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.

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.

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

The couple decided to take a break and sat at the spiral staircase leading to the top of  Amber Beacon Tower, not realizing the tragic attack that is about to happen.

The Attack

Two men appeared out of nowhere and walked up the stairs to the top of Amber Beacon tower. Tan and Soh continued chatting, impervious to the behavior of the two strangers.

All of a sudden, the two men — now masked to conceal their identities — stormed down from the top and attacked the couple from behind. Tan was suffered a stab wound to the neck while Soh was knifed from the back.

Soh ran to the ground floor in an desperate attempt to get help. Meanwhile, Tan fought back and managed to throw one of the guys over the railing. 

The two assailants escaped the scene.

The Rescue

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

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

Both were sent to the Singapore General Hopsital. Tan regained consciousness two days later where he was informed that Tan had succumbed to her injuries.

The Investigation

An investigation was carried out by the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) Special Investigation Section.

In a statement by Soh, the one who attacked him is said to be 1.73 metres tall and had short hair while the other assailant had curly black hair and is about 1.67m tall.

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.

 

Initial investigations suggested that the killers are believed to be foreigners and that they had intended to only rob the couple. Some believed that it was the result of a staring incident that happened before the attacks.

However, these speculations have not been corroborated with other sources as little evidence can be found.

Soh did not see the attackers’ 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. Interviews with patrons at Singa Inn and joggers in the vicinity fail to reveal any evidence that might aid the investigations.

Newspaper article in 1992, appealing for anyone who have information on the murderers | Image credits: The Straits Times

Two years later in 1992, the family of Tan Ah Hong 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 case in hopes of shedding new light on the horrific attacks. However, after three decades of investigations, the murderers continue to be at large and the case remains unsolved.

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. Others who have heard screams of help found nothing when they searched the tower.

Those who visited the tower at night are said to have seen droplets of fresh bloodstain on the steps.

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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