The History Behind: Haunted Hillview Mansion

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The History Behind: Haunted Hillview Mansion

Once poised to be the highest and most expensive residential property in the region, it is now one of the three famous haunted ‘colored’ houses in Singapore.

Nested at the highest point in Hillview Estate, the 9,000 square-metre large Hillview Mansion was once the highest and most expensive residential property in the area.

Yet, the mansion fail to see through as the construction of it was abruptly halted halfway through.

Chua Boon Peng and Cycle & Carriage

The mansion was first owned by Chua Boon Peng, ex-chairman of Cycle & Carriage Industries Pte Ltd.

Founded in 1899, Cycle & Carriage started as a small provision shop before venturing into bicycles and automobiles.

In 1951, Mr Chua clinched a sole distributorship deal for Cycle & Carriage to sell Mercedes-Benz exclusively in Malaya (now Malay Peninsula and Singapore). A car assembly plant was soon set up in Hillview Avenue to facilitate distribution. 

In 1965, the same year that Singapore proclaimed independence, Cycle & Carriage produced the 1st made-in-Singapore Mercedes-Benz car right out of its Hillview assembly plant.

It was then that Mr. Chua bought pieces of land (worth S$7 million at that time) in the hilltop with a grand vision of building the Hillview Mansion to oversee his assembly plant. However, the venture proved to be an unprofitable one and was shut down in the late 1980s.

Abrupt Stoppage of Hillview Mansion

Interior of Hillview Mansion before demolishment | Image credits: ijamestann.blogspot.com:

Several rumors with regards to the abrupt halt of the mansion’s construction circulated:

1) The most popular rumor surrounds the tragic death of a mistress who fell from the balcony during a routine inspection of the mansion’s construction.

2) The bankruptcy of Panther Pte Ltd — a company that Mr Chua had a 38% stake in — made him liable for almost S$19 million worth of loans to the banks. The loans forced Mr Chua to divest many of his assets including the plot of land where Hillview Mansion stood. 

3) The Government of Singapore ordered the stoppage of the construction of Hillview Mansion for security concerns as the Ministry of Defence headquarters was located right over the hill.

Remnants of Hillview Mansion

Dilapidated driveway leading to Hillview Mansion

In the 1990s and 2000s, the site became a popular spot for thrill-seekers ghost hunters looking for an adventure.

In 2006, the mansion was knocked down by the current owner V.P., a property developer; it is not known why the property was demolished without any further work being done on the land.

In the same year, a huge landslide struck the land where the mansion once stood. In spite of stabilization work being done on the land, another landslide mysteriously hit the same spot in 2007, burying any possible remnants of Hillview Mansion.

Today, what’s left behind are the old gates that stood still since the construction of the property as well as a small storage room on the left of the gates.

While there were no actual ghost sightings being recorded, explorers who entered the mansion prior to its demolishment reported hearing a crying sound at night, purportedly to be the spirit of the mistress who is still waiting for her mansion to be completed.

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