This story is my first paranormal experience when I was young. I grew up in a very religious family in my mom's home province in the south. When my father died, my mom decided to leave Manila and stay with my grandmother in the province where she can teach in a local private school as a teacher. The first house that we rented was an old two-story house, like the classic Filipino bahay-na-bato but it has undergone several renovations and changes over the years. It was big enough for us and our two house helpers. It has three bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen and a dining room and a big backyard where our land lady actually raised pigs and other poultry animals.
I studied in a Catholic private school run by priests and nuns where stories about the supernatural are considered to be rubbish apart from what is written in the Bible, but I could distinctly remember telling my mom that the place looks haunted because of the bleak and stillness of the house. I remember my mom chuckled and gave my grandmother a knowing look, not sure whether they share the same thoughts or they think I was just being silly.
On our first night in that house, my mother gave me a St Benedict medallion and told me to wear it all the time and to never wander around the backyard. My mother did not explain why and I just thought that maybe it was because of the animals. For those who are non Catholics, St Benedict is our patron saint for protection against evil.
Despite all the seeming strangeness, and while adjusting to provincial life, our first few days in the house was nothing but pleasant and our excitement to finally settle down has overshadowed the creepiness of the house. As days turned to months, the house seemed to brighten up. I guess it just needed a happy family to lighten up the atmosphere. I kept my word and never set foot in our backyard. I was able to see the landscape of the area though through our window in the kitchen and the area was huge like a farm with so many trees. There were ducks and chickens roaming around.
It was on our second year when it all started. My mom and I usually share the same bed. She uses a chamber pot in our bedroom to pee. One night, when she woke up at around 2am to answer nature's call, she discovered that the urine inside the pot spilled all over the floor. She was upset as she had to clean up the floor and get rid of the stinking smell. As a policy we never lock our bedroom doors at night in case of emergency, so she asked the house maids and my grandmother the following morning about it. They all said that it was not them and that may be the pot had a leak. My mom checked the pot and said there was no leak at all.
The following night, the same thing happened and this time, her slippers were drenched in urine. She woke up me up and hurriedly took me outside the bedroom and woke up everyone in the house. I did not know what was going on until I realized that she was barefooted and then I saw the water on the floor. The pot was still on upright position and her slippers soaked in urine and water.
She left me in the living room with our two house helpers who were both as confused as I was whilst she talk to my grandmother in the dining room. They seemed to be trying to keep their voices down but I could tell that my mom was visibly shaken as she was talking really fast and my grandmother covers her mouth from time to time in shock.
The following morning, my grandmother went to our parish church and when she came back she brought home a bottle of holy water. While we were on our way home from school, my mom asked me to avoid being alone in the bedroom. I felt unsettled and the thought that we are still going to spend another night in that room scared me. That night, my mom led a rosary before we slept and hanged a St Benedict medallion in the mosquito net. She blessed the room with holy water as if she was exorcising the room saying "Be gone in the name of Jesus!" The whole thing creeped me out as it only confirmed my suspicions that there was something sinister in the bedroom and I was not so sure it was a good idea to sleep there again. I remember grasping my medallion hoping and praying that my mom would drive away the evil thing in our house.
When my mom finally turned off the lights, I lay down in bed and faced the wall afraid that I might wake up in the middle of the night and see something scary in the dark; however I remember how brave it was of my mother to order that thing to leave our house a while ago and so I decided to turn on my other side facing my mother as I wanted to be there to help her if anything happens. I was finally able to sleep, when a sudden scream woke me up and I found my mother sitting in bed in the darkness of our room. I was so scared and I did not know what to do. I was frozen in fear as my mother pulled me closer. I was afraid to leave the bed as I did not know what awaited me in the dark. It was dreadful. She was mumbling words like "Jesus,Mary,and Joseph (susmaryosep!) All of a sudden the lights in our room turned on and my grandmother rushed inside.
All of my stuff toys were on the floor. My mom's makeups and lotion were scattered on her vanity table. It was as if somebody had a fit and decided to throw all our stuff around. My grandmother rushed us outside the room and I could hear my mom telling her that when she woke up, she saw a pair of huge red eyes malevolently staring at her.
