Multo, the Tagalog word for ghost, comes from the Spanish word muerto, which means “dead”. Superstitious Filipinos believe that some kind of multo, often a spirit of their former kin, regularly visits them.
I think every culture has ghost stories and so does the Philippines, we call them “multo” and is a staple to scare the crap out of the kids – the sad part is that in the Philippines, the things that go bump in the night will go bump you in the night.
Some popular urban legends…
Common themes in ghost legends include the White Lady, the headless priest and the phantom hitchhiker. The white lady appears in lonely places, dressed in white, with no visible face or with a disfigured face. Apparently she has died a violent death and is still haunting the vicinity, but with no ill intent. The headless priest prowls at night in a graveyard or ruined place, either carrying his severed head or searching for his head. One of the hitchhiker stories tells of three boys who pick up a girl near a cemetery and take her to a party. On the way back, the girl complains of the cold and borrows a jacket. The girl disappears near the cemetery, and the boys find the jacket neatly folded on the headstone of her grave. In another story, the hitchhiker asks to be taken to a given address. When they arrive, the hitchhiker has disappeared, but it turns out that she used to live at that address and this is the anniversary of her death.
Balete Drive is a street located in New Manila, Quezon City known for apparitions of a white lady and haunted houses which were built during the Spanish Era (1800s). New Manila has an abundance of balete trees, which, according to legend, is a favorite spot of wandering spirits and other paranormal beings. Witnesses of the White Lady advise motorists to avoid the street at night, especially if they are alone. If it is necessary to travel the route, they advise that the backseat of the car is fully occupied and that no one should look back or look in any mirrors. The apparition wears a night gown, has long hair but has no face or one covered with blood.
San Juan, La Union
The town of San Juan, La Union has a number of ghost legends, including a headless nun and a smiling white lady at the old tower. The nun was killed and beheaded by the Japanese, and her convent burned down. If someone passes the ruins of the covenant on a full moon at midnight, an eerie bell tolls, signalling the approach of the nun from behind. The white lady is said to appear at midnight in the ruins of an old watch tower that dates to pre-Hispanic times, and is particularly likely to be seen by handsome young men.
There was 2 instances in my childhood that I kinda remember encountering one of these; first was w/ my sister, in the house where we lived, we apparently saw a white lady – i don’t remember seeing the thing but my sister said she did, i do remember running like a MOFO though, lol.
The 2nd instance was the one I remember clearly to this day. Traditionally, when a family member dies, one keeps the door open so they can “come in” (never understood the logic in that, i guess “vampire” logic ?) and visit the family they are close to before they pass on. However, someone forgot to keep the door open so during the night, we can hear door knocking but no one was there (I can remember the knocking clearly like it was yesterday), I personally peered through the window to check.
Then I think my grandma explained the folk tale so someone opened the door. We were all inside the bedroom now and my little sister started to point in a spot in the air, saying someone was there.
The knocking then stopped and my little sister stopped pointing at empty spot.
I’m sure everyone has a ghost story or two, share a few for me, lol. I can use a good ghost story. :)