Baguio, Spooky Baguio
More Baguio Ghost Stories
It’s probably the weather. Because of the biting cold climate, on ordinary nights, one won’t see people walking out in the streets—especially those out of the way thoroughfares far from the commercial center of the city. Then there’s the enveloping fog and the dim light of street lamps that create a spooky ambience of long shadows and dark crooks and crannies. Couple these with the silence of being alone, fear of the unknown then creeps in and sets the perfect environment for one’s imagination to work at heart-thumping speed.
Otherwise, Baguio would be just like any other city with its share of gothic tales—that’s what jaded and calloused or even unimaginative people would tell you. But you and I know that ghost storytelling is always best during cold nights in front of a warm fireplace where it would be nice and cozy to snuggle close to another not just for warmth but for the security the other can offer. The scarier the story, the closer the snuggle.
It may be also due to the fact that many houses in Baguio are empty the whole year round, to be occupied only during Holy Week when the owners find time to bring their families up there for a weekend respite from the sweltering hot summer weather of Manila or other regions with undesirable climate.
It is also said that traveling spirits usually borrow uninhabited houses for their abodes. They love undisturbed places, or rather, places that are not usually disturbed.
The popular “Spirits Disco”, for example, was so named because ghosts used to abound there. In the past, the old house would be empty the whole year round except during once-in-a-while visits by the owners.
The same is true with most of the vacation houses owned by big corporations that are occasionally used by their top executives or visiting guests. These become perfect havens for the many earthbound spirits who roam the city, especially after the tragic June 16, 1990 earthquake where hundreds met their death in an instant.
A group called the Spirit Questors claim to have “sent forward” several “lost souls” from the site where the infamous Hyatt Terraces Hotel on South Drive used to stand. In fact, the directed procedure for those driving on South Drive is to honk their horn when passing beside the former Hyatt location, lest they run over a spirit crossing the street. Some passersby believe they still can hear cries for help and see figures against the spotlight that illuminates the area at night. The lot remains vacant to this day and many of those listed as “missing” in the aftermath of that tragic earthquake were never found. Many say there are still bodies in the debris of the Hyatt site.
Even SM CIty Baguio Isn't Spared!
The new SM City, Baguio was erected on the site where the former Pines Hotel used to overlook Session Road. Mall visitors have reported seeing faces in bathroom mirrors that would not be there a second later. One patron even gave a photographic description of someone apparently dressed like a fireman—in the ladies’ room! The Baguio City Fire Department lost four firefighters in the Pines Hotel blaze of 1973.
And if old man-made structures weren’t enough, some of our “undead” visitors have also found a way to “haunt a tree” and spook the local city engineering office in one sortie.
Spirit Questors at Nevada Square,
Baguio City October 2002
Some people still claim to see guests checking in at Vermen Pines along Bakakeng Road years after many guests perished and the structure long been condemned as unsafe. The Nevada Hotel, fronting the former main entrance to Camp John Hay still has a number of occupants who have not yet checked out, according to pedestrians and security guards—even if the building no longer exists. Where Nevada Hotel used to be now stands a hip joint of establishments called Nevada Square.
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