San Juan, La Union Ghosts

[This past few days, I've been very busy with too many things, including my studies. That's why I can't search any other exciting and interesting urban legends in the Philippines, and post them here. Well, now I'm back. It's Christmas vacation. Perhaps, I will have a lot of time on focusing my favorite pastime.]

This urban legend have been famous for decades. Maybe some of you knew this one.

The town of San Juan, in the province of La Union, west of Luzon, is a fishing before the coming of Americans. It has a number of ghost legends, including a headless nun, smoking faceless man and a mysterious smiling white lady at the old tower. Most tales are said to have originated around this time and handed down to generations. It’s still a quiet town, but pompous cottages and mansions have popped along its shores.

Here's the ghost legends in the said province:

It was said that the nun was killed and beheaded by the Japanese in the old Hispanic convent, and her convent burned down. Till now the convent is still standing. If someone passes the ruins of the covenant on a full moon at midnight, an eerie bell tolls, signalling the approach of the nun from behind. First, you will feel a cool, creepy breeze. Then wavy long hair brushing against the nape. Looking behind, the victim would discover the spooky tale for himself.

Until the present day, the nun is still haunting the old ruins. No one knows why she's still there, but perhaps she wants to avenge her death.

The white lady is said to appear at midnight in the ruins of an old watch tower that dates to pre-Hispanic times, and is particularly likely to be seen by handsome young men.

It was peculiar, "a ghost who only appears on handsome brave youths". I wanted to laugh at it. Well, for those bored individual young man there, if you wanted to know if you're handsome, the only place you can go and find the answer out is in the Bell Tower in La Union. If she will appear, then you're definitely handsome. However, if you'll tell anybody about her appearance on you, no one will likely to believe. I wonder why she laughs????

Another myth is about the smoking faceless man.

Before the war, (perhaps the WWII) youths were used to smoke cigars in an abandoned man-hole at midnight. Once, a stranger came, face overshadowed by a straw hat, asking for light. When they lent a lit cigar, the man looked up to light his, showing a spine-chilling blank where a face should have been. The faceless man allegedly still shows up, though rarely, because he prefers unbranded, native tobacco to imported ones. Who could be that faceless pal???

[Taken from a Website:]

In 1582, San Juan was proclaimed a mission station under the authority of the Augustian Order, as recorded by the Nueva Segovia Bi-centennial souvenir booklet dated April 25, 1587. By 1586 the town had become the center of the parish, and was renamed San Juan by the Augustian Fathers after the Catholic Patron Saint of San Juan Bautista. The town boasted an Augustinian convent and a population of 6,000. Its first priest was Friar Agustin NiƱo. The center of the parish was subsequently transferred to Bauang, with San Juan sometimes being an out-station (visita) of Bauang and sometimes of Bacnotan. In 1707 the Church of St. John the Baptist was constructed at San Juan. In 1772, the mission station was placed under the authority of the Dominican Order. In 1807, San Juan was established as a parish in its own right.

Pindangan Ruins this is the home of the headless stabbed priest whose sole ghost prowls at night, either carrying his severed head or searching for his head. Some report hearing his head calling out for his body to find it. Many say EVP's happen here all the time and the wind is known to whisper strange malediction to those that disrespect the location.

Pasatsat is word rooted on the Pangasinense word satsat, meaning "to stab". Pasatsats are ghosts of people who died or were killed in the Second World War. Coffins during the time were so expensive, so the families of the dead wrapped the corpses in reed mats or icamen. The dead were buried in places other than cemeteries because tomb robberies were rampant during that era of extreme poverty. These ghosts usually show up in solitary paths and block passersby. To get rid of such a ghost, one needs to stab (hence pasatsat) the reed mat and unravel it, but doing so will show no presence of a corpse, although the mat will emit a noxious odor, much like that of putrid flesh.

In 1898 during the latter days of the Philippine Revolution, the whole of San Juan was razed to the ground by a great fire. Many ghost from this period are said to roam the streets.

The town of San Juan, La Union has a considerable amount of ghost encounters, sightings and many many paranormal monsters and legends, including a headless nun and a smiling white lady at the old tower.

Another strange ghost is that of Devil Cigar Man or as many call him just the Devilman. In the months just before the war, young men from the town would all go around an abandoned man-hole, there they would smoke cigars and speak of the goings on of the day then one night at midnight something strange occurred. Once, a stranger came appearing strangely with his his long well combed black slicked and straight and braided beard is his most striking feature for his face is always overshadowed by a large brimmed straw hat, he came to them asking for light. When they lent a lit cigar, the man looked up to light his, showing a spine-chilling blank where a face should have been. The faceless Devil man allegedly still shows up, because he prefers unbranded, native tobacco to imported ones. And if you don't give him a light he will drag you straight to hell are strike you deaf and dumb on the spot.

Another strange haunted tale is about finding the the Devilman's large brimmed straw hat. If by chance you see a straw hat of or hat of any type of hat or head gear on the side of the road by no means touch it. Because if you dare to do os of God forbid to put it on your head. To do so will bring you straight to hell.

The tale of the strange ghost nun that was beheaded by the Japanese, and her convent burned down is a very weird ghost story.

If someone passes the ruins of the covenant on a full moon at midnight, an eerie ghost bell tolls this is the signaling of the approach of the nun's ghost. One of the many tales tells that the old historical ruins of a Spanish convent were burned by the Japanese and a pious chaste nun was beheaded as an example for all to see.

The old ruins of the covenant still stand. On some nights when an unfortunate person happens to pass by on a full moon at midnight, some spectral bell would toll from the netherworld. It supposedly signals the approach of the ghost nun who will slowly creep up on you from behind. They say she is looking for the man who killed her or his descendents to take her exacting revenge. Many say several daring people have died from fright others driven mad when being touched by her on the left shoulder.

The white lady another ghosts not to be confused with the ghost nun or the Balete Drive specter, is said to appear at midnight in the ruins of an old watch tower that dates to pre-Hispanic times, and is particularly likely to be seen by many individuals. In recent times, she is often called the laughing white lady is said to have been showing herself periodically in the old historical ruins. The ghosts of this woman is said to appear often and her disguised appearance is said to be very frightening for she has no eyes. Only gaping sockets which glow with an erie spooky ghost light. Many report they hear her maniacal ghostly laughter and would rather run the see her eyeless ghosts.

One of the hitchhiker stories tells of three boys who pick up a girl near a cemetery and take her to a party. this is very similar to the tales of Resurrection Mary in Chicago USA. On the way back, the girl complains of the cold and borrows a jacket. The girl disappears near the cemetery, and the boys find the jacket neatly folded on the headstone of her grave. Or that of a freshly dug up grave where the body has been pulled from the earth and partially eaten. Many believe her to be a real ghoul like creature. A ghoul is a folkloric monster associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh, often classified as undead.

In another story, a male hitchhiker asks to be taken to a given address. When they arrive, the hitchhiker has disappeared, but it turns out that he used to live at that address and this is the anniversary of her death. Stories tell that this young disfigured man appears as if he was just in some terrible accident with blood on his clothes.


  1. The third one was probably Slenderman XD


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