By: Lachian Gow
My name is Lachlan and I’m Scotland- the land of Braveheart. My wife, Jasmine, is Filipina and one of our two children was born in the Philippines. You could say that I’m modern man. My father, a Scotland Highlander, has the ‘second slight’ of his ancient Highland race, but I, in contrast, have always been totally blind to any supernatural phenomena. My wife, a Roman Catholic, has much more belief in the unseen, miraculous world.
The tale I’m about to relate is all the more wondrous as I witnessed these supernatural events myself. This true story happened to my family and me in 1994 in Sucat Paranaque . In November of 1994, I was in England working at my company’s head office in London, and organizing the official UK documents for my family to live there. My wife and infant son had moved with her parents from Pasay to a modern two-storey house in Sucat, Paranaque. My son’s baptism was getting close and I made plans to be there. I was especially excited, as I haven’t seen my son and I wanted his baptismal to be special. I flew out on PAL and arrived in November. My wife met me and we rode a taxi to Sucat . I was happy to be with my family but I was quite fatigued from the trip . My wife suddenly said. “Papa, we have a multo (ghost in our house!” The first thought in my tired head were, “Oh great -I’ve gotten here and already we’ve got ghost and ghoul stories! I guess it’ll be an aswang next!” My wife told me of nocturnal voices whispering her name and seeking attention. Her mother and younger sister her told me of shadows and fleeting glimpses of people and also being spoken to. They said it was a whole family- adults and children -and they often asked to eat with my wife’s family. Everything seemed normal when I arrived . I settled in quickly in the room I shared with my wife and son. It had built-in cupboards, a double bed, a baby-cot and and oscillating stand fan. Sitting on top of the cot was a baby ‘s exercise toy, with various rotating
parts consisting of rattles, mirrors, and other shapes. During the first night, our son slept on our bed next to the wall, my wife slept in the middle and I was on the outside . I always like sleeping with the lights off. I wasn’t sleepy yet since the UK was seven hours behind and my bio-clock was still set on British time. It was just after midnight when the voices started.
I heard a Psst!” which was repeated several times. Then I heard, “Mina” (my wife’s name). The voices all seemed to be from inside the room. My eyes have adjusted to the grayishdarkness and I saw black shapes move around the room . This was very strange but I felt that there was a rational explanation that I’d work out the next day. Meanwhile the voices continued and only when it almost daybreak. The next day, I worked out a list of reasons for the noises and shadows-noisy pipes, insects, wind effect, and spiteful or mischievous neighbors. One by one logic and my investigation wrote off each item until I was left with no logical explanation at all. On the second night, we slept with the light on. I was reading to while away the time until I got sleepy. At around midnight, the voices started again. “Psst, Psst, Psst” and “Mina” again and again. I tried to concentrate on my book, trying to ignore the sounds. After a while I could hear the sounds getting louder and more insistent. “Psst! Psst! Psst! I still didn’t look up.
All of a sudden the oscillating fan began making a weird sound. It had been making soothing rhythmic effects when the wind hit the baby-toy, a sort of ” chicka-chicka-chick” sound. Suddenly, the toy started rattling continuously ” chicka-chicka-chicka-chicka-chick!” Yet the fan still moved around normally. I almost jumped out of bed when I heard that. I looked up from my reading, and the rattling sound returned to normal. Although, the voices still continued until dawn.
The next night, my wife and I visited friends and came home just after midnight. As we walked toward the house, I glanced at the way the streetlight illuminated the compound, and I was briefly reminded of street scenes in The Exorcist. Back in our room, all was peaceful, We locked the door as usual. We lay down and did what husbands and wives do in bed. Afterward, my wife slept and I read my book. Then the voices started again. Suddenly, I felt the bed move- up and down, from head to foot. I looked at my wife but she was asleep and motionless. My son was also asleep. I thought it was an earthquake but when I looked at the bottle of water on our bedside table, I found that it was completely still. The bed continued to move up and down, not really shaking but moving steady and rhythmically. I sat up in bed, looking at the sheet that was draped over my wife’s and my feet, trying to figure out this puzzle, I even mused that it was the multo making fun of our earlier passionate motions. All of a sudden, beyond the end of the bed, I saw a black round shape start to appear in the gap between our feet, it looked like black hair on a small head, perhaps a child’s. I stared at this vision, which rose up then dropped out of sight . As I stared in amazement, the black shape appeared again. This time it kept rising, until I could see brown skin below the hairline. As it revealed a forehead, I freaked out and started shaking my wife and shouting at her to wake up. She awoke a little but she fell asleep again. I sat in bed rigidly, staring at the where the head had appeared, for it had disappeared out of sight again. How did it get in? The door was locked ! I thought about crawling to the foot of the bed to look over the end, but I chickened out. Instead, I pulled my legs towards me and concentrated on my book, desperately waiting for daylight. The next day, I got a sheet of paper and a pen, and in my poor Tagalog wrote “Pangalan mo?” [Your name?] I then put the paper and pen on the floor at the foot of the bed. That night, just before midnight, I chickened out and took away the paper and pen. My wife was asleep and I was again reading. Like clockwork, the voices started again. I tried to ignore them but as if to attract my attention, a packet of Jack and Jill snacks on the bedside table started to rustle for no reason. The voices got louder. I couldn’t take it anymore. In my basic Tagalog, I demanded that the voices leave us alone. I must have been forceful, because the voices suddenly stopped. After that, no one heard any voices at all during the rest of my vacation. We went out the night before I was to leave for the UK. When we got home, locked the bedroom door and put my money into my wife’s bag. The next morning, my wife said that she couldn’t find the P500 bills I had put there. All the P500 bills had disappeared into thin air! My wife said it was the multo’s last revenge for me getting angry with them.
Before I left for the airport, I went alone into the room and apologized to the multos for my rudeness and bad temper. I was a little scared for my family. I asked the multos for forgiveness and asked them to return if they wished. Once I was back in England, I phoned the Philippines and my wife told me the multo family had indeed returned.
Many weeks later, I was reading an article in a history magazine about events in Manila in 1944. During the assault by US forces to liberate the city from the Japanese, over 100,000 Filipinos were killed, many through Japanese atrocities and the rest in bombing and shelling by US air and naval forces. Many of those deaths occurred in Sucat. Could it be that our multo family was one of those tragically killed by shells and bombs in 1944, their lives cut short before their time? Could it be that they just want to share smiles, laughter, warmth, delicious food and friendship with the living? I wish I knew more. Ever since then, I have felt sad that I didn’t try to understand. But maybe it’s not too late.