When you’re filming for a thriller, your mind can run wild. But did local actress Tay Ying really have a paranormal encounter on the set of her new drama series Silent Walls? Or was it “psychological” as she believes?
The 26-year old was driving to set — a heritage house on the historical Seah Im Road — when she saw something in the windows of another abandoned house.
“I was still in the car when I caught sight of it in one of the windows of the bigger house. I thought I was mistaken so I looked three times — a white figure with long hair, it was just standing there with its hair floating,” she recounted to local media 8days.
“I still had to get to our house for filming, so I grabbed my bag and ran up the slope. I was shaking.”
To make matters worse, a casting staff member also told Tay Ying later during the shoot that they saw a white figure behind her on the camera monitor when it wasn’t filming.
At the time, Tay Ying said she didn’t “dare to ask anyone or tell anyone on set” about her paranormal experience as they had several more days left to shoot on location.
The emotional toll of playing her character also left her feeling “heavy” and even crying uncontrollably for an hour once she returned home after filming.
Silent Walls takes place in a mysterious house with stories spanning the years 1938, 1963, 1988, and 2023. Four families live in it throughout the century, but tragedy strikes as one family member doesn’t make it out alive in each generation.
Tay Ying plays Wu Tianli, the mistress of the house in 1938.
Whether it was spiritual or emotional, Tay Ying’s dad, veteran actor Zheng Geping, took no chances and called upon a priest to ‘cleanse’ his daughter after her crying incident.
“My dad contacted his friend who is a ‘master’ who gave me a candle and amulet. I had to burn it and pour water on myself, and all that,” Tay Ying said. “After that, I felt okay. It’s hard to explain.
“Up until now, I’m still thinking, ‘Was I too tired?’ I still think it might have been psychological, but I know what I felt.”
She added that the ‘master’ told her the Seah Im estate is “famously haunted” and that he even visits it with his disciples to “cleanse and meditate”.
Tay Ying may have been cleansed by the intervention, but two of her castmates had a worrying encounter on their last day of filming at the heritage Seah Im house.
She recalled that Charlie Goh (who plays Tianli’s brother Tianhua) and Darren Lim (who plays their dad Xingbang) were getting ready to shoot a scene where they had to go up the stairs when an entire window panel fell onto the stairs.
Thankfully, they were still downstairs when it occurred and were unharmed, but it left everyone rattled.
“I don’t know if it was anything supernatural, but it was a bit strange,” said Tay Ying. “We were all shocked.”
Silent Walls, rated NC16, is available to stream on meWATCH. It also stars Desmond Ng, Ayden Sng, Mindee Ong, Shane Pow, Fang Rong, Chen Shucheng and Andie Chen.