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Ghosts & Hauntings

Why the ‘White Lady’ is the Scariest Ghost Story in Filipino Culture

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Ask any Filipino to tell you a story of the White Lady — it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong. The ghost of a lady in a long, white dress has been reported all over the world.

In the U.S., the most famous “lives” in a “castle” in Rochester, New York, and in Japan, Sadako from “The Ring” was inspired by true events in the life of a 14th century servant named Okiku.

In the U.S., the most famous “lives” in a “castle” in Rochester, New York, and in Japan, Sadako from “The Ring” was inspired by true events in the life of a 14th century servant named Okiku.

However, the White Lady’s depiction in Filipino culture — which happens to be teeming with ghosts — is pretty special.

To begin with, she’s extremely popular, making countless appearances in local movies, and killing characters until she’s left with protagonists to make some bargain. These usually end with her liberation from seeking revenge, which is often motivated by an untimely death.

Photo: Screenshot via YouTube / Everything Filipino

But it’s not exactly her popularity that makes her the creepiest for Filipinos. The reason lies in the assumption that she shows up anywhere, unlike other entities in local folklore.

For one comparison, the kapre, a hairy, red-eyed giant, is limited to rural areas, because he only stays on the branches of huge trees while smoking tobaccos. There aren’t many huge trees in areas like Metro Manila, and when present, there are simply too many people around to start freaking out.

A painting of the manananggal by artist Sam Flegal.

The same goes for the manananggal, a sort of vampire whose upper body detaches and flies when hunting its prey. Somehow, this creature is heard in the cities, but more likely to prevent people from roaming around the streets late at night.

Stories about such beasts are more common in far-flung rural areas, such as barangays or sitios with difficult transportation systems, which is probably why they fly.

Photo via DeviantArt / Iaaaaaaaaaan

Then there’s the tiyanak, a tiny monster that hides in the facade of an innocent baby, which is perhaps the most deceitful of them all. Because really, who can ignore the cries of a sweet-looking baby?

Sadly, people from the countryside also get more of this horror, although a belief that they originate from unnamed or aborted babies can scare everyone.

Photo via DeviantArt / bdy

Another is the duwende, sometimes referred to as the nuno sa punso. We’re really talking about a dwarf here, but this sort is so unforgiving that one step on its home — the punso or an ant hill — can expect a myriad of misfortunes ranging from common colds to deaths of loved ones.

Thankfully, the fact that cities rarely have ant hills saves residents from this creature’s horror, while rural dwellers have been accustomed to saying “tabi tabi po” (“excuse me/us”) when passing near ant hills.

Photo via DeviantArt / woofer1212

For a final match, there’s a monster called the tik-tik, which, in essence, is slightly similar to the manananggal. However, this creature assumes the form of a big, black bird and has a particular taste — it feeds on unborn babies from the roofs of houses by using its long, elastic tongue. Because big birds are rare in the cities, stories are also more popular in rural areas.

There are way more ghosts and monsters in Philippine folklore, but as far as it’s obvious, the White Lady gets one distinct advantage that others don’t — scale.

Jo, a 36-year-old mother from the province of Cavite, shared her story:

“We were driving to Manila when we crossed the first bridge from our hometown. My daughter just got back from school. It was just around 5:00 PM but it was already dark. So we turned the headlights on.

“But just as we crossed the bridge, the lights went off, and to my horror, I saw a White Lady sitting next to my daughter at the backseat.

“She had no face, but the fact that she sat next to my precious daughter was enough to make me want to move somewhere else. I don’t think I can ever cross that f***ing bridge again.”

Interestingly, the most infamous Filipino White Lady resides in a suburban area surrounded by trees. This is the ghost haunting Balete Drive, a street in New Manila, Quezon City.

The street acquires its name from the abundant Balete trees around it. This is already scary for many Filipinos because these trees have long been associated with paranormal phenomena.

But the White Lady along Balete Drive couldn’t care less, making apparitions to haunt anyone crossing.

