Stranger than fiction: Tales of the paranormal reported by locals

This article will delve into the spine-chilling paranormal encounters experienced by the residents of Cebu.
SCARY. Cebu residents share spine-chilling paranormal encounters.
SCARY. Cebu residents share spine-chilling paranormal encounters.Valerie Jamili

When the moon hangs low in the sky during the night, shadows stretch and twist into eerie shapes, a phenomenon observed by residents. Many times, elders dismiss it as a mere trick of the mind—a reminder that fear is a shadow we create ourselves. However, there are also nights when old legends resurface unexpectedly, breaking the silence of the night.

This article will delve into the spine-chilling paranormal encounters experienced by the residents of Cebu. It includes a round-up of stories from SunStar’s new and past horror articles, where the boundary between the living and the other world feels thinner.

Poblacion, Talisay City

In his elementary days, Junry and a friend often raced to be the first in their classroom before dawn. One morning, at 4 a.m., as he hurried through a dimly lit alley next to a fenced-off, desolate plot of land, he spotted a dark figure emerging on the other side. He froze, his gaze fixed on the mysterious silhouette. It appeared to be cloaked in black, its features obscured by a veil of darkness. Despite his attempts to rationalize it, an ominous feeling gripped him, urging him to flee. To his horror, the shadow seemed to pursue him relentlessly as he gasped for breath, seeking refuge in a well-lit area. Yet, when he glanced back, the apparition had vanished without a trace. The memory of that chilling encounter haunts him every night, and he wouldn't wish it upon anyone.

Dumlog, Talisay City

In early 2023, SunStar Cebu reported a harrowing encounter involving two young girls who claimed to have witnessed a terrifying mythical creature known as the manananggal. This monstrous being, described as having bat-like wings and the ability to detach its upper torso from its lower body, is said to prey on unsuspecting victims under the cover of night. Overwhelmed with fear, the girls spotted the creature perched atop their neighbor's roof, prompting them to flee home in a state of panic. In response, the city Mayor advised the residents of Talisay to remain vigilant, urging them to keep praying not only for protection against such creatures but also against criminal elements.

Cebu Medical School

For over three years, the guard has faithfully worked the night shift at the medical school. One eerie aspect of his routine? The elevator's inexplicable stops on the ground floor, even when it's empty. Initially dismissing it as a technical glitch, he's unnerved by its persistence, particularly during the late hours.

Every time the doors slide open to the deserted floor, he senses an unsettling presence. Despite his efforts to remain composed, he can't shake the feeling of being watched. Now accustomed to the phenomenon, when the elevator halts there, he instinctively steps aside, half-expecting an unseen visitor to join him.

Cebu City Police Office

In 2017, a report by SunStar Cebu shed light on the ghostly encounters experienced by personnel within the confines of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) at Camp Sotero Cabahug, located on Gorordo Ave., Cebu City. CCPO Director recounted instances of his office bell ringing mysteriously in his absence, despite the office being securely locked. Another officer, PO1, recalled feeling his bed shake while alone in the conference room. Even the printer seemed to have a mind of its own, printing out blank pages without any human input.

The administrative section, once the site of a tragic accident resulting in the death of a policewoman, appeared to harbor restless spirits. During a visit, a local reporter claimed to have witnessed the ghost of a child in the supply room, an encounter that later led to a panic attack. The barracks, rumored to have served as a morgue in the past, emanated an eerie atmosphere.

Even senior officers advised newcomers to offer prayers for the souls lingering in the camp, underscoring the pervasive presence of the supernatural.

Museu Sugbo

The former prison, now transformed into a museum, is enveloped in unsettling stories, echoes of its dark past. Among them, tales abound of spectral figures clothed in traditional Japanese attire. Guards and museum keepers alike recount encounters with these ghostly apparitions, describing their sudden appearances and mysterious disappearances into dead-end corridors. Despite initial skepticism, these stories persist, imbuing the prison's halls with an eerie atmosphere that refuses to dissipate.

Old bank

Having worked at the old bank for eight years, the employee had always dismissed rumors of it being haunted. One night, while sitting by the clock machine past midnight, he encountered a terrifying apparition. A woman emerged from the darkness, glaring at him with anger. Frozen with fear, he found himself unable to move as she began to choke him. Eventually breaking free, he fled the bank, later learning that a janitor had hanged herself in the neighboring lot, wearing the same uniform as the apparition. Now, whenever he's on the night shift, he hopes to avoid angering her again.

Media office

After hearing from a guard about the room's reputation for inducing nightmares, the writer, not one to easily be spooked, took the warning in stride. Despite the cautionary tale, she continued to nap there without much concern. One sunny Saturday, after an exhausting early coverage, she entered the dimly lit room, perfect for a nap. With only the sound of footsteps outside, she began to drift into a deep sleep. Suddenly, a heavy chunk of wallpaper, weighing several kilos, crashed down from the top corner, startling her awake. Anyone struck by that weight would surely suffer a broken bone; it was a furious smash from above. There were no mice or movements to have triggered it. Even the guard outside heard the commotion and chuckled at her reaction, remarking, “I told you so.”

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