10 of the Spookiest Stories Ever Told in UP Diliman
I started the night with the group looking for a restroom inside Palma Hall. The building is big and old, not somewhere I could picture myself wandering through in the middle of the night. I saw a few students in some corners busy doing their stuff. When we gathered back outside, the tour leader asked us if we sensed something sinister or felt something eerie inside the building, we all said no. Had he told the story surrounding Palma Hall before we went in, I doubt that any of us would enter the building.
Last Saturday night, I joined the UP Diliman After Dark with 8 other thrill seekers. The tour master is a bespectacled guy named Clyde Tasipit, who claims that he started seeing ghosts at the tender age of 7. At 10, he began doing his own research on the world of the paranormal to better understand his ability. He has been leading paranormal tours for the last 20 years, but his group, Paranormal All Stars has only been around for 2.
I asked the other joiners the dos and don’ts because I was late and missed the orientation. They said that we are discouraged from running and making noise. I gulped and thought, I’ll do my best. For the next 2 hours, we were taken to the so-called haunted spots within the grounds of the University of the Philippines.
The theater actress who must not be replaced
Clyde talked in an almost inaudible tone that I deliberately stuck myself to his side so I could hear him better. He told the story of a former UP student, Marissa who said to be haunting the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater inside Palma Hall. Back in the 1970s, Marissa was a lead theater actress who took pride in her craft. She never got to graduate because of her sudden disappearance.
Then, paranormal activities began in the theater, allegedly caused by her spirit. They said that she is often seen in the restroom and her old dressing room and that she likes to appear before new actresses due to jealousy. You see, she doesn’t want to be replaced as the lead actress, and apparently, not even the afterlife could stop her.
Marissa’s story, however, has different versions, one of them is that she committed suicide by hanging herself onstage.
The hero who haunts the pathway to Beta Upsilon
Just across the Palma Hall is the moderately lit pathway that leads to Beta Upsilon boarding house. In the middle of this narrow path is a bridge, where the body of a young man was found. He perished from a fight with some men to save a woman from a rape attempt. The hero’s name is Merwin and you can find the tribute plaque for him on the side of the concrete steps in the mouth of the pathway.
The tour master dared us to walk down the pathway in twos with an assurance that Merwin is a good spirit and will do us no harm. His words did nothing to quell my anxiety. The thought alone of walking down that path where a person died sent chills down my spine. Friends know me as the one who doesn’t get easily scared, but in that moment, I must admit that I was. As I watched the rest of the group, started going by two, I tried my best to psyche up myself for the task ahead. Like I needed more reasons to be fearful, Clyde opened his ghost detector device and tried to communicate with Merwin.
When it was my turn to do the challenge, I was paired with the only foreigner in the group, a tall, bulky guy who wasn’t in the least spooked about the whole thing. Nonetheless, I couldn’t squash my growing panic that I pulled another guy from the group to accompany us. And so there I was, sandwiched between two men, and I held on to them like my life depended on it. We walked at a normal pace, but it felt like a lifetime. When we reached the bridge, the foreign guy suddenly opened a ghost-detector app on his phone and started calling out for Merwin. I braced myself to hear the ghost’s reply and let out a big sigh of relief when the attempt yielded no result.
As we walked back, the other guy suddenly flinched and looked to his left. He asked us if we’d seen it, I shook my head no. He claimed that he saw a shadow on his peripheral vision. I looked at the surrounding, half-fearing I’d see something jump out of the dark, but I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
The smoke boyfriend
In front of Bulwagan ng Dangal (formerly called Gonzalez hall) is a concrete bench on the side of the street that is almost obscured by the trees. This is the setting of the next story, a lady student who once sat there was told off by the guard to leave with the guy she’s with. The student, confused, asked the guard what he was talking about when she was alone. Suddenly, a smoke appeared on the tree behind the girl and formed into a shape of a man.
The lady returned to the same spot and the smoke figure of a man reappeared. She decided that the entity, whatever it is, is going to be her boyfriend (yes I know, weird girl). However, the smoke stopped showing and it wouldn’t reappear until years later, to the girl who happened to be her daughter. Clyde offered that the spirit world has no sense of time and that maybe, the daughter being a spitting image of her mother has been mistaken by the smoke entity for the student.
As he was telling the story, Clyde suddenly paused and appeared like he was straining to hear something. He shared that he could hear a heavy breathing and the sound of footsteps. A few people from the group claimed that they could hear it too. I stood still and tried to listen intently, but hard as I might, I didn’t hear anything.
