Ghost Stories

Philippine Elementals

Hi. Sorry for being such a stranger, but life is so full of the living right now I don't have much time to spare for thoughts about the Great Majority anymore, other than to pray for them occasionally and wish them well.

As I mentioned in my post about ghosts and spirits in the Philippines, the house I live in now, as well as my mother-in-law's place next door and, indeed, this entire neighborhood might be what people consider "haunted". We moved from our apartment in the south end of Cebu City to my mother-in-law's rental house in July, after her tenant transfered to Manila, so now we're here in barangay Cabancalan, Mandaue City north by northwest of Cebu City.

When this lot was just cleared and my in-laws' house was being built, my wife Karen (now 30: she was around 8 at that time) lived just down the small, dirt road at her grandparents' pace. One day she was sent to take some food up to the workers at lunchtime. When she got within earshot (around 50 meters away) she definitely heard the sounds of carpentry and construction, plus workers talking and laughing. But when she got to the lot no one was even there.

The house we're in is right next to my in-laws' place on the same lot. It used to be occupied by Karen's grandmother but after she died it became a rental. Just after her funeral my father-in-law was staying here to keep an eye on her things, and he said he heard, more than once, the sound of her footsteps and her walker downstairs.

One of the previous renters said that when coming home from work late one night he saw a White Lady sitting in one of the large, old mango trees that used to be in a vacant lot next door. He said she just looked at him and smiled, friendly-like, while perched on a limb and holding on with one hand.

Several weeks ago on a Friday evening Karen was at her discipleship group meeting and I was home alone except for our two dogs, Rahab and Joshua, and our cat Butch. I was upstairs on the computer at around 8PM when I heard a woman's voice outside say, "Rahab!" in a glad-to-see-you kind of a tone. I thought Karen had come home earlier than expected so I shot downstairs to clean up any doggy messes so it wouldn't look like I'd spent the entire time upstairs. But, Karen didn't come in and when I looked outside she wasn't there. Neither were the dogs excited or barking as they would be if Karen or someone else was outside.

I already mentioned hearing phantom footsteps on the dirt and gravel road last Christmas eve when we were staying at mom's for the holiday. I was just inside the gate and could see that no one was on the street, yet I still heard someone walk past. This was just before midnight.

Karen calls all these critters and whatnots "elementals" rather than just ghosts. She says that's because they're earth-bound spirits, and not just those of people or things that once were human. She doesn't know about any air, fire- or water-bound spirits.

Our dogs, two young Doberman pinschers, sometimes bark, growl, howl and bay at night as though someone is outside. When I get up to go look, baseball bat in hand, there's nothing. This barking is different than their "there's a cat outside" barking, which is more playful and with an "I want it" tone. This is an "intruder alert!" barking, with baying as I said. Karen thinks that they see and hear things that we don't, and it might be the elementals. When this happens we hear other dogs in the area doing the same thing. it usually happens at around midnight to 1AM.

The vacant lot next door, on the opposite side of mama's house from us, used to have a lot of large, old mango trees. Whenever I ask Karen why "elementals" should be hanging out here she mentions those trees, so apparently elementals like old, tall trees. The mangoes were all cut down a couple of years ago, just after the White Lady was seen.

This house nd the surrounding area don't particularly *feel* haunted, so maybe Karen's right and the activity, such as it is, is just a bit of mischeif from the spirits of the land.