If you don't believe in tree spirits, you may want to think again. Ever noticed how Banyan trees are often accompanied by small Chinese altars or shrines? Ever wondered why that is so? I have heard many stories about Banyan trees and how they are inhabited by evil spirits. This myth is popular in various cultures across Asia and particularly so in Singapore, as evidenced by the number of shrines. For example, there's one at Dempsey, just next to Hacienda. There's another at Robertson Quay just across from the Robertson Blue apartments. And at Fusionopolis, there is an outdoor carpark built around a banyan tree. According to my trainer at Fitness First there, the developers had planned to chop down the tree. But for some reason, every attempt to do so was marred by tragic accidents. One worker was killed during construction of Fusionopolis while another was trapped in his bulldozer when he tried to fell the tree with it.
did some research on the internet and found this locally written article on tree spirits and secret shrines . Although it doesn't provide any answers, it is an interesting read.
By the way, the photo of this magnificent banyan tree was taken at Fort Canning Park. Judging by the size of the tree and the long roots, this tree must be more than a 100 years old.