Haunted Places in Metro Manila That Will Frighten the Wits Outs of You
Are you a believer of ghosts and the afterlife? Well, you aren’t alone. Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean the spirits of the dead aren’t still lurking around. And if you happen to have a special place in your heart for the macabre, then you’ve come to the right place.
If you’re tired of the usual pasyalan sa MoA and are looking for something new to do with your barkada, then why not try something that will make your spine tingle and explore the most haunted places in the Philippines, specifically the nation’s capital. Notorious for its dark history and unexplainable paranormal activity, the locations you will find on this list are definitely not for the faint of heart. So without further ado, check out the list of haunted places in Metro Manila as well as their chilling backstories.
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7 of the Most Haunted Places in Metro Manila
1. Star Mall Alabang former Alabang Cemetery
First on our list of haunted places in Metro Manila is this popular shopping mall in Muntinlupa. Starmall Alabang, previously known as Metropolis Star, was the former site of Alabang Cemetery. Ms. Manuela Aguilar Riguera, the grandmother to Sen. Cynthia Villar, established the mall in the early ’90s. It is now one of the most haunted places in the Philippines, prompting belief that the bodies of the dead were never removed from the site.
One of the most well-known stories about Starmall Alabang was about a young couple on a movie date. As they ventured into the dark alley of the cinema entrance in search for a place to sit down, they were shocked to see that the whole place was jam-packed. The couple eventually found a seat to stay. But as the lights turned on, they were in utter disbelief to see that they were the only people inside the movie house.
2. The Manila Film Center
The Manila Film Center has been involved in a lot of controversies right from the start. It was said that during the final stages of its construction, at around 3:00 AM on November 17, 1981, the scaffolding collapsed and 169 workers were buried under quick-drying wet cement. The Marcos administration, specifically former first lady Imelda Marcos, ordered that the accident be kept a secret from the public. Neither rescuers nor ambulances were permitted to enter the building premises until an official statement was given.
Due to time constraints, it was widely believed that Marcos had cement poured over the dead worker’s body. The tragedy of their death was eventually masked by the government when the first-ever Manila International Film Festival (MIFF) was held on January 18–29, 1982. Because of these unfortunate happenings, what would have been a symbol of a rising film industry became a site of terrifying ghost sightings. To this day, the dark history of the film center continues to taint the Marcos family and the former administration.
A documentary about the Manila Film Center aired last 2005 through GMA Network’s docu show i-Witness. In the hour-long special, the bodies of less than a dozen were retrieved and given a proper burial.
3. Malacañang Palace
The Malacañang Palace is arguably one of the most recognized structures in the Philippines. It serves as the official residence of the current president of the Philippines. Naturally, the structure has earned a reputation of being one of the scariest haunted places in Metro Manila due to its rich history. According to reports, former presidents Manuel Quezon and Manuel Roxas continue to roam the palace. Even Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos was said to have seen the apparition of Quezon during her father’s presidency.
A more recent haunting happened during the regime of former president Gloria Arroyo. An image of a headless man captured at the entrance of the palace began making rounds online. A separate story has it that a certain Mr. Brown, a kapre (cigar-smoking tree giant), is believed to reside in an old balete tree in the palace grounds.
4. Ozone Disco
The Ozone Disco tragedy was one of the worst club fires in history. When the popular disco opened in Quezon City, its contractors never expected a tragedy of this scale. The date was March 18, 1996, when approximately 350 students gathered for a night of partying. As midnight loomed, a fire sparkled for at least 3 times. The partygoers initially thought it was nothing but pyro effects, but when the flames started breaking out, a mass panic followed. Helpless students started to run everywhere, desperately crying for help. To make matters worse, guards had thought a riot was happening and locked the only exit door.
The death toll reached up to 162, horrifying the whole country the day later.
There were several factors behind the Ozone Disco tragedy. The top three were the swing-in doors, lack of fire exit, and overcapacity (Ozone could only house 100 people). Nonetheless, it was a big deal for lawmakers in the Philippines, who were quick to persecute the ones responsible.
More than two decades later, the site is now considered as one of the creepiest haunted places in Metro Manila and is often the subject of a lot of nightmare-inducing horror stories. People who have passed by the now-vacant site claim to have seen ghostly figures watching them from broken windows. Hearing disemboweled voices, crying, and sometimes even laughing is also a common occurrence. But it is said that apparitions of the poor victims are seen not only within the disco hall; people believe that the ghosts are still trying to reach out to their loved ones. Many of the victims’ families hired mediums to get in touch with them. Paranormal investigators have requested the families to “come once, tell them good-bye, and let them go from this hell forever.”
5. Harrison Plaza
There have been multiple stories about ghost sightings going around Harrison Plaza, but there have never been reports of seeing the same apparition multiple times. The fact is that this busy site in the metropolitan was built over a cemetery. The old Ermita Cemetery used to occupy southwest of the Fort San Antonio Abad, the same lot where Harrison Plaza now stands, making it one of the most haunted places in Metro Manila.
6. Remedios Circle
Like Harrison Plaza, the Remedios Circle was also built above a burial ground. It is now a popular site in Malate, but before the glamour, it was home to one of the oldest cemeteries in Manila. It closed down after World War II, and the remains of the dead were transferred to the South Cemetery. Could modernization and disturbed graves be the reason why these restless souls just can’t seem to leave?
7. Manila City Hall
As soon as the clock strikes 6:00 p.m., employees of Manila City Hall rush to leave the premises of what is now considered one of the most haunted places in Metro Manila. No one dares to pull an all-nighter due to the strange noises, whispers, and footsteps that haunt this historic structure. The paranormal sighting should come as no surprise considering that the site bore witness to the horrors of World War II.
Viewed from above, the Manila City Hall allegedly resembles a coffin, an observation that gave birth to many conspiracy theories. However according to historians, Manila City Hall was actually modeled to resemble a shield of the Knights Templar, signifying the country’s strong ties with the Roman Catholic Church.