Tag Archives: death

Superstitions and Ghost (?) Stories

Remember the piece I refer to in this blog post? In the spirit of October and Halloween, I decided to post it after all. 

In 5th grade, my teacher asked us if our families had any superstitions. One of my classmates responded that, according to his mom, when his bed isn’t made, his guardian angel is still sleeping. From that moment in my life, I have become vigilant in fixing my bed every morning. Now, I fix my bed out of habit, but back then I can’t deny the impact that simple statement had on me.

But superstitions weren’t anything new to me at that age. When I was younger, I would follow my dad to the field where he would excavate and dig up ancient artifacts and burials (he’s an archaeologist). One day, when he and his crew had been hunched over a skeleton, I sneezed. I didn’t think much of it. Wind and dust tend to have that effect. My mom had a different thought. Without a moment’s hesitation, she pinch my ear hard. A moment after, she explained to me that sneezing in front of a dead body meant that their spirit wanted you to accompany them in the afterlife. During that time, my mom’s word was law. I found myself pinching my ear every. time. I sneezed for fear that there would be a dead body nearby.

When my aunt and my oldest sister became pregnant, I remember seeing them wrap a scarf over their head or wear a hat out at night so the moon wouldn’t steal their baby.

In middle school, my classmate told me never to place my bed across the door because that invites strangers in.

On the less morbid side, every New Year the house had to be impeccable, not an item out of place because a clean house on New Year’s Day meant a clean house the whole year (of course this was proven false time and time again). I also had to wear polkadots and have fruit on the table for good luck.

When I was younger, I not only believed these superstitions, I enjoyed them. They were fun. My friends and I would sit at the lunch table and exchange these traditions and ghost stories that– at least on my end– weren’t true but entertaining. Now that I’m older and relatively wiser and now that I’ve explored more of the world and science, I’ve let go of nearly all those superstitions and learned how to rationalize seemingly “paranormal” occurrences. I could care less if a black cat walks in my path. In fact, my favorite number is 13. Just yesterday, my speakers flew (literally) off my table twice, but I thought nothing of it. I see these events as more curious than scary.

Regardless, while I do believe that everything has some sort of explanation, I thought it would be fun to share some of the weird shit that has happened to me and cannot be explained by science… yet!

  1. Pennies

Earlier last year, I started noticing pennies. Some of you might not think this is weird. In fact, I didn’t think anything of it until it became so frequent that I couldn’t ignore it. I know. I know. “Everyone finds loose change. Who cares?” While this is true, what everyone doesn’t find is a single penny, every morning without failin the same exact place– right beside my car before I drive to school every day. Each morning, I’d pick up the penny and place it in my pocket just to make sure I wasn’t seeing the same one. I can rule out my parents for playing prank on me because they wouldn’t waste their time and I doubt my neighbors would do that because we go through large lengths to ignore each other.

Anyways, as weird as it sounds, whenever I found a penny, I would have a really good day. But one the few days there wouldn’t be one, something bad would happen. Placebo? Maybe. Who knows? I didn’t think anything more of it and since then, I haven’t come across any wayward pennies.

But just recently, I clicked a YouTube video uploaded by a girl I was subscribed to who was talking about a haunted house she lived in. She provided a snippet of an article of “supernatural” signs. I skimmed over the blurb and the word “penny” caught my attention. This caused me to search up on this penny phenomenon which, until that moment, I thought was completely unique to me. Upon some shallow research, I found that pennies are supposedly conduits for spirits to communicate or connect with the living. It has something to do with copper being an accessible metal to them and what not. Finding pennies is also said to be a good omen– often a sign that the one finding them is being watched over by a spirit or guardian. Can’t say I’m 100% sold on the idea, but hey! I need all the good luck and watching over I can get.

  1. Moving Objects – Is my house haunted?

Occasionally, random items in my house will fall off or move from their original positions. Mind you, these are items that have been stationary for a while. Objects would be in one part of the house one day and a different part the next.

I remember one specific moment when my dad and I were relaxing downstairs watching TV in the living room. Connected to the living room is our study, which has sliding doors. While my dad and I were watching, one of the doors decided to slide close. My dad and I looked at each other knowing full well that neither of us had moved an inch and no one was in the study. His eyes got wide for a moment before he shrugged and continued watching TV. That was it! And because I was at an impressionable age and because my dad was my hero, I did exactly what he did and ignored it. This, more or less, sums up my attitude towards the “supernatural.”

