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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

The World’s 7 Most Haunted Forests Will Make You Never Try Camping Again

by Tommy DePaoli

Growing up in New England, I was surrounded by shadowy forests that seemed to go on forever. As I got older, I began to discover bits and pieces of local lore that trickle down into campfire tales and scary bedtime stories. It seemed to me that every forest had enough history to be haunted, which led to me having a Blair Witch Project reaction any time anyone suggested camping.

Now that I’m a bit older, I can see that while these spots may have had their own merits, they didn’t have anything on the really haunted forests in the world. Here are the seven most spine-tingling, scream-inducing woods across the world that you should never, ever step foot in.

7. Old House Woods, Virginia

Let’s start this list off with something nearly every haunted forest requires: a violent history. Old House Woods in Virginia was home to many a gruesome battle during the Revolutionary War and American Civil War. As a result, people have reported the ghosts of soldiers and slaves between the trees, searching for a way out.

Adults tell local children not to venture into the woods, lest they never return. Those who were lucky enough to come back reported precipitous drops in temperature, spectral figures in military regalia, and misty women floating before disappearing completely. Apparently, these woods are privately owned, and the owner will call the police on trespassers if he sees one. Could he be protecting folks from an even darker force hidden in the forest?

6. Screaming Woods, United Kingdom

Outside of Pluckley, also known as the “most haunted village in Britain,” are the Dering Woods. Despite having a normal name, most people refer to them as the Screaming Woods due to the fact that most visitors who happen upon them are bombarded with blood-curdling, banshee-like screams that are far from simply human.

These screams are said to go all the way back to the 18th century, when a highwayman named Robert Du Bois was captured by villagers and brought to the woods to be killed with a sword. Du Bois continues to harbor a grudge against those who find him in the woods. If you’re there and hear the sound of footsteps with no discernible body attached, run back the way you came.

5. Ballyboley Forest, Northern Ireland

Based on the circular trenches and distinctive stone arrangements, Ballyboley Forest in Northern Ireland is considered to be an ancient Druid site. From 1400-1700, this forest was notorious for the disappearances of several individuals without any explanation. The freakiness has only become more pronounced with time.

Very few people are willing to enter these woods, but those that did explore them have reported billows of black smoke and disembodied screaming voices in the distance. In one particularly terrifying episode, two men thought they heard a lady howling in pain. Leaving the path to attempt to find her, they discovered a tree dripping with thick strokes of blood. As they fled from sounds that started to encroach on them, one man turned around to see human-like figures in the forest, motionless and watching in brown head coverings. Stories like these have led people to believe that Ballyboley is a gateway to the Celtic “Otherworld.”

4. Freetown State Forest, Massachusetts

Part of the Bridgewater Triangle area known for a bevy of paranormal activity, the Freetown State Forest is where most of the haunting occurrences take place. Its haunted status goes all the way back to colonial times, when settlers purchased the land from the Wampanoag Tribe. This deal was dicey at best because the Native Americans believed the forest to be sacred (housing multiple American Indian burial grounds), and some consider this exchange to have driven it to be cursed.

The curse lives on into modern times as the area became synonymous with Satanic cults and murderous rituals. One famous case involved a local pimp named Carl Drew who slaughtered women as a sacrifice for his occultist leader. In an especially sadistic show, Drew ripped out a woman’s hair and fingernails before removing her head to kick around like a ball with his followers until he ended the ritual by raping her headless corpse. These dark forces continue to haunt the forest, leading visitors to feel pushed and prodded among sounds of heavy breathing and screams.

3. Devil’s Tramping Ground, North Carolina

In horror movies, pets and other animals are often the first to recognize an otherworldly presence, but humans rarely heed their warning. In real life, things aren’t much different. Dogs are said to flee from the forest clearing known as the Devil’s Tramping Ground in North Carolina, a burnt, lifeless circle of ash where nothing ever grows.

The local legend goes that the circle of devastation is caused by the Devil, who uses this area to “tramp” and contemplate ways to destroy all of humanity. No vegetation or wildlife thrives in this circle, and scientists have taken samples to study this baffling phenomenon to no avail. Those who have tried to spend a night there either don’t last until sunrise or go mad. Stranger still, any inanimate objects placed in the circle overnight are thrown outside its limits by dawn, a result of the Devil brushing aside anything in his wake.

2. Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania

In an area often referred to as the Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania, the Hoia Baciu Forest is notorious for unexplainable paranormal activity. Though locals have long been terrified of entering those woods, the forest became notorious in 1968 after a biologist named Alexandru Sift recorded a UFO-like object hovering overhead.

Supposedly, the creepily curved trees grew normally for decades, until a supernatural presence warped them. Those brave enough to enter the forest have reported rashes, nausea, vomiting, migraines, and intense, debilitating anxiety while roaming the forest, especially the constant sensation that they were being watched. The most disturbing but repeated theory is that Hoia-Baciu is home to an interdimensional portal, which causes people to disappear and have no concept of how much time has passed.

