Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Haunted house

Ghost whisperer I am not. R had told me before the trip that his ancestral home in Bangued was haunted. His cousins concurred, they don't like staying overnight in the house as they "feel" the ghosts in the house.

According to the family, the house, owned by Judge F. Valera and his wife, was taken over by the Japanese in WW2, turned into a military hospital. I read a chronicle on one of the church doors that the American's bombed a Japanese military hospital in Bangued, so I wonder if it was one and the same. Overtime, the kids and grandkids have at one time or another felt presence in the house. R recalls hearing boot stomping footsteps in the dining room; the feeling of cold in an outdoor garage. The overseer told us of a woman in a nightgown (hmmm, too similar to other ghostly tales, I wonder until she also mentions the woman always has a ghostly cigarette dangling from her lips. Curlers too?).

However, I have never been susceptible to ghosts. Granted I've never stayed overnight in a haunted house, but even in places that other people say are ghostly, I don't feel the tingle. A tad melancholy thinking of the sadness of their end, but never creeped out.

So I was looking forward to the house. It had ruins, even a room that towered over the stoney grotto, that could be the perfect setting for a haunting vision (lady in white, with a ciggie). At night, I listened, tried to feel for something spectral. Nada.

Fast asleep at 5 am, I am nudged to semi-consciousness by the sound of heavy footsteps in the outer room. I lift my head, check to see if anyone else is awake, but notice nothing. Was it a dream?

7 comments:

christine said...

*shudder* Boy, am I glad I read this during the daytime!

Katrina said...

It's all in the mind...Would you have woken up to or dreamed of footsteps if no one had told you the house was haunted? I think most, if not all ghost "sightings" were just people's minds playing tricks on them.

I like hearing stories about people's houses playing parts in history. The house Felipe grew up in was pre-war too. Because his great-grandmother was a Samurai princess, the Japanese soldiers respected her and therefore, did not touch their house. Thus, it was a perfect place for Filipino guerillas to hide. Sadly, the house has been in disrepair for quite some time, and will very soon be torn down, and the lot sold.

Speaking of nationalism, why is Blogspot in Tagalog now?

M.Tan said...

Yeah, I found it to be disturbing to have all the instructions to be in tagalog suddenly. No warning, no choice in the matter.

Ok, is Felipe's great grandma samurai princess on his mom's or dad's side? Interesting family relations.

Katrina said...

Yeah, Felipe's family's really interesting. I thought you knew? His great-grandfather on his dad's side was Mariano Ponce (they have a picture of him with Rizal!), who, on a trip to Japan, met the samurai's daughter. She was an only child, so the samurai gave her his sword, which is with Felipe's brother! On F's mom's side naman, he's distantly related to Generalissimo Franco!

M.Tan said...

Wow, that's really quirky family history. His brother better keep passing on that sword to his descendants; what a keepsake.

Katrina said...

Felipe just corrected me tonight: the house he grew up in (on E. Rodriguez, Cubao) was lent to the Japanese to use as a garrison, serving as a bargaining chip so that they wouldn't also take the other house on Espana. The Espana house was the one they used to hide guerillas. :-) Felipe said that they've found bayonets, etc., under their house. I've been there many times, no experience of ghosts. ;-)

christine said...

A samurai princess and a blood line with Franco! Wow. I can just imagine the stories they have.

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