Countless ghost stories have been told and retold especially when All Souls’ Day nears. Whether true or not, they don’t fail to scare, horrify, amaze and/or amuse a willing, curious audience. Their growing popularity has gone mainstream as books, comics and magazines of this genre now line a shelf or two in bookstores and magazine stands.
People close to me have their own ghost stories to tell. Similarly, I, too, have personal accounts of similar ghost experiences. Most often, I keep them to myself, especially those which I think have significant impact to me, symbolic or otherwise.
One of the most vivid ghost experiences I can remember happened about a year ago and was captured on my cellphone video camera. That was when I went to San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on a work-related trip.
Immediately after I arrived from Manila, I attended to my work and was finished by late afternoon. Then, I was brought by my hostess lady host/client to the hotel resort where I was billeted. My host/client left and said she’d be back with her company members at dinnertime.
I then brought my things to my assigned room at the second floor of the hotel. As my work was about done, I went downstairs and went to the cottages near the beach. The hotel security and personnel were at the lobby area and there was activity in the kitchen area of the hotel.
There was still light coming from the sun which was about to set. I was all alone at the cottage, and there was no people at the beach. It was before dusk and I decided to take a panoramic view of the beach. I panned my cellphone camera on video mode from right to left when suddenly my cellphone went off. My cellphone rarely malfunctioned; I waited for a while and then turned it on. I was not able to save the video clip and so, I repeated the video-ing process to record the sight for another try. I was able to save the second video clip I took.
I did not bother to review the recorded video clip as the lady host/client arrived. With her are one male friend, a female member of her company and her child. We had dinner of freshly cooked seafoods: sinigang na isda (di ko alam ang pangalan, pero super sarap), fried squid rings, large prawns super sarap din heheehe, and assorted inihaw. After dinner, we had drinking spree and some videoke (limited to plain listening and cheering on my part as I am no-good singer).
The fun was called off before twelve midnight as I excused myself to rest my already tired body. I declined going for nightlife tour and some extra-curricular activities hehehehe. There was an eerie presence in the room but I shunned all thoughts of it as I need to have my rest.
I was roused from sleep very early the next morning. I went to the beach for a stroll and/or for some jogging. As I was walking past the cottage area, I brought out my cellphone and scanned the video I took the other day. To my surprise, at about two seconds before the end of the video clip, there was a shadow profile of a man standing right next to me when I panned the camera to my left. The contour of the head, eyes, nose and lips were very prominent but very dark. I was all alone at the time, and I had goosebumps all over.
I still proceeded to the beach, after all, it was already morning and the sun was about to come out. At the beach, I looked back at the cottage, past through of which was the hotel, then I started to stroll past them southward, and guess what I discovered? Several meters past the hotel resort, where the image of a man’s face was recorded on my cellphone, was a cemetery: tomb after tomb, crosses one after another!
I immediately went back to my hotel room and prepared my things for the flight home. Then, I went back to the cottage at the beach to wait for the lady host/client.
As soon as they arrived, I told them about what I had captured on my cellphone camera and showed it to them. They could not believe what i had recorded and they too had goosebumps hehehehe. The lady host/client hesitated at first but later tod me that that was nothing compared to what she had experienced from her previous house which she had then recently sold, the house which they originally wanted me to stay (ngyeh!), the house where her husband had died in from bone cancer, the house where she heard frequent thumping of feet and sounds of heavy steps inside the house in the dead of night, where doors would close for no reason at all, where sounds of anguish and moans of pain would be heard even at daytime and its source could not be located, etc. Surely even the thought of what she related to me would have kept me awake all night and even my dead-drunk body would have turned sober until the next day. (Would I then call myself lucky being billeted in the hotel?)
When I got to Manila, I showed the video clip to my friends and officemates, and they had similar reactions. Some were very vocal of their own experiences, others just kept mum and not share their own scary stuff.
But then, I forgot all about the video clip when I gave my cellphone to my niece, who then deleted all gallery images and video clips. How I wished I had that copy of the video clip preserved for posterity’s sake. Now, only those who had seen the video clip could confirm this story to be true. At least, if they still remember.