For the longest time, witnesses have been urging drivers to avoid the street if they’re alone, especially at night. When possible, the back seat should be fully occupied and that no one should ever look back or stare in any of the car’s mirrors. You know what happens next.

The legend became so scary that many who crossed the street reported sightings, or at least feelings of uneasiness, which is completely understandable. I haven’t been there, but I was told to horn from the intersection where it starts. That should communicate that I’m asking for the White Lady’s “permission” to let me through.

Alice, a 21-year-old university student from Quezon City, agrees that the White Lady is the scariest ghost in the bunch:

“I haven’t really seen the White Lady on multiple occasions I passed by Balete Drive. Still, I felt something was always off about the street. I’m not sure if it’s just my head, the many stories I heard or there’s really something eerie going on.

“But yes, I’m scared of the White Lady the most. Stories are just everywhere. It’s probably the reason why the one at Balete Drive never showed up to me… She knows god knows what I’d do if I see her.”

Do you think the White Lady is the scariest ghost in town? Share your thoughts/experiences in the comments!

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Disneyland – The Happiest Place on Earth Haunted?

Have you been to the one of the most famous theme parks on the planet – Disneyland? While this massive park offers a variety of games and fun rides, there are scary stories that mar the lands surrounding  Sleeping Beauty Castle. Haunting legends and myths of the super-natural have been circulating there for many years now. In this article, we will dig deeper into the eerie sightings and mysterious events of one of the happiest place on earth!

Ten haunting stories of Disneyland

The Monorail

Who says that sneaking into some place has no consequences? For a teenage boy who tried sneaking into Disneyland, the result was his life.

In June of 1966, Thomas Cleveland, 19 years old tried to sneak into Disneyland during Grad Night – an event sponsored every June whereas Disneyland honors high school graduates by staying open late.

With pronounced enthusiasm, the unfortunate youngster made his way into the park illegally by climbing a fence. A guard warned him to get down, but Cleveland did not listen and attempted to escape on to the train tracts below. As he ran away, he was struck by the monorail and was dragged approximately 40 feet before the train halted.

Soon after scary stories about the accident were reported. People have described a ghost of a teenager apparently running along the monorail train at night. Others claim that they could see the figure of a young man in the spot where he died. The most unusual report states Cleveland’s silhouette would appear  for a moment, and then vanish into thin air. Cleveland’s spirit has been seen running along the train, but no one knows the reason, Some suggest his soul continues to linger in the place where he died.

Walt Disney Ghost?

The founder of Disneyland, Walt Disney himself is one of the more famous ghosts in the park. When he was alive, he kept an apartment over the fire station on Main Street. It was said that he and his family used the apartment to enjoy the park, as well an office for Mr. Disney to get some work done. Numerous patrons can remember seeing the apartment’s window lighted every evening, meaning  Mr. Disney was working late at his desk. When he died in 1966, as a tribute to Walt Disney, the park has kept a light on in the apartment.

In one occasion, a cast member turned off the light in Disney’s apartment only to find the light turned on again. As soon as she returned to the apartment’s room, she heard a voice that said, “I am still here.”

In another version of Walt Disney’s ghost, it was a maid who turned off the apartment light at the end of her nightly cleaning. After leaving the apartment and heading to Main Street she turned around to see the light was still on. Thinking perhaps somehow she forgot to turn it off, she went back, turned the lights off again and returned on her way via Main Street. Once more she checked from a distance to see the apartment lights still on. Thinking it was a short in the lamp, the maid returned to the building shut off the light again and went downstairs. Looking backwards for a last time on Main Street, she saw the light blink and this time the drapes in the window pulled tight as if someone was still in the apartment.

The Matterhorn

Another haunting story of Disneyland involves the Matterhorn, a roller coaster that resembles the bobsled’s of Switzerland. On Jan 3, 1984, a woman named Dolly Young had an unfortunate accident on this very ride. According to the story, she was alone in the back seat and a child was alone in the seat in front of her. At some point of the ride, Dolly was assisting the child causing her to lose balance and hit the cross track overhead just before a dip. She was catapulted into the air and was struck by an oncoming  bobsled.

