Haunted places in Manila an interesting topic? Yes and no. Yes, because most of these places are in plain view. Most are historical still being used and visited by thousands every single year. Mentioning them here evokes historical memories in all of us. No, because no one really knows if these paranormal phenomena are indeed true.
It is definitely not at all surprising to find haunted places in the metro. For one, Manila is one of the oldest cities in Asia. There are still buildings here which walls if they can only speak, would probably tell us gruesome stories of those people who lived, and died there. Most of these haunted places were either places where some gruesome incident happened which involved the killing of several people. Others, are well, they really looked very odd, weird and simply archaic that people find the time to talk about them and ascribe some weird experience visiting them.
The UST Hospital and the UST Museum
First off, the UST hospital. It looks terribly dated and it is. The structure survived the ravages of World War Two. When the American Forces stormed Manila to flush out the Japanese stragglers, many people inside the hospital were killed, many in brutal fashion. Several years ago, the UST administration confirmed the existence of a mass grave near the UST museum. Some of those who died there were buried in harried fashion and others were burned. Until now, most of the bones there were never really identified.
Manila’s City Hall
Those who live in the City of Manila would definitely not believe that the City of Manila, that iconic building that face Intramuros is actually haunted. City hall employees reported poltergeist activities, seeing ghostly apparitions of headless priests, crying kids and a woman whose whitely robes are soaked in blood. Like the UST hospital, the city hall became a scene of carnage when retreating Japanese and Korean soldiers killed Filipinos who went there to find refuge.
Many also noted the “casket-like” architectural design of the city hall. Others, well, say that the shape is not a casket, but shaped either like a Knight’s Templar’s shield or a deep bottomed boat.
Dela Salle University at Taft
Many swear that Dela Salle University grounds in Taft is haunted. Students who unfortunately stay there after 10 o’clock swear that they heard several eerie screams and voices of people crying, especially near the Chapel of the Most Blessed sacrament. Unknown to many, like Manila’s City hall, the Dela Salle grounds were drenched in blood when thousands of Filipinos, some of them members of the Philippine elite families were massacred. Priests, nuns, and lay people were summarily executed by firing squads, others thru beheading and others in other gruesome ways by, and this again, by Japanese soldiers. Many Spanish mestizas were brutally raped and assaulted by these escaping soldiers. After the rapes, they were knifed dead, with some sustaining slash wounds in their private parts.
It is not only President Duterte who, not once but twice, swore of the ghostly presence of several people inside Malacanan palace. Malacanan stands in the middle of a once vast sugarcane field owned by the San Miguel corporation. It was built in 1750 by a Spanish nobleman named Don Luis Rocha. Later, it was purchased by the Spanish government as a “summer residence” of the Governor General.
Many swears that certain historical figures sometimes walk the now Presidential Security Group (PSG) grounds. Former Philippine presidents, their aides and attendants especially during the tumultuous Spanish and Japanese eras tread the grounds and the mansions. There is reportedly a woman dressed in black but with shimering skin peering out towards the murky waters of the Pasig from one of the windows of the Mabini Hall especially between midnight and 3 in the early morning. The woman is said to be a rape victim by one of the former governor generals.
Former president Quirino and the ghost of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos are said to be haunting the palace.
The Luna House
This abandoned old house along Calle Urbiztondo in Binondo Manila bears witness to the birth of one of the country’s most iconic historical figures–the great general Antonio Luna. This house remains still an imposing one in these parts although in the state of decay after its owners abandoned it for decades already. Fortunately, no one tried to occupy its premises illegally since the house remains shut from outsiders. There are still living descendants of the Lunas but curiously not one among them even considered living or even restoring this iconic building. One urban legend says the house holds so many secrets that if revealed would change the way we see our heroes. During their day, the Lunas are one of the country’s wealthiest families, but also a subject of ridicule by some who thought that some members of this intelligentsia family had lost their wits. Many swears of repeated paranormal activity inside the house, most were apparitions and some people even swore that they heard wailings, shouts and laughing women inside the abandoned Bahay na bato.