My story involves a close friend from the office whom I shall refer to as Edna.
Edna is what one would consider very sensitive to the otherworldly. From the stories that she's shared to me and our friends, she could see ghosts and spirits since she was a child. I think she inherited it from her mother.
I, on the other hand, don't consider myself sensitive but I do acknowledge some unexplainable occasions where I could smell things that aren't there or nowhere near like incense, flowers or some earthly putrid smell. At other times, I hear unexplainable noises and sounds. On my own, I attribute them to an active imagination but when Edna comes into the scene, it's a bit hard to dismiss and makes me question what if? And this is one of our shared encounters.
We were out on a two-day team bonding activity and staying overnight on a remote mountain farm. The mountain farm was a quaint collection of huts spread out and up the slopy mountain side. On the eastern side was a river which can be accessed from the farm's side gate and onwards to the south, behind the huts, was the forest.
Upon arrival, we had a bit of time before the morning activity so we explored the grounds. One of the first things I noticed were the dark humanoid totems situated on tall wooden columns around the place. I saw one by the river gate and then a few more scattered in the back of the farm going to the wooded area. I just dismissed the idea as a bit of ethnic embellishment to the farm. In the afternoon, we got more free time so a few of us including Edna went upriver to check out the waterfalls. The river wasn't too deep so we could trek and wade across it. The trek upriver was fun since we talked amongst ourselves most of the way, but I remember feeling the rocky riverbanks foreboding and desolate. At some point, I surmised that the waterfall could be too far for me, so I decided to give up and get back to the farm. I went back to enter through the river gate and again noted seeing one of the totems perched on top a column as if standing guard.
By dinner, everyone was back in the farm and Edna, I and a few more friends, one of which I shall refer to as Javin, decided to play some board games, talk and have a few bottles of beer after dinner. We played until 1 in the morning (we love board games) and decided to call it a night. There were 7 or 8 of us staying in the same hut, some sleeping on beds, the others on sleeping mats. The hut was a wooden house on a slope with the north side on stilts. There were 3 beds parallel to each other and a loft with a few more sleeping mats in it. Edna chose the farthest bed, Javin in the middle, while I took the bed nearest the door. The rest took the loft and some slept on mats on the floor. There was no air conditioner and the windows were quite large. Overall, the hut was airy and well-ventilated by the cool night air.
I was able to take a few winks and then it started. There was a high-pitched sound that was almost barely audible. Now this being in the Philippines, there's a big chance this was just a mountain side echo from someone singing karaoke out in the mountains. I considered it. And so, I waited a few more minutes expecting the sound to abate waiting for the next song to get queued. It didn't. The sound continued. It had an ethereal quality to it like a soft wail which carried a feeling of longing and anguish. And the sound seemed to emanate from the earth and the surrounding woods. Oddly, it still felt like I could pinpoint the direction it came from, which to me felt like she was walking back and forth in an arc, not coming nearer or farther, always equidistant from my point of hearing. The thought of it approaching scared me and I couldn't sleep, not to mention the wailing sound kept me awake. A few hours later, must've been before dawn, it finally stopped, and I was able to sleep.
Later around 9 in the morning, I complained about not getting enough sleep and Edna looked at me and asked if I heard it. She heard it too and it kept her from sleeping. Like me, she just laid in bed forced to listen to the wail until it finally stopped. We asked Javin, who was in the middle bed between ours, if he heard anything the night before. Guy slept through it not hearing a thing. While the rest of our friends slept peacefully, only Edna and I despite each being on opposite sides from Javin's bed, were able to hear it. Javin should've heard it too. That baffled us.
Edna and I looked around outside and see if we could get a general direction of where it came from and I saw those totems and a thought came to my mind - could it be that those totems are perimeter guardians? It seemed like whatever was making that sound couldn't get past it. I should've asked around what the totems are for but I was too sleepy to bother and quite unnerved then. The rest of the second day activity was unremarkable and I was able to put it out of my mind. We had fun and took a dip in the small adjoining pool by the outdoor dining area and finally we went home.
I've read stories about wailing banshees, and considered a local version of it, but as the legends tell of a warning and impending doom, no morbid events unfolded after hearing that sound.