Multomania 2012 (aka: Our resident white lady has been making lots of noise)

“Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s now time for our main event. In this corner, wearing transparent robes and a shroud, weighing in at 0.00001 gram, hailing from Quezon City and the eternal ether…. The White Lady!!!!”

“And…. Her opponent, in this corner, wearing jeans and a t-shirt, weighing in at more than a few cases of San Miguel Pilsen, the Kano!!!!”

“Let’s get ready to rumbleeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!”

In one of the very early articles I wrote on this site, I mentioned that we had a white lady (multo, or ghost) living in our house.  Far be it for me to say that Filipinos are superstitious, but Filipinos are superstitious. I think that there must be more ghosts, demons, creatures, aswangs, duendes, zombies, weird ghost animals, and spirits per square kilometre here than any other place on Earth. Sure, there are ghosts in the US. Lots of people believing in Sasquatches, giant squids that swallow ships, aliens anal probing, and astrology. The UK hasn’t gotten off easily, either. Every castle on that island has at least a solitary ghost, more likely several, in residence. China doesn’t fare any better. Chinese ghosts tend to be really pissed off at the living, and vindictive, haunting their descendants for eternity unless pacified by offerings. So, the Filipinos ain’t alone.

Ghost in the house?
Ghost in the house?

Rebecca was the first to see our White Lady. She appeared one night with a scowl on her face. So, Rebecca did what most Filipinos would do… She visited the local Albularyo, who told her that yes, indeed, the ghost was living in our house, but was protecting her and Juanito (I don’t think the white lady is protecting me… She is either indifferent about me being there or wouldn’t mind if I left). She gave Rebecca some magic oil to spread around and told her to light some candles and make a few offerings and prayers in order to calm the White Lady down. She also told Rebecca that our maid was stealing from us, and that the theft was what brought the White Lady out into the open. We should fire the maid.

So, Rebecca returned home, looked under the maid’s mattress, and found some items that were being intentionally “misplaced” by the maid…. So, we fired her. That night, the ghost came back, and she was smiling this time.

It was a while before I had any encounters with the white lady. I sort of pooh poohed the whole thing. Well, she’s come around me a few times since then, usually when Rebecca and Juanito are up in the province while I’m staying here in Manila. Rebecca asked the albularyo about it, and the albularyo told her that the ghost is just coming around to check on things if she doesn’t hear or see Juanito around the house (I guess ghosts can hear and see… who knows!).

Now, I’ve never seen her… But I see some of the things she does around the house. Some of the things that I have personally witnessed:

  1. One night, I had just gone upstairs to bed. I was in bed perhaps two minutes and wide awake. I hear a crash downstairs in our kitchen. Rebecca has her pots and pans hanging from hooks under our cabinets. When I get up and get downstairs, all of them were on the floor (around 8 of them), against the wall on the far side of the room. These were heavy woks and such… No wind could blow them down, nor were there any earthquakes. I could see maybe one pan slipping off of a hook and rolling, but all of them? What’s up with that? The hooks  were still attached to the cabinets firmly.
  2. On a different night, I just got into bed, and the door to our bedroom opened, then closed after a few seconds. The knob turned as if someone opened the door and went inside, closing the door behind them.
  3. One evening, I was watching TV in our sala. One of Juanito’s toys (a car) was sitting on a shelf next to the TV. I got up to get a drink, and when I came back, the toy was on the other side of the TV.
  4. One morning, I was in the bathroom shaving. There is a little ledge in there about eye-level where we put shampoo, soap, and other similar things. As I was shaving, I noticed that a bottle of rubbing alcohol on the ledge moved about 15 cm to the right, as if someone pushed it (I watched it move). Again, no earthquakes or anything similar, and too heavy to be blown by wind.
  5. About three weeks ago, I was in bed and heard someone stomping up and down our stairs (It sounded like Juanito… He’s not exactly light on his feet!). I sat up and said, “C’mon!!! They’re up in Abulug! Let me get some sleep!” The noise stopped after that.


Now, none of this stuff is in the least bit threatening. I’m not afraid of the white lady, and neither is Rebecca. Rebecca has seen her, but I haven’t (She’s short, Filipina, very pretty, with long black hair down to her knees, but jagged teeth. Her eyes are “glowing”, but she’s sort of “faceless” or blurry around where her face should be). I think Juanito may have seen her, but with his limited vocabulary, he really can’t tell us much about it (More on that below). She seems to dislike Rebecca’s sister in law, Emma, but she seems to like her kids… When there are kids in the house she’s quiet.

