BAGUIO GHOST HUNT

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By J.M. Ramos

My friend and I were driving around Baguio  City that night in 2001.  The night  was chilly and dark. Though previously unsuccessful in our hunts for ghosts that were  rumored  to populate Baguio after the 1990 killer earthquake, we continued to persevere in our ghost hunting activities.  There had been a minor tremor that day, and we  thought that maybe  it migh have  stirred  some otherwise dormant ghosts.

We were not  really brave souls; my friend and I just did not  believe in ghosts.  We first passed  by the former Hyatt Hotel on  South Drive. It was the most  likely place where  we would see a ghost. People say that the wind at South Drive usually  carries with it the moans and cries from those who died there.  By 8 p.m. the road was  deserted, and we parked  just outside the hotel  compound. An occasional  back from a  dog sliced through the night’s  silence, but that was  all we heard. After a few minutes, we decided to drive on.

We didn’t  see any ghosts there.  Our next destination was brent Road. Since it  was a semi-residential road,  we  did not expect traffic there at night.  And we  were right, as we parked  near the convent of the  Pink Sisters. My friend turned on the car stereo. After a minute or so, we thought  we heard  something. It sounded like a dog howling.

But unlike the dogs at South Drive, this dog sounded  like the dogs in scary movies. My friend quickly turned off  her car  stereo.  Then the howling stopped.  We laughed  nervously . We dismissed the howling  dog as  one of the “special effects” of my friend’s old car stereo. We sat back and  enjoyed the music, waiting  for something to happen.

Then we heard it again, although this time it  was a little louder. It was definitely a howling dog and the sound did not stop when we turned off the car stereo. We  were starting to freak out, for the  sound had a chilling effect. My friend started the car  and we prepared to leave. So much for ghost hunting.

And then we saw, a lone woman walking down the  road. We did not know where she had come from;  we just  saw her  there, walking  with a cane. With the  way she  was using  the cane,  we assumed  that she was  blind. That  was  a little weird, we thought.

Why would  this blind woman be alone  walking the street late at night? Though the sight of her gave us the  creeps, we nonetheless followed her and illuminated her with the  car’s  headlights. We were worried that a car might pass and would  not see her, since  the woman was garbed in dark clothes. Brent  Road was not well it; its streetlamps were widely spaced, providing only dim illumination.

So we  followed  the woman  down the road. The dog was still crying. We were  nervous . When the woman reached  the end of the road, we saw her  turn the corner and  disappear from sight. Maybe someone had fetched her after all.

At that time,  we were parked  near a lamppost. We were laughing,  thinking how silly we acted. That dog was probably just calling out to  a mate and the woman was  probably someone who  lived near the convent. Still,  we felt something was not quite  right.  We felt that something  strange was about to happen.  And we were right.

While my friend was talking to me, she  suddenly shrieked and pointed at something behind me. I did not have time to look; she had  immediately started  the car and  drove off as fast  as she could.  She was pale and was in a panic. She could not  even talk. When we reached  the end of the road,  she stopped the car and looked back at where we  came from. She was perspiring  despite the chilly night. She shrieked again and  drove off.

It was when  she was about to drop me off that she  told me what she saw. She  described it as a taong grasa. She said that she saw someone leaning  over my side of  the car. She could not tell if it was a man or a woman, as all she saw was a hood over that person’s head.  The figure had his or her face against the window, as if she or he was trying to  take a  closer look at us. She said I did not see the figure as my back was  to the person.  ‘It was creepy, like I was looking at a headless person trying to get in the car.

The light  from the  lamppost should have illuminated the figure’s  face but it didn’t. It  was spooky,” she later told me.  And what freaked  her out more as  that when she  looked back, she could not  spot a single figure on the road. I had also  looked back and I don’t remember seeing  anyone, too. She said she  was certain that she saw someone or something and it could  not have vanished into thin air.

Still feeling spooked,  she went home.  She said  she could not  shake off the  feeling  of being haunted. When she entered their house, their Igorot maid said to her,  ‘Something, a presence, followed you here. I can feel it.”

She had goose bumps and turned even paler. That night,  she swore off ghost hunting. And I did, too.

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