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Real Ghost Stories



In 2001, right after the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Administration assumed office in Malacanang Palace in Manila, a couple of us Information Officers from attached agencies of the former Office of the Press Secretary were detailed to our tour of duty at the palace's Press office.

Our group comprised what was then known as the Operations Center. We were directly involved in several information related requirements of the President's travel and state visit plans. We were also involved in the President's Media Interaction team, and the Palace's News Desk. Suffice it to say, we work the clock 24/7.

We were provided with food and accommodation so none of us have to go home every day. We were each given our own weekly two-days off to see our families, feed our pets, do our laundries and pay the bills. After which, we go back to the palace and stay for five days.

Our assigned sleeping quarter was at the "right tower" of the Arlegui Guest House - the same house where Presidents Cory Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada stayed during their term as presidents.

The right tower is accessed through the bedroom that was once occupied by Presidential daughter, and media personality Kris Aquino. At that time, the bedroom was designated as the official receiving room of the Press Secretary.

Because the office is scheduled to operate 24 hours a day, we worked in shifts. So it is normal to find three or four people working at the staff area during the night shift, while the rest (often three or four people or less) are found snoring in the sleeping quarters.

Within the six months that we've stayed in the said area, every one of us had a story to tell, and all of them bordered on the creepy. But one night stood out for me and my friend, Hazel, who was also our media placement officer.

It was eleven PM, and we were waiting for the arrival of the night shift people. Hazel was doing the wrap ups on her reports, and I was preparing to brush my teeth. Upstairs, in the tower, our errand boy, Rey, was already asleep.

There was nothing out of the ordinary until my eyes caught the curtain that leads to the balcony. It was parted, as if someone was standing there and holding the curtains apart with his hands, only no one was there, and there was nothing to hold the curtains open like that.

Like I said - it seemed like nothing if I hadn't focused on it. I had no idea how long it had been like that, but I knew it shouldn't be like that because the glass door leading to the balcony was closed.

I felt like my head grew to three times its normal size. Especially when the curtains closed as if suddenly released.

I told Hazel that we should hurry up and go upstairs. Hazel must have sensed that I was nervous because her eyes registered concern.

Once we got to the tower, Hazel asked me what it was that bothered me, so I told her. We decided that it would be better to just sleep and let the night shift staff deal with whatever it was there was downstairs.

While we were trying to sleep, I could distinctly hear the muffled sound of a ball softly bouncing on the wooden floor boards of the office below us. I looked at Hazel in the dark to see if she's awake, and I saw her staring back at me. I knew then that she could hear the same bouncing sound I was hearing.

Although I wasn't sleepy, and my mind was highly alert, I closed my eyes and covered my face with my blanket. I don't know how long I had stayed that way, and I don't recall falling asleep. But suddenly, I felt Hazel jumping into my side of the bed and screaming, "They're here! They're here!" That jolted me up, and I turned to her to see what the hell was going on.

She was on her side of the bed, wide awake, and perfectly still.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

What was I supposed to say? So I lay down again. And since I wasn't sleepy, I didn't bother to close my eyes. I focused instead on the sound of Rey's rhythmic snoring.

And then, it happened again. Hazel jumping on my side of the bed and screaming, 'They're here! They're here!"

I turned, and there was - Hazel, her eyes closed, but I could tell she was awake.

I stared at her a little longer just to make sure she wasn't going crazy (because if she was, then that would ease my mind of my own suspicion that I was going crazy.)

Hazel's eyes fluttered wide open, and she was staring right in front of her. There was no fear in her eyes. Not even confusion. She sat up, looked at me and Rey for a while, before she lay down again.

I turned away, and the same thing happened two more times - her suddenly jumping on my side of the bed and screaming, "They're here, they're here," or at least, I believed it happened that way. But every time I'd turn around to look at here, she'd be on her side of the bed, lying quietly on her side and very much awake.

As I believed I was very much awake.

Finally, it was 4 am, and both of us were still awake, though very quiet and still. We didn't talk at all through that whole thing. I told her I had to go down to read through the day's issues in the morning papers. She nodded her head and I left her sitting on her side of the bed, still very quiet. And Rey was still snoring on his bed.

Downstairs, only two of the normally four night-shifters reported, and they were busy going through the e-mails and online news. I asked them what time they punched in. One of them said he punched in at fifteen after twelve, while the other guy said he punched it at around quarter before one.

It didn't seem like they noticed anything out of the ordinary, and I didn't bother to ask.

I did what I had to do, and wrote my reports (ratio of bad news vis-à-vis good news) and that day being a Saturday, and since it was still early (six-thirty in the morning) I decided to go back up to the tower to sleep off the remainder of the morning. Rey was already up and fixing his bed, while Hazel was still awake and yawning, and finally feeling sleepy. But on my way up, I caught the last part of the story that Rey was telling Hazel. According to him, he was awakened several times during the night by my jumping into his bed and screaming, "They're here! They're here!" But every time he'd look at me, he'd see me on my side of the bed, and lying perfectly still, while hazel is seated on her side and looking at both of us. Rey said it was a very creepy night for him.

