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By: Luis Mondejar, Jr.

It was May when I received an e-mail from my cousin,  Ryan,  informing me that he was  getting married by June.  He just arrived from  Chicago where he’s employed as a physical therapist  in a prestigious  hospital there. He came home that May to arrange and prepare for his  wedding in Cebu City.  Ryan has been so kind and  generous to us that I couldn’t say no to  the invitation.  Plus he  had me  convinced that I also needed the break.  So I filed for a leave and got on  the plane with my brother, Ian,  three  days before the scheduled wedding. Ian tagged along because he was on  a break from his TESDA trading.  He said  he wanted to go to Cebu with  me. I obliged. When we  arrived in Cebu, I was thinking Ryan  would accommodate  us in their house.  However, Ian and I were billeted  in a house near  Ryan’s  explained.

We had no problem living in  the house since it was such a pleasant  house.  It was a bungalow with a one car-garage. There was no car in the  garage when we were  there and the  garage door was locked.  The house  was fully furnished. It even had a  fridge and a TV. It was clean. We enjoyed our stay in the house.  We were provided with food  and Ryan even gave  us cash,  his “pasalubong”  from the state. We felt at home because  we could do anything we like to do.  We could explore  all corners of the house except  for  a room that remained locked.  I didn’t  bother exploring that part  of the house.  We had our respective rooms  anyway.

The wedding took place. The reception was held in a local hotel in  Cebu City.  When the  festivities were over, It was already dark.  It was a very tiring day so I had little energy  left when we reached the house. As soon as  we got home, I fell asleep. Ian,  however, didn’t  sleep right away.  Instead, he watched TV.  I woke up  at around midnight  and heard that the  TV was still on. I went to check on Ian but he was not there. No one was watching TV. He was in his room, sleeping. The next morning, I reprimanded Ian about the TV. “Nakakahiyang iwang bukas ‘yung TV!”

“I turned it off when I went to bed,” Ian protested.  “If that’s the case, who turned on the TV? There were only the two of us.”

Midnight. All was  quiet in the house.  I was just getting sleepy when I heard a baby cry.  I thought it was a neighbor’s baby and I was ready to ignore it.  Then it came again, louder this time,   The crying is inside the house! I got up and tried to locate where it  was coming from. I heard it  coming from the locked room. Amidst the silence of the night, I heard the baby crying inside the locked room.  I was stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Then, as suddenly as it was heard, it was gone.  Maybe I was just hearing things, I told myself.

I didn’t  tell anyone about  the crying baby. I figured, I would just get  laughed at.  The next day,  all seemed normal.  The locked room remained closed and no activity could be  detected there. But when midnight came, the  incidents of the other night happened again. This time, it was Ian who  heard the crying baby from the locked room while  I woke up  to the  sound of the TV.  “Did you hear that?” I asked Ian when I saw him looking at the  locked room when I went out to turn off the TV. The crying has stopped  then.  “Yes,” Ian said.  We looked at each other. We had no explanation for the strange things happening in the house.  We went back to our rooms and locked  our doors. On the fourth night,  something much stranger happened. A car  screeched to a halt in front of the house. We woke up to the noise  and checked who was it  outside the house.  From the living room window, we  saw a car in front of the house and a lady alighted from it  and proceeded to the garage and unlocked it.  She then drove the car into the garage. I was puzzled when she entered the house. Maybe she’s relative of the owner, I thought. “Good evening,” I greeted her as soon as she entered. The lady smiled, “Good evening.”

After that, she  headed straight to the locked room. It was dark since we didn’t bother to turn on the light, just the lamp in the living room. I wasn’t sure if she had a key with her to open the room but I did know that she went into the room. Then we heard the baby cry again.  And we heard someone singing to the baby.  It must have been the lady.  We went back to bed.

The following morning,   we saw that the room was still locked  and we couldn’t hear any activity inside. The car was no longer in  the garage. We bought up the topic when we went to Ryan’s house. The lady really puzzled us. “Hmn, we  better go there and open the locked room, “Ryan suggested. He was also curious.  Ryan’s parents had a key to all the rooms in the house.  We took the bunch and  proceeded to the house. When we unlocked the door, we found out that it was a woman’s room. “Is this  the woman you saw last night?” Ryan asked, pointing to  the picture hanging the wall.  The girl on the picture was wearing a toga. “Yes. Why? What’s the matter? “Okay. The woman died a year ago. She was a graduating nursing student. She had a married  boyfriend who got her pregnant. She tried  abortion upon the insistence of her boyfriend, but she died  during the  procedure. Her parents filed a case against the boyfriend but it was dismissed by the court. Her parents left for the States three months ago,” Ryan Narrated.

Upon hearing the story, Ian and I  decided to fly out of Cebu  the very  same day.  The idea of living in a haunted house did not hold an appeal to us.  Not one bit.

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