Based on the reports at that time, inspectors had to dismantle the track to dislodge Dolly’s body. In another version of Dolly’s story, the investigators didn’t see any blood on the track, only her legs and feet were sticking out from under the bobsled.

After Dolly’s accident, the cast members and other patrons in Disneyland had experienced cold spots, and feelings of someone behind them watching over them.  Others claimed hearing a woman’s voice, which they believed was Dolly’s.

An employee claims not far from Dolly’s death spot, famously known as “Dolly’s Dip,” are the burned out lights in the tunnel. For some reason the tunnel lights have been continuously out for extended periods of time.

Space Mountain Ghosts

The Space Mountain in Disneyland seemed to house ghosts of people who died while riding or near the building of the ride. One well known spirit in Space Mountain is known as “Mr. One Way.” According to ghost stories, an Imagineer stood up on the Space Mountain ride and was beheaded.  This incident happened when the coaster was still for test runs during the 1970s.

These days, the beheaded man was described as a tall with red hair and red face. Some believe to see his ghost in the seat next to a single rider, mysteriously the phantom would disappear when the ride ended. Mr. One Way’s specter has been spotted in multiple areas adjoining Space Mountain. Cast members in the locker room the main building sometimes glimpse him too.

Another ghost of the Space Mountain is Disco Debbie. She was a Disney cast member that died because of an aneurysm. Her death occurred in the backstage of the Space Mountain building.

Disco Debbie has been described as a green and flying spirit. Guests and cast members saw her phantom many times during their visit to the Space Mountain.

Today, both Mr. One Way and Disco Debbie haunt Space Mountain, and many still feel they’ve seen them lurking on either the ride or within the building.

The Haunted Mansion

Like the space mountain ride, the Mansion is one of the attractions in Disneyland that has a sinister reputation. Stories like the crying boy, the music from the séance room, the disappearing spellbook, the ghost of the man with a cane and the infamous spreading of cremated remains are all part of the mansion history and current ghostly condition.

The crying boy incident is just one of the many people who sneakily spread their loved ones cremated ashes in the Haunted Mansion. Despite the illegalities of the said act, visitors continue to sprinkle cremated remains in the mansion as a attempt to give the ride its infamous 1,000th ghost. The story goes that a mother placed the ashes of her dying son there at his request to become one of the Haunted Mansions ghosts. His ghost they say, has been seen crying at the entrance of the mansion. The same little boy is also reputedly spotted on the Pirated of the Caribbean ride.

Another unusual story happened in the 1960s, when the mansion was still being built. A sound designer in the Séance room one morning heard music coming from the wall. At first, he thought it was a radio, but the sound was all about music, no typical radio conversation, and no commercials. Despite his best attempts he could not isolate where the music was coming from. As days passed by, the music didn’t stop, so the designer decided to place a public speaker beside the wall where the sound was coming from, to mask out and hide the mysterious, unknown music .

Another scary legend is the spell book in the séance circle was a real sorcerer’s book and the host Madame Leota was reciting spells from it. For some reason the spell book would mysteriously move during the night. Each morning cast members of Disneyland would arrive at the mansion to open it, and they would find the spellbook in a different place than it was the previous night.

Lastly, the story of the shadowy man with a cane dates back in the 1940’s before the land for the park was purchased. A man piloting a small plane crashed into the lake where Disneyland would eventually be built. The man who from the accident was said to have settled in the haunted mansion. Both visitors and staff purport that they have seen a shadowy man with a cane in the ride and after closing hours.

The Main Street’s White Lady

Seeing a lady dressed in a white gown is a well-known ghostly encounter in different parts of the world and Disneyland too has such a specter. It was believed that a woman died in the 1900s and her spirit still wanders about the park. Based on what is said, the soul is good-natured, and  dressed in white Victorian clothing. She has been reported meandering Main Street and at times helping lost children find their way back to their parents or to a safe haven.

