High School boys, here’s an article written by Daniel Teh, from graduating class of 2003.
I am sure it will interest you all.
Well done, Daniel!
SPOOKY TALES OF HIGH SCHOOL BATU PAHAT & UNSEEN AREAS BEFORE
Throughout years, tales and stories have been passed down from seniors to juniors. With 92 years of age, High School Batu Pahat (HSBP) has loads of tales and legends to be told. During our final years in HSBP, we have decided to compile such tales, and rectify the truth behind it, furthest possible. It was schedule for MERCU’s printing, but never made its way there, as we felt, these are stories better kept for the mature readers. Armed with a digital camera from Mr. Teng Chuan Wan, pens, notepad, and a sense of curiosity, we embarked on a journalistic trail to the unseen and unknown areas, just for the sense of fulfillment before we departed HSBP. Effects were added onto the pictures due to our naïve mind that time. Read along, as several pictures from unseen areas of HSBP were attached. This article was written merely for sentimental and entertainment purposes. As memories fade with time, so does some of the facts here.
a) “Padang HSBP”
The current field of HSBP was once said to be a mining field. This was being told by the very experienced Mr. Palaniappan, who has grown up with HSBP, far before we suckled our pinky finger. Not many spooky tales were heard from here, those common camping participants often, mentioned of apparition sighting and also extra headcount. Tales such as these scare the chill out from the boys then though it is mentioned nearly everywhere else.
Apparition sightings were also mentioned along the motor park and entrance way (first and second images) leading up to the assembly stand. The infamous stairway of the staff’s room was not left out as well (third image).
b) Dancing murals
For those who remembered, the old Kemahiran Hidup buildings have walls with mural paintings. In the middle of these buildings, lies a badminton court. We were unable to grab a picture of it before it was demolished, paving way for the newer buildings. It was mentioned by my classmates, that we should avoid this area at night, as the murals will leave the wall to dance along this area. It was one hell of a story, as that area itself was indeed gloomy and old enough to frighten anyone in the evening. The image below is the site of these old buildings. As you can see, the new blocks were erected to replace the colonial Kemahiran Hidup buildings.
c) Underground tunnels.
Perhaps one of the most interesting tales is the underground tunnel. It was said that there were underground tunnels located somewhere in HSBP, which had been sealed off. This tunnel was said to be built by the Japanese soldiers, and told to us by our seniors. So we took our camera, pens and went to the so called tunnel. We requested for the blue print of HSB, but were unable to retrieve it. Next, we interviewed our Mr. Palaniappan, who mentioned not knowing of any such tunnels. There were several locations, which were mentioned. First it was the “Bilik Kaunseling”. According to the tale, the ground on this room is the very entrance of the tunnel that has been sealed off. After our hope for the HSBP blueprint dashed, we were fired up to unearth the truth. They must be hiding something! We pressed on and finally, was agreed to be given a tour by the counselor then.
Finally, we have made it to the counseling room (top images). First the tunnel!
For those who know, there is a stairway leading up to the office, from the counseling room. One of the probable entrances of the tunnel was here. The camera was switched on to the sepia mode, as we hope to catch “something” on the camera (was 17 years old then). According to the tale, this entrance was sealed off and cemented. Hence, as you expected we stomped, knocked and attempted to search for anything suspicious on this ground. However, it appeared to be a perfectly ground indeed. Impossible, the truth is out there.
Well, at least we found a stairway, which many of the students not known about. Is it the stairway to heaven? Or torturing chambers?
Alas, there were clean. The stairway merely leads up to the first floor office from the ground floor. Bet many of you did not know about this secret stairway inside the counselor’s office. So, do not be shock when you see the counselor appears suddenly at first floor, without passing through the main stair ways of the office. The lower image shows the counselor office at the ground floor, during my time.
The other clue was that the entrance of the tunnel was actually behind the office main stairways. Let’s go!
There was the left side, which was “covered” with steel cupboards, and also the right side which has a door. Let us see, if the negative mode of the camera reveals anything. Nothing much. Oh well, it was a wild goose chase. Seriously though, the area behind the main stairway was use as a store room, if not mistaken. Much of the tunnel myths were fading into thin air, as even Mr. Palaniappan had not heard of it before. Perhaps, it was a trick from the seniors, but who would not want it? To have a tunnel in your colonial historical school, that would have been glamorous.
d) Overtime office.
You have heard them, I have heard them, and everyone stays away from there after 6pm. The office, first floor. No one works late at night in the office, a fact you all should remember. So if you ever come across an overtime working office late in the evening, it is better to speed off.