  1. Ghost Bell

In grade school, my mom bought me a generic doorbell for my birthday– which really didn’t matter in the end because my parents always walked in my room without knocking anyways. This doorbell was awesome! It was cheap and played an annoying tune, but I loved it. It had two parts: the speaker and the bell. The speaker was taped to my wall and the bell was placed outside bedroom door. Overtime, I outgrew it. It had been years when I last used it and the button eventually broke. I threw it away, but the speaker was still pasted on my wall.

Years and years later, however, probably when I was an upperclassman in high school, the speaker went off while I was in my living room. I went up to my room and saw the flashing lights of the doorbell and pulled it off my wall. It wouldn’t stop ringing so I opened the back to remove the batteries, but only two of the four required double AA batteries were there. Weirded out, I pulled out the rest of the batteries and it grew silent once more. I went back downstairs but moments later, I hear the familiar tune once more and go up to find the doorbell in my trash can, singing away. It was at this moment that I slammed my foot on the speaker and silenced the bell forever. I continued cleaning.

  1. Weird Sightings

While I have seen humanoid figures around my house, I’ve never seen a figure substantial enough to ever assume it was more than my imagination. However, my mom shared a story with me earlier this year of seeing an apparition. Let me just begin by explaining that my mom does laundry at night and that our washer and dryer are in an outside area of our house. One night, she told me that she had been washing clothes late at night when she heard a little girl’s laugh. She turns around and sees a flash of what she thinks is a little girl running past her. Keep in mind that this is probably around 10 at night. What would a little girl be doing running around late at night by herself?

  1. Dreams of my Grandparents

In high school, my lola passed away. Though I didn’t see her more than once a year (considering she lived in the Philippines), she had been the one who accompanied me to Guam when I was adopted. I love(d) her! She was kind, she was intelligent, and she would give the best hugs. One night, I went to sleep and dreamed that my lola had visited me in my room. This was odd because I occasionally have dreams of my house, but it’s never my house. It’s always a different setting but my dream self recognizes it as my home. This time, though, the layout was exactly that of my actual house. In the dream, I walk my lola downstairs and accompany her outside where she hugs me goodbye. Then she gets on a carriage (hella symbolic) with another old lady sitting on the other end of the seat and it flies away.

I woke up with question marks in my head, but didn’t think about it until my mom came to me that day and told me that my lola had passed away in her sleep. I can’t say I wish to be haunted, but I won’t deny that– if that had been her visiting me in my dreams– I was incredibly touched.

Let’s go back a year before to when my lolo had passed away. I flew back to the Philippines to attend his funeral and one night I woke up and saw a vague shadow of  a man at the edge of the bed. As someone who had an active imagination growing up, I told myself it was nothing. I forced myself to go to sleep and act as if it was the items in the room arranging themselves into humanoid shadows. The next day, I got extremely sick. I should mention that a few days prior my cousin had dreamt of our lolo and got sick as well. We were the only ones with fevers that came out of nowhere. My aunt called a witch doctor who chanted a few things, massaged my arms and pinned ginger on me and within a few hours, I felt completely healed. According to my family, my cousin and I had been visited by my lolo. Why us? Who knows? But we’ve both been told that we’re sensitive to those kind of things.

There are a few more stories I have that I find bizarre, but I won’t bore you guys with an influx of stories that require more context than they’re worth.  While I find stories like these fun and extremely entertaining, I can’t say that I’m quite a believer. But I can’t say that I’m a complete disbeliever either.

So what do you guys make of all this? Are you convinced? On the fence? Still denying anything to do with the supernatural? What are your superstitions or experiences? Do you have any explanations? I’d love to hear them!

Life, Death, and How They Came to Be 


When Life was just a child, she tugged on Death’s sleeve and asked, “Brother, why is the sky so dim?” Death turned his gaze towards the universe and looked into the dark abyss. Devoid of breath and being, it was filled with naught save for a faint light far in the distance. He turned to his young sister, still millions of years younger than he, and replied, “Sit down, and let me tell you the story of our creators.”Always eager and curious for knowledge, Life rushed to sit beside her brother. She buzzed with energy and excitement while Death, ever solemn, recounted the tale of the universe.

In the early years, there lived three beings: Light, Darkness, and Eternity. They were fierce companions with good wills between them. They traversed across the universe creating and planning with no reserve. Light would shape planets and galaxies with colors so vibrant that all three would stop for periods of their journey to admire the spectrum. But Light was so radiant that without the aid of Darkness, such colors were indiscernible in her bright glow. As for Eternity, he sustained the beings that Light birthed. So astounded by her creations, he made sure they flourished without end and for a while, the universe brimmed with vibrance. In their wake, the three left behind solar systems, asteroid belts, galaxies, and even black holes.