Some Disneyland employees presume that the old-timey feel of the Main Street is possibly the reason her spirit still lingers . If other ghosts in Disneyland were like this lady in white policing the park, young visitors may actually have a true guardian angel to protect and help them.

Seeing a lady dressed in a white gown is a well-known ghostly encounter in different parts of the world and Disneyland too has such a specter. It was believed that a woman died in the 1900’s and her spirit still wanders about the park. Based on what is said, the soul is good-natured, and  dressed in white Victorian clothing. She has been reported meandering Main Street and at times helping lost children find their way back to their parents or to a safe haven.

Some Disneyland employees presume that the old-world feel of Main Street is possibly the reason her spirit still lingers . If other ghosts in Disneyland were like this lady in white policing the park, young visitors may actually have a true guardian angel to protect and help them.

The River Spirit

In 1973, two brothers decided to stay on Tom Sawyer’s Island after the park closed. They tried to swim across the “Rivers of America”, but the older brother drowned. This story was believed to be the origin of the shadowy figure in the river attraction.

Over time, visitors have witnessed unexplained splashing in the waters of Tom Sawyer’s Island often at the end of the evening ride. Employees never can find what causes the disturbance, but secretly suggest it’s related to the death of the drowned older brother.

America Sings

In 1974, “America Sings” was launched in Disneyland. It was a musical of the first 200 years of the United States of America. Just about a week after the opening, one of the cast members Deborah Stone died behind the scenes. She was crushed between the wall of the rotating section of the audience and the stationary stage during the show.

No one saw the grueling accident, but people reported hearing screams coming from someone who’s in pain. After the performance, they found the dead body of Deborah. The incident led to the temporary closure of America Sings and installation of safety measures in the show.

After this accident and to this day, even though America Sings no longer exists, people still hear a woman’s haunting voice saying, “Be Careful,” at the site where Deborah died.

Another accident related to America Sings attraction is of a teenage boy who died in the Speed Tunnel Section of the People Mower at the outer edge of the building. Patrons tell stories of a teenage boy lurking in the area and startling people then vanishing into thin air.

Small World

The Small World ride is strange  in itself but eerie stories make it scarier than ever. According to some visitors and a Disney employees, the small world dolls change positions, disappear and reappear when they want and even come to life much resembling real humans in a little body. It has been said that on some occasions the toys keep on dancing and singing after hours when the electricity had been shut off.

Apart from the dancing and singing dolls, Disney personnel have heard little footsteps and laughing especially in the dark in the complex. According to the crews, it was as if someone was watching them. The lights in the small world reputably world turn on and off without human manipulation.

Pirates of the Caribbean

If you’re not afraid of ghosts then what about real skulls from the dead? The Pirates of Caribbean is one of the most famous rides in all of  Disneyland. It is said that Disney used real bones back in 1967 when the Imagineers had a hard time producing fake ones. Apparently the bones were obtained from the medical school in UCLA. Today the bones in the Pirates of Caribbean are replicas only, but some believe that real bones still are hidden within the structure of the ride.

According to crew members and visitors, they’ve seen the bones and puppets mysteriously changing position. They also claimed to hear footsteps and breathing especially at night. Others claimed seeing ghosts and even Walt Disney himself.

Another ghost story in the Pirates of Caribbean involved a boy who was seen in camera smiling, laughing and looking like he’s enjoying the ride, but when the boat comes back to the station, the boy wasn’t there.

Conclusion

We can never really feel secure in the thought that specters and hauntings may exist unless we withness a ghostly apparition ourselves. If you want to experience haunting phenomena, then perhaps Disneyland is the place to be. Although it is the happiest place on earth, it also has a dark mysterious side – being that of a haunted park.