Hey, ghosts need to stay somewhere, too. I guess they also can get lonely or bored. So, we have an understanding of sorts with the ghost… Behave, and all is cool. When she gets a bit restless, Rebecca lights a few candles for her and she seems to calm down for a bit. One of the neighbours had a house cleansing with the priest from St. Peter’s one time. Rebecca asked him to come over while he was in the compound and he went through the house saying prayers in Latin, swinging incense all over, and sprinkling holy water…. The white lady was quiet for around six months after that.

Am I sceptical? Certainly. I tend to be somewhat logical in my thinking. However, the incidents I described above were certainly weird. There was neither a ready explanation or any plausible explanation for those events. In other words, yeah, I don’t really believe, but I’m certainly not going to do anything to piss off the ghost either. Not going to get a Ouija board (Called “spirit of the glass” here… most priests in the Philippines discourage its’ use. Don’t want any possessions or speaking in tongues around here. No bleeding walls or levitation, either), nor am I going to go poking around and asking for trouble. Every horror movie I’ve ever seen ends badly for people who do things like that. Nope. We have a policy of détente in this house. Mutually assured destruction. Don’t bother us, and we won’t bother you.

So, around three or four months ago, Juanito is suddenly afraid to go upstairs alone. He says there’s a “mu-mu” up there (It took a while, but it finally dawned on us that he’s trying to say “multo”). We were a little surprised… Where did he pick up the word “multo”? As it turns out, one of the neighbour kids (around eight years old… Juanito is three) was trying to scare the little kids one day, telling them about multos. I told Rebecca to watch the talk about ghosts and aswangs and so on around Juanito, and to tell her family the same thing. I also decided to get those little rats back for scaring my son.

So, the kid that started all of this just got a new I-pad. There is a “ghost hunters” application that you can download for it, that supposedly shows where there is a ghost present (It puts a lens flare photoshop on the camera screen when there is IR interference nearby… so anywhere there is a wi-fi modem nearby). I see them outside playing with it, so I helpfully told them about the app, and about the white lady living in our house. Their eyes got really wide and then they started laughing. I said, “If you don’t believe me, download the app and go have a look.” So, he downloads the app, and I tell him, “Just be aware, that ghosts don’t like to be disturbed. If you see our white lady, she may just follow you home!” “Tito, that’s not true!” “OK… Go look at your own risk.”

So, we walk to our house, and I tell them to point it upstairs by our window (Where the wi-fi modem is located). Naturally, there’s a big lens flare there and these kids all panic, running away down the street. About three minutes later, I’m standing outside the sari-sari telling the owner about it, and as she finishes saying, “Kuya, that was mean!” (While laughing), the kids come up…

“Tito, do you think she followed us?”

“I don’t know… Let’s go check your house!”

Needless to say, there was wi-fi there (“GOTCHA!!!!”).

After thirty seconds or so of watching them suffer, I told them how it worked. As they were laughing about it, I told them, I only did this because you scared Juanito… Doesn’t feel so nice, huh? Lots of “sorrys” said, but Rebecca and I still need to try and convince Juanito that there is no ghost… Not so easy to do when there are candles being lit all the time for dead ancestors, scissors and garlic in the windowsills (for aswangs), salt poured occasionally (for duendes), and lumps of charcoal and coins in the cabinets (for miscellaneous spirits that may be hanging about).

Post Author: JohnM (207 Posts)

John Miele is a Citizen of the World, having spent time in many locations around the globe. Currently, he finds himself in Manila, but travels throughout the Philippines. John joined the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine in mid-2008.

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  1. Ricardo Sumilang says

    Hey, John, that multo in your Quezon City home is none other than the lady squatting on Rebecca’s property in Abulug. To uncast the spell, you have to withdraw the eviction order. LOL

    • John Miele says

      Ricardo: I wanted to have a mangkukulam go and sacrifice a chicken in front of her, but my mother in law vetoed the idea…. ” don’t play with black magic”, I was told.

      • Leo Salinel says

        No need for black magic or white chickens bleeding; you can just go to Parang, Marikina and look for a certain Mang Ponso. He is actually a hilot and psychic healer but he also reportedly does “special projects” in return for donations of any amount.

        • JJ says

          How do I reach Mang Ponso? I heard about him and I am planning to go there to bring my friend. But they do not know the exact address… they only said it’s near Fortune in parang Marikina. Please help!

  2. RandyL says

    John, I’m no bible scholar, but I remember growing up in Catholic school that we were taught that the bible denounces all forms of superstition. So as strong as Catholicism is in the Philippines, I never understood the high level of superstition there. Same thing in Guam and after living there for 5 years, I’ve got a few stories of my own.