One day, while Light and Eternity walked ahead, Darkness looked upon Light and came to a realization. He found that he no longer followed behind her just to enjoy the view of her colors, but to experience the infinite joy he wrought by simply being in herproximity. So magnificent and so necessary was she to him that Darkness soon fell in love. Now, Darkness was no fool. He knew that in order for Light to thrive, he had to give parts of himself each time. But he did so without cease, and without fail.


Light, too, took pleasure in Darkness. In moments reserved for rest, they danced between the galaxies she created and chased each other around the planets. They played without end. She marveled at his power, both equal and opposite to hers and knew in the core of her being that they were two parts of a whole. So easy and natural was their friendship that their bond gradually blossomed into a mutual love. So dedicated was she to him, that Light gave Darkness a piece of herself which he planted into the very center of his being. And not long after, from their love came their first child. Death.


Eternity was delighted by this change at first. He was thrilled his two friends had found happiness and now had a family. But as young lovers are wont to do, Light and Darkness often abandoned Eternity and focused most of their attentions on their offspring and on one another. They began creating without Eternity, and his joy turned to ire– their exclusions turning him bitter. Angered by Darkness and Light’s desertion, he grew an envious heart. No longer in bright spirits, he walked away from the family and encased himself in an empty corner of the universe. Darkness took notice of Eternity’s grim mood and spoke to Light.


‘There is hatred brewing in our friend and I worry that he will not overcome it.’
To this, Light replied, “Perhaps he is lonely and wishes for a family of his own.’
Darkness thought for a moment, then answered, ‘Then let us find him someone to cure his sorrow.’


Thus, began their millennia long search. Eventually, Light and Darkness met Time. They introduced her to Eternity and were overjoyed to see that the pair were settling into an strong companionship. For a while, all was well. Time and Eternity shared an intense affair. She gave meaning to Eternity and he gave Time stability and permanence. But Time was a fickle lover and grew bored with Eternity. He, too, became tired of her impatience and constantly changing nature. Unsatisfied with forever and unwilling to share a family, Time left Eternity and he spiraled into another fit of anger and bitterness. Unaware of this sudden occurance, Light and Darkness paid a visit to their old friend to inform him of their second child. A child whom they named Life. Eternity, already in a untempered state of hatred, lashed out at the two and forced them away.


Feeling the stings of rejection and betrayal, Eternity thought to himself, ‘Why should they have love and not I? What gives Light and Darkness the right to a family, to happiness, while I have naught but this empty corner of the universe?’Hatred consumed him and he turned his hands towards Light’s creations and took away his gift. No longer wishing to sustain them, he watched them crumble one piece at a time. Stars burned out, planets collided into one another, and inch by inch, the universe rapidly wound itself into chaos.
Distraught by the end of her creations, Light confronted Eternity. When she saw that her pleading for compassion was in vain, she assailed him with all her strength. Angered by her audacity and still awash with pain, he fought back even harder. They fought with all the strength in their beings until Light grew so tired that Eternity, in a fit of impulsivity, consumed her and soon she was no more. Beside himself with regret and melancholy, Eternity fled and hid himself in a place no one would find him. As for Darkness, forlorn and overcome with a terrible grief, he settled into a great depression that no other being could rouse him from. All that was left of Light was the miniscule and imoveable particle of her being that darkness held inside. No longer able to care for himself nor his children, he fell into a deep sleep he wished to stay forever in.

Life stared at her brother, enraptured. “Where is Eternity now, brother?” She asked.
“Alas, that is a question I have no answer to,” Death said.
“What about the beings that Eternity did not destroy?”
“With absence of Light, the few remaining planets have frozen and stopped. The universe is at a stand still and Darkness consumes all.”
She sat up straighter. “So they are still present?”
“Yes, but they are frozen. Useless and enshrouded by Darkness. Even I cannot see them.”
Life’s brows furrowed. “Why is that when there is light far out into the distance?” She pointed to the tiny speck up ahead of them. “Is that not Light herself?”
Her brother sighed. “No, my young one. That is merely a tiny piece of Light that Darkness keeps within himself. A part of herself that was freely given. It is too meager to be useful. It would hardly warm the palm of your hand.”


Life jumped up, restless and unbounded by the pessimism that shadowed Death. “How can you be so sure? Yes, it is just a speck, but so much is started by a simple spark.”
Death sighed. “You are still too naive and your hope is a character of your youth.” He kissed the tip of Life’s nose and smiled down at her. “I am both gladdened and saddened by it. But enough of this. We can resume your infinite queries another time.”