Interesting links:

https://www.ocregister.com/2015/10/26/10-scary-legendary-ghost-tales-of-disneyland-haunts/

https://wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/haunted-disneyland-ghosts-in-the-happiest-place-on-earth

http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2017/01/13/the-ghosts-of-disneyland-and-other-creepy-disney-legends/

http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2017/03/a-spooky-tour-through-haunted-disneyland/

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Independent witnesses report silent ghost plane over Ripley, UK which ‘turned the sky dark’

Christopher Harper and Nick Reid
Derby Telegraph

Separate reports of a mysterious ghost plane have emerged in Derbyshire where witnesses have seen a dark, silent shape’ sweep across the sky.

Onlookers have stated they have seen a dark shape in the sky at around 6.45pm on Monday night at different locations across the county.

Mark O’Brien believes he saw a quiet, low-flying plane fly above him after picking his daughter up from her swimming lesson in Ripley.

He said: “It was so low, it must have been only been around two or three houses high. I thought it was going to crash at one point but it was large and very quiet.

“I remember it flying above me and my heart stopping for a second. It looked like an old World War Two plane but it was dark so I couldn’t make it out.

“I panicked because I thought it was coming down on the houses near Ashford Rise which is near my house. There was no noise or smoke. It just flew off and disappeared between some nearby trees.

“I came into work today and told my colleagues about what had happened, thinking they would expect me to be crazy.

Dozens more sightings of silent ghost plane over Derbyshire

“But one of them said they had saw the plane as well fly around Heage. It’s so weird really but I know quite a lot of people have seen them before”.

Lyndsey Taylor, of Barnsley, claims to have seen two ghost planes at the same time as Mr O’Brien, only this time near the village of Hope, in the Derbyshire Peak District.

She said: “The whole thing was really weird, we were driving towards Bamcroft when the radio suddenly lost all signal and the sky just went really dark.

“All of a sudden this huge old aeroplane flew straight over our heads, completely silent and was heading for the ground.

“My partner and daughter both saw the same thing. We thought it was going to crash, but then it just disappeared.

“Seconds later we saw what looked like the same aircraft, this time to our left, and it banked over on its side and looked as though it was going to crash before disappearing.

“There is no way a real plane could have had the speed or the height to pull out of it, but we heard no crash at all.

“The plane looked really old with propellers and was green.

“The whole thing lasted a couple of seconds and before we knew it, it was all over and it had got brighter again.

“I don’t know if there is such a thing as a ghost plane, but I cant think what else it can be.”

Pam Orridge said the news of the new sightings prompted her to remember a sighting from a few years ago.

She said: “My son and I were driving along the A6 towards Rowsley from Darley Dale.

“We had just passed Church Road on our left and well before Arconic Forgings and Extrusion also on the left.

“Suddenly in front of us was an aircraft flying very low towards us.

“So low we thought it would crash into us but then it banked sideways and disappeared.

“We could not identify the aircraft other than it was old because it happened so quickly and left us quite shocked.”

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Ghosts & Hauntings

This Tiny Island in Maine Is One Horror Story After the Next

What could be so scary about an island just barely off-shore? There’s no space for grass, trees, or any other plant life trying to break through the craggy terrain of Boon Island, just six short miles off the southeast coast of Maine. The sight of mainland’s shore—easily visible from the island—is perhaps the most frightening feature of the watery pile of granite that snares sailors like flies in a spider’s web. Marooned just a stone’s throw distance from civilization could drive anyone to madness or gruesome means of survival. Boon Island has seen all that and more.

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Boon Island is older than colonial America, its recorded “discovery” dating back to at least 1682, when the trading vessel Increase wrecked against its rocky peaks. The four survivors, three white men and a Native American, survived by eating fish and gull’s eggs. Bitter cold and violent, the breaking waves of the Atlantic kept the survivors firmly in place until a month later, eyes trained on the mainland shore, they watched smoke curling over Mount Agamenticus. Quickly, the sailors built their own fire as a signal.