The occult hall
Outside the Lagmay Hall, the tour master told us the alleged mystery of the building. Some people say that it used to be a venue for an occult meeting where sacrificial ceremonies are even held. They say that girls are being sacrificed every year, but as to the veracity of the story, nobody could produce an evidence.
The most haunted hall in UP
Benitez Hall is believed to be the most haunted hall within the UP grounds and thus hold a few unexplainable stories. For reasons unknown, anything that they put inside the building’s basement deteriorates in just 2 days, even if the item is just as simple as a single sheet of paper. One of the most popular stories of Benitez Hall is that of a Dean who paints the portraits of departed deans using their ashes.
The headless man at the UP Sunken Garden
A few years ago, I attended the Roots Music Festival held at the UP Sunken Garden, completely unaware that the garden has its own spooky tale. The garden got its name because the ground sinks a few inches every year. A foreign student who believed that the stories surrounding the garden were nothing but a load of bollocks, took it upon himself to dispel the rumors. He did this by challenging himself to hang out in the garden for 3 days. In those days, he would go to the garden to do his homework and studies. The first two days were uneventful, the 3rd day was a different story. As he was bent on his studies, he felt a presence behind him. He looked up and saw the figure of a headless man. The student fainted and when he came to, left and never returned in UP again.
The red lights
For some reason, they never turn off the lights on the top floor of the Melchor Hall. People claim that sometimes, the lights there inexplicably turn to red.
The spooky sound effects
Further into the night, we reached our next destination, the Theater Arts Building. There was once an audience who was so impressed by the drama he has just seen, he approached the director to express his admiration. He was particularly impressed by the sound effects of the people crying that seemed to be coming from the back of the theater. The director was happy with the compliment but was quick to clarify that they didn’t use additional sound effects. On where the strange voices are coming from nobody knows, but they are often heard in some of the plays where a rape or a war scene is involved.
The pianist’s last performance
At Abelardo music hall, a piano could be heard playing in the middle of the night. One security guard would always hear it during his duty, but whenever he entered the room and directed the flashlight toward the piano, the music would stop. This happened for a few nights that he grew tired of it and decided to kick open the door in the hopes of catching the person who was playing. This time, he did see the pianist; it was a silhouette of a girl playing.
Clyde shared that he went to the music hall to investigate this sighting with another paranormal expert.They saw the ghost of a girl and watched her play. When asked about the piece that she played, he said that it’s something that she composed herself and wasn’t able to play in front of an audience. Apparently, this has been what the ghost of the pianist was aiming all along; to complete playing the piece. So during their visit, Clyde and his companion listened to the pianist until she finished her playing. She disappeared when it was done, never to be heard from again.
The polio girl who kept coming home
Our last stop is along Tandang Sora street, in a building that was formerly an American garrison. Here goes the story of a girl who had polio; raped and killed by two security guards one rainy evening. 10 minutes before her body was found, a janitor spotted her coming home to the boarding house, all wet and muddy. He called out to her but she continued her way to her room. The janitor then fetched a mop and cleaned after her muddy trail.
When she was reported missing, the janitor informed the police that she saw her arrive and go to her room. According to stories, the girl is still seen coming home and the same guard, despite knowing what happened to her, kept mopping up the wet trail that she leaves behind.
Whenever there’s a chance I always shoot questions on Clyde to satisfy my curiosity. When asked if he still gets scared of ghosts, he said that he has no reason. One of the most common fears is the fear of the unknown because people are terrified of what they don’t understand. But once you make an effort to break down the ignorance by learning the world of the paranormal, he said that you will find that there is nothing to be afraid of.
I wasn’t as lucky (or as unfortunate, depending on how you see it) as the rest of the joiners who claimed to have felt something inexplicable during our tour. But I was sure glad to have this experience and I think it’s something worth trying at least once. The thrill seekers would definitely have a blast, that, I can tell for sure.
The group holds paranormal tours in various places such as Balara, New Manila, UP Diliman and UP Los Banos, Marikina, Bulacan State University, and Intramuros. They also have out-of-town tours in Baguio, Corregidor, Pampanga, Mt. Cristobal, and Ciudad Verdadero. Events that are outside Metro Manila are booked privately. They usually post about their guided tours via Tripkada.
If you too want to experience this paranormal tour, you may join the second part of UP After Dark scheduled on the 11th of November, at 5-7 PM. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and footwear as you will do a lot of walking. You may book this tour on Tripkada website for P450.