Ghosts of Pilippines

Ghost in the Building
The Vanishing Boy
Best Friends Forever


Ghost in the Building
This incident happened in the year 1998.

Five months pregnant and feeling hungry constantly, I could not decline Mary's offer to dinner. I looked at my wrist watch as I pushed the elevator button. It was 6:30 pm.  

"Gosh, I hope I am not late." I uttered under my breath.  

Then, the elevator doors opened. I walked in and pressed the "9" button. As the elevator made its way up, I could hear the cranking and clonking that you would normally not hear in a crowded elevator; it was already long after regular office hours.  

When the elevator doors sprung open, I peered out into the dark corridor to see if I was at the right level. The elevator indicator lights were out of order so I had no idea what level I was on.

I was relieved when I saw Mary's office at the end of the dimly lit corridor. I stepped out of the elevator and began to walk. My heels hit hard onto the tiled floor, creating echoes through the corridor.

Click clock, click clock, click clock...  

As I walked, my shadows, cast by the few working ceiling lamps, shortened and lengthened against the floor and walls. It made me nervous. I turned to look over my shoulders to see if there was anyone behind me. (I don't know why I was so nervous.) Obviously there was no one else around.  

Through her fully glassed-walled office, I saw Mary typing away on her computer keyboard. She had not noticed me, so I opened the door and peered in. Mary looked up and I smiled. I saw that Mary was a little surprised. I wondered why she should be; she knew I was coming. When I stepped in and let the glass door close behind me, Mary frowned and stared at me as though I had done something wrong.

"What's the matter, Mary?" I asked, concerned.  

"Who's that with you?" Mary pointed with her pouted lips to the corridor outside.

Puzzled, I turned to look at where she pointed. I saw no one.

"There's no one there, Mary." I said, beginning to feel rather spooked. "I came alone." I added. 

Mary frowned even firmer, and said, "There's a man outside the door, he was behind you, but you closed the door before he could enter. Why?"

I stood dumbfounded and stared at her in disbelief. I didn't say a word.

He is wearing a white polo shirt." Mary added, her face turning slightly pale.  

Goose bumps began to crawl all over my back, arms, and neck. I felt panic on the way. In my head, weird notions started to spin: What if someone or something wanted to harm us? Just two girls in an office building that supposed to be closed for the day. Gosh, what do we do?   Part of me wanted to scream, but the other held me down.

Then, when I saw Mary staring out into the corridor, her face turning paler every second, I lost my composure and shouted.  


Lips trembling, Mary quivered a few words.

"He's medium built and wearing a white Polo T-shirt. Don't you see him?" Mary had come almost to tears.

I went close to Mary and held her.  

"Where? Where?" I kept saying.  

"I can't see him anymore. I think he went away." Mary said in a whisper.

I am very sure I was alone that night when I walked through the corridor. I remember looking to the corridor before entering Mary's office. There was no one behind me!

Of course Mary and I didn't go out of the office alone after the scary apparition. We called the security guard and asked him to escort us down.  

Till today, when I think of the incident, I get goose bumps. In fact, I've got goose bumps right now as I type this story.

When Mary told her colleagues about our experience, her colleagues replied that they had heard of others who had had similar experiences. Everyone concluded the building was haunted.

Fortunately, the building burnt down some years ago (no one knows how), and had been demolished.

Ems Pelaez - Philippines


The Vanishing Boy
I loved my grade four art class. It allowed me to get my hands dirty and no one would scold me. My classmates would complain about getting their nails chipped when we did our practical art projects, but I knew they too loved the art projects nonetheless.  

At six in the evening the class would be over and everyone would walk to the farther South school exit. There was a rumour that the school garden compound was haunted. The garden was near the North exit.

I'm not afraid of ghosts, and I really didn't care about the rumour. On normal days, I walked with my friends to the south exit. I was never in a hurry, so the shorter north exit never appealed to me. Besides, I'd rather walked with friends than alone-it wasn't so much fun to walk alone.  

One particular evening, I was in a mad rush to finish my art project homework. I loved the ideas I had and was impatient to see the results. I wanted to get home quickly and finish my project before dinner.

While my friends walk the usual way, I decided it would save me ten minutes if I went to the north exit.  

"Hey where are you going?" One of my classmates yelled out.  

"I'm in a rush! I'm taking the north gate!" I yelled back.  

"Are you sure? It's haunted there, you know." She yelled.  

I sensed fear in her voice but I didn't care. I wasn't afraid. I turned and ran down the long hallway leading to the garden and the north gate. As I walked briskly tugging my sling bag and other stuff, I heard something up ahead. I stopped dead in my stride. I thought I wasn't afraid, but why was my heart pumping as though I was expecting harm. I looked back and thought of turning back for a brief moment. Then, I decided against it, I walked on, keeping my ears sharply attuned.

When I reached near the opening at the end of the long hallway, I saw a shadow moving.

Gosh, I thought. "Is someone there?"  

"Whose there?" I shouted, trying to sound unafraid but my voice came out quivering.

Then I heard footsteps. Dear lord, I wanted to scream. But before my scream could reach my throat, a cute little boy, dressed in grade one uniform, stepped into the hall way.  

Sigh! "Oh, it's only a boy." I uttered under my breath.  

"Hey! What are you still doing here?" I called, as he was still some distance away.  

"All the grade ones have left hours ago. Why are you still here?"  

"I'm waiting for someone to pick me up." He said in a soft voice.  

