The Phantom of Oxley Castle


How’s this for a children’s fairytale?

The story centres around a grand castle with 38 rooms on a tropical island and its colourful occupants including two young princes, a princess and their pesky butler named OB Markus.

Prince Hector the Eldest is bookish and rational; Prince Humphrey the Youngest is rebellious; and Princess Harriet is daring and brash. One night, the children hear a strange, ghostly noise coming from the dungeon and decide to investigate.

The book had been written by Edmund Wee, a book publisher and co-written by Chloe Tong, 24, a University of Warwick postgraduate student and Liana Gurung, 23, a NUS graduate.

If you find the storyline familiar, that’s because it is making reference to the Lee family feud. Wee was reported to have come up with the story idea “on a whim” when Tung and Gurong were doing an internship at Epigram (the publishing house he runs).

Wee says the characters are fictional. The story is not a re-telling of Oxley Road events, though the similarities appear intentional.

“We didn’t want it to be satire for satire’s sake. So you’ll find that The Phantom of Oxley Castle satisfies all the tropes of a fairy tale. All the ‘once upon a time’, ‘happily ever after’ stuff can be expected, but there are also plenty of Easter eggs relating to the saga that adults can pick up on,” Tong was reported to have said.

The book was supposed to have been launched at the Arts House in Old Parliament Lane this Saturday (18th November), however it had been cancelled less than a week before its scheduled date.

Both the publisher and the venue operator each say the other was responsible for the cancellation.

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