Despite the modernization of the Philippines, its roots and culture still have a firm grasp on the people’s imaginations. This reflects on arguably one of the most favorite pastimes of any quintessential Filipino: ghost stories. The country, despite being known for its hospitality and warmth to international travelers, is also home to some genuinely creepy and chilling places. If you’re a horror aficionado and live for the thrill of lurking in haunted houses and such, you’re definitely in for a treat.
- Bajada, Davao City
During an economic crisis and an armed conflict in Mindanao, a 12-story hotel known as the Durian Hotel closed its doors for the last time in 2001 due to monetary issues. Standing firmly in J. P. Laurel Avenue at Bajada, Davao City, the Durian Hotel remains an ever-looming structure that’s been the buzz of the city around it for decades.
Rumors surrounding the establishment mention eyewitness accounts of the hotel lifts operating habitually, seemingly on their own, at dawn. A creepy experience to witness, if at all curious!
- Sunken Cemetery — Barrio Bonbon, Catarman, Camiguin Island
Off the coast of Camiguin Island is a well-known tourist spot called The Sunken Cemetary. It’s exactly what it is: a dilapidated cemetery under the water during the eruption and subsequent birth of Mt. Vulcan Daan in 1871. The eruption caused tremors which made the ground the cemetery and the capital city it was serving unstable and caused it to sink beneath the watery depths.
To commemorate this chilling event, a lonely cross monument was erected in 1986, offering visitors a chilling sight. It’s an interesting story that has quite gruesome and devastating origins.
- Moncado White Mansion — Brgy. Limao, Island Garden City of Samal
When Hilario Camino Moncado, founder of the Filipino Crusaders World Army (FCWA), chose to settle with his newly created sect on the Island of Samal in Davao del Norte. It was there that they partook in their spiritual practices and lived their lives peacefully. Their sect, often called the Moncadistas is still active today and has its own ruling officials and divisions of its members.
The mansion itself, however, doesn’t seem to be faring as well as the organization it used to house. The Davao Paranormal Society calls it the most haunted place in the Philippines, with active spirits that are both local and foreign roaming around within the mansion. If you’re into the paranormal and keen on experiencing what it’s like to be in the presence of spirits, then you might consider putting the mansion into your Davao itinerary!
- Zamboanga Plaza Hotel & Casino — Zamboanga City
In 1974, the first 5-star hotel in Zamboanga City, the Zamboanga Plaza Hotel & Casino, was built. It did well considering it had constant stays from prominent politicians and A-list actors during the era, with even the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Sr. himself reported to have stayed here during the holidays. With this glamorous track record, understanding why this prominent establishment closed its doors after a mere 7-year stint can be quite the debacle.
Rumors such as a murder-suicide occurring within its walls as well as poor management brought about by the rampant corruption during the Marcos regime have been circulating for as long as the hotel closed down. As a result, stories about ghosts, demons, and cryptids have been rumored to occupy the place, and the hotel itself has proved to be home to an eerie atmosphere.
If you’re into the lore of anything that’s tied with thrill and fear, you may want to consider visiting these places. Learn the history of these establishments, see them for yourself, and go home with your own definition of what makes each of them scary and worth the visit!