When you see something, how can you be so sure that your senses were not playing tricks with you? Do you believe in ghost? I believe that ghost stories were just rumors used either to protect or to scare. And if the stories aren’t real, would you still believe it?
I’m Snow de Montesquieu, adventurer and an amateur blogger. My goal is to track down rumors of ghost stories here in metro-Manila and prove if the stories were real are not.
My adventure brought me to U.P. Diliman. A famous school here in Metro-Manila with 493 hectares. A student here must ride a jeepney called UP IKOT to attend his next lesson.
Like other campuses here in the Philippines, U.P. Diliman has a wide range of tree lines beside, mostly in the parks which makes the place look scary even at day. Many students here believe that their school is haunted. During weekends, families from different places gather here at U.P. Campus to have fun with their love ones.
Among all the rumors, the most famous is the U.P. IKOT jeepney.
“A girl was on her way to her dorm and found herself alone in the ikot jeep. She was nearing her dorm and asked the driver to stop so she could walk but the driver kept driving and refuse to look at her at the rear view mirror. The driver took a different route and dropped her off directly in front of her dorm. Frazzled, she hurriedly left the jeep. The driver called after her and told her to burn her clothes when she gets home.
The girl looked at him and asked why. The driver answered: “When I saw you in the rear-view mirror earlier, you were headless.”
Reports said nobody knows who the girl was, who’s the driver, when did it happen and the plate number of the ikot jeep. So, I decided to look for another rumour about this haunted campus. 2 stories caught my attention - The Phantom Musicians of Abelardo Hall and The Creatures of Lagoon.
- Phantom Musicians
“Like any college on campus, the College of Music has a set curfew when students are no longer allowed to stay. Security guards roam the college to check the grounds and see if there are still students in the building. Recently, some hear someone vocalizing, or playing the piano or the gamelan. They check the rooms to reprimand the students but find no one there.
If you find yourself passing by the college late at night, you might want to pause and listen. Who knows? You just might be lucky enough to hear a song or two. “
- Creature of Lagoon
“2 students were walking in the middle of the dark trees of Lagoon when the 1st girl heard multiple laughs on the tree line. The other girl thought it was just their classmates pulling pranks to them until they saw 2 bright eyes moving up and down as if it was jumping and hides behind the creepy trees. Alarmed, they run as fast as they could towards their dorm.”
Among these stories; the ghosts of Abelardo Hall or the College of Music is one of U.P.’s most resonant ghost stories. I don’t believe in these stories, of course. So I pull up a team and headed to U.P. Diliman campus to prove if these two rumors were true.
13:41. we have arrived at U.P. Diliman entrance and decided to prepare for hours of truth hunting. The U.P. Diliman main entrance has 2 giant sculptures. As big as 3 bus combined together, these two sculptures is called Tribute to Higher Education of U.P. Diliman is an artwork of Napoleon Abueva.
My best Friend Fyro Heartnet (right) and a fellow blogger Elise agreed to accompany me for this adventure.
The three of us is currently living in Quezon City, the largest City in Metro Manila and the location of U.P. Diliman. After a quick review of our objectives, we immediately head towards the college of music.
I came in front of the building and heard melodious sounds of Viola and piano. I talked to the guard whose in-service guarding the Abelardo Hall’s entrance for 3 months. He asked me not to put his name in my findings but he agreed to give me a short background about the College of Music and some details that could help me. The guard told me that the building will still be open as long as the offices of are still functional. After the faculties and all the personnel leave the building, the guards will then check the rooms and politely ask the students to go home. He also told me that he heard the rumor about Abelardo Hall haunted by ghosts but never experienced it nor heard anything strange.
Feeling unsatisfied with what I’ve heard, my team decided to visit the next hot spot and return to Abelardo Hall at night.
15:47.when we arrived at U.P. Lagoon just across the road from College of Music. Like what I read in the articles, the lagoon is a large grass land with different kinds of trees. We walked towards the trees and saw white and creepy looking trees lined up from the road to the center area of the Lagoon. I think this is the “creepy trees” that the articles are talking about.
The U.P. Diliman Lagoon is the only body of water found on campus. The lagoon divides a wide expanse of grass land where several glades can be found. The area serves as a botanical reserve planted with Bamboo and trees like; Narra, Banaba, Kapok, Mahogany, Royal, Rubber, Acacia and Mango trees.
We stayed at U.P. Lagoon to summarize our findings and be back at Abelardo Hall at night to continue investigation. While analyzing the information we got, I can’t keep on thinking; if the article about the Abelardo Hall happened recently (let’s just say it happened almost a month ago) and posted November 1, 2013 and the guard I talked to is in duty for 3 months, why did he told me that he didn’t experience it? He should be there when it all happened. Does this mean I talked to the wrong guard? Or he just simply doesn’t believe in ghosts. Is he hiding something? Or maybe those mysterious sounds were not heard recently but already months ago.
