairs to the top. Impervious to the behavior of the strangers, the couple continued their conversation.

The two men — now masked to conceal their identities —then stormed down from the top and attacked the couple from behind; Soh was knifed in the back while Tan was stabbed in the neck.

Soh fought back and managed to throw on of the assailant over the railing while Tan ran to the ground floor in a desperate attempt to get help. 

The two assailants then escaped the scene.

The Rescue

Newspaper article in 1990, reporting on the Amber Beacon Tower Murder | Image credits: The Straits Times

Soh got to the bottom of the tower to find Tan lying on the ground in pain. Unable to pick her up, Soh ran towards the nearby Singa Inn Seafood Restaurant (now demolished) to get help. Soh collapsed in the restaurant shortly after explaining that Tan was stabbed at the beacon tower.

The couple were rescued and sent to Singapore General Hospital. Soh regained consciousness two days later only to be informed that Tan had succumbed to her injuries.

The Investigation

Due to the gruesomeness of the attack as well as the massive public attention the murder has received, an investigation was carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) Special Investigation Section.

In a statement by Soh, the assailant who attacked him is said to be approximately 1.70m tall and had short hair while the other had curly black hair and is about 1.67m tall.

Initial investigations posited that the killers are foreigners and that they had intended to only rob the couple. This was quickly dismissed due to the gruesomeness of the attack.

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Others suggested that it may have been the result of a staring incident that occured before the attack. However, these speculations were not corroborated as little evidence can be found:

  • Soh did not see the assailant’s faces as they were masked, neither did he hear their voices as they did not speak throughout the attack.
  • No weapon or fingerprint was recovered at the scene.
  • Interview with patrons at Singa Inn and joggers in the vicinity failed to reveal any conclusive evidence
Newspaper article in 1992, appealing for anyone who have information on the murderers | Image credits: The Straits Times

In 1992, two years after the incident, the Tan family offered a $30,000 reward for any information relating to the assailants; the family also made a public appearance on Crime Watch, a popular crime investigation show, appealing for anyone who has information about the murders to report to the police.

“Until now it’s still a big question mark for me: Why did it happen?” he said. “A life was taken; what they did was ridiculous, and I wish they could be found.”

– Mr James Soh during an interview in 2015

Over the years, the Singapore Police Force continues to conduct reviews of the Amber Beacon Tower murder case in hopes of shedding new light on the horrific attack. However, after over three decades of investigations, the murderers continue to be at large.

The Haunting

Since the incident, it is said that Amber Beacon tower is haunted by a female apparition dressed in white. Many who jog past the tower at the time of the attack reportedly hear wailing sound at the top platform. Others visiting the tower reported seeing droplets of fresh bloodstain on the steps and railing.

It is said that the unrest soul of Kelly Tan Ah Hong continues to haunt the Amber Beacon Tower until the murderers are apprehended.

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