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Elemental Or Ghost?


My story happened in a rural subdivision along the northern suburb of Dumaguete City in the province of Negros Oriental in the Philippines. This story took place sometime in 1992 when my wife's mother died from multiple organ failure.

After laying in wake for a week in a funeral home in Dumaguete City, my mother-in-law's remains were brought to their house a day before the internment so that her neighbors could pay their last respects. And it was also a local custom to bring the remains of dead person back to his or her abode as a form of last "farewell" before he or she is buried. My mother-in-law's house was actually a few meters away from my residence (only a single residential lot separated our houses).

On the day of the internment, the funeral procession was scheduled to start at 1 PM from their residence to a nearby Catholic church for the funeral mass. And from there, the remains will be brought to the cemetery in Dumaguete for burial. At that time, I was already exhausted from sleep deprivation since I was on the overnight vigil watch at the funeral parlor after coming home from work. My wife and our children spent the daytime hours on vigil and went home at night to sleep --- this "shifting schedule" went on for a week.

I begged my wife that I be exempted from the funeral procession so that I could catch on my sleep and I will just catch up later on at the funeral mass. Having slept the entire morning at our house, I was already slightly awake by noontime. So there I was, relaxing on our bed with the cassette radio playing some soft music on the bedside table (yes, this is the same cassette radio in my previous story "Elementals Who Hated Loud Noises"). And the radio was on "Radio - FM" mode with the volume turned low.

At exactly 1 PM, I heard people's voices, footsteps and the sound of the hearse's motor emanating from my mother-in-law's house indicating the start of the funeral procession. As the cortege passed by our front gate, the radio on our bedside table suddenly fell silent.

I thought some power failure took place, so, I immediately turned on the lampshade that was also on the bedside table to check if a blackout occurred. The lampshade's lamp went on. The hair on the back of my neck stood up from fright when I discovered that the radio's selector toggle switch was shifted from the "Radio" to the "Tape" position (I also recalled hearing a clicking sound when the music stopped). I hurriedly dressed up and proceeded outside to join the procession. Until this day, I am still pondering if an elemental or a ghost did this --- some people say it was my mother-in-law who played a practical joke on me as her last goodbye.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, fence_sitter, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

fence_sitter (4 stories) (27 posts)
5 years ago (2019-01-07)
Hi Sara-E,

Thank you for reading my story and also for the kind comments. Have a nice day.
Sarah-E (guest)
5 years ago (2019-01-06)
So sorry for your mother in law's loss, but as you said she was just probably playing one last practical joke on you, take care!
fence_sitter (4 stories) (27 posts)
5 years ago (2018-12-31)
Hi lady_glow and Twilight1011,

Thank you for your kind comments. I still maintain an open-mind on what happened back then and whoever or whatever that caused it actually meant no harm and just wanted me to do what was actually the right thing to do (i.e., give further respect to the dead). I treat this event as a learning experience in my life. And, I know that my mother-in-law is a lot happier wherever she is right now.

Happy New Year and good luck to us all in 2019. Peace.
Twilight1011 (9 stories) (320 posts)
5 years ago (2018-12-31)
Personally I could see it being either or. If it wasn't for your previous submission on the elementals, and what you said you thought they did, I would be more on the thought of it just being your mother in law. But reading what you've said about the elementals around you, and how they seem to do certain things, I can't help but think that it could have been their way of giving a moment of silence out of respect. Either way, I believe someone, or something, was there with you at that time.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
5 years ago (2018-12-30)
I'm inclined to think that your mother-in-law was giving you a physical sign asking for your presence at the funeral procession.

Thanks for sharing.

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