Have you ever had the feeling of not being alone in an empty room? While staying up late to watch your favorite show or pulling an all-nighter to finish your modules, do you suddenly get the feeling that someone else is with you? The mind can play tricks and your imagination can go hyperactive when you hear strange noises causing the goosebumps to creep up your skin.
It is true that there are a lot of things we cannot see with just our naked eyes—like distant stars or nebulae, requiring telescopes or infrared filters. But to see roaming ghosts and other entities, one should first possess a special ability—a third eye.
The Hindus believed that the third eye or sixth sense can be opened as a result of the awakened kundalini, a life force energy from the base of the spine which activates each psychic center or chakra in the human body. It gives a person the ability to live with spirits walking among us in this world and to allow one to unconsciously enter an out-of-body state through seeing, feeling, and hearing otherworldly entities. Meanwhile, Catholic faith acknowledges that spirits walk among us and associates the third eye with occult power, usually dominant among children. In psychology however, such phenomena are often simply dismissed as due to hormonal imbalances, causing people to see or hear irrational and unexplainable things.
Whatever the explanation may be, the fear that comes with cryptic sounds and unexplainable apparitions is undeniable. The experience of seeing beings from a different plane of reality is a far cry from the thrill of watching horror flicks on a screen. But for some people who regularly have these encounters, these beings have become a part of their lives and dealing with them has already become a norm.
The lady in white
Kyle Uychutin is a third year legal management student who is a horror-movie-fanatic despite claiming to have the ability to see otherworldly beings. His interest in horror movies, he says, stems from wanting to see other perspectives on how people view the things he sees and experiences. He views horror films as a different interpretation of another person with the same abilities as him.
He was just a child when he first had a strange encounter with an old woman dressed in white, a meeting which would only be the first of many instances. He was eating at their table when he saw a glimpse of her outside their old apartment-type house, her staring intently at him with a smile on her face. He immediately realized that the old woman must be a different kind of being as he was the only one in their family who could see her. Kyle assumed that she was someone who used to live in the house before they did, and she would often appear at the window during times when Kyle is eating alone or in his room by himself.
Though Kyle was not aware as to how his third eye became active, he remembers that the encounters started when he was eight. He was just sitting quietly in his room, reading a book about astronomy, when he had a moment’s instance of feeling “a part of his head opening”, the sensation as an uncomfortable feeling of his forehead expanding.
His first instinct was to touch his forehead, but upon confirming that there weren’t actual cuts or ruptures on the skin on his forehead, Kyle ignored the pain, thinking that it might just be migraine or a normal headache.
“Hindi ko alam kung ‘yun ba ‘yung pag-bukas […] first time ko lang din kasi siya naranasan noon […] parang nababanat ‘yung balat [noong sa may noo ko],” said Kyle.
The initial encounters were wrapped by fear, as Kyle’s young mind was weighed down by the thing only he was able to perceive. The first time he encountered the old woman, his very first instinct was to run away in fear, as any young person would at the sight of something strange.
However, Kyle’s ability to see strange things would take a turn when his uncle came to visit their old house when he was 13. When he confided in his uncle about the unexplainable things that he feels and sees in their house, his uncle told him that the old woman might just be some sort of a guardian and advised him not to be scared.
With his uncles’ visit, the woman in white stopped appearing. With this, Kyle assumed that his uncle, who had the reputation among family members as “psychic”, might have done something to the house or to him. Kyle said that his uncle had a “different third eye” from the one he has, allowing him to communicate with the spirits. He remembers that his uncle would recite incantations in a slow and solemnly intense manner while holding up a piece of paper, meant to divine the appearance of the spirit and know its purpose. He recalls a piece of wood placed on their windows by his uncle. This might have been what stopped the old woman from reappearing in their house.
After the visits stopped, it was like a breath of fresh air for Kyle and he thought his life would become quiet and normal again.
Guardians of the house
Years later, Kyle’s family decided to move elsewhere and he thought that the strange things that he saw when he was a kid would be left behind for good.
