Mystery Of The German Girl Shrine

Posted: January 21, 2013 in Uncategorized



Captain’s log                                   Stardate: 63557.1 (Jan 21st, 2013)

Yesterday the 20th, me and some of my SPI members went for a cycling trip at Pulau Ubin. The island was in his essence, as the last remaining kampung in Singapore. Walk back into the time where Singapore still carries that simpler pleasures of life. That nostalgic feeling, just never fails. Not only cycling, we were also there to study about this shrine that seem to attracts many people, especially devotees.

I’ve learned there are about eleven shrines and nine temples in Pulau Ubin. One of my members were amazed by the number of shrines and temples been located into just one small island, and wondered whether Pulau Ubin is regarded as a holy island.

But among the eleven shrines, there this particular, not to mention most significant shrine that seem to catches the attention of the residents of this island as much from the visitors.

I’m pretty sure many of you have heard of this famous German Girl Shrine. Other than calling her “German Girl,” she was also known as “Lady Datuk” to the local Chinese. I remember visiting the shrine before few years back with friends. But didn’t take any notice, or study much about it until yesterday’s cycling trip.

How the story about her begins? According to research I’ve read online, she and her family were residents of Ubin back in 1900s, just before WWI. Her family owned a coffee plantation on that island, and that plot of land belong to two German families, Daniel Brandt and Hermann Muhlingans. The girl’s identity, however remain unknown.

In August 1914, the British forces rounded up the German plantation owner and his family. It is said that the British had declared war on the Germans during those period, and that they had came to take over the plantation.

While her family been captured in the hands of the British, the girl escaped into the woods. The family was send to a detention barrack on mainland Singapore.

Then few days later, the poor girl’s body was discovered by plantation workers. Covered by ants. It was believe that she had felt to a death from a cliff while trying to escape from the British forces.

Her remains were exhumed and stored in a porcelain urn, and said to be housed in a Chinese Taoist temple on top of a hill.

At the end of the war, the family returned to Ubin to find the remains of their beloved daughter. But sadly, they could not locate the tombstone. They left empty-handed and never returned. It was also due to language difficulties, that led them unable to determine what happened to their daughter.

What’s so special about the shrine?

Some time later, many worshippers started to visit the temple to pray for good luck in gambling. The German girl true identity is now infact, is regard as a deity. What catches us, is the deity which was placed as a form of a Barbie doll, which I believe is to commerate to the spirit of that German girl. And from where I’ve read, a former Ubin resident who had migrated to Australia had dreamt about the deity for three consecutive days. So to pay his respect, he brought the Barbie doll and bring it to Ubin. Since then, the doll had become a symbolic idol. Also, it somehow related to her in a way based on her culture and where she initially came from.

Even hardcore gamblers, attributed their winning streaks to the spirit of the German girl. So you can expect tons of visitors and the locals of Ubin themselves coming to the temple every now and then to pray for huge sums of lottery. The temple quickly become famous because of them. Not just oranges or other fruits. But flowers, even cosmetic and perfumes filled up the altar. That’s also the reason why she was regard as “Lady Datuk.” A deity who brings people luck.

Then, there’s rumours that the porcelain urn is now empty. What happened? Been looted? Not only her identity, but her family till this day still remain untraceable. A mystery left behind and to remember for generations to come. Nevertheless, her spirit were well remembered by the people of Ubin and has become an important part of the island’s history. The shrine itself is one of the eleven shrines located in Pulau Ubin.

Ubin trip

Hauntings? Paranormal Encounters?

There’s been hearsay that some people had claimed to have spotted an apparition floating around near that temple when they passes there at night. They believe it could have been the spirit of the German girl. Also, it was said that the spirit were known to be “mischievous.” That may seem puzzling for some. Disturb those visiting the temple? But if one were to spot it, judging from where it had appeared, it might led you to the spirit of that poor German girl. Sounds too good to be true?

Also, an opportunity for paranormal investigators to see if they can catch any strange activity to confirm those hearsay.

To conclude. How she become a temple of worship? There hasn’t been a clue. Also, the urn was empty. From another article I’ve read, which was been extracted from the Straits Times dated March 09, 2003, the writer was saying, why would anybody still worship an empty pot? Been said by a devotee, the reason being was that the German girl was been regard as a deity. She’s invisible. But everywhere.

She seems strongly to those, who depends strongly on her for fortune and other forms of good luck.


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