The Ghost in University of the Philippines


The University of the Philippines (also known as UP) is one of the most famous college university in the Philippines - home of the law-makers and presidents of the country. However behind its good name to the public, many secrets was hiding on the buildings and every where the campus. Thus, many stories circulated about ghosts and supernatural beings still roaming in the deserted places. Actually, because of that reason it gives way to urban legends.


[Taken from the Article by Catherine Grace de Leon, reprinted from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 03/28/09:]

I once asked a friend why most people feared ghosts more than werewolves, aswang, duendes, aliens and monsters.

“Well,” he answered. “It’s because they’re supposed to be dead.”

The UP College of Music at the Abelardo Hall has a curfew. At 8 in the evening, the bell will ring and all who are still inside must exit the building before the guard locks it down. This was not always so. Years ago, people could stay in as long as they wanted. You see, we Music majors are addicted to practice. We’d pound away on our instruments until 3 in the morning if we could. So understandably, many of us were disgruntled when the 8 p.m. rule was first imposed.

Several weeks ago, we were talking to one of our professors, also a Music alumna, expressing envy at how, during her time, she could stay in the college and practice to her heart’s content way into the night.

“You’re right, we didn’t have an official curfew then,” she replied. “Instead, we had what we called a natural curfew. Once you start to hear someone playing, singing or dancing along to your solitary music…Ay! Umuwi ka na!”

And even until now, many janitors claim that sometimes they hear passionate piano playing in one of the classrooms, but when they got to check it out, they find no one there.

They also say that in the gamelan room, the biggest gong in the ensemble (gong ageng) vibrates by itself at 12 midnight. And it must be true because every gamelan set is believed to have its own identity and to be inhabited by spirits whom you must not offend—which is why you must treat the instruments with care and never step over them, or you will never have children of your own.

Several piano professors also claim that there’s a little girl who wanders around the second floor of the annex building at night, especially if you’re the only one left practicing in the premises.

Jeepney stories

It was late at night when a man waved his hand at the driver and got on the jeep. The driver wondered why the man chose to stand on the edge and cling on to the rails, and asked him why he wouldn’t just take a seat. Just as the man was about to answer that the vehicle was full of passengers, he realized it was actually empty.

Another tale was that of a girl who got on the jeepney by herself. All of a sudden, the driver veered away from the regular route into unknown territory. Driving through dark and unpopulated areas, he kept glancing cautiously at the girl over his shoulder.

The girl started to fear for her life and womanly dignity (what if he planned to rape her?) and requested that she be dropped off at her dorm. In time the jeepney resumed its regular route and she was dropped off in front of her building.

But before taking off, the driver said, “Miss, as soon as you get inside, take off your clothes and burn them. Because when I saw your reflection in the rear view mirror, you were headless.” He also said that was the reason he took several unusual turns—because he feared the girl’s untimely demise lay in the jeepney’s regular course.

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Vinzons Hall

At Vinzons Hall, it was the end of the semester, and a guy was waiting for his friend to meet him. Since the first floor was quite busy and crowded with students celebrating sem-break, he went up to the second floor, which was empty of people and quite peaceful, and started to read a book—a pleasure he had been deprived of during finals week.

All of a sudden, he heard a woman eerily gasp for breath from the men’s comfort room. A few minutes later, his friend walked out, and he asked him if he had heard anything. His friend said no, and laughed at him because he seemed to be imagining things.

Before they left, the guy decided to relieve himself in one of the cubicles. After some time he felt someone patting and smoothing his head. He looked up and saw a girl hanging from her neck, her complexion gray from the lack of oxygen, and her eyes almost bulging out of their sockets. And grazing his head were the soles of her feet! He hurriedly ran out with his zipper still undone, and he never used that comfort room again.

(Here's the whole story:)

The Visions at the Vinzon's Hall
By Joey P. Salud

  Joey (not his real name) is your typical 23-year-old young intellectual - a hard-nosed, matter-of-fact Nitzschean disciple with an ego that would make the USS Titanic look like it was built by Matchbox.

  As a UP Diliman philosophy and political science dean's lister, he can't be anything else but downlight snooty, and a skeptic through-and-through. He did not want to admit he was a cynic, however. Self-styled geniuses and freethinkers never make such claims. As far as Joey was concerned, his mind was big enough for every possible idea and concept.

  Everything but ghosts.

  It was a rowdy afternoon at Vinzon's Hall, quite unusual for a Saturday.

  The student center was bursting at the seams with students from every college in UP, sitting in corners in their torn jeans and sandals, books in hand. The lobby was so packed that day that Joey could not concentrate on what he was reading - a book by Engel.

  Raul, a friend and classmate, was supposed to meet him at the hallway near the entrance of the building. But it's been an hour already, and there was no sign of Raul. Surprisingly, even though there were many people in the hall, he saw no one that he actually knew.

  Bored and irritated by the hollow rumblings of students around him, he decided to pack his bags and leave for the second floor. There, he thought, he could stay and read in peace.

  The second floor of the Vinzon's Hall was relatively quiet and peaceful, the perfect place to read and concentrate, he thought.

