ANG PALASYO NG MGA ENGKANTO

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By: Melaseph

Royalties in Europe live in places that appear majestic.  But will we  believe in  spiritual entities having their own palaces? We will soon find out. My paternal relatives came from  Tacloban, Leyte. There  they grew  up running a prosperous family  business-a store. For many,  their success was due to  hard work. However, a family secret was revealed to me a few weeks ago.  My aunt said that they believe  that a family of  engkantos lived inside their  three-story house built in 1950.  They were  believed to have lived on the third floor of the house, making  the floor their own domain,  their palace. Manifestations of their presence  were felt throughout my aunt’s and her siblings’ childhood years.  According to my aunt, this family  of engkanto also had  eight children like them ( my aunt has seven siblings, including  my father).  The engkanto kids liked  to show themselves in the  afternoon  when the children of the  house would arrive from school.

One night, my father  suddenly jolted from sleep  by the cold  feel of  the floor.  When he opened his eyes, he was shocked to find himself lying on the floor  outside his bedroom when he was so sure that he slept  inside the room! When he tried to go inside his room, he found  that the door  was locked.  He was  so scared and mustered enough courage to crawl and started  pounding  at the door of the room of his mother which was  beside his room,  His mother was also surprised to see his  son crouched on the floor and crying. He relayed the story to his mother. His mother  checked the room and also found it locked.  In the morning, they even  needed a spare key to open the room of my father.   The rest of her siblings also had their own encounters with the  engkanto kids but none of them was hurt.

But some pranks became fatal.  One early morning, one of their maids woke early to cook  breakfast for the family.  As she coming down the stairs, she noticed  someone sitting on a sofa  in the dark.  She was puzzled by this  because she knew that she was  always the first one up  every morning. When she  went to turn on the lights, the man on the sofa suddenly disappeared. She was  frightened but shrugged off the experience. But it was not to be her last encounter with the engkantos.  The following months were very scary  for her. She would start to  have dreams of a man courting her,  bringing her flowers, giving her  a car,  and bringing her to a beautiful garden The following weeks, she  experienced being possessed by the man in her dreams. The other maids would see her running  and screaming wildly throughout the house at the middle of the night.  When they  would try to stop her, she would fight  back,  displaying supernatural  strength. She would  also talk in a man’s  voice. After a few days,  the maid  became weak.  She would always atare blankly  from the window.

One day,  she was just found dead inside her  room  with her eyes wide open!  And the  weird things was her legs  were not equal in length! One leg appeared shorter than the other. My lolo  (their employer) decided to call an albularyo and ispiritista to help stop  those weird   incidents inside the house.  That was  when they  found  out that they had other  inhabitants inside  the house.  That there was a family of engkanto living also inside  the house but they were the good kind.  This was the reason they had a  flourishing business and they shouldn’t be afraid  because the engkanto   kids just wanted to play with my aunts and uncles  and my father. The  ispiritista also said that there was  a palace  above the house where the  engkantos lives. But there were also other spirits inside the house that  were bothering them.

He explained  that a bad spirit liked their maid and took her away, that’s why she died mysteriously . He also explained  why her legs  were not equal in length.   He said that the  body of the maid  was taken by the spirit and that  the body they found was only a branch of a banana tree.  It was one  of the powers of the bad spirits- the power  to deceive human beings. The albularyo performed rituals to calm  the  house.  Soon enough, the apparitions stopped.  After a few years, my lolo died and my lola and her children had  to move out from  the family house because the business was not doing  good anymore. They moved in to an old two-story house with big trees  surrounding it. They had long forgotten the ghostly experiences they had. But soon enough, the sightings started to happen again. They believed  that the family of the engkantos followed them to their new house.  They  would still  hear and see these entities inside the house.  But it no longer  bothered them.  During the 1990s,  when all of the children of my lola moved to Manila, my lola was forced to stay alone  in the old house.

My lola  who was  a brave woman, wasn’t scared  of ghosts but what  happened one night made her  change her mind. She went to her room  at about 10 o’clock in the evening. She  usually sleeps at this hour and wakes up at 3 a.m. to pray the  rosary.  But at this particular night,  she couldn’t sleep. She suddenly heard footsteps coming up the stairs. They were so heavy that the footsteps she  heard made  a creaking noise.  At  first,  she thought it was  a burglar. she  then sat up straight in the corner  of her bed and grabbed  her rosary. She was listening intently to the  footsteps. To her  surprise,  the footsteps stopped  just outside her room’s  door. At this point, my lola already wanted to scream but she kept quiet for fear that whoever it was outside her door  would barge in and hurt  her.  The  she saw the shadow outside her room move.  The person outside  her door seemed to be sitting now, as if guarding her  from the outside. My lola couldn’t do anything. She prayed so hard that she was awake the whole night.

When dusk came,  she opened her window and screamed  for help  at her neighbor who was a  family friend. She asker her to look if the front  gate was open because she believes that a burglar  entered the house.  Her neighbor checked the gate but saw that it was locked.  My lola was  still hesitant to come out of her room.  When she finally came out of her room, she saw  that no one was outside. She was all alone.  All the doors were locked  and there was nothing missing. She decided to move  to Manila  a week  after the incident.

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