Native Americans, for the millionth time in history, graciously came to the rescue of the white men seeking to loot the land. Boon Island’s namesake was supposedly born of these survivors—their rescue a “boon granted by God,” though the island and appellation appear in shipping records prior to the Increase’s deliverance under different spellings. The island’s next “boon” would require more than a sacrifice of human life—it would require the surrender of humanity itself.

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The British ship Nottingham Galley shipwrecked on Boon Island on December 11, 1710. Fighting starvation and a brutal winter, the few survivors resorted to eating their dead, all the while watching the mainland, just out of reach. Despite their gruesome account upon rescue—and the subsequent practice of local fisherman leaving barrels of provisions on the island for the inevitable use of shipwrecked sailors—it took another 80 years before the erection of a lighthouse. A wooden tower, it survived just 5 years before the brutal Atlantic winter storms took it down, when frothing waves hurled boulders across the bedrock like skipping stones.

A year later, in 1805, the project began anew, this time with stones as foundation for the tower. The three workers tasked with its construction drowned upon their returning sail home—just miles from shore.

Grieving Widow’s Island

The nineteenth century brought many iterations of a lighthouse that would not stand on Boon Island, with many men tasked with keeping the windy, damp rock well-lit. One legend tells of the newly wedded keeper who brought his wife to the island, where he fell ill and died during a nasty squall. Despite her grief, his widow climbed the 168 stairs to light the lamp for the remaining days of the storm.

When mainlanders noticed the tower going unlit, they voyaged to the island to investigate. There, they found her deranged with grief and wandering the rocks in hysterics. Though she made it back to mainland, she died just a few short weeks after her return.

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The Coast Guard keepers who maintained the tower in the 20th century tell of “a sad faced young woman shrouded in white” who haunts Boon Island. Local lore supposes she is the ghost of the mistress of the captain of the Nottingham Galley, while others (rightly) claim she is the widow, returned to the island in search of her fallen husband. Bob Roberts, who worked as a Coast Guard keeper in the 1970s, frequented the island and described “strange events” that he couldn’t explain:

“One time, [Roberts] and fellow crewman Bob Edwards were off the island fishing, and they drifted too far from the island to make it back in time to turn the light on before dark. There wasn’t a person on the island, but somehow the light was glowing brightly by the time the keepers returned. On other occasions [Roberts] and others heard doors mysteriously opening and closing. When we would go to turn on the fog signal, he felt as if ‘someone was watching.’”

On another occasion, Coast Guardsman Dave Wells was doing routine maintenance on the tower when his Labrador retriever became spooked. The dog “chased something from one end of the island to the other and back again.” There was nothing he could see, though the dog continued its hunt.

“We figured the island must be haunted, but nothing ever bothered us,” says Wells.

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Forsaken Island

In the 20th and 21st century, the lighthouse changed ownership almost as many times as it replaced its keepers. In 1978, when an ocean storm launched boulders across the granite island, the two men who would be the island’s final keepers narrowly escaped a stormy death in the tower. The roiling sea damaged the fuel tanks, helicopter pad, generator building, boathouse, and boat launch. It was finally decided that the station should be automated.

In 2012, Boon Island Lighthouse was put up for sale by the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act of 2000 to “eligible federal, state and local agencies, non-profit corporations, educational agencies, and community development organizations to be used for educational recreation, cultural or historic preservation purposes,” but no one bid for the accursed tower—cultural posterity be damned. Online auction of the tower brought a bid by a real estate developer for $78,000, who somehow managed to flip it. The current owner, Boon Island LLC, is registered in Wilmington, Delaware, and Boon Island and its lighthouse sit abandoned and watchful, providing automated light flashes to passing ships and a strange gravitational pull to sailors who try to pass it.

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There are no tours of the lighthouse. The only way to explore the lighthouse is arriving by air or sea, but do yourself a favor and enjoy it while you remain firmly planted on the mainland.

Read More On This At Fodors.com

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