But one night, when he was lying on his bed alone ready to sleep in their new home, he suddenly felt the other side of his mattress sink, like someone just heaved itself on it. But when he stirred to check, there was no one—the bed was completely empty except for himself—the space beside him looked like it wasn’t even touched at all.
“Ramdam ko talaga na may tumuon […] parang nag-aayos pa ng higa, tapos pagtingin ko wala. ‘E ‘di kinabahan nanaman ako,” Kyle said.
The incident did not stop at that one night. At another time, a friend of his, who was also known to have an active third eye as well, visited him at home. When he opened their gate to welcome his guest, his friend seemed reluctant to go in.
At first, he thought that his friend was just scared of their dog roaming in their yard. But what surprised him was the reason behind his friend’s hesitation; “Pre, bakit sa apat na sulok ng bahay niyo may nakatayo?” His friend further described hesitantly that each creature was different, one was a figure of a man and another a woman. Kyle just shrugged it off and told his friend that they were just the guardians of the house.
Kyle also shared that one time when he was playing a computer game online with his friends late at night. It was a victorious match for them and they were whooping and yelling in celebration. But the fun didn’t last for long when he glanced at his door and something lunged onto him—it was an old woman in a jet black dress from head to toe, grinning from ear to ear, with fingers that looked rotten. He was in a complete state of panic but he froze on the spot he was standing on, too frightened to lift his head to take another look.
He had no time to scream and he was trembling all over in fear, so he shut his eyes hard. But just as quickly as it appeared, in a blink of an eye, the scary shadow-like creature was gone.
The whole scene happened even as his friends were shouting to each other ‘nice game’ over the computer. His third eye apparently, was still very much wide open.
Making the paranormal, normal
Kyle’s experiences have impacted his life, but not in the way most people would assume. He said that he doesn’t think his personality was altered in any negative way, in fact people around him said that he became more patient and kind over time. He accepts the creatures he sees, and strives to live his life normally without batting an eye. And despite not all of his friends and relatives believing the stories that he has shared, them telling him that it was all in his mind—an imagination perhaps, Kyle said that he too has learned to live with that.
“Parang walang naniniwala sa akin. Kasi sinasabi nila, ‘Hindi, guni-guni mo lang yan’. Tapos hanggang ngayon [mayroon pa rin akong nakikita], kumbaga [para sa akin] ibig sabihin kung ‘di na ako naba-bother [sa mga nakikita ko] ngayon, ibig sabihin na-overcome ko na sya,” Kyle said.
The frequent apparitions of the creatures, both from his childhood and up until the present, seemed to have toughened his nerves. Having this special eye for so long, he had grown familiar with the things he sees, being completely unbothered even at situations where most people would freak out. Though Kyle still gets taken aback by fear at times, he has accepted that the apparitions are now a normal part of his life.
Sometimes while hanging out with his friends, he would suddenly see a woman in white standing behind one of his friends. However, afraid that he would scare his friends away by telling them what he sees, Kyle chooses to ignore it and to remain quiet.
At present, Kyle’s house has talismans—pieces of paper with inscribed symbols for purification and exorcisms, pinned to their doors. It was given by his uncle in hope that it could protect the household—and Kyle—from seeing, hearing, and feeling unexplainable things, due to his still active third eye.
But as far as Kyle was concerned, they are not totally effective as sometimes, the door suddenly opens by itself; or that one time when he woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and saw a figure with long hair, crawling on the floor, out of the corner of his eye.
Kyle’s stories clash with what science and even religion might offer as explanations for the sixth sense. However, Kyle is not alone with his stories, and if we choose to dismiss them simply as figments of the imagination, there will still be so many other stories out there from so many other people who also claim to have the third eye.
As for the horror movies that Kyle still enjoys watching, Kyle finds a kinship with the people portrayed and the fear that they experience. And when most of us just watch a horror film to get a cheap thrill and to scare ourselves silly, for Kyle, horror films provide him with real-life material—situations that he might actually have to prepare for sooner or later.