Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary.
We all believed those absurd horror games when we were younger—but never quite saw what we were expecting. Coins twisted and turned on the middle of our foreheads, with a juvenile hope for some sort of mystical power to be unlocked.
But here are three stories that will make you thank the heavens those childhood third-eye opening tricks never worked.
1) Ghost Month
Milky Elipane’s story
He sat with a slouch. Had short hair that went along with his lanky frame, while his frail arms were only beefed by the barong he was wearing. Most days he had a straight face on and said nothing. His whole figure carried a burden, and I knew he was tired. He was already too exhausted in his 30s.
In the house we rented, he was always there in the darkness. A force jolting me awake past midnight. Frozen at the back of my room, all he did was stare with those eyes with pupils only the size of a dot.
As the end of August neared, his expression grew more frustrated, lashing out his pure anger to those who see him. Every night I made a fortress out of my comforter, waiting for the stillness of the room to finally come. I remember his furious eyes, and the growing silence of my room ceased to become reassuring.
I was about to get my sleep when the electronic keyboard began to play random notes. I held the blanket closer to my body, but it was no shield to his strength.
He dragged me out my bed, his hands gripping my ankle tightly. There wasn’t much that the darkness can hide. Under the moonlight, he showed himself for the last time. On the same night he was killed. I don’t know how he died, and I didn’t want to find out.
I never got to tell my parents—we bought the house the following year.
2) Gift of Sight
William Ronquillo’s story
I wanted to be a Ghostbuster.
For a time I engaged with the unseen—the earthbound spirits as they were named. We called on the elemental, the nature spirits. We even performed cleansing procedures to resolve the decades-long issues of angry beings.
My bible was Josef Frank B. Regis’ The Ghost Manual, and spent most of my days reading Jaime Licauco’s canon. But years of research never satiated my quest for answers.
Why were my premonitions always negative? Where were all these tragic visions coming from? Why do I only see the dark secrets of people’s past?
'Earthbound spirits will never stop following you when they realize you can communicate with them. They will never leave you'
Bothered by these mysteries, I was determined to close my third eye, forget the supernatural, and silence every wandering spirit I come across. I pretended not to see them—if there’s anything I learned from ghost-busting, it’s that earthbound spirits will never stop following you when they realize you can communicate with them. They will never leave you.
The longer I pretended to be blind to spirits, the easier it was to forget my third eye is open. But like how ghosts continue to linger and roam our plane of existence, my gift stayed with me.
Now tell me, do you see anything?
3) The Gathering
Kim Villanueva’s story
I had to keep my eyes peeled wide open. As hundreds sang their hearts out, worshiping God through songs, flooding my senses with faithful praises—I knew there were others with us. I could feel them.
They were everywhere. They were as many as us believers. Their presence first came like whispers, then murmurs of an unknown language began to grow louder, and louder, and louder.
And then I heard it.
“Wag po, ayoko po,” a timid, trembling voice came from the back.
I told myself to focus—there was nothing frightening about what you could not see, and chose not to see. But my body yielded to their calling and turned.
He had her whole body pinned down, held both of her arms upward and clipped her legs with his. I see him—his hideous black face and bloodshot eyes both gleamed with maliciousness. As his host was finally under his control, he stared right back at me and I held his gaze.
Slowly—painfully—he smirked with satisfaction. It wasn’t the first time I saw the devil.