Seeing him there alone had me believe he was lost. I told him to come with me to the guard house so he could call his mother, but he refused. Then he said something(I can't remember what) and turned his back to me. As soon as his back was turned, he vanished!

Right before my eyes he vanished!  

I didn't know what to do. I stood there frozen. I couldn't scream or run. All I did was stand there, feeling my knees getting weaker and weaker. I began to pray in my head saying, "If he wanted to harm me, he would have, but he didn't so don't panic. Just stay calm and walk to the gate."  

Without knowing why, I ran the hell out of the hallway and out the north gate, which was only thirty meters away.

The next day, I told my friends about the little boy and they laughed at me.

"I told you the garden was haunted. Why didn't you listen to me?" A classmate teased. 

I never used the north gate since then, even when I was in a hurry to leave.
Christine, 13. Philippines


Best Friends Forever
Apple and I are best friends. We first met in grade one, and never stopped being best friends. For many years Apple and I played and studied together. We often had sleepovers in each other's houses, and never ran out of fun things to do.

When we finished grade seven, Apple's mother met a man whom she fell in love with. They got married and moved to his house far from mine. I was sad. I missed Apple dearly. The best thing we had then was phone calls, and we'd talked everyday for hours on end.

One day, Apple called up me sounding sad. I asked her why, and she said that her mother was leaving for Singapore; her company was tranferring her there. Because her stepfather refused to join her mother, Apple had to stay in philippines with him. Her stepfather cited Apple would be better off in Philippines because of school. Apple's mother agreed.

I was actually glad that Apple didn't join her mother in Singapore; I would have died deprived of my best friend.

Apple and I talked everyday since her mother left. Then, one day, Apple stopped calling. I was suspicious and called her house often. Sometimes, no one would answer, and at times, her stepfather would. He made it clear to me that he did not like Apple using the phone so often. He said it affected her studies. I was angry with him but pleaded to talk to Apple for just awhile. Soon, Apple came to the phone. When we talked, I sensed that there was something she wanted to tell me but was afraid.

I became suspicious and called Gilbert, Apple's boyfriend. I asked him if he had spoken to Apple recently. He said he hadn't; her stepfather had expressed his disapproval of her phone habit, so Gilbert had not called her for two days then.

A week before my birthday, together with Gilbert, I went to visit Apple at her house. Apple was delighted to see us. Her stepfather was surprised to see us but he treated us well. We got to know him and realized that he wasn't such a bad person after all. My suspicions of him hurting Apple had waned. I concluded Apple was just depressed because she missed her mother. And the fact that Apple and I were far apart now, made her even more depressed.

I wanted to cheer Apple up so before leaving her house, I planned for the three of us to go to the mall at Santa Lucia East next week. Also, it would be my birthday then, and I wanted to spend the entire day with my two best friends, Apple and Gilbert. It was a perfect plan, I thought.

The entire week leading to the eve of my birthday Apple and I didn't speak. I missed her dearly. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of our date on my birthday.

At exactly 1:30 A.M. in the morning of my birthday, the phone rang. It was Apple. She sounded as if she had a sore throat, and she coughed a lot. It was difficult to understand her. Through difficulty, I made out that she loved me a lot but could not go out with us later. She had to leave, she said. She then made me promise to come by the house after our outing. I tried to find out more about where she was going but she interrupted me, and said that she really misses me and Gilbert very much and that we should take care. She wished us all the best then she hung up. I became very disturbed by the call, but it was too late for me to do anything so I went back to bed.

At dawn, I was awoken by a commotion in the living room. I rushed out to find Gilbert crying in my mother's arms.

"What happened?" I asked.

"Apple's mother called me. She's here in Philippines , at home." Gilbert said, sobbing.

"But why are you crying? Isn't that great news? Now Apple must be happy." I replied excitedly.

Gilbert stared at me and could not say another word. He began to cry even more. Then out of a sudden, he yelled out hysterically. "APPLE IS DEAD! HER FATHER KILLED HER!"

Shocked beyond words, I staggered back and fell to the floor. I began to cry uncontrollably. But in my mind I was wondering how could it have happen? When did it happen? I spoke to her just this morning at 1:30 A.M. It's impossible!

Together with my mother, sisters, and Gilbert, I rushed to Apple's house. Apple's mother was seated on a couch I had been on only a week ago. Her eyes were red and puffy, and her head rested on the shoulder of a relative. We walked to her and I hugged her, crying.

"Is it true? Is it true?" I kept asking, refusing to believe Apple was gone.

When all had simmered, we learnt that Apple's stepfather had been raping her ever since her mother was posted to Singapore . Her stepfather had stopped her from using the phone because he was afraid she would tell someone about the rape. At around 9 P.M. on the eve of my birthday, Apple's mother called and Apple answered the phone. Her father was in the shower; it was after a rape. Apple was crying so her mother coaxed her to talk. It was then that Apple broke her silence.

Apple's mother rushed on the next flight to Philippines. But she was too late, Apple was already dead.

According to the police report, the modus operandi was strangulation, and the time of death was around 10:30 PM. I could not believe it when I heard it. I became hysterical and insisted she was not dead because I spoke to her at 1:30 AM that morning.

Things have a way of settling, and the tragedy of her passing also settled and life moved on.

But one thing never changed: Every year, on the mornings of my birthdays, at exactly 1:30 AM, I wait by the phone for Apple's call. She would say to me all the things she said on the night she was murdered.

I tried asking her what happened the night she was murdered, she would simply ignore my questions and hang up—until next year.

Erika, 15. Student.



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Ghosts of Singapore