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Nine Terrifying Urban Legends from the Philippines

  • Famous urban legends and horror stories in the Philippines.
  • Filipinos’ favorite horror stories to tell.
  • Mysterious horror stories passed on generations to generations. 

Filipinos always have been fond of the unknown, the mysteries and the supernatural that there are many stories that circulate the country. There are some that had earned the reputation because it has been passed on generations to generations. These stories have the highest notoriety among Filipinos:

White Lady of Balete, Drive

The white lady usually has a sad past. She has either been killed in a car accident, abused, murdered or raped. The most famous story about the white lady is along Balete, Drive in Quezon City. According to different urban legends, she was a young woman raped by a Japanese soldier or a taxi driver and was killed when she tried to escape.

Sometimes taxi drivers, who usually drive alone at night along Balete Drive, suddenly sees her in the rear view mirror. She is usually seen with bruised and bloodied face, long black hair and white long dress.

Other times, she is seen just standing on the sidewalk. When taxi drivers stop to let her in the cab, she will get in and ask the driver to drop her off somewhere. In the middle of driving on the way to the destination, she will disappear without a trace.

Maria Labo

Maria Labo is a popular story from the Visayas region. It was told that she was just a normal woman who became deranged. When her husband asked her where their children were, she said she killed then cooked and ate them. Her husband slashed her with a bolo, furious that she killed their own children. Hence, the creation of her nickname “Labo.”

In the film version of Maria Labo directed by Roi Vinzon, she was a domestic worker who became an aswang. When she got home, she killed then cooked and ate them.

Tikbalang

It is believed that this creature that lurk in the mountains and forest of the Philippines. It is a tall, bony humanoid creature with the head and hooves of a horse and disproportionately long limbs, to the point that its knees reach above its head when it squats down.

Tikbalangs or Tigbolan scare travelers, lead them astray and play tricks on them such that the travelers keep on returning to an arbitrary path no matter how far they go or turn. This is counteracted by wearing one’s shirt inside out. Another countermeasure is to ask permission out loud to pass by or, not to produce too much noise while in the woods in order not to offend or disturb the tikbalang.

Headless Priest

It is believed that these headless priests were decapitated by Filipino revolutionaries during the Revolution or by Japanese soldiers during World War II. They are usually seen roaming cemeteries, graveyards, churches, universities and other places with eerie atmospheres. They are either carrying their own heads or searching for it.

The Enchanted City of Biringan

Apparently, there is an enchanted city of Biringan also known as “The Black City.” It is rumored that it is the hometown of engkantos and a portal to another world. It is also believed that the city can appear and disappear on its own will.

Sailors who pass by the black city see a majestic shore only for it to disappear at the blink of an eye. No one knows where the city in Samar actually is. Whether that place is real or not, it will still remain unsolved.

Mt. Cristobal

Mt. Cristobal is called the Devil’s Mountain. The reason for this nickname is that the Devil itself resides and lives in the said mountain. It is also reported that hikers and trekkers, sometimes even residents, suddenly disappear when going up the mountain.

Hikers and trekkers claim that they detect and sense an eerie feeling around the area. Creepily, it is also rumored that the reason that people get lost around this area is that the Devil snatches them up. It keeps their body in a cave and stack those up then eat them.

Manananggal

This is known for being a beautiful young woman by day and a killer at night. She slices her body to attack the unlucky victim for her to feed. The upper half of her body is known to have huge bat-like wings to spot her prey from high places.

The lower half of her body is usually protected. It is rumored that when you sprinkle salt on the lower half of her body, she will never get to come back to her “normal state.” She usually befriends pregnant ladies and little children and target them at night.

Bangungot

Bangungot is the english term for nightmare. Bangungot came from the word bangon which means to wake up or stand and ungol which means to moan. No one actually knows what causes this.

Apparently, she is a nature spirit who punishes people who cut the trees where she lives. In Ilocano culture, her name is Batibat. The unsuspecting victim will always be the one who is sleeping on a wooden bed/s or bench/es which were made from the tree where she lives. She usually sits on the chest of her victim until they suffocate and if not prevented, die.

Another reason for bangungot are engkantos who falls in love with the person while he or she is asleep. They find the person and snatch up his or her soul and never let it go which ultimately causing their death. Although, this usually happens to women rather than men because male engkantos often fall in love easier than females.

 

The Tomb of Don Simeon

Don Simeon had asked an artisan to create a statue for his tomb before his death on 1934. The tomb of Don Simeon Bernardo has Satan stepping over St. Michael inside a cage. It contains a dialogue between Satan and St. Michael. It symbolizes Satan proclaiming the dominion over the world and mankind.

It is rumored that when it reaches midnight, St. Michael stands over Satan with a palaspas in his hand. Satan’s face also changes when witching hour arrives. It is also believed that Satan gets out of the cage and chases away people who loiter the cemetery. When dawn arrives, Satan comes to his original place and steps over St. Michael again. This only happens on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.


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