I was so scared and I started to cry in the living room. My grandmother told me that I need to be brave and that the evil thing in our house will feed on our fears. After my mother had finally calm down, she decided that we won't be sleeping in that room and that we'll all retire for the night in the living room. From that moment on, a sense of foreboding has engulfed the house.
The following day, I overheard my mom having a discussion with our land lady about the things that has been happening in our house and that she is thinking of moving out. The land lady was surprised and asked my mom to think about it before rushing to a decision to leave. She sounded very sorry about what happened and said would help us in anyway she can.
We have been spending our night in the living room from that day on and that was the very first time that I started to have nightmares that seared in my memories up to this time. There was one nightmare where I was trying to leave the house but I could not get pass the gate as there was a man with burned red skin that looks a demon and he was banging the gate over and over again while viciously staring at me in our front door as if he was taunting me.
Several days later, one of house helper told me that the landlady hired an albularyo (folk healer/herb doctor) to check the house. I wanted to see what the albularyo was going to do but my mom send me over to my Aunt's house with one of our house helper to look after me. I felt bad about it as I also wanted to know what was scaring us. It bothered me that it only happens at night and always in that bedroom. Personally I thought that it would have been better if they have asked for a priest to bless the entire house.
I asked our house helper whether she had any unnatural experiences in our house during week days when my mom is at work and I'm in school, and she told me that one afternoon she was alone in the kitchen when she heard a groaning sound of an old woman in the bathroom. I told her it could have been grandma but she said she was in the convenient store at that time with the other house helper.
There were also times when they experience sudden goose bumps while doing the laundry in the backyard and the pigs and chickens would suddenly make noises as if something unseen was causing disturbance. She said she already told grandma about it and if things get worse she might leave and look for another family that might want to employ her. She must have been really frightened.
When I got home that night, I asked my mom what the albularyo did and she told me there was something in the backyard that's causing all the trouble. According to my mom, the albularyo said our land lady chopped off a very old mango tree in the backyard without first asking permission from its dwellers whether it was okay for her to cut it off. I asked her what exactly is dwelling in the tree and my mother said there were several entities there one of which is an engkanto (environmental spirits) and a kapre (tree giant). I was shock as it was my first time to hear about this stuff and the only thing I know about the supernatural are spirits and demons which I have learned from our Christian Living subject in school. I asked my grandmother to describe how these creatures look like but she refused talking about them as it might encourage them further to terrorize us. My mother however told me that what our land lady should have done was ask permission first by thrusting a dagger in the tree and leave it there overnight. If she finds the dagger in the ground the following day that means the entities does not want her to cut off the tree and if the dagger remains plunged in the tree that means it's okay for her to cut it off.
I was quite disturbed and found the story incredible. I couldn't help but asked her what if someone took the dagger off the tree without the land lady knowing about it or what if she did not thrust the dagger hard enough and it just fell? It's just not a fool proof way to know what the entities really want. I had a lot of questions in my mind that time, as I tried to look for a plausible way to understand. To be honest, I was a bit sceptical about the whole engkanto story. We were not thought in our Christian Living subject in school that there are such creatures however I was also open minded to the idea that perhaps evil has many faces and that it lays dormant until unleashed like what our land lady did.
I remember my mom telling me not to go to the backyard a year ago so I asked her whether she knew all this time that there was something unnatural living in the backyard. She said she was not sure but the place had given her bad vibes and just to be safe, she did not allow me to wander around the backyard.
Several days later, we still slept in the living room and I still had nightmares. I heard the land lady talking to my mom saying that she is going to apologize to the entities dwelling in the tree. But despite of this, my mom finally decided to move out and look for a new house to rent.
Since that day, I never heard any news or story about that house until several years after, when my grandmother mentioned it once when I accompanied her to visit Grandpa's grave in the cemetery. She said it seemed that the land lady's apology was not accepted at all. On the night that we left, the landlady lit an incense in front of the tree as instructed by the albularyo and asked for forgiveness for what she did. While she was doing this, the incense she was holding fell as if somebody forcibly hit her hand and then she was violently shove to the ground. I did not know what to say after I heard that and I was just thankful that we got out of there before things get really out of hand.