All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day have become akin to horror stories, fellas.
They are all over the televisions.
When I was younger, I used to shun away from horror movies or tell-a-tale stories musing that these were only products of the imagination – until it happened to me.
And now I believe.
As the adviser of the Supreme Student Government (SSG) of San Juan National High School (Ilocos Sur), we were given a modest, elementary size classroom near the grotto of our school as our office. Through the years, I was able to equip it with several computers and printers for students to use. It became a very busy place when I requested the administration for internet connection.
I have been hearing of weird stories in school from the security guards and even from some teachers and students. They mention of women clad in white roaming around the school at night and even in broad daylight. They say there are “white ladies” at the communal comfort rooms, at the second floor of the Grade 7 building, at the Grade 9 Special Science Class (SSC) and Gemini rooms and at the Grade 10 SSC room. The Grade 10 SSC room is allegedly the “headquarters” of all these spirits as a lot of unbelievable things have happened there.
One afternoon, after timing out via the biometrics, I proceeded right away to the SSG office. In doing so, I have to pass by the accounting office and the Grade 10 Jade and Ruby classrooms. I was making a right turn in front of Grade 10 Jade when all of a sudden I heard “Pssssttt!”
I stopped for a while and turned to the window.
“Pssssttt!” Another one.
I peeped through the ajar window but nobody was inside.
Instead of being horrified, I got more curious.
The next time I passed by the area and everytime I passed over there, I cried, “Psssttt!”
Since then, there were no more “Psssttt!”
I was informed by the daytime security guard that the “Psssttt!” spirit had transferred abode at the big tamarind tree along the road going up the senior high school site.
I am a witness to several creepy experiences in school, fellas, all of them first hand.
When our SSG office was still there at the Audio Visual Room, I had one encounter with the beyond.
I was teaching then a section with only 22 books and there were 60 students, so the ratio was 1 is to two. To prevent the number of books from dwindling, I did not allow them to bring any book home, instead, I assigned two students to store the books in my office cabinet before they go home in the afternoon.
One late afternoon, while encoding some school paper articles (I was school paper adviser for 23 years), I heard the loud sound of a book that fell on the floor. I was quite irritated of the disturbance.
“Dida man ngatan inyurnos a nasayaat dagita libro,” I murmured to myself.
I stood to pick up the book. I searched over the vicinity of the cabinet where the books were piled. There was no book that fell down!
I packed my things immediately and then went home.
The AVR could accommodate around 100 people, so we regularly used it whenever we had meetings. Since the SSG was assigned to take care of the AVR, I saw to it was always clean and orderly and everytime there was a meeting, my SSG officers and I were responsible in the preparation of the tables and chairs.
One morning, Dr. Giovanni Velasco, our principal then (he now heads the Vigan City Schools Governance and Operations Division) announced that there would be a faculty and staff meeting at 4:00 in the afternoon, so I instructed the SSG officers that by 3:00, we should set everything to order.
After my 1st period in the afternoon (1:00 to 2:00 PM), I proceeded up my SSG office there at the AVR. While climbing up the stairs, I could vividly hear the sound of chairs and tables being dragged as if the SSG officers were already up there arranging the chairs and tables.
“Early birds, eh?” I mused.
As I was nearing the AVR, the “arranging” sounds grew louder.
“Don’t drag the tables and chairs, please carry them!” I barked as I opened the door.
I was shocked of what I saw.
Nobody was there inside the AVR!
I stood there frozen for a while.
My SSG president, Joana Joyce Salvador (now a CPA working for San Miguel Corporation) arrived. I told her my story.
“Sir, it’s been like this at times whenever I come here alone. I think the AVR is haunted. I usually hear tables and chairs being dragged as if there are some people arranging them!” she said.
Last year, when Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) was landing in Cagayan, I went to the SSG office (September 15, 2018, Saturday) to borrow our ropes. I needed to tie and brace our house’s rooftop as a precautionary measure when Ompong would strike us here in Ilocos. I first inspected our malungggay (the malunggay garden was a project of my Grade 8-Cattleya class) beside the office. There were lots of forest ampalaya all over and so, I helped myself. Wow, there were lots of them. Then, I noticed that Lenida, the adviser of Grade 10-Special Science Class arrived in her classroom, just in front of the SSG office. Her room was one of the many rooms in the Grade 10 building and our office was directly behind hers. She had some companions and they were fixing the chairs and decors, perhaps as precautionary measures, too, when Ompong would arrive. I could vividly hear her voice instructing this and that.
When I had enough of the ampalaya leaves, I went to Lenida’s room to share her some. But I could not believe what I saw. Her room was padlocked. And when I peeped over the window jalousies, I found out that nobody was inside!
Terrified of this experience, I went home immediately.
But the scariest story was narrated to me by Carlito, our coop jeep driver.
One morning, he asked me if we had an ovetime practice on a singing competition piece the evening before.
“Kasi sir, noong maggagarahe na ako ng mga 6:30 kahapon, narinig kong may pina-practice pa kayong contestant ng singing contest. Maganda nga ang boses ng contestant ninyo, eh, at tsaka ang taas. Babae ‘yong contestant ninyo, sir, di ba?” he asked.
I was surprised. I did not do any practicing. I went home at around 5:00 PM that afternoon and I had the keys to the SSG office door!