Halloween 2017: Four Scary Places to Visit in the Philippines
“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen. Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight it is Halloween!” –Dexter Kozen
Halloween (being somewhat of a western holiday) is normally just a regular day for Filipinos. With the majority of them preparing for the first and second of November where they are seen converging in cemeteries to visit their dearly departed loved ones, the 31st of October often passes by without notice. However, as Filipinos are rather well-known for borrowing western culture and by extension holidays, celebrating Halloween has been somewhat of a twenty-first-century phenomenon. Halloween parties are celebrated, Halloween balls are hosted by bars, children are seen trick or treating and kids and adults are like can be seen in costumes.
But for a majority of Filipinos, Halloween means merely a night sitting at home watching the Halloween special of MGB where a local news anchor would regale viewers of (supposedly) true stories about individual encounters with the supernatural. But, in lieu of spending a night at home watching reruns of slasher movies, why not experience a real spook fest yourself by visiting some of the country’s scariest places? So, pack your bags and instead of looking for the next Halloween soiree in Makati, visit one of these sites instead for a real spooky delight:
1.) Sunken Cemetery
Considered as a tourist attraction today, the Sunken Cemetery in Camiguin was once a peaceful ground for the repose of souls of dearly departed ones. This unorthodox and peculiar Sunken Cemetery is one of the remnants of Mt.Vulcan Daan’s eruption in the 1870’s which left the cemetery submerged and killed everyone in the vicinity. It has been said that bodies of fire can be seen walking on water shouting in pain. If you wish to give this cemetery a visit, you can go there by boat. To elevate your experience, opt to go diving and explore the rest of the graveyard underwater.
2.) Casa Gorordo
Located in the Queen City of the South, Casa Gorordo was once owned by the first Filipino bishop of Juan Gorordo (thus the name). The bishop passed in 1934 from an unspecified disease and it has been said that instead of the bishop’s ghost haunting the house, it is his sister who wanders around the halls of the house. Her spirit is usually found haunting near the chapel or sitting near it.
3.) Bahay na Pula
One destination that has brought San Ildefonso, Bulacan infamy (in a good way) is the horror house designated as the Bahay Na Pula. Aptly named for the unusual coloring of the house, it has been said that the house used to be the barracks of Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. Women were hidden and kept as sex slaves in the house with the majority of them tortured and massacred. This led to the local lore and accounts of women being heard crying and shrieking within the house.
4.) Manila Film Center
The terrible tragedy that befell on the Manila Film Center made international news. So, it would be no surprise that everyone is still well-aware of the notoriety that surrounds the place. Slated as the venue for the first Manila Film Festival, a catastrophe occurred during its construction leading to many workers being buried underneath scaffoldings and ceilings in the concrete below. Rumors were that then First Lady Imelda Marcos wanted to speed up the creation of the building that the workers were left to be buried alive rather than rescued. This event spurred the accounts of hearing the workers’ souls wailing for help with their souls still trapped inside.