FOR THE THRILL | 10 haunted places in the Philippines that are worth visiting

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Paranormal investigators believe that spirits still roam the earth while some say that certain human spirits particularly stay in old or abandoned places. Through time, a number of old houses, schools, hospitals, and churches have been deemed haunted due to ghost sightings, unexplained noises, and other paranormal occurrences. Oftentimes, these places come with tragic or gruesome stories that are part of their history.

Every Halloween, the creepy stories about these structures are rekindled, unintentionally turning these places into an attraction especially for the adventurous to find out whether the supernatural tales are real or merely urban legends.

Think you can handle a ghostly encounter? Here are a few of these places to check out:

1. Manila City Hall
Ermita, Manila

Aerial view of Manila City Hall. Screenshot from Google Maps.

Many have pointed out that Manila City Hall is eerily shaped like a coffin when viewed from above. There are also rumors that at 6 p.m. every day, spirits start to roam around the place.

Manila City Hall’s edifice has a history that dates back from 1904. The present building was built and inaugurated in 1941 but was destroyed in 1945 because of the war. It was rebuilt in 1946, and is prominently known for its large clock tower.

2. Malacañang Palace
JP Laurel Street
San Miguel, Manila

According to reports, there have been sightings of the spirits of former presidents roaming the palace including that of Manuel Quezon and Manuel Roxas. There is also a report where Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, daughter of Ferdinand Marcos, actually saw Quezon’s ghost at one point during her father’s presidency.

During Gloria Arroyo’s time, a photograph of a headless man captured at the state entrance of palace also circulated around. There is also a century-old balete tree in the palace grounds, where Mr. Brown—Malacañang’s “resident kapre“—resides. The kapre is a mythical creature popularly described as a cigar-smoking hairy giant that resides in trees.

3. Manila Film Center
CCP Complex, Pasay City

Right from its construction, the center has always been filled with controversy relating to former First Lady Imelda Marcos. The building, which was created as a venue for the 1982 Manila International Film Festival, encountered a tragedy when a portion of the rushed construction collapsed, leaving more than a hundred workers buried in wet cement.

Although the tragedy left workers injured and some dead, the construction pushed through, and the film festival was realized. During that time, some who were present at the event reportedly felt a “presence” in the building. Accounts of hearing wailing voices and mysterious sounds of footsteps are said to have been experienced by some visitors of the building.

4. Fort Santiago
Intramuros, Manila

Located in Intramuros, Fort Santiago is well-known as the place where Dr. Jose Rizal was incarcerated before his execution. The historically-rich area also witnessed tortures and killings during World War II. Today, there are still accounts of ghost sightings of uniformed soldiers in the area.

5. Ozone Disco Club
Timog Avenue, Quezon City

Ozone Disco caught fire in 1996, leaving more than a hundred individuals—mostly students celebrating their graduation party–dead. Dubbed as one of the “worst nightclub fire of all time,” the incident is still haunting people, as some claim that voices and music can still be heard from the ill-fated disco’s ruins.

6. Clark Air Base Hospital
Angeles, Pampanga

This hospital is dubbed as “one of the most haunted places” in the world by the TV series “Ghost Hunters International.” It was featured in one of the episodes of National Geographic’s show, I Wouldn’t Go In There. The hospital sheltered wounded American soldiers during the World War II.

7. Diplomat Hotel
Dominican Hill Road, Baguio City

Originally built as a retreat house before being acquired by Diplomat Hotels Inc. in 1973, the structure became witness to the massacres of priests and nuns by Japanese soldiers during World War II. There are accounts of sightings of beheaded spirits; screams are said to be heard during night time.

In 2014, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared the Dominican Retreat House as a protected historical property.

8. Laperal White House
Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City

Also said to be a silent witness to the horrors of World War II, this Victorian-themed house on Leonard Wood Road in Baguio City is known for numerous sightings of apparitions. According to reports, the White House served as a temporary garrison of Japanese soldiers who were said to have tortured and killed Filipino spies and raped women.

9. Teacher’s Camp
Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City

Also located along Leonard Wood Road in Baguio, Teacher’s Camp has a long history that dates back in 1908. From 1936 to 1941, the Philippine Military made use of the area; and was later on used as a hospital by Japanese forces during the war.

The facility has long been a training camp for teachers from different parts of the country; it has been rumored to have lingering ghosts. Some guests claim they’ve seen headless spirits and heard strange footsteps during their stay in the historic camp.

10. Bahay na Pula
San Ildefonso, Bulacan

A witness to the atrocities of World War II, this house owned by the Ilusorio clan in San Ildefonso, Bulacan was used by Japanese forces as a base as well as place to rape women. Rumor has it that there were sightings of spirits around the area. In 2016, the house was reportedly demolished.