Singapore – In 2006, a woman in her 20’s who appeared to be distressed, walking on tip-toes with her tongue sticking out, approached Grand Master Chew Hon Chin asking for help to deal with her problem that’s been recurring for eight years.
The woman went to GM Chew’s shop in Katong Shopping Centre called Ghostbuster: Fengshui Masters & Exorcists” and immediately, GM Chew knew what was wrong. “She was possessed by a ghost of a woman who committed suicide by hanging in East Coast Park,” said GM Chew.
“She (the young woman) was down on her luck when she visited the park, and it (the ghost) followed her back,” he added.
It took a veteran exorcist along with a senior exorcist from Indonesia 10 days to crack the case. After “negotiating with the ghost,” they found out that it wanted a house.
The team and the client went to Indonesia and bought a kelong (an offshore platform) for S$500. The spirit was then entrapped in a banana tree and placed on the kelong while GM Chew prayed for the screaming client.
The spirit released its hold on the client and stayed put on the platform. After leaving, GM Chew set the bridge linking the kelong to land on fire. Thus, ended his client’s long-term problem.
Ghostbusting in Singapore
For 18 years now, Grand Master Chew has been dealing with spirits and eventually opened his shop in 2004. He and his team of six specialize in removing bad luck, pinpointing cursed items and separating them from their clients, reading one’s predestined fate, counseling, ghostbusting, creating “wish-granting amulets, and lifting curses. Their services can range from as low as S$80 to as much as thousands of dollars.
The Singapore-based ghostbuster (or exorcist) has travelled around the world to places such as Malaysia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States, and Africa, and is highly sought-after by people coming from all walks of life seeking spiritual solutions.
The Independent Singapore (TISG) was able to contact Master Teck Fatt “Jereon” Chew, the eldest son of GM Chew. Mr Chew was initially somewhat embarrassed by his father’s profession, but eventually left the Singapore Air Force after 11 years to become a geomancer and ghostbuster himself.
TISG asked Master Chew what the necessary skills are, both mental and emotional, to become a ghostbuster, to which he replied, “We would like to think that one’s character would be the most important factor. Meaning one must join for the right reason and must be good of heart.”
He added that the right mentality is needed for this profession and “it is certainly not for the faint-hearted!”
Being a ghostbuster is not some hobby that one picks up overnight. Master Chew explained that the training is extensive, which includes meditation and the cultivation of Taoist practices such as Geomancy and Bazi (the reading of one’s date and time of birth). “Training will typically take at least 10 years depending on the individual,” added Master Chew.
Furthermore, to become a ghostbuster, one must abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages, especially during a ritual or prayer. The Chew duo and their team said they only had alcohol on rare occasions such as weddings.
Ghostbusting in the modern world
Master Chew confirmed that the art of ghostbusting, as well as their other practices, are still relevant in the modern age. More than a tourist attraction or a cultural heritage, the Ghostbusters team is engaged in the practice to make people’s lives better. They consider themselves as servants to the Jade Emperor and “it is a responsibility that I must follow through,” said Master Chew.
The geomancer also commented on how most of their clients today are below the age of 40 and are, therefore, tech-savvy. The group sees this as an opportunity to link the ancient practices with technology such as digitizing Bazi or taking their life coaching online.
Despite doubt and skepticism by some, ghostbusting is still something that many Singaporeans believe in.
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