After Rey went down for coffee, I told Hazel my side of the story. And I felt it, like there was this solid thing between us. I sensed that Hazel also had her own story to tell.

She did.

She said she heard the muffled sound of a ball bouncing on the wooden floor boards, and the giggling of two children down at the office. Then she heard people chatting downstairs, around seven or nine of them, and how these people suddenly decided to go up to the tower. She said she could hear their foot steps going up for what seemed like several minutes, but they never seem to reach the landing (one could reach the tower in less that seven seconds. The spiral metal stairs that lead up to it has 12 steps). Then suddenly, they were there, walking around the beds, and she found herself opening her eyes, and realizing that no one was there, except for the three of us.

She insisted that she was wide awake the whole time, and that she never closed her eyes at any point. She said she was too nervous to close her eyes.

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clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
9 years ago (2014-10-08)
[at] Notamongsheep: Looking back, I realize now that my childhood wasn't THAT crappy at all. I was unhappy, for the most part, but I didn't get the kind of intense bullying that the nerds from Class A got. People stayed away, that's true. And that's a lot better than, say, people who keep tormenting you day after day after day, tripping you while you're on your way to class. I'd say that's crappy.

I have made some good friends now. Adults make very good friends.

BTW, since I posted my last story (IS THIS CLOSURE?), I've been thinking a lot about my childhood, and the foggy stories that people who remember me says about me. For instance, I asked my older cousin (older by eleven years) what I was like when I was a pre-teen, and he said I was so strange that even he and his friends made fun of me behind my back. They perceived me as having a "loose screw" - talking and playing games all by myself.

What really got under his skin, though, was when he caught me (7 at that time) in my room - again, talking to myself - one afternoon (he said he was around 18 at that time). He said he listened to my "conversation," and then he heard me address someone as "lala," which is, in this context, an amalgamation of two Filipino words: "lola" which means grandmother, and "yaya" which means nursemaid.

Apparently, I was not the only child among our extended family who are known to talk to ourselves when we are alone, and address an unseen companion as "lala." Nearly every child among our relatives, from the time they could talk up to six or eight years old had been known to do this, and "lala" is a frequent word they would utter.

That got under his skin because he'd been told that he himself did so when he was very young, and he stopped only when he hit nine or ten. He said he did ask our other cousins, uncles and aunts back then if they remember talking to a "lala." Nearly all those who were close to his age group remember having uttered that word when they were young, but the reason behind the word is foggy to them.

The older relatives, however, said something interesting: they remember "lala" as an elderly nanny who used to take care of them whenever they were alone. She always looked the same to everyone who remembers her: she looked very old, had very wrinkled skin, and had few teeth left. But she's always kind and her presence is comforting, and she always wears a flowery blouse.

They never knew where she'd go when other family members are around. She would only appear to them when they were alone, or whenever there was a thunder storm. She would come to their rooms, comfort them, and help them go to sleep.

Apparently, children in our (extended) families who were born in the city during the mid-80s and after have no such experiences. Some of the children who were born among our relatives in the provinces, even today, are still known to talk to themselves when they are alone, although "lala" is no longer mentioned.

I have no recollection of "lala" myself, to be very honest. I wonder why.
Notamongsheep (1 stories) (10 posts)
9 years ago (2014-10-07)
Clarence, I certainly think it's possible! Some of us are more perceptive than others. I, for one, have never experienced anything in my lifetime (I'm 2, almost 28). I even played with a oujia board because my friend wanted to, but I was pretty skeptical of the whole thing and didn't have anything happen that night, either. As I've gotten older (probably from about age 13) I've taken an interest in the paranormal. The idea intrigues and excites me. Anyway, thanks for answering my question! Sorry to hear that you had such a crappy childhood, however, I can tell that it's brought you a long way where you otherwise may not have ended up. Hopefully you've made some good friends, now. Children can be very mean and cold indeed, because they are just that - children. I for one have never had any good friends and always was thought to be a bit of a hermit. Not sure why no one ever wanted to hang around me... I don't believe I was dorky in any way, but I did always hang around that one kid in school who no one wanted to be friends with. I just found them way more interesting overall. Sometimes I wish that I would've grown up knowing what friendship is like, I'm talking about these people that have best friends since childhood. However, I'd say that I was more focused and determined than I ever would have been if I had gotten caught up in that as a child. Then, I wouldn't be where I am today with the man of my dreams and a little boy that is just the best thing that's ever happened to me! =)
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
9 years ago (2014-10-07)
[at] Notamongsheep: Gee, I really don't remember when I had that first "real experience" of the paranormal. Maybe earlier than five, but I wasn't really aware back then if what were happening around our house was of the paranormal nature.

