Haunting childhood memories, ‘a test of faith’

We may have science to explain everything that’s happening around us but the possibility of some events being paranormal in nature is never off the table, especially for those who claim to possess psychic abilities and a strong affinity to the spiritual world an active sixth sense, most people would say.

Katherine Reyes, a second year BS Psychology major, believed that her sixth sense is a curse that dragged her into her own haunting story. It gave her the ability to resonate with the auras of entities like nature spirits and poltergeists. As a child, she would often burst into tears due to her paranormal encounters and as she grew older, the frequency of these experiences only intensified.

She shared with us some of these encounters that occurred in both her childhood home and their present residence.

Illustration by Lyzette Marie Tapay

Locking eyes with a nightmare 

Katherine vividly remembers an incident when she was still residing in Villa de Lipa, Marauoy. She was just 10 years old at the time so as early as around 8 in the evening, she would go to her parents’ bedroom to sleep. 

While trying to doze off, the unsettling feeling of being watched suddenly swoop over her. She opened her eyes only to be met with three hypnotic jet-black eyes from what Katherine thought was a “demon” boring into her . 

The creature’s lower limbs were missing and its skin was blood-red. Its head was bald and its body was covered by webs of pulsing black veins. She described the entity’s face as “unnaturally angular and extremely elongated,” with features contorted in a look of disdain as it hovered over her stiffened body. 

Illustration by Lyzette Marie Tapay

Katherine did the only thing she could. She shut her eyes, internally begging the creature to leave. And after bringing all the courage she needed to look again, the creature was gone. She immediately went out of their bedroom door, dashing towards her mother.

Even though Katherine’s father is skeptical of such stories, he allowed her mother to accompany her to an albularyo after this incident to “shut” her third eye. But the peace this brought her did not last long and nothing could have prepared her for the circumstances that arose years later. 

The next home

Nearly 4 years after the encounter in Marauoy, Katherine’s father was stationed to work at Fernando Air Base. In this military site, they were given a single-story house that bore signs of years of vacancy. The yard was covered with overgrown grass, and the doorway that led to mud-covered floors greeted her with a high-pitched creak. The rooms were so heavily infested that the light switches were cocooned by a thick layer of cobwebs and worms crawled out the sink.

Restoration of their new home took months and discomfort from the feeling of being watched haunted her again when they moved in. It began with instances of Katherine waking up around 3 in the morning, her gaze always pointing towards the window in front of her bed even though there was nothing there. Her senses, keen and her intuition, a warning of the memory of the red-skinned creature from her early childhood. 

Illustration by Lyzette Marie Tapay

Paranoia tormented her nights and even the day did not spare her peace. She said that the clocks her father brought from Pakistan would randomly drop despite the absence of wind and even her siblings took notice of odd events within the house. She remembered them telling her,  “Ate, akala ko talaga may nakatok dun sa front door natin tapos titingnan ko kung si mommy pero hindi pala. Walang tao.” 

Fernando Airbase was an exclusive community and for Katherine, it’s really unlikely that people would knock on their door as a joke. 

Sanctifying the haunted house 

Last August, events suddenly took a different turn. The Reyes household invited their family friends to their home one night for a casual dinner. Their visitors, who happened to be spiritualists themselves, felt something unusual upon entering the house and they refused to leave without purging it of the spirits that they believed were occupying it.

According to them, it wasn’t just their house that needed blessing. Even Katherine’s family members became carriers of these spirits as a result of living in their home. They explained that the spirits were “clinging” to them instead of moving on to the afterlife which has developed “black holes,” as they call it, in their bodies.

The family was instructed to drink a glass of water with droplets of blessed olive oil to be cured from the black holes triggered by these spirits. Each one of them started to sweat amidst the cool weather and a sudden warmth enveloped them, making them feel numb and weak.

Illustration by Lyzette Marie Tapay

On the one end, Katherine’s mother, who was suffering from a terrible stomach ache that time, then collapsed. She woke up a few minutes later having no memory of what happened and why she lost consciousness. The spiritualists explained that it was a natural effect of healing the black hole that turned out to be the source of her stomach pain. 

Putting back to mind a resemblance of the red-skinned creature from her childhood, Katherine and her siblings also had their own share of dark visions running through an endless hallway with countless images of “demons” watching over them, just as how the spiritualists had warned them. According to Katherine, their home suddenly emanated a heavy and hostile ambience when the spiritualists started to roam around the household to bless all the rooms with olive oil.

One of the spiritualists said that a lost boy’s spirit was “waiting” for them in their bathroom and Katherine felt both its presence and desperation to be blessed so he could move on to the afterlife. 

Illustration by Lyzette Marie Tapay

The spiritualists then concluded that beneath the beds of Katherine’s sisters were old graves of Japanese soldiers whose spirits have been running around the hallway outside their bedrooms. Katherine’s father confirmed that the land where their house was built on used to be a Japanese camp during the war. 

Besides this, the spiritualists eyed her collection of shells and dead coral bits which was believed to have spirits clinging onto them as Katherine was told to never keep random items as souvenirs. They were also asked to burn their wooden clocks engraved with Arabic texts which were suspected to be anti-Christ in nature.

It was around one in the morning when they had finished the purification of their home. The dusk was long and to believe that those entities were gone became their only escape from this daunting experience. 

***

Weeks after, the paranormal occurrences have halted but it still garnered mixed reactions from Katherine’s family members. While her father stayed skeptical, her mother and siblings became more faithful. As for Katherine, she shared that she feels as though a certain weight has been lifted off her shoulders because she can no longer feel anything unnatural about their house. She added that she feels grateful, nonetheless, because the event granted her understanding and peace that helped her feel more at ease when she’s at home.

When asked how she currently feels about her sixth sense, she said “I’ve learned to live with what was given to me. Normal na siya sa’kin.” Although the thought of her experiences still sends chills down her spine, she said she’d rather see it as a test of faith and an opportunity to pray for the lost souls.

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