Baguio City is not only known for its vibrant festival, it’s cool weather and cheap signature clothes for sale. The City of Pines also is known for several haunted places brought about by the City’s gloomy past. From the occupation of the Japanese during the Second World War to 1990 killer earthquake, Baguio is said to be home to wandering souls who have unfinished business and thus are walking around some of the now popular haunted places in the city.
Today, people travel to Baguio City, especially during Halloween, not only to experience the weather but also to visit these said to be “haunted” places. Want to explore these places? There are many budget accommodations in Baguio where you can stay near these sites. The following are the “haunted” places and the corresponding back story as to why the place is haunted and stories of people who experienced an encounter with the unknown.
1. Loakan Road
The Loakan road is a long stretch of road that traverses Scout Barrio Barangay and ends at the Philippine Military academy area. Traveling on this road provides a serene view of the mountains and the remain forested area in Baguio. This road holds a supernatural secret.
Origins of the Unknown: The Loakan road is popularly known as the haunting ground of the Loakan White Lady. It is said that a woman was abused and killed in this area and her spirit took shelter at the Pine Tree at the middle of the road. Some years ago when the government decided to cut the pine tree at the middle of Loakan road, those who attempted to inflict damage to the tree got sick. It is also said that the person who successfully cut the tree fell ill and died.
Scary Experience: One stormy night a cab driver was traversing Loakan road when a woman dressed in white was hailing his cab. He stopped to pick up the woman, as soon as they drove off into the dark road, the woman gave the directions to take her to the third cemetery, referring to the Filipino-American cemetery where soldiers who died during World War II were buried. Several meters before reaching their destination as the cab driver took a peek at his rearview mirror, the woman was gone as if vanishing into thin air!
2. Diplomat Hotel
Situated at the Heritage Hill Nature Park at the top of Dominican Hill in Baguio City, this building is witness to the Japanese occupation during World War 2. It was turned into a hotel during the ’80s but with the untimely death of the owner, the building remains to be abandoned until the City Government of Baguio turned it into a tourist destination. Despite its surroundings being called a nature park, no one can deny its dreadful past.
Origins of the Unknown: The cross on top of the building is the remaining symbol that this building was once home to the Dominican Priests. During the carpet bombing by the Japanese and the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, the priests, nuns and refugees took shelter in this building. Unfortunately, when the Japanese occupied the Philippines, those who took shelter in this building were killed by the invaders. The towering fountains at the courtyard were also said to be the place where infants were executed by the invaders. After the war, the building was bought and turned into a hotel, hence the name Diplomat Hotel.
Scary Experience: Residents who live nearby the hotel tell of sightings of headless ghostly figures roaming the grounds of Diplomat hotel at night. A popular story is during the 1990s when a group of fresh student graduates from a popular high school in Baguio snuck into the Diplomat hotel to enjoy a night of laughter and booze. Their “drinking session” started off well until suddenly one of their friends start to talk in a different language and a different voice, telling them to leave. One of them even said that he saw ghostly figures by the windows of the hotel. They started to run dragging their “possessed” friend along with them, and upon reaching several meters away from the entrance of the hotel grounds their friend started to go back to his normal state.
3. Laperal White House
Probably the only place in Baguio that was outrightly known as Baguio’s Haunted house. The Laperal White House is located along Leonardwood Road and this house was constructed in the 1920s. The house is originally owned by the Laperal Clan. During the Second World War, the Japanese invaders turned the house into a garrison. Today, although it has been turned into a gallery for Bamboo Art collection, the old furniture inside the house and the eerie atmosphere once you explore the house could not erase its characteristic of being a haunted house.
Origins of the Unknown: When the Japanese occupied the Laperal White House and turned it into a garrison, people who were caught by the invaders and who were considered as enemies of the invaders were tortured and killed in this garrison.
Scary Experience: Stories of people passing by the house at night and witnessing ghostly apparitions are common especially during the time when bars and business establishments have not invaded the area across the street. One popular story was when a diner from the restaurant just across the street glanced at the White House and saw what seemed to be a white figure at one of the windows of the Laperal White House. The diner didn’t mind it until she went to the restroom of the cafe and was shocked to see the same white figure appearing on the bathroom mirror.
4. Teachers Camp
If you ask a Baguio resident if renting a cottage at the Teachers Camp is a good idea, the normal reaction would be, “yes if you want to see ghosts”. People who experienced spending a night or two at one of the cottages at Teachers Camp tell their experiences of seeing ghostly apparitions, poltergeist (objects moving around) and doppelgangers.
Origins of the Unknown: Teacher’s Camp was built in 1908 and it has been the training site for American teachers. It was also the training site of the Philippine Military Academy before the second world war. The dark past of this place and the untimely deaths of the victims of war must have been the reason why their spirits are still roaming around Teacher’s camp up to this day.
Scary Story: Taxi drivers sometimes are cautious when traversing teachers camp even on some of its parts along Leonardwood road. We’ll let the video tell you why.
5. South Drive Former Hyatt Hotel Area
The vibrant tourism industry of Baguio City was evident even during the ’80s and ’90s. Hyatt Hotel was one of the popular hotels in Baguio and it was normally the go-to place for seminars and family vacations at that time. The hotel was located along South Drive and it brought not only income to the city but jobs as well. These all changed when at 4:26 PM on July 16, 1990, Baguio City was hit by a powerful magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
Origins of the Unknown: On that fateful day, Baguio city was brought to its knees, toppling large building and killing thousands of people. Hyatt Hotel Baguio was not spared, the earth cracked from underneath it bringing the once majestic hotel to the ground, killing and trapping hundreds of people under the rubble. Today the site of Hyatt Hotel is just a mere lot, haunted by the disturbed spirits of those who perished during the earthquake.
Scary Experience: Taxi driver and any Baguio motorist know that when they are about to approach the zebra path (pedestrian lane) at the waiting shed across the locked gate of the former Hyatt hotel site, they should always honk their horn especially at night. This is because this waiting shed and zebra path were the common waiting area and crossing area of the hotel employees and those who perished are said to still cross this street. One night, a driver forgot to honk his horn, his vehicle motor suddenly died for no apparent reason, he went down and checked the motor and when he glanced at the gate of the lot where Hyatt hotel once stood he saw what seemed to be a person crossing the street, the only difference is this person is floating on air.
Baguio City, having been established as a chartered city during the 1900s is witness to a lot of unfortunate events. Many of these unfortunate events brought about the untimely deaths of people who up to today are seeking peace and hoping to crossover to the other side. We can help them by offering prayers when we visit these “haunted” places in Baguio City.
Note: Our walking tours were taken way before Luzon, including our city, was declared under the state of Enhanced Community Quarantine. Stay at home and stay safe, everyone!
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