The first, very clear experience, though was during the summer that I spent living in my brother's apartment in Cebu - the House on Tres Abril. But I was already twelve, then.

Not too long ago, I found out that a childhood friend had died. I decided to go and visit the old neighborhood, and I met a few people who were my age and older who remembered me from when I was five to eight. So, we got into sharing stories of childhood - street games, kiddy fights, and all. There was one thing that many of them remembered about me, and two other kids who no longer live there as well - they said we were often seen alone and talking to ourselves, and so they decided that we were weird.

Maybe back then, around five to eight, I did have experiences with ghosts, only I wasn't aware that they were ghost: I probably talked to them, and people around me saw that I was alone, and talking to myself.

I say maybe. I'm not really sure, though. It could be that I was simply a highly imaginative bloke.

Thanks for appreciating the stories, anyways.
Notamongsheep (1 stories) (10 posts)
9 years ago (2014-10-07)
Clarence - Thanks for the fast reply! I just got done reading all of your stories and have decided hands down that you are my favorite narrator here! The detail that you put into your stories is great, especially because they can be referenced very easily if you were interested. What is the earliest age that you would say you had a clear "experience" with the paranormal, the moment there was something you couldn't explain? You've been lucky to have so many great encounters. =)
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
9 years ago (2014-10-07)
[at] Notamongsheep: Thank you for appreciating the stories. My tour of duty in the Palace ended in 2007. The only way for me to go back in is if I have official business. Even then, the Palace guards will confiscate all mobile phones and other electronic devices, unless of course if you're an employee. As for the EVPs, I could ask someone I know who works there to record EVPs. Let me see what I can do.
Notamongsheep (1 stories) (10 posts)
9 years ago (2014-10-07)
Clarence - I've been reading your stories and I have to say not only that you are a great narrator, but these stories are just great! I also checked out the link... Creepy! Do you have an photos you have taken around the place (if you're allowed)? I think it'd be pretty interesting to try and catch some evp's... Although that's probably easier said than done. The place sounds scary enough as it is!
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
13 years ago (2011-03-06)
Thanks Maiah. What's with the Laperals and their mansions? I wonder...
Maiah (2 posts)
13 years ago (2011-03-04)
The Arlegui Mansion was seized from its original owners by the Marcoses at the start of Martial Law in the early 70s. It just got returned to itw original owners last year, 2010, but apparently still under dispute as the original owners are asking the government for back-rent as compensation for its seizure. Is apparently now up for sale for 1 Billion Pesos. An interesting twist to this is that, the Laperal family who owns Arlegui mansion also owns a 1920s mansion that is also notoriously known by locals as a haunted house. You can google it up 'Baguio's Laperal Mansion'. Its being compared to the US' Amytiville house for its haunted repute.
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-24)
You will notice that if you click on the featured photo of the Arlegui Mansion, there is what appears to be a headless man standing next to a car.

This photo appears in context of a featured story on President Noy Aquino III, so its genuine!
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-24)
clarencetuvera (7 stories) (41 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-23)
You can google the house. Maybe you can find things out just by looking at its picture. It's an old mansion, and almost nothing had been written about its history, except for the fact that it's been used as official residence of three Philippine Presidents. Its a stone throw away from the Malacanang Palace itself.

From what I heard during my tour of duty at the Palace, the whole of Malacanang compound is supposed to be a favorite haunt of spirits and elementals, or so says my friend who claims to be a psychic.

The whole compound sits right next to the Pasig River that is believed by many to be haunted by a nymph. Other than those scraps of infos (usually, cultural myths in nature) we have no explanation whatsoever for the strange things we experienced in the said house, or even those we experienced inside the Palace itself. 😕

[at] Pjod - I agree. It was very much like an extreme trip on some mushrooms I know from the 60s. The strange thing was the waking up part, because between Hazel and myself, none of us remember falling asleep at any point. And yet, there it was - I'd get jolted up, only to realize that I must have fallen asleep at some point for me to "dream." 😢
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-16)
I have to admit, this one's a puzzler. Without knowing the history, and from what you've said already there's sure to be a whole lot, It would be hard to venture any guess at this point. I do believe this occured, there are too many of you that experienced things in the same room on the same night not to have it be a real account.
Pretty spooky and mighty scary! Thanks for sharing, and as others have said before me I hope you will bring us more. 😊
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-16)
boy oh boy. That story sounds like a long, strange, trip. Did you folks ingest any psychedelics earlier that evening? Only kidding about that... But does truely sound like a trip.
golden_swastika (3 stories) (16 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-15)
wow creepy. That's a great story... Did you try to find out why it happened?
troyarn (5 stories) (479 posts)
13 years ago (2011-02-15)
Great story, and very well written! I have no idea as to what was happening, but I'm glad you decided to share this with us. Very creepy. If you have any other stories, please share them as well.

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