- Horror stories are a staple of every school or university
- Amusingly, most of these horror stories seem to occur in multiple universities
- This article is a compilation of ten of the most recited horror stories across the Philippines
You know what we're talking about - from headless priests to semi-benevolent entities, you're bound to have heard of a few ghost stories back in your school days. There's just a certain allure to horror stories and the paranormal that nobody can resist.
Whether they actually happened or not, take a trip down memory lane and reminisce these popular urban legends that used to give you the chills!
Once upon a time...
1. Your school was formerly a cemetery.
There were so many casualties during some war or the other and it just so happens that the ground you stand on is a treasure trove of dead bodies. It was a lot more believable if your school stood right next to a convent - where, of course, all those ghostly nuns or headless priests came from. You made a habit of making the sign of the cross when you came near some large trees, for fear of disturbing the spirits.
2. A faceless nun needs your help.
There's at least one faceless nun in every campus. She's known for haunting bathrooms or floating quietly around the hallways. Her ghost appears when you use the bathroom by yourself, and in the split second you look away from the mirror to peek behind you, she writes on the mirror: "Pray for me, I'm in hell."
3. The girls' bathroom is haunted.
Long before Harry Potter and Moaning Myrtle came along, our schools had their own tales of ghostly sightings in bathrooms - which probably comes from the fear of being caught off guard at the most inappropriate moments. Strange things could totally happen while you were busy going about your business: you hear knocks on your door, and you see a pair of shoes waiting patiently outside the cubicle. But when you look up, you see a freakishly tall lady gazing down from the top of the cubicle, glaring at you.
Some bathrooms have been so haunted they had to be locked up for good, and others have had the mirrors removed or the faucets blocked in an attempt to stop all the terrifying encounters.
4. Your teachers aren't the only ones using the faculty room.
You young ones weren't the only ones pulling pranks on your teachers - the faculty room is a hotspot for spirits, and they love to pull chairs or swing the doors back and forth.
You probably heard of these stories from that one teacher with a third eye...the same teacher who had to stop mid-lecture because he/she checked if that boy in the back was a student or a ghost.
5. Beware of the guard house/waiting shed...
That's where a security guard got brutally murdered on school guards. Some variations of the tale replace the guard with a janitor who died alone while on his night shift.
6. Spirits reside in nature - and in your school grotto/park grounds.
Students have all heard of that one creepy tree - or group of trees - that they need to stay away from. That's where a student once hung herself, or a dead body was found inside. You always remembered to say a quick 'tabi tabi po' in case you accidentally trample a dwende's house or nuno sa punso. You also made sure you'd bite your finger if you pointed anywhere haunted, in case the spirits cursed you.
7. There's a priest haunting the chapel.
This story was probably related to the idea that your school is a resting place of those who passed away during the war. These dead priests are now restless souls that are stuck behind and remain in places that they are most familiar with. If you don't feel them in the chapel while you pray, you can hear them singing hymns during the early hours of the morning, or floating over the circle during reflection time at a school retreat.
8. Check your classroom or your class photos - beware the strange kid...
Every classroom has a...different student. Regardless of whether it was a little boy or little girl, they would rearrange the chairs or play around with the computers to scare the living daylights out of you and your classmates.
Then you've got the doppelganger stories - the kid who got counted during roll call, so the teacher counts 47 students instead of the usual 46. There's also that strange, fuzzy, ghostly figure standing behind one of your classmates in class photos.
9. Scary ladies are out to get you.
There's always the urban legend of the white lady waiting for you at the end of a dark hallway, or maybe hanging out in one of the trees on school grounds. You may have even tried summoning Bloody Mary by chanting in front of a bathroom mirror to call on her spirit.
10. Ghosts like reading and playing music, too.
Everybody knows spirits like lurking in places that are almost always empty - which explains the creepy piano music from the auditorium or music room...even if no-one was around.
Did those stories leave your hairs standing on end? Share the scariest ghost story you've heard about your school below!