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Real Ghost Stories

The Devil's Fire - First Of Many


So this experience of mine happened when I was about 9 years old, I'm 23 by the way. I lived in a Sitio (village) which is located in the mountains. Lot of stories relating to paranormal beings, entities and demons surround our little village.

To properly share my experience with you guys, I need to let you know that I'm not delusional. So, here it goes.

I love playing Mortal KOmbat/Contra/Mario in my neighbor's old retro gaming system. It just so happened I picked the wrong night to went out and play. One evening, I went out with my mother to bet on Jai-Alai (Jueteng). I asked my mother if I could go and play computer, and she did say yes and gave me 5 pesos.

So as I was done playing, I went to the place where the betting takes place. I need to traverse 5 minute walk through thick bushes and large trees of Manga.

As I was walking, I caught a glimpse of a weird fire. I thought it was a torch used by a nearby neighbor to light up his/her way (we don't have flashlights back then). I stopped on my tracks to pay respects on who's wielding the torch, but as the weird fire gets closer, I can't seem to see who's wielding it.

As it was meters away from me, it flashed and grow bigger, then I realized what it was, as our elder calls it - Devil's Fire. (Devil's Fire harms whoever crosses its path. Sometimes it forms itself into human-like figure and then vanishes. Sometimes it manifests itself into two or more balls of fire and collide with each other and then vanishes into thin air.)

So there's that realization, I ran past it and shouted like crazy towards the betting place. The betting place was alarmed on my commotion. They thought I was chased by a dog but I told them what I saw and they just burst into laughter. I knew what I saw. There this feeling that I can feel or see what others can't.

Since then, never did I go outside alone at night until I was old enough.

For the comments, please do inform me on where can I improve the storytelling. It's my first time so please do criticize it. Thank you guys.

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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, ax10s, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Lealeigh (2 stories) (167 posts)
16 hours ago (2019-12-04)

That's an amazing story! My father's family on his mother's side are from Mexico. I have never heard that before. I have also never seen a fire burning that disappeared on it's own either. I'd like a chance to test it out for myself - times are tough.

That's an interesting belief and I wonder where it started. It was true in the case of your half brother's uncle!

- Maria ❤
Haven (16 stories) (266 posts)
17 hours ago (2019-12-04)
There is a belief in Mexico that when you see fire that suddenly vanishes it means there is a buried treasure in that spot. It is supposed to be dug up only by the person that witnessed the fire. They say that if someone else tries to dig for the treasure they become cursed. Not sure if it's true or not but my half-brothers uncle became rich almost overnight. He found a treasure of gold coins buried in a field. He says that he was walking back home from a day's work when he saw fire by a tree. This scared him and he ran the rest of the way home. The same thing happened a few days later. When he told people about what he was seeing he was told that he was being shown where there was a treasure. He didn't believe it at first but gathered the courage to go and dig and that's when he found a chest full of gold.

Silverthane61 - I had never heard of the fire-witch. Interesting.
silverthane61 (2 stories) (146 posts)
3 days ago (2019-12-02)
I have not had time to peruse the other comments, but I do know that in Mexico, there exists a being know as a fire-witch that is identical in all ways to the entity in your story. I know that it is rare to see, but dangerous to those who do approach it. Your story was completely understandable.
Bibliothecarius (8 stories) (967 posts)
7 days ago (2019-11-29)
Greetings, ax10s, and welcome to YGS.

DarriuxDarkk & lady-glow were headed in a good direction with the guess and discussion of "St. Elmo's Fire. However, it is not the only phenomenon to glow while floating in the air.
Phosphorescent swamp gas, released by decomposing plant matter, can result in will-o'-the-wisp phenomena; also, crystalline rocks, such as quartz, can create glowing piezoelectric discharges that are both pretty and disconcerting when there's an abrupt shift in tectonic or atmospheric pressure.

Just a thought,
ax10s (2 stories) (4 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
Hi Lady-glow

I still do remember that night. The wind was cool and was awfully silent except for the betting place ahead.

The people on the betting place was, how do I explain this, a bit immune - I guess?