  Joey hadn't read a fairly good book in weeks, and this bothered him immensely. A voracious reader, he would spend almost half his allowance on reasonably priced books.

  Much of his student life was spend this way - his face buried inside the pages of a book. Forget the parties and the usual gimmicks young people usually indulged in. For Bookworm Joey, relaxing with a good book was the only way to have fun.

  He immediately slumped in one corner, and in just a few minutes, he was already on his fourth chapter. He could feel the cold stone wall on his back, which made his left collar bone ache a bit. He decided to wear his jacket to ease the cramp.

  As he was taking his jacket out of his knapsack, he heard a deep ethereal sound coming from the men's comfort room. Sort of like a hushed yet deep whisper.

  It souded like the voice of a young woman gasping for breath. But it couldn't be. Maybe, some couple is making out in the john. What a drag, he thought.

  A few minutes later, Joey saw someone come out of the men's comfort room.

  It was Raul.

  Joey motioned to his friend to come and join him.

  As Raul polished the cold slab under him, Joey asked, Was someone else with you in the john? I swear I heard a woman's voice in there.

  Raul shrugged his shoulders.

  I was the only one there, pare. 'Kaw naman. I wish Rachel was there! Joey laughed, put down his book and took a sip from his canned iced tea. Wish on bro!

  Hey, pare, I've heard stories about ghosts in Vinzonz's Hall. You know, that young coed whom they say commited suicide in one of the comfort rooms? It could've been her ... asking for you! Raul teased.

  Yeah! yeah! Sure, Raul, Joey quipped.

  He was somewhat irritated.

  Of all the people to believe in ghosts! Man! You're so guillible I can't believe you're my friend!

  Hey! Take it easy, pare. I was just kidding around.

  Lokohin mo lolo mong panot (Go fool you hairless grandpa)! Joey, the perpetual pikon (sore loser), howled, smiling. I'll just go to the john.

  Joey went straight to one of the cubicles. He did not tell Raul, but that day, Joey was suffering from diarrhea. As he sat on one of the bowls, he felt something press on his head, as if smoothing of patting it. At the same time he felt a cold, unruly current stroke his nape. That was quite unusual, it was summer. Joey resisted the temtation to look up and see what or who was smoothing his head.

  His curiousity, however, got the better of him.

  When Joey looked up, he saw a young girl hanging by her neck, her eyes nearly bulging from their sockets, her face a deathly pale from the immense strain from the rope. And the ones stroking his head were the soles of her feet swaying and rubbing against it.

  He sat frozen. He could not take his eyes away from the young girl hanging from the ceiling.

  A few seconds later, the girl's face moved, slowly, and turned toward Joey. Her bulging eyes looked straight into Joey's face, as if asking him to save her.

  At that, Joey unfroze. Pulling up his pants, he rushed out of the comfort room, his zipper still down, his face sickly white from fright. He could not speak for several minutes. After a while, he managed to calm down.

  But he never used that comfort room again.

Dorm stories

At the Sampaguita dorm, a student was brushing her teeth when a woman suddenly appeared in the mirror behind her. In fright, she started to pray the rosary, and the lady raspily prayed it along with her.

Another student was washing her face, and when she looked in the mirror with her face still covered in soap suds, she saw her reflection smiling back at her. She hurriedly ran out and rinsed her face with mineral water.

Some dormers also claimed that while taking a shower, a black presence with red eyes peeped at them.

Benitez Hall

Of all the colleges rumored to be haunted at UP, the College of Education is the most notorious and controversial, being the oldest building on camps.

A friend studied elementary and high school at the UP Integrated School, from which she and her friends had a full view of the College of Education. She told the story of a girl who committed suicide on the fourth floor. And on some nights they could see her jumping from the topmost floor, and then vanishing before she hit the ground.

A new professor, who requested not to be named, recounted how she was once having class when she noticed that two of her students at the back were not listening. Instead, they were whispering to each other and kept glancing towards the door. Irritated she approached them after class and asked why they weren’t listening to the discussion. And they answered that they saw a man in white watching her as he peeped through the door.

Asking around, they were advised to seek information from the librarians, who then instructed them to look at the board of past and present deans.

“There! That’s him!” said the students, pointing to the picture of Dean Benitez—the man after whom the College of Education was named.

The librarians then explained that while Dean Benitez was still alive, he would walk around and observe the new professors in their classes.

The next story I’m going to share has reached urban legend status. It has been told time and time again around UP, and now has several variations.

It was very late at night and raining too hard. A professor was the only one left at the College of Education, and she couldn’t go home due to the heavy rains. She approached the guard and asked if she could stay in the building for some time, at least until the rain stopped. He generously obliged, but on several conditions.

He brought her to one of the rooms and instructed her to shut and lock the door. She was to stay inside the whole time until he came back to get her. Under no circumstances was she permitted to open the door unless she heard him knock. The professor agreed and the guard left her and returned to his post.

