Scary Tales #1

In honor of Halloween, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day, I figured it would be fun to write about some supposed-to-be-scary things I’ve heard in my life so far, or ones that have happened to me at least. I don’t have stories half as scary as those of other people’s, but you know, I’m happy about it. Otherwise, I’d be rendered insensible from fear.

When I was a child, I was pretty susceptible to usog. Who knows if usog is real or not, all I know is that it was pretty odd to develop some form of illness after being greeted by someone, which I did from time to time. When that happened, someone would be called to our house to perform some sort of ritual, which involved hilot and the use of a candle afterward. The man would drip wax from a lighted candle on a basin of water, and the shape that would appear would be the profile of whoever was responsible for inflicting usog on you (Digression: Really, Lynn? Inflicting usog? That’s awfully similar to “making kwento.”).

But before we met that man, I used to be taken to an old lady named Aling Juanita somewhere in Novaliches. One night when I was two years old–and I clearly remember being in the backseat of the car at night surrounded by my mother, one of our helpers, and Aling Juanita–I was taken to her because I was ill. I don’t remember exactly what happened, just that it was nighttime and it was spooky, and when you’re a kid, nighttime and darkness = spooky. But apparently, things were a lot stranger than that. My mother had spotted a tall dark figure concealed behind a nearby tree, a figure too large to be human. She asked our helper if he saw it as well and he nodded, telling her not to look directly at it under any circumstance. Whether it was just a freakishly tall person or something else entirely, they never attempted to find out.