1. Aokigahara Forest, Japan

The well-known “Suicide Forest” borders Mt. Fuji in Japan and has a depressingly accurate nickname. Since the 1950s, an estimated 500 people have journeyed to Aokigahara to end their lives, and the forest continues to beckon people to die. Those who have visited the forest as tourists have come across rotting bodies swaying from tree branches and skulls and bones littering the ground.

Due to the sheer amount of tragic death, the forest has become something of a purgatory, filled with ghosts known as yurei who howl with suffering for their lives that were ended too soon. Some say that the trees themselves are filled with a malevolent energy that wants to keep you in the forest, possibly explaining why so many choose to commit suicide there. Indeed, even those who have just gone to check it out have admitted feeling a sense of permanence, like they were bound to the forest for the rest of their lives.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Cops saw ‘ghost’ during 9/11 rubble search

A retired New York City police officer claims he encountered a ghostly figure while sifting through the rubble from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Retired Lt. Frank Marra said he saw what appeared to be a black woman holding a tray of sandwiches while he searched for human remains in the rubble taken to the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, reported the New York Post.
The former officer said he saw the woman, who was dressed like a World War II-era Red Cross worker, several times.

She always appeared to be more than 50 yards away, Marra said, and would vanish as he strained his eyes for a better look.

“But you could clearly see it was a person,” he said.

The 48-year-old Marra said he buried the memory of the ghostly woman until 2013, when he conducted interviews for a book, “Hallowed Ground,” with others who had searched the landfill.

“You ever hear the stories about the old Red Cross worker trying to serve sandwiches and coffee out by the sifters?” said one retired crime-scene detective.

The recollection triggered Marra’s own memory.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks — I had put that dormant – and it just reminded me that I remembered seeing her,” Marra said.

He said a psychic medium later explained to him that he and the other officers may have seen a “soul collector” who guides other spirits to the afterlife.

Marra said other law enforcement officers told him about shadows and “large black masses” they saw while sifting through the rubble.

The remains of more than 1,600 people killed at the World Trade Center have been identified, he said, but the remains of 1,000 victims were never found.

“How many had their ashes and remains uprooted and brought to this place?” Marra said. “Why isn’t their presence believable?”

Watch video of the search efforts posted online by WTC911demolition:

Source: Raw Story

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Ghosts & Hauntings

‘Ghost’ captured on CCTV at former Nazi concentration camp blamed for making objects disappear

A shadowy figure is seen on camera at the 400-year-old castle in Czech Republic

A ‘ghost’ has been captured on CCTV in a 400-year-old Czech castle that was once used as a Nazi concentration camp.It has been blamed for the mysterious disappearance of objects from a closed exhibition, as the building is now used as a museum for local history.

In this video, a shadowy figure appears to move in front of the camera when all rooms were locked and closed.

It is also reported that no cleaners were in the room at the time.

The 17th century castle in the Czech town of Ostrov was captured by the Nazis in 1939 and turned into a concentration camp for Czech resistance fighters and opponents to the regime.

Shadows on the the surveilance camera

Mysterious: A shadowy figure appears on camera

CCTV footage was reviewed after objects allegedly started to vanish, and the strange figure was seen on the 12th and 14th of last month.

The story was published in local media after the matter was reported to police.

The camera is in the exhibition room where treasures belonging to the former castle owners – the Schlick family – are stocked.

Franz Joseph Heinrich Graf Schlik zu Bassano und Weisskirchen was born in 1789 in Prague and was the former owner of the castle.

His family was a Czech-German noble family and his father Count Joseph Heinrich Schlick was an Austrian imperial ambassador to the Danish kingdom and in the German state of Hessen.

Castle Ostrov

Castle: The 400-year-old building was once used as Nazi death camp

Franz Heinrich served in the Austrian army, and later he became a general in the army fighting against Napoleon, playing a major role in Aspern in 1809 when Napoleon was beaten for the first time.

The count lost his right eye in 1813 in the battle of the nations in the German city of Leipzig when he fought against Napoleon’s soldiers.

He ended his army career in 1859.

He died in the Austrian capital Vienna in 1862 in age of 72.

The castle’s guide Jana Dvorakova told Czech TV Nova: “I would never go there alone, not now.

Town of Ostrov

Ostrov: The town as it looks today

“I must admit I never had a good feeling about the place and now I am afraid.”

Paranormal investigator Hana Mackeova, who was called to look into the matter, said: “I felt some negative zones in some rooms.

“Something is definitely wrong there.

“I was very weak, felt sick and I had to leave.”

Local council employee Zuzana Zelezna, one of those who have offices in the castle, said: “The ghost removes objects at night.

Franz Joseph Heirich Graf Schlik

Owner: Franz Joseph Heirich Graf Schlik who lived in the castle

“We know that nobody cleans the rooms affected.”

“According to family legends Franz Joseph Heinrich Schlik carried a silver box always with him, even at battles.

“The silver box was a case for important documents and coins.

“The legend says that he has been guarding his silver box even after his death.”

The Count is reported to have been a popular figure during his lifetime, introducing educational reforms and developing both local agriculture and the economy.

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