    • John Miele says

      Randy: it was always my ne’er standing that the friars believed it was easier to let Filipinos incorporate such superstitions than to try and fight it. They were trying for as many souls as possible. Much the same thing in Mexico / Latin America

      • RandyL says

        Yeah, I guess you’re right. Also considering it’s an entire micro-economic industry of it’s own, it’s better off left alone. Besides, what would anyone have left for fireside chats?

        • John Miele says

          It is… Think about it. Christmas, all souls day, and valentines day were all pagan celebrations “changed” to Christian celebrations….

      • John Miele says

        Pete: True… Your perception can be as real as reality. Ever have a dream that seemed like it really happened?

  3. Mars Z. says

    Hi John, it’s 10:20 at night here, and I’m alone in the main floor, I’m having goose bumps and looking behind my back while reading about the white lady. There’s a lot of superstitions in the PHL and some really defied explanation, specially when it happens to you. Hope the white lady stays as protective as it seems.


  4. Dan B says

    Hi John,
    Funny article by you for me to read tonight. Although what you’ve had wrote made me think that all these superstitions (suspicions) may be of your own doings. I’m just saying that what you did to those kids (I agree that what you did was warranted) you may be doing in your own home, by moving pans & other things around. I think you may be having fun & joking with your wife, It also makes me think that your wife may have planted those things in your maids mattress because she no longer wanted here working in your home.
    Am I right for saying or thinking that? Absolutely not & it’s none of my business…but that’s all it is , nothing more than my suspicious mind at play. I’m sure what I’ve just accused you at is surely not the case. That’s how we all make superstitions work…with the mind playing suspicious thoughts.
    This would have been a great article if you only waited till October to have released it, but it was still enjoyable to read tonight for me….thanks.

    BTW…Sasquatches does exist! I was married to one! As for anal probes from aliens I haven’t had that, but I was implanted by a tracking device from the government….I now have to wear my homemade tin foil hat & tin foil body suit so the government can’t track me & makes their mind control devices obsolete.
    One more thing before I sign off….Henry the 8th said he’s making a special trip to the Philippines soon & would like to shack up with some nice “kano” lady ghost….perhaps you would be able to hook them up.
    Thanks John, a different twist from you. Booh! haha

  5. jonathan says

    John, talk about Paranormal Activity – QC version. I’m more interested on that ghost app, what’s it’s called? Is it available for android phones? Your wife probably has a third-eye and maybe you too but since you don’t necessarily believe in those things that’s why your “development” is hindered. And seriously, don’t play with the Ouija board or spirit of the glass, it will open up some portal from we don’t know where.

    • John Miele says

      Jonathan: it was “ghost hunters”… On iPad . No ouija boards in our house. No pissing off the spirits.

  6. noshadowwithoutpunch says

    No foreigners to denigrate this time so you scrape the bottom of the barrel and come up with crap like this? I always knew you were an idiot but this takes the cake. I can’t believe you would be so dumb as to buy into this filipino superstituous crap…

  7. says

    John, that is not Tanduay you are drinking. Please tell us what is it that you drink that gives you these fantasies. I would love to try some! Sorry, never believed in ghosts myself.

  8. marjorie says

    noshadowwithoutpunch there were a group of British Tommies who would heartily disagree with you. They were stationed in an old large house but wouldn’t sleep upstairs as footsteps went down the corridor everynight. My Dad had to stay there one night and asked why they were sleeping down stairs, so he got some to join him and they sat in one of the bedrooms, footsteps came and they wouldn’t open the door. There was a locked room at the end of the corridor and my dad broke into it the next morning. The room had not been touched for a long time. The room was prepared for a lady to retire to bed but it seems she never returned. My Dad having been in private service thought it was the maid returning to see if her mistress had returned. There are things out there we cannot explain. Just because you have not experienced it don’t scoff at it.

    • John Miele says

      Marjorie: personally, I don’t necessarily believe, but what happened was. Ertainly without logical Explanation and strange. Why ask for trouble? What harm is lighting a candle?

  9. Mark G. says

    I’m kind of a skeptic myself when it comes to paranormal activity but I’ve seen and heard things that defy reason on occasion. I get the feeling someone is watching me whenever I’m in my basement alone, lol. I avoid going down there at night…My sister, Sue, however is a true believer. She is a Spiritualist and has had several interesting things happen to her over the years. The most dramatic story is one where she was starting to fall down a very steep flight of stairs but someone grabbed her from behind and pulled her back to safety. Of course there was no one there but she said a very loud ‘Thank You’ to her supernatural benefactor. The house she was in was well known in our area for being ‘haunted’ by the way. More strangeness in this world then any of us care to admit.

