The Dwellers In The Tree (story from Chef Michael Borja)
“As a kid I’ve always had experiences with spirits, but this one time, on a recent family trip was my first brush with earth spirits. And those who were there to witness it, understood that Earth spirits are more vicious than their ghostly counterparts.
We drove to San Carlos, Pampanga to my wife’s uncle’s house. The house wasn’t old, it wasn’t too modern either, it was just right. And nothing peculiar struck me about the house—except for a huge tree that stood guard in front of it. I still don’t know what kind of tree it was, but no one could ignore how massive and tall it was.
At dusk, just right before dinner, I stepped out to smoke and stayed where the tree was. I’m usually observant and at times, quite the joker too. And my natural reaction to the tree was “What a huge tree!” I just blurted it out to myself, chuckled a bit and lit the cigarette.
Dinner was done, and everyone's energy levels went down, signaling that it was time to sleep. We were all up in one room, my wife’s parents on the bed, and the rest of us on the floor. I was the last one awake. At 2:30 in the morning, I turned off my phone and decided it was time to call it a day. When I feel asleep, I immediately fell into a dream.
In my dream, I was seated, staring at the window on my far right, looking at the massive tree. Nothing really was happening until, I noticed a shadow move outside and within seconds, the door in front of me swings wide open to a woman in white. It wasn’t the clearest picture but I knew she was a woman. She started towards me, in that frighteningly fast, broken movement the way the woman does in Shutter and then chokes me hard and tight.
While I was dreaming, my family woke up to my brother in law, struggling under my grip. They all rose and rushed in fear as I was, apparently, choking the life out of my brother in law with a single hand. They were recounting how I had sat up so straight, my head tilted to my left and my hand stiff and too heavy to be forced off. And even with all their might, they couldn’t pull me. Everybody was so afraid and even if it had only lasted for 2 minutes, it felt like an eternity.
I had recovered from it, drenched in sweat and feeling extremely exhausted. I was clueless. They were telling me what they saw, but I had no idea it was even happening. All I could remember was my dream and the mysterious white lady who had choked me.
I fell sick and had felt the heaviest pain on my left shoulder and on my right leg. My wife’s aunt, figured it out, that when she couldn’t get a proper answer from me, she took a closer look and discovered that a kapre (a dwarf) had rested on my left shoulder and on my right leg, the two of them claiming ownership of my body. Both earth spirits were dwellers of the tree I had smoked next to. On the spot she had prayed over me and slowly, the pain had drifted off.
That was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. I knew I had a third eye and had encounters with ghosts, but those pale in comparison to the anger of earth spirits. I’m glad I could control my third eye. And I’m thankful to God for the constant protection he has given me.”
The Visitor (Story from an anonymous sender)
My experience happened in the thick of ghost month and right when I had just moved to Singapore. People may think it’s sleep paralysis, but I’ve never experienced something this “persuasive” before. What it feels like is it’s as if, something’s crawling into my body. And it’s been happening for nights. Multiple times.
The worst one was during one of the last visits. I fell asleep, five minutes in, I realized I was awake. Again. And there, right in front of my door, was the figure. A black, static figure of a man, without a face, but the fuzzy white noise you usually see on a TV when it’s got nothing to show. It was watching me. What was even stranger was that I could see my own body, in bed.
I had already been gripped by so much fear, but I had wanted to walk towards him. For some reason, I had felt too heavy to even take a step. And as I was reciting a prayer, I had looked for my rosary. I had only been in my new place for days and hadn’t found the time to unpack, so it took me-my spirit, a while to get to it. It just stood there, waiting.
I finally got my rosary, somehow and had clutched on to the St. Benedict medallion that hung around my neck. It was pulsing hot and in that moment I understood that I was faced with something so evil, that I normally wouldn’t be able to handle.
I recited the Lord’s prayer and offered the entity one for him too, a prayer in hopes of his peaceful transition to the other side. It didn’t entirely disappear, but it had moved on to the unit next to mine.
After that visit, I had left my unit and hunted down a new one. A quick trip to a voodoo expert revealed that my third eye was warming up to its senses and the abilities that it could do. He told me that spirits never rest until they fully cross the other side. He also told me that I had a free spirit and an open body. That if I had wanted to polish my ability, I could use it for good (or bad) purposes.
Until this day I still experience light spirits, spirits that aren’t as malevolent as the one I had encountered. I always offer a prayer and ask for their guidance towards a peaceful afterlife. Lastly, the voodoo expert told me that I was lucky to have survived that encounter and that having faith in a higher being, has kept me safe from something that could’ve damaged my body and soul permanently.
The Room (Story from an anonymous sender)
I once visited my grandmother’s provincial farm house. Built in the 1950s, it was spacious with mango trees framing its expanse. Days were slow, the way time flows in provinces. Where time could be filled with so much to do, or nothing at all. Out of boredom and to fill my time, I went down the house’s basement, where a room used to be. Past the little old things and forgotten treasuries, what struck me was how dirty the curtains were. I figured, it’s an old house and a vacated basement, people might’ve forgotten to clean it then.
So I went back up, telling my aunt what I’d seen. “What do you mean they’re dirty? We just washed those curtains.” She said. I told her it was impossible, when the spots on the curtain were too big to miss. She still couldn’t believe what I saw, so we went down together and I pointed them out to her. Big, heavy spots, too obvious not to see. But my aunt held the curtain and told me that they were clean and that she couldn’t see a single drop of anything on them. We all moved on from the story and just shrugged our shoulders over the mystery of it.
Days later, I took another trip down the basement. The curtains were clean, for sure, spotless and white. But somebody had painted on the windows and left a messy job. Blots of paint on the window, dripping and fresh. Again I told my aunt that somebody had painted on the windows and left a huge mess. Her face changed. The curiosity had disappeared on her face and she turned a bit on edge:
“What is your problem?” Was her response. I didn’t know what to say, but have insisted on her checking out the windows in the basement for the awful paint job somebody left dripping.
The slow days kept on without a trip to the basement or my aunt bringing up the things I’ve seen. Until one day she brought me to my grandmother for a confrontation.
“This child,” My aunt said, presenting me to my grandmother. “has been loitering around the house and has been extra nosy. What have you been reading? What have you taken from our chest? You keep saying these crazy stories about our curtains and windows, and for what? What do you want to prove?” My grandmother waited for my reply, while my aunt had reveled in her anger. I didn’t understand what was happening, for all I saw and know, are exactly the things I told them: dirty curtains and windows.
Tears had fallen down my grandmother’s cheeks. She asked to be excused and took her daughter, my aunt, into their room. Minutes later they both came out, my grandmother bearing an apology.
“Please forgive your aunt. She hasn’t come to terms yet with the things that have transpired in that room.” My grandmother said.
Ten years ago, my aunt’s brother, my uncle, sat in front of his window, a curtain veiled over it and launched a bullet to his head. The very room I was telling my aunt about.
Article written by Gerard Gotladera