Haunted Places You Should Visit To Celebrate Halloween
Do you dare?
There’s something about Halloween that gives us a little more courage to face the scary, creepy and daunting things in life. Maybe it’s a little thrill we allow ourselves just once a year, or maybe it’s the energy we get from everyone else preparing their homes, costumes and faces. Who knows?
Whatever the reason, we dare you to push it just a little more this year. After all, what better way is there to embrace the Halloween spirit that visiting some of the Philippines’ most haunted places? Sometimes we forget just how much tragic history our country has—and how much tragedy refuses to leave.
Balete Drive, Quezon City
You know this place; the name is enough to give you chills. But let us tell you the story anyway. That’s what you’re here for anyway, isn’t it?
Named after the rows of balete trees that line it, Balete Drive is something straight out of a horror flick. For one thing, baletes are known to be the homes of paranormal beings. Second, the stories of people brave enough to drive along it in the middle of the night are frightening.
More often than not, the stories are about a bloody and faceless white lady that is said to haunt the roads. One second you’re just driving as usual, the next you look at your rearview mirror and she’s sitting in the backseat. Rumor has it that she was raped and killed on Balete Drive. Seeking vengeance? Seeking her tormentors? Whichever reason, motorists are well advised not to pass once the sun sets, have a fully-seated backseat or just never—never—look at the rear view mirror.
Capitol Medical Center, Quezon City
Hospitals generally give us the creeps as is, but the Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City gives an entirely different chilling experience. All those in the know are careful not to use one particular elevator, where doctors say an orderly died. The orderly was apparently speaking to someone while getting on it and didn’t notice that there was no elevator cabin—and they plunged to their death.
So what happens when someone does use it? Kevin Sandiego once went on the record and said that he and his family once used it with the intention of getting off the second floor. But when they got it, the elevator stopped at the basement, where a man got off. The Sandiegos followed the man, thinking he knew of a way out. When the man turned left, so did the family. And it would have been fine, except the turn lead straight into a wall and the man that brought them there was nowhere to be seen.
Fort Santiago, Intramuros
As the setting of hundreds of tortures and killings, it’s no wonder why people say Fort Santiago remains to be the home of World War II civilians and soldiers. It is said that soldiers’ ghosts still patrol the area at night, mixed in with actual guards who have the unfortunate job of keeping the haunted place safe.
Little piece of advice: Don’t talk to anyone you see dressed in uniform.
Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor
A boat ride away from Manila Bay is Corregidor, an important island in our country’s history. There were battles fought, blood shed and countless lives taken. And hey, this Malinta Tunnel was built to be bomb-proof—and therefore became a place of safe haven.
Nevertheless, the long and eerie tunnel eventually housed itself as a makeshift hospital where more than a thousand individuals were being treated. Now open to local and international tourists, there are countless stories of unexplained shadows, out-of-nowhere noises and sudden drops in temperature.
Ozone Disco Club, Quezon City
More than a decade ago, the Ozone Disco Club was the place to see and be seen—which is why hundreds of graduates decided to celebrate their freedom from school her. But on March 18, 1996, everyone’s favorite place caught fire and killed almost 200 students. When the fire was finally resolved, authorities saw burned bodies littered along the corridor that lead to the establishment’s only exit. Guess fire exits weren’t a thing then.
The same space is now abandoned, of course, but residents around the area still claim hearing party music coming from the exact spot that the club used to stand. Not only that; they see silhouettes still dancing in the middle of the night. So… dance with them?
The Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament, De La Salle University, Manila
Old Manila may have gotten a facelift from World War II, but the dead seem to have no problem recognizing it. DLSU’s Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament is where many La Sallian brothers and civilians were massacred by Japanese soldiers. Some of those victims are said to still roam those pew rows with the school’s staff and students swapping their own eerie sighting stories.
As a graduate of DLSU, the feeling never leaves you. Sure, I never saw anything happen, but sitting on those pews is definitely a far cry from my normal Sunday masses.
The Diplomat Hotel, Baguio City
It may be abandoned now, but this space that dates back more than a hundred years was first a seminar, a school and then a hotel. During World War II, several nuns and priests were beheaded by the Japanese soldiers there. Now visitors see headless ghosts walking around.
Not to mention there are also claims of hearing the screams and cries of babies and children. Apparently, WWII wasn’t safe for the young either; they were massacred along a fountain not far from the decrepit hotel.
So, what say you? Maybe this Halloween, skip the parties and take a frightful adventure instead.
Art Alexandra Lara