    • John Miele says

      Mark: you and I seem to think somewhat alike on this…. Skeptical, but really weird happenings. Once in college, I had a Pentecostal roommate telling me about demons running around. I said, “bullsh*t!”. I said ” any demons here, show yourselves!” at that moment, the doors of his fridge violently swum open. We’re they demons? Doubt it, bu I’m not going to tick them off further!

  10. David S. says

    Great story John. Thanks for sharing. It might be easier to convince Juanito that the ghost is friendly especially given the circumstances.

    • John Miele says

      David: I’m trying… That may work. I think it may have also come from FOX advertising “The Walking Dead” on about ten different stations. He’s figured out “zombies”, and I don’t think he knows what they are… Only that he doesn’t like ’em.

  11. roselyn says

    Hi John: Spooky story, but believable. I’m not religious nor believer in ghosts, but a year after my parents died in the Philippines, I visited their country home and slept at their room. The night lamp wakened me up as it turned on by itself sometime after midnight. I told my older brother about the incident and scolded him for trying to scare me. He told me that he did not turned on the night lamp, but not to tell anyone about the incident as people will not stay in that house as we needed a caretaker as we are all in the U.S. I’m like Mark Twain when he said: “I don’t believe in ghosts, but wouldn’t want to meet one”. Thanks for sharing your stories.

  12. Gary Wigle says

    I have one name for all of you. James Randi. Look him up on YouTube or his website. All he would say is “Prove it!” The brain sees and hears what it wants to see and hear. There are no ghosts.

    • John Miele says

      Gary: I’ve read one of his books, and I generally like the guy. On History this weekend they were showing something about Houdini, who also exposed a lot of trickery, and I saw something by Penn and Teller recently, too. That said, I know what I’ve seen in the house and I cannot explain. Ghost or not, certainly strange, and out of the ordinary.

    • Ricardo Sumilang says

      Gary, if the brain, according to James Randi, sees and hears what it wants to see and hear, why does John M, who is a non-believer, continue to see and hear these strange things? :)

      • Gary Wigle says

        James Randi has a million US dollars set aside to the first person that has proof of God/Supernatural. He still has the money.

        As for Penn and Teller…..too funny and so much BS. 😛

    • John Miele says

      Pete: Actually, the alcohol bottle moving was the one that really got me… Not really threatening, though.

  13. Leo Salinel says

    Hey John, it would be nice to have a white lady like that–guarding your property, busting errant maids, and looking after the kids!

  14. ScottF says

    When I was twelve I repeatedly saw a white image on an old man in my bedroom window. It was a transparent image, and I knew that it was what is commonly called a ghost. He would simply peer inside, look at me for a while, and then go away.

    I finally asked my mom about it one day and she had me describe the image. I told her he was slightly bald, white, with a large nose, and large deep eyes. A thin man.

    She left the room I was in, and returned with an old photograph I had never seen. It was a photo of the man in my window, and as it turned out, it was my great-great-grandfather.

    After that day, I knew what I saw to be real, and have seen many other “ghosts” through the years. I haven’t seen any in a long time, but I am still an ardent believer.

  15. ElkGroveLolo says

    I was 5 I think when the male baby sitter who recently passed away came to visit me: his transparent cloud-like image wasn’t recognizable against the incandescent lamp hanging on the ceiling right in front of me. He had his cold hands on me and I started whimpering and shaking. My mother, lying beside me on my left side, and gave Apo Leon a good scolding like, “Go back where you now belong and never bother my boy again. He’s scared.” The presence quickly disappeared and never came back to bother us.

    Now an adult, do I believe in the supernatural? Like your attitude, I just try to keep my distance so not to invite their ire. 2 weeks ago while drying up after a late night bath, I saw a white entity’s presence in our bedroom. I was weak and “sick” for 3 days until a relative volunteered to give me some exorcism/blessing using a small piece of ginger. I started yawning after that and I felt “released” right away. I cleared up dried leaves and stones of a not-frequently-treaded area of the property earlier that day and I was told “they” may be thankful for the gesture of a new resident (just 2 months here in Miagao, Iloilo from Sacramento). It didn’t work that I asked “their permission” before starting to use the rake.

    I’m still currently trying for over a week now to regain my lost strength, but this experience is for real.

    Well, I guess we just have to learn how to co-exist in harmony “whoever are out there.”

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