The office is full of tales, from marching soldiers in the middle of the night, to melodies from its piano and the clock tower. We snapped them all, no not the marching of soldiers, but photos of also the clock tower from inside out. Not many, in fact we may just be the only students to have gone up the clock tower.
The office at the first floor.
Ground floor office.
The ground floor office in colour mode.
This image, the stairway connecting the first and ground floor. As you can see, there is a piano situated there. There have been tales that sounds of soldier’s boot could be heard from the office during some nights. None of us would dare to investigate this claim. However, such tales of creepy sound from the office were a common tales to pass on from seniors to juniors.
No one really knows to whom the piano belongs to. The usually story which most of us are familiar with, is it being played by itself at night. Not too sure if it still there now or not. Any dedications, anyone?
e) Pause in time
We have come to the climax, the clock tower. No spooky tales from here, but just a special gift, for those who yearn to be up there. We are the proud two students to have gone up there, should have carved our names there, in case future archaeologist dug up the tower. The clock was no longer functioning. Why it was not fixed then? According to the headmistress and Mr. Palaniappan, it was an old model, where no one could fix it. Long ago, it was fixed once though.
It was an experience of fulfillment, feeling that after 5 years in HSBP, we have finally seen its highest peak.
Top image is the view for a small platform from on the top of the building.
This image is the clock’s bell. Not sure when was the last time it was rung.
Overlooking the field from the clock tower. It was magnificent!
The image on top is the window inside the clock tower chamber.
These are pictures of the actual mechanics of the clock.
The only spooky thing, was the height. We have managed to convince the headmistress to allow us to head to the clock tower chamber. If you recall, there is a ladder beside the headmistress office, that ladder leads to the clock tower chamber.
f) Hole in Pole
Yes, the infamous hole in pole legend is true. According to the Mr. Palaniappan, he witnessed the hole in pole event. It was by a Japanese soldier, shooting down from the clock tower hitting the pole. It must be one hell of a rifle, as the bullet penetrated through the pole. This is the very flag pole that you see today in from on the field. So, at least now we know it was not done by a wood pecker.
g) Mysterious toilet
It was locked during my time. No one knows for sure why. This toilet is situated beside the PBSM (Red Cross Society’s room). Just out of curiousity, we took a chair, and climbed up right till the opening to snap pictures of these locked toilet for ages. If my memories do not trick me, it was once said this was a ladies toilet before. The other interesting tale from this building at the back most, used to be for the form 5 students, was that its lights and fans switches turned on automatically at night in a snap. As the stairway leading to the higher floors were locked, everyone was shock during the scout camping, when the whole building brightens up suddenly. However, I smell something was fishy, maybe the seniors during the scout camp was behind this. Left top image, the Fatanah or Block F where the incident took place. Left lower image is the PBSM’s room.
Lower images are the view of inside the locked toilets. We have also inserted the Kemahiran Hidup workshop situated at the back of the school Hall, our final destination of this article.
h) HSBP hall: From bottom till top
Finally, we will wrapped up our recapped of HSBP spooky tales and unseen images with HSBP hall. Perhaps one of the creepiest place to be alone at night, is the hall.Events and assembly often take place on the outside of the stage, but what goes on at backstage? Read on.
There is no need to talk about spooky tales, just a normal day journey to the backstage, and upper stage is enough to give you a goosebump. No stories have been heard or mentioned regarding the hall. We merely have this images to quench you curiosity.
First image, is the underground of the stage, which has been used as a store room for chairs and tables. I believe most students have not been there. So here is a glimpse. Hope the sepia mode was able to scare you. It was spooky indeed..dark cold underground.The image is the on the bottom is the back stage. An area of storage and also preparation for performers.
We are not stopping here just yet. From bottom till top says the title. Personally, I rate this the scariest place in HSBP. No one should ever try this again, well firstly because it is scary, but most importantly because it is dangerous, as the platform was not that strong even during my time. We went up without permission but again just for a sense of fulfilment for our final year in HSBP. We just could not walk out of HSBP not doing something unique just to be different from others. So we went up together, as it was too creepy to go up alone. If you are standing on the stage, you will be able to notice ladders leading up to the stage and a wooden platform on top of the stage. More often or so, I am sure everyone of us have wonder, what is it like up there..and is there more than just a platform? See the next images to find out….
There was indeed more that just a wooden platform, but I must warn not to crawl onto the platform as it is very old.
In fact, we just snapped pictures and explored elsewhere… ELSEWHERE? Yes, interestingly there is a a bigger room on top of the stage.
There was a big water tank there with caged, possibly avoiding anyone falling and get drown.
Finally, our journey has come to an end. This article was done together by my pal Haarizuddin and me, recalling our rogue years in HSBP. Thank you all and hope you all enjoyed it!