Some articles in internet about the College of Music came from an experience of a guard. Some came from the experience of the people passing by the college’s buildings. Something’s missing in this puzzle and I have to found it.
18:01 and its getting dark, my team and I decided to do a thorough sweep around U.P. Lagoon and College of Music to take pictures and record sounds. Fyro and Elise chose to roam the dark areas of U.P. Lagoon while I go to College of Music. Here are some of the pictures we got;
U.P. Lagoon at night
College of Music
While I was taking pictures of College of Music, I heard drumming sounds on the upper level of Abelardo hall. The drums bang without beat like it was played by a kid. I immediately run inside the Abelardo Hall. At the entrance, the guard allowed me to enter the hall but I have to leave the camera. Fearing that the sound will be gone, I left my camera and run towards the room on the upper level of the hall. Luckily I caught who’s making the noise. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a ghost. There, I saw a janitor cleaning around 30 drums.
I approached the janitor to ask some question if there are instruments playing at night. Let’s just call him “Kuya Mike”. Kuya Mike told me that he’s working as a janitor in College of Music for almost half a year. If I happen to pass-by and heard banging sound of drums, it is surely him cleaning it. And as for the vocalization or some instruments playing, it was either the faculty or students practicing even at night.
The sounds heard from College of Music at night matched the information from the articles that came from people passing by near the college.
My theory is someone spread the rumor that the College of Music is haunted. And the person passing by hearing noises supports the rumor. To prove if my theory is correct I looked for another guard near the College of Music to ask. I found a second guard in his post on the other building near the Abelardo Hall. I asked the guard, “aside from telling the students to go home by reprimand, what are the other things that a guard will do?” I put a smile on my face so that he would think that I was asking for a not serious answer. He smiled back and say, “tinatakot naming yung mga estudyante para umuwi.” (We will scare the students to go home)
My theory is right. It all makes sense now. I suddenly realized the framework of the rumor why the story is very strong. There are two types of people involved in this case; the guards and the people passing by. The guards create the rumor to scare the students to go home and the people passing by will support the rumor by telling stories that they heard noises inside the College of Music even at night, which is originally created by the people inside the building either while practicing or cleaning the instruments because the college have no definite time to close.
18:47. with case finally solved, I walked back to see the other team I left at U.P. Lagoon. I texted Elise and ask their exact location. After receiving her reply, I immediately pushed towards the dark areas of U.P. Lagoon. I saw them waiting beside a tree. When I approach them, they reported 3 facts they’ve observed about U.P. Lagoon at night:
- There are lots of people staying in the dark areas of Lagoon regardless whatever the reasons they may have.
- There are always group of kids walking through the woods. And
- Only concrete paths have lights.
With the information they gave me, I formed a theory about the creature of U.P. Lagoon;
I recall the article I read on the internet, a creature that laughs with multiple voices and has 2 bright eyes moving up and down as if it was jumping and hides behind the creepy trees. My theory is that those laughs were originally from kids walking in the Lagoon, moving shadows that look like someone is hiding behind a tree are people staying at night. What bothers me is the eyes, what are the things that look like bright eyes and moves up and down?
I looked at the pictures to see if they caught something with the camera. One picture gave me an idea.
This picture has multiple lines created by light of the road and camera capture while walking. But I need a source of light that moves up and down. Street lights don’t move. A light from a car moves but in a horizontal motion.
I asked Fyro how they knew that those kids are coming. Fyro said, “They’re laughing. And the phones they’re holding are very bright and moving.”
That’s it. The creature in U.P. Lagoon is actually people spending the night in there. They’re having fun and usually walk in group. The 2 bright eyes that look like jumping are actually lights came from the screens on their phones that moves up and down synchronically when they walk. That solves the mystery of the creature in U.P. Lagoon.
Its funny how people often mistake something or someone as a threat when they’re scared. The ghosts in their heads become stronger each time they fed it with rumors. Fear comes from your thoughts. Ghosts come out when they sense fear. No fear, No ghost. This is the Stray Russian Blue. When you saw something, always think that your mind is quicker than your eyes.
I Saw Something Case 3
Story by: The Stray Russian Blue – Snow de Montesquieu
Special Thanks to:
- Fyro and Elise Heartnet
- To the Security Guards of U.P. Theatre and College of Music
- “Kuya Mike”
Gadgets and gears by: Asilianna de Montesquieu