We had our own share of unforgettable experiences when it comes to travelling. From epic fails, to funny and thrilling moments, we experienced it all.

But sometimes, things can get a little scary, especially when you travel to unknown or sacred lands. What I’m going to tell you is not your common “horror” stories on travelling – lost baggage, delayed flights, scam etc. These personal travel experiences are leaning into the supernatural.

Here are my bizarre and scariest travel moments I’ve experienced and be sure to read this with all the lights on.

First experience: Kaangrian Falls, Ilocos Norte

This experience is way back December 2009, and I was with my family, my aunt and my grandmother. My father heard about Kaangrian Falls through his high school classmate, and he was told that the falls is truly beautiful. Of course, all of us are eager to go there, so we decided to find a tour guide that will help us get to the falls.

It was no ordinary hike- there is no trail, but only tall grass and thick jungles of trees. I remembered that time, I was in awe of our tour guide because how did they find the falls with no clear trails to the falls? We even crossed rivers along the way and there are many times that I almost tripped!

Well, the 1-hour hike is worth it – Kaangrian Falls is straight out of a fairy tale.

During our stay there, our tour guide shared with us his own supernatural experience in the place. He told us that he and his friends are the first ones who discovered the falls, and they also discovered a huge cave behind the falls. During their stay there, they heard a ghostly whistle and people laughing outside their tent. When they went out to check, they found no one. Their hairs stood on end because they realized that it might be Engkantos, or earthly elementals that are playing with them.

On our way back, me, my brother, my grandmother and the tour guide are in the front, while my parents, my sister and my aunt are behind us. The four of us in the front are quicker- we didn’t notice that the others are now far behind us. We were worried that they may get lost, so our tour guide decided to go back for them while me, my brother and my grandmother will wait for them to arrive.

As we wait, me and my brother are chatting about something (I forgot what it is all about) while our grandma was behind us. It took a while before our tour guide and the rest came to us. What the tour guide said next chilled our spine.

” Hey, where’s your grandmother?”

Me and my brother turned around, and to our shock, our grandma is nowhere to be found! We didn’t notice because our grandma was behind us and we were busy talking. We looked for her while shouting her name, and my heart was beating too fast. I’m beginning to imagine creepy things – what if an elemental took her and we will never see her again?

The scariest part is that, there’s a fallen tree everywhere we went and our tour guide noticed that the trail was different from what we took before. It’s weird since he’s sure that it’s the same path we took before and we didn’t see any fallen tree on our way to the falls. It took as an hour before we found our grandmother – she was sitting next to a fallen tree. She told us that she thought we already left, that’s why she decided to find us. But then, that was impossible. Me and my brother was just sitting in front of her! We didn’t even stand up until the rest came. We reasoned to our parents that we never left, but my grandma says otherwise. We didn’t argue that much anymore and we were just thankful that we found her and we returned safe and sound.

It was weird, but I feel like our grandmother is hiding something from us. I don’t know, or maybe it’s one of the side effects of old age – she might had a memory lapse that time. I remembered nagging her one time about what happened to her when we were finding her- but she still insists her previous reason, that she thought we left her. She never spoke about it anymore and I still wonder what really happened to her that time. Did she see an elemental and he/she brought my grandma somewhere? Or something else? I guess I’ll never know.

Second Experience: Laverna Retreat House, Tagaytay

This experience happened when I was in my 3rd year of High School, during our retreat at Laverna, Tagaytay. Even before the retreat, my classmates have been gossiping about the ghost stories that happened to the students during their stay at Laverna. I was skeptic at first, until we arrived at Laverna. The place gives me creepy vibes, instead of feeling the Holy Spirit (since its a retreat). Sure, the place looks old, but its not the appearance of the retreat house that gives the creepy feeling. It’s the aura of the place.

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To make things scarier, one of our teachers warned us to never go alone in the bathroom at night and insisted that if we should go, she should accompany us. We asked her why, and then she told us that she felt something in the girl’s bathroom- and its not good. She has a third eye.

Later that night, we had a session called “Circles of love”. Our facilitator divided us in groups, and each group must find a quiet place in the retreat house to reflect and give uplifting messages to each other. Our group decided to stay beside the stairwell. With only one lighted candle as our source of light, our scenario was like straight out of a horror movie. It’s like we are about to do the spirit of the glass game.

However, we proceeded with the activity and everything seems to go well, until one of my group mates looked behind me. She seemed terrified, so I asked her what’s wrong. She told us that she doesn’t want to continue the activity anymore and she really looks afraid. We decided to go back to our classroom since she started crying, and our facilitator went to us. After calming her, she finally told us that she saw a ghost nun in black looking at us angrily while we are doing the activity. She then got more terrified when the nun looked directly at her. From that moment, she knew that we are unwanted and the ghost is asking us to leave. We were all so scared that time that our facilitator decided to end the session.

The horror doesn’t end there. After our retreat, me and my classmates decided to browse our pictures during the retreat from my friend’s digital camera. Our hairs stood on end when we saw the solo shot of my classmate overlooking the hills of Crosswinds Tagaytay. At first glace, we didn’t noticed it- it was after we zoomed the picture that we saw a floating headless man in the field. The man appears to wear a Barong Tagalog. We were so scared that my friend deleted the picture afterwards.

Third Experience: Underground Cemetery at Nagcarlan, Laguna

This scary experience happened when I was in my second year of High School, during our field trip at Nagcarlan Laguna. We went to the Underground Cemetery, which is one of the popular tourist spots there. Built in 1845, the underground cemetery is home to buried Spanish friars and prominent people at that time. It also served as a meeting place of the Katipunan and hideout of Filipino soldiers during the WWII.

With all the historic events happened in the cemetery, we immediately thought of the ghosts lingering in the place. We’ve heard many ghost stories from the previous batches who went to the cemetery, and at first we were skeptic about it. I keep thinking that “the place is just old, that’s all.” Boy, we were wrong.

The top of the underground cemetery is a small chapel. Before we went down the cemetery, we stayed there first as the tour guide and our head teacher gave us a brief about the place. My classmate, who has an active third eye, told me that she can already feel a strong presence. I shrugged it off, thinking that she’s just over reacting. But all of it changed when we went down the underground cemetery.

It was so cold! It’s like a bucket of iced water is thrown at me. When we arrive in front of the crypts, I heard my classmate ( the one with the third eye) gasped. She was looking beside me. I asked her what’s wrong, but she didn’t reply. Instead, she huddled with my other classmates, but she was still looking beside me, although there was no one. The cold feeling stayed with me, and my head began to dull. Surprisingly, the dull and cold feeling went away as we climb back up to the chapel.

I decided to ask my classmate what she saw back down there. She told me first that she didn’t answered me because she didn’t want me to be scared. Apparently, she saw a man who appears to be a friar (because of his long dark cloak), was standing beside me. She thinks that we disturbed the spirits there, since my classmates were so noisy inside the cemetery. The ghost friar was looking angrily at us, that’s why my classmate got scared and huddled with my other classmates. Goosebumps broke all over me as I realized the reason why I was feeling so cold that time.

It was truly a scary experience for me and thankfully, the ghost didn’t follow me home. Thank heavens!

Well, I went back here with my family last 2014 and fortunately, we didn’t see nor felt ghosts.

Our trip to Nagcarlan last 2014

That’s all for this post ( because it’s already too long haha) and I’ll be making a part two for this. Stay tuned!

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Published by Crizelda Nicolas