Ready for a haunted road trip? Sure, you can do this anytime during the year but according to some legend, spirits are most powerful in November - and it’s almost Halloween! As you gather the courage to have fun, here are some of the most popular and accessible haunted sites you might want to drive to.
Manila City Hall
Employees are informed to stay out after 6pm
People who work here say that no one should linger inside the halls of this building after sunset for ghosts are said to actively roam the whole place as if it’s time for their shift. One story even includes that of a man who hanged himself at the bell tower. Versions of these ghost stories originated from the Spanish era and another version from the 1940s -- times when Manila was under Japanese occupation. If having ghost employees isn’t enough, it is also hard to bear the coincidence that when viewed from above, the whole building is shaped like a casket with a cross on it.
Manila Film Center
Simply amazing if they don't show themselves
Some kilometers from the Manila City Hall is this magnificent structure riddled with stories (and controversy) of ghostly encounters. The Film Center, popularly known to have housed the Amazing Show from 2001 until 2009, also houses a tragic story that came from the time this building was in its final stages of construction. At 3:00 am of November 17, 1981, the building’s scaffolding of the upper floor collapsed and at least 169 construction workers fell, all of them were buried under quick-drying wet cement. It was said that some of the bodies were never recovered and construction was resumed to meet the strict deadline. The building was finished in time for the Manila International Film Festival of 1982. In line with that, however, a festival of ghostly experiences continuously surfaced over the years. Stories of hauntings from workers and from performers say that cries for help are heard whenever someone comes to visit.
Balete Drive, Quezon City
Not during rush hours!
Famous stories about a White Lady haunting Balete Drive came into public in the 1950s. Balete Drive is a street located between Aurora Boulevard and Rodriguez Avenue in Metro Manila, Philippines. Nowadays, you wouldn’t think this simple street can make any person wet his or her pants since the whole length is full of bright street lights and is a community chockful of ancestral homes. In the earlier days though, it was dark with huge, age-old Balete trees looming over.
Aside from the fact that Balete trees are enchanted (according to Philippine folklore and legends), what dreads people the most is the rumored tragedy that happened there. There came a lot of versions since, but here’s what’s consistent among all of them: a taxi driver picked up a girl, raped and killed her, threw her body beside a Balete tree somewhere along the drive afterwards. This story is well known to anyone who lives within the area and has been a subject of curiosity to people who haven’t been there. Today, it is a major route for jeepneys and cabs conveniently connecting Aurora Boulevard and E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue. Even with the heavy traffic, the legend of the White Lady still remains.
Clark Air Base Old Hospital, Pampanga
Photos from atlasobscura.com
Definitely worth seeing in case your driving takes you further north. Due to the number of deaths of American soldiers during the 2nd World War, this now abandoned hospital is believed by local residents to be haunted. Aside from the weathered structure, an ambiance that completes a creepy experience, and a facade that bore witness to a period of brutality, elements that haunt this place are said to pose violent behavior towards unwanted visitors. It’s been said that whoever goes there to explore can immediately feel the horrible vibration just upon approaching the site. I was foolishly one of them, and luckily backed out before I got into the violent behavior part.
Upon parking at a McDonald’s joint which is near the site, there will be “guides” who will offer to give you a walking tour of the hospital. The pathway that leads to the hospital is situated right past something that looks like a small power plant. Halfway through a dirt road leading to the abandoned hospital, we heard a loud scream coming from the direction where the former mental ward was. We knew we were unwelcome. Almost immediately, a number of my friends dropped to their knees as if something heavy was forcing them to go down. We were asked to go back by the “guide” who came with us, saying that it was a bad time for a tour then.
Just a reminder! Before exploring whichever site you’d like to explore during the Halloween season, make sure safety precautions are in place. Having car insurance (for the road trip), travel insurance, and life insurance are a musts! Most of these sites are old and there are more possibilities that accidents may happen caused by structural failure. More often than not, accidents during these kinds of trips are caused by spontaneous running and panic attacks.
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