After some time, the professor heard footsteps outside the room. Someone was walking along the corridor. Approaching the door, she peeked through the keyhole. The footsteps had stopped and all she could see was the color red. Just red and nothing else. She stood back up, extremely curious at what she just saw. But heeding the guard’s instructions, she chose not to open the door.

A few hours later, the security guard returned and knocked for her. She opened it and he said it was okay for her to come out now. She thanked him for his kindness, but couldn’t keep herself from asking. Whose were those footsteps, and why as the view from the keyhole nothing but red?

“Ah, the guard responded knowingly. Trying to soothe her, he explained that there really was a ghost that would walking along the corridor at a certain hour every night. That was why he instructed her to stay inside the room and keep the door locked at all times. And that ghost, he continued, had big red eyes.

(Here's the whole story:)

The Haunting at Benitez Hall
By Joey P. Salud

  It was about 11 in the evening and the air was damp and heavy with rains.

  The evening sky covered the city like a dark gray blanket even though it was nigh on midnight.

  The wind was cold, bitter and crisp, almost vindictive as it howled and made the branches of the old acacia trees that lined the edge of the University of the Philippines' Sunken Garden whistle.

  Two friends, Alma and Christine (not there real names), both young Creative Writing instructors at the Diliman campus, were stranded in front of the Benitez Hall.

  They hadn't expected it to rain so hard that day. There was nothing in the news about an incoming storm. There was no warnings from PAGASA, as usual.

  After alighting from the jeepney, they ran as fast as they could towards the huge wooden door of Benitez Hall where a security guard was sitting quietly, writing something on a small piece of paper.

  Christine, who lived nearby, asked the security guard to let them into the building since the rains were getting more furious. The two teachers needed a place to stay for the night, or at least, until the rains subsided.

  After presenting their IDs, the guard let them in. By that time both Alma and Christine were already soaking wet.

  The guard accompanied them into one of the rooms situated at the left wing of the old building. The guard called Obet, the caretaker of the building, and asked if he had the keys to the classrooms. As the caretaker opened the door, a whiff of frosty air blew toward the faces of the two instructors. This is strange, Christine thought, noticing that all the windows were closed.

  As the two instructors went in, Christine, who was more spiritually sensitive of the two, felt a certain presence brush near her shoulder. At first she did not mind it. It's probably a wayward breeze, she said to herself.

  Benitez Hall, or the college of Education, was one of the oldest buildings on campus. Aside from being the building where some of the best professors in UP were honed, Benitez Hall is likewise infamous because of its ghost sightings.

  In its former incarnation, it was an interrogation camp of the Japanese Army during World War II. Most UP graduates know that it is the most haunted building on campus.

  Christine and Alma settled down and took off their wet business jackets. They put together tow tables to use as beds. Since they did not have blankets, the two used their jackets.

  As Christine was about to hand the jackets to Alma, she heard footsteps coming from the corridor, on the other side of the door. At first, she thought it was the guard, but she noticed that the footsteps were made by someone with rubber soles, like slippers. The guard was wearing leather shoes.

  Both knew they were the only ones in the building aside from the guard.

  Christine went to the door. She tried to open it, but the door remained tightly shut. Feeling something eerily strange about the goings on, she motioned to Alma to help her open the door.

  But though both of them combined their strengths and pulled with all their might, they could not budge the door.

  They started yelling, calling for the guard. Despite their shouts and calls for help though the guard did not come.

  But Christine could still hear the footsteps from the other side of the door. After about three minutes, the sound of footfalls stopped. She peeked through the peephole to see who it was on the other side. All she saw was the color red.

  Alma, scared stiff because of the ghost stories she heard in the past about Benitez Hall, started banging on the door and kicking it.

  A few seconds later, the door opened and the guard rushed in the classroom, asking what happened.

  Christine asked, "Is there anyone in the building aside from us?"

  The guard shrugged his shoulders.

  "We heard footsteps, someone wearing slippers."

  "Obet already left. There's no one in the building but us." the guard confirmed.

  "Is this building really haunted?" Alma asked.

  "I've been guarding this building for past six months," the guard said . "Yes, I've heard stories of people who died in Benitez Hall. I also heard ghost stories from the former guard. I don't believe these ghost stories. All I know is that a student died here once. A friend of mine who used to be assigned to guard Benitez Hall said he saw a person floating in the air dressed in white, with BIG RED EYES!"

  At that, Christine slumped down in a dead faint.

UP Infant Center

Students taking family life and Child Development (FLCD) have a subject called Home Management. While taking it up, they are required to live in the Infant Center, which is reportedly haunted. Residents would wake up to find all the cupboards in the kitchen open. A guy also went to bed without a blanket, and when he woke up, he was snuggled up under one.

So one night, my friend her classmates, and their professor were having a quiet dinner, when all of a sudden they heard the innocent sound of a baby’s laughter.

Their eyes grew wide and they held their breath. After a moment of silence, their professor cautiously admitted, “Cellphone ko yon. Paabot nga.”

The Best of True Philippine Ghost Stories. Alexie Cruz Ed. 2008. PSICOM Publishing Inc. Quezon City, Philippines.

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