Hotel Travel Guide for the “Pantang” (Read: Superstitious) Singaporean

Don’t need to be paiseh about it, we’re all a little superstitious! We admit it, so we went around and asked the most “pantang” people we know to find out the top 7 superstitious hotel practices for travellers!

#1 Knock the hotel room door.

The first thing to do is knock on the door to “announce” your arrival. You know, just in case there’s anyone (or anything) in the room. The belief is that there may be spirits dwelling there, so it’s only polite to knock.

hotel travel

Some say you should knock three times, but the point is just to make your entrance known.

#2 Open the curtains.

Let the light in! By opening the curtains and letting the nice, warm sunlight in, you’re chasing away spirits that are believed to like darkness. If you’re checking in at night, just switch on the lights and leave a light on before you go to bed.

hotel travel

You can also leave a night light on.

#3 Flush the toilet.

It’s believed that flushing the toilet will help get rid of the the room’s negative energy and discourage any other beings from dwelling in your room. You should do this before getting comfortable in the room, instead of only right before you need to use the loo.


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#4 Do not touch religious books.

Most international hotels will have a bible, quran, and/or other religious books kept in the drawers. They are typically kept out of sight, so don’t go deliberately seeking them out. Just leave them be.

hotel travel

The books are usually kept in drawers, out of sight.

They should be kept closed, but if you chance upon it (perhaps while searching for the hair dryer) and see that it’s open, it’s believed to mean that it was flipped to a specific page to ward off an evil spirit. Yikes!

Don’t close it. And if you can, request to change your room.

#5 Do not leave your shoes in the same direction.

Suppress your inner neat freak and try not to pack your shoes too neatly. Leave each side of the shoe facing different directions. This is said to confuse the spirits–if they’re neatly aligned, they can easily “step into your shoes” and locate you.

#6 Cover up the mirrors.

They say that mirrors are the portals between the spiritual and human worlds, so try to avoid sleeping facing a mirror. It’s believed that if you do, your soul may get confused and you may wake up in the other realm!

For other mirrors (not facing beds), place the bin next to it to “block” and “trap” evil spirits trying to escape into the human world. Not sure how useful that it is… but it’s worth a shot right?

#7 Do not leave any beds empty.

If your bed looks too neat, it seems that some spirits will see it as an invitation to join you for the night! Don’t let that idea get to anyone–mess up the sheets, or place your luggage and belongings on it.

hotel travel

If you have a double bed, you won’t need to worry. If you have an unoccupied single bed, mess it up.

Got a superstition we missed out? Tell us in the comments below!

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