The History Behind: Haunted Hillview Mansion

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Once poised to be the highest and most expensive residential property at Hillview, 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 commissioned 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). To facilitate the distribution of Mercedes-Benz, a car assembly plant was set up at Hillview Avenue.

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

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.

Abrupt Stoppage of Hillview Mansion

dilapidated structure in hillview mansion
Interior of Hillview Mansion before demolishment | Image credits: ijamestann.blogspot.com:

Midway through the raising of Hillview Mansion in the mid 1950s, the construction was abruptly halted. Several rumors soon circulated within the Hillview community:

1) The most popular tale 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 sell off 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

driveway leading up the hillview mansion
Dilapidated driveway leading to Hillview Mansion

The land where Hillview Mansion is was later sold to V.P (full form unknown), a property developer. In the 1990s and 2000s, the site became a popular spot for thrill-seekers and ghost hunters looking for an adventure.

In 2006, for unknown reasons, the mansion was ordered to be demolished by its current owner.

You may be interested in: The History Behind: Haunted Amber Beacon Tower

In the same year, a huge landslide struck the land where the mansion once stood. In spite of stabilisation 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 of Hillview Mansion are the rusty gates that stood still since the construction of the mansion and a small storage room to the left of the gates.

Hauntings of Hillview Mansion

While there were no actual ghost sightings being recorded, urban explorers who entered the mansion prior to its demolishment reported experiencing paranormal events. In particular, a wimping sound  purportedly to be the spirit of the mistress can be heard.

Today, it is one of three famous haunted colored houses in Singapore. The Hillview Mansion was nicknamed Green House for its large patch of grass frontage while the Matilda House and Pasir Ris Bungalow were named White House and Red House respectively.

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