Top 6 real-life horrifying and chilling stories in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – As we commemorate the souls of our dearly departed this Undas holiday, we also feel the ominous atmosphere in the air. Aside from visiting the cemetery and offering prayers, Filipinos couldn’t help but fascinate and indulge in eerie and spooky stories.
Top 6 real-life horrifying and chilling stories in the Philippines

We listed down the top 6 true horrifying and chilling stories in the Philippines:

1. Exorcism of Clarita Villanueva

Clarita Villanueva was an 18-year-old woman who made headlines here and even abroad after she was allegedly bitten by “devils” only she could see.

Life was hard for Clarita after her parents died. Leaving her hometown, Bacolod City, Clarita went to Manila to find work. Clarita once had a partner but immediately left him when she found he was married. To survive, the young woman became a dancer at clubs. In 1953, Clarita was picked up by the police after being suspected of being vagrant or homeless.

Exorcism of Clarita Villanueva
Clarita Villanueva had bite marks from “devils” | Photo Courtesy: anomalyinfo

Things turned for the worst when Clarita found herself in Bilibid Prison. From May 9 to May 18, 1953, Clarita would scream in pain and fright after allegedly bitten by “invisible fangs” in her body. The woman said that she was being attacked not just by one but two “demons.” Clarita described them as “ a very big dark man with curly hair all over the body" and "a body with an angelic face and a big mustache."

No less than the Mayor of Manila, Mr. Arsenio Lacson and chief medical examiner, Mariano Lara, decided to take a look at Clarita. Much to his horror, Lacson said that he saw bite marks appear on Clarita’s body right before his very eyes. The Mayor added that the bite marks could not have been made by Clarita herself because most were visible around her neck. Lacson also added that a bite mark appeared on Clarita’s index finger while he was trying to hold her.

Lacson described that while they were trying to restrain Clarita, “she writhed and then laughed as if she had been tickled” and said that the “things” were taking turns in biting her.

Mayor Lacson was quoted saying, “What it is beyond me. This is something that goes way back to the dark, dim past.” Even the chief medical examiner was dumbstruck saying, “I always thought of this world as a visible thing but here is something unknown, a force unseen yet felt.”

While there were those who claimed that Clarita was suffering from insanity or “‘hysterical fugue,” a minister was called in as their last resort. Rev. Lester Sumrall and two other Protestant ministers came in to perform exorcism on the “possessed” young woman. After about an hour of intense prayers, witnesses said, “Clarita’s face seemed to soften. At this state, the minister recited the Lord’s Prayer and Clarita followed him. She indicated that ‘The Thing’ went out of the window. And the three ministers sang a joyous ‘Hallelujah'”

2. Did Teresita Basa come back from the grave to name her killer?

A Filipina, Teresita Basa, was found dead insider her apartment in Chicago, USA on February 21, 1977. Teresita was, a native from Dumaguete and worked as a respiratory therapist. Her dead body was found unclothed, burned and covered by a mattress. The investigators initially thought that the case was a rape-murder crime. The only clue they found was a handwritten note from Teresita herself saying, “Get Tickets for A.S.”

Teresita Basa come back from the grave to name her killer
Teresita Basa allegedly “possessed” Remy Chua to name her murderer | Photo Courtesy: Chicago Now

Detective Joe Stachula was having a hard time trying to discover the identity of the “A.S” who might be the key to the crime. It was only until Stachula was referred to Dr. Jose Chua and his wife Remy, both Filipinos, that a lead was finally found.

According to Dr. Chua, her wife would often get into a “trance-like state and become possessed by a spirit.” When they called on Teresita’s spirit, she possessed Remy and helped solve her own crime. Teresita easily named her murderer to be Allan Showery, an orderly working in her hospital. She even went on to share very detailed evidences such as the stolen jewelry and names and phone numbers of relatives who could be witnesses and provide more proof.

Showery was arrested and the stolen jewelry identified to be from Teresita was found in Showery’s girlfriend’s belongings. The suspect eventually confessed and pleaded guilty to the murder.

3. The Amil Brothers: Cannibals of Maguindanao

On February 2014, news of a murder in Maguindanao was so gruesome that even international publications reported it. Three brothers, Dante (then 35-years old), Paroy, (then 21), and Ibrahim then 18) from a small town in Ampatuan, Maguindanao decided to butcher their mother and eat her remains.