I never did say they didn't believe on what I said. But they laugh at me because I was hysterical for such a boy of that age. Also, Our locals have encountered it already - same situation as mine not same reaction - they have these "habak" or amulets that "protects" them from harm.

As for the 5 pesos, I didn't lose it on betting - I did used it up on playing games.

Recently I might add, sightings of it are seldom but I did saw "santelmo" near a cliff some weeks ago.

But then again, thanks for reading!
ax10s (2 stories) (4 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
Hi DarriuxDarkk,
Thank you for your comments and its very much appreciated. Filipino's tend to shorten the syllabication of some words in order to speak it as fluent as possible. And I think, the "Devil's fire" is a rough translation of its original name, "Ungong Yawa". Pardon misconception in any way.
In our village, "ungong yawa" is likely to have a will on its own while the "santelmo" tends to just float around.
DarriuxDarkk (6 stories) (42 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
Cool I didn't know that St. Elmo's Fire is a weather phenomenon. During our younger years and the elders often mentioned the term "Santilmo" in our own dialect. They describe it as a ball of fire that floats in the mid air often associated to supernatural in nature.

It's not a demon or malevolent per se but there are a lot of superstitions associated to it when a person sees it but mostly it is best to avoid it. They always stressed that it is a supernatural entity that brings bad omen.

I don't know if the term "Santilmo" has been associated to the term "St. Elm's Fire" as if it was just shortened in our dialect but good to know that it is a weather phenomenon as what you stated.

Always good to learn new informations.

Thanks and God Bless.
lady-glow (11 stories) (2468 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
DarriuxDarkk - St. Elmo's Fire is a weather phenomenon that occurs during thunderstorms and may be a precursor to a lightning strike.

Hello ax10s.

Welcome to YGS.

I imagine that must have been a frighting sight for such a young kid.

Do you remember how was the weather like that night? Darriux suggestion about the fire being a St. Elmo's is a possibility. What color was it?

The following YouTube video is very interesting and informative about this phenomenon, - does it resemble what you saw that night?:


I'm a little puzzle with the reaction of the people at the betting place, someone could have gone with you to check if something was still there.

Have you seen the lights/fire again? Do you know if any other/s of the locals have seen them in that area?

Thanks for sharing.

P.S. Did you win anything or did you lose your 5 pesos?
DarriuxDarkk (6 stories) (42 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
Yea I believe when you are living on the rural areas especially on the far secluded ones, they tend to use lamps as most of them does not have electricity.

Also I believe on local's term they call it "Santilmo" or in other terms " St. Elms Fire".

To me I believe they are like somewhat related to orbs as what most westerners termed it for ghosts apparitions.

That must've been frightening to witnessed at especially in a forested area

Thanks and God bless
ax10s (2 stories) (4 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
Hi Lealeigh,

I also have classic nintendo games emulator on my laptop, especially for Mario Brothers and other retro games. I love those times.

Thanks a lot.
Lealeigh (2 stories) (167 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
I also love those video games. I have an old nintendo emulator on my computer in addition to almost every console that came after it.

I am 38 but I'm still a great one for wasting time playing video games. 😆

Thank you for answering my question about the flashlights. I figured that the answer had to do with the rural nature of your village.

- Maria ❤
ax10s (2 stories) (4 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-28)
Hi Lealeigh,

I appreciate your comment. Back then, there was not much households with electricity, so its really dark. And for the flashlight, we (and other villagers) tend to use it for emergencies only since its batteries cost us a lot. 😕
So burning torch made of coconut leaves are the way to go. Some still use PetroMax back then but was obsolete due to lack of spare parts.
Lealeigh (2 stories) (167 posts)
1 week ago (2019-11-27)
Hello ax10s,

Your storytelling is quite good. Don't worry. What errors that were in it were only very minor ones. It was clear to me and easy to understand.

I am only curious about one point in your narrative:

They didn't have flashlights in your Sitio in 2005? Forgive me for asking as this is hardly relative to the story. People can burn things whether they have flashlights or not. 😜

Thank you for sharing your experience.

- Maria ❤

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