Amil Brothers: Cannibals of Maguindanao
The Amil Brothers were accused of cannibalism | Photo Courtesy: Filipiknow/ Dennis Arcon via News5

The 56-year-old mother Musala was tied and hacked to death with machetes by her own sons. The brothers, then, feasted on the raw internal organs of their mother “as if they were wild animals.” When authorities recovered the body, several internal organs, innards and the eyes were already missing.

In an apparent ritualistic killing, the brothers said that they only wanted to “purge” their mother from the devil spirits that possessed her. Some neighbors claimed that the family were allegedly known to be “ mga aswang.”

4. Betty Benitez’s death and the souls trapped in Manila Film Center Tragedy

The tragedy in the Manila Film Center remained to be one of the horrific stories in the history of Philippines. In the midst of a hurried construction, on November 17, 1981 shortly before 3:00 a.m., a floor collapsed and workers were trapped in wet cement.

It was Betty Benitez (wife of Imelda’s Assistant Minister, Conrado Benitez) in charge of the project, who was immediately informed of the accident. Betty made the order, “Pour the cement.”

Betty Benitez’s death and the souls trapped in Manila Film Center Tragedy
The Manila Film Center holds one of the horrific tragedies in history | Photo Courtesy: Public Domain

As the cement was hardening and workers met their slow death, a young man in his 20’s starting a sad, haunting love song in Filipino. The Marcos-controlled media, put the number of workers at 28. Rumors have it that there were 168 construction workers who died.

The mystery continues when Betty Benitez met an unfortunate accident that led to her death. She was with O.D. Corpus, a former president of the University of the Philippines when their car crashed to a tree. Corpus survived but Benitez died. According to urban legends, the ghosts of the dead appeared in the middle road to meet their car, “sightless, all dressed in black, but their voices could be heard and their fingers could be seen.”

During the cañao rites brought by Imee and Imelda Marcos at the Manila Film Center meant to exorcise the building, the Igorot shamans went into a trance and spoke in English, “Now there are 169. Betty is with us.”

5. The most haunted hotel in the Philippines

Considered to be “the most haunted hotel in the Philippines,” the Diplomat Hotel continues to give chills to its visitors up to this day. Built in the 1911 as a Dominican rest house. It was later on transformed as a seminary and a school until it finally became a hotel.

Diplomat Hotel
The Diplomat Hotel is known as the most haunted hotel in the Philippines | Photo Courtesy: Filipiknow

During World War II, the Diplomat Hotel became witness to heinous crimes and gruesome deaths. Babies, children and women were killed in the fountain. Headless apparitions and crying of babies were almost “ordinary” occurrences after the war left the hotel in ruins.

Probably due to its haunting notoriety, the hotel was bought and opened again by psychic surgeon and spiritual healer Tony Agpaoa. The hotel provided accommodations to Agpaoa’s patients, some even traveled abroad to be healed. One night, a huge fire broke out in the hotel. Many guests were trapped inside their room until they lost consciousness and eventually died. Numbers of deaths remain unclear but it’s believed that their ghosts continue to haunt the place. A nurse also reportedly committed suicide just near the cross. Agpaoa died in 1987, from a heart attack while inside one of the hotel rooms.

6. Estelita Florencio, the 'Human Vampire’

On November 27, 1952, a crowd in Lucena gathered as Estelita Florencio was arrested for attacking people and drinking their blood.

Florencio was a 27-year-old woman who tried to bite and eat an 80-year-old lady named Maria Sobremisana.The old lady was so scared and called the police when she was able to escape. By then Florencio had already attacked a small boy playing near the train station. She hit the boy’s head on the concrete floor, bite his face and drank the blood from his wounds. The “vampire” was eventually caught by the authorities and the angry mob.

The Mayor Martin Sollesta confronted Florencio for the horrific crime. Florencio allegedly said that she ate human flesh because “it was delicious.” She also went on to explain that her “strong cravings” for the human flesh and blood came periodically and it was impossible to resist. Florencio admitted to attacking people in the towns of Capiz and even Iloilo.

While Florencio was in Roxas City Jail, it was said that she piteously pleaded for human blood. The guard on duty took pity and pricked his own arm to allow her to suck little blood.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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