But Life could not stop thinking about Light, Darkness, and Eternity. Hours after Death left her, she laid down staring at the faint light and pondering the lost lives frozen by Eternity. Unwilling to stay still and give up, she gathered her bravery and traversed across the universe. She traveled high and low, not stopping until she stood before the only light that glistened within the darkness. Up close, it was even smaller than she imagined, barely the size of a fist. But it was bright and when she touched it she felt a part of her come alive.


Enraptured by the tiny ball, she grasped it in her hand, turning it this way and that. In her core, she felt a small turning, as if the glowing ball were speaking to her, but so light was the tug that she almost missed it. Life thought deeply about the ways she could use such a modest specimen to enliven the movements of the universe, but nothing she came up with seemed adequate enough.


“Maybe Death was right,” she sighed. “How can I bring breath and vibrancy with something so infinitesimal?”
As if he has been awaiting her, Darkness awoke from his slumber and answered his child, “What is it you have come here for, Life?”
She answered without hesitation, “I wish to give back what was taken. To renew the hands of Light.”
“And do you know the cost of such a deed? Overtime, the meager specimens burrowing in the rocks will evolve. They will increase in size and intelligence– in love and hate. You will be responsible for all creation– for all their growth, their failures, successes, and actions.”
“If that is all it takes, I am willing.”
Darkness scoffed at her audacity, but reveled in her likeness to Light. “You are willing to leave the comfortable dwelling of your home and live in places you’ve never been? You are young. There is much in this universe that will terrify you. Much that you cannot see now, but once awakened instill fear even in me.”
“If there is fear, then there is something worth achieving.”


“Is that so? You may not know, but even when Light, Eternity, and I brought forth out creations, there were things even we could not control. Evil and terrifying beings.”
Seeing that she was undaunted, Darkness then asked her, “What of your beloved brother? He will be out here in vast expanse of space while you will be confined by the planets, asteroids,  the moons and their coming civilizations. You will not see him again.”
At this, Life paused. To give up the only being she knew and loved was like losing an integral part of herself. Was she willing to give up her teacher, her friend, her sole family? Death would grieve surely, if she said yes. But if she refused all that Light created would never again flourish.


Growing impatient by her silence, Darkness answered for her. “It is evident that you are not willing to give Death up. Thus, I am unwilling to give you the sole light in this universe.” Though his tone was deep and sure, disappointment was hidden beneath its depths.


Life, discouraged by Darkness’s refusal, bowed her head in sorrow.
“Ah. There is an answer you have not yet introduced to her, Darkness.” The voice came from behind her and Time revealed herself.
Darkness averted his gaze to her and replied, “What might that be, old friend?”
“There is one thing I am willing to offer Life and that is myself. In this universe, should there be a limit to the life she creates, there must be a collector for when they grow old, decrept and useless to the universe. For when their energies long to be recycled and transformed anew.”
Darkness then asked, “And what has brought you to this conclusion?
Time responded, “I grow tired of this darkness. With no movement of this universe there is no purpose for me.”
“And what of Eternity”
“Alas, he has left into some far and distant corner that we would do well never to visit. There, he houses beings craving their end. Poor creatues who can no longer sustain themselves but must go on living with their suffering.”
“And what have you to offer to my daughter? To life?
Time answered without pause. “Meaning.”
Life turned to Time and said, “What does this mean of Death?”


Behind the trio, came the gentle rustling of movement. As if summoned form the shadows, death appeared. “It means that just as you sow, I will reap,” came her brother’s reply. Knowing that she would be unable to deny her curiosity and would pursue the path of the light, Death had followed close behind Life on her journey. “If this is the path you have chosen for yourself, then I too will choose one for my own.”


Darkness smiled in the abyss and asked of Life, “Though your brother will be confined to the planets, moons, and all where civilization lies as well, know that you still will not be together. Where there is life, there cannot be death. I shall ask you once more. Are you willing to sacrifice for a world you do not know?”


Life gazed upon Death, who nodded slowly. Though his countenance was solem, his eyes reassured her. She turned to Darkness and said, “Yes.”
“Then take the light, my child and warm it within yourself. From your essence you hold all that is essential to this universe.

So Life did.

And from her grew a radiance so bright than even Darkness happily gave himself to bathe in its warmth. From her breath, all that once was frozen thawed and gave way to movement. Plants resurrected from the earth, amphibians then mammals began their evolutions. Humans took their shape and the various wonders of Life gave the universe a reason to dance once more.She would breath life into her creations and together with Time, they would watch as her beings lived then passed on into the hands of her brother.
Though she never saw Death again, she knew he was there. For each time she gifted her creations to him, he would weave their energies into stars so radiant that the entire world would look up in awe. And when the stars would burst or collide into one another, Life would take bits and pieces of their chaos and transform their energy into new beings– a flower, a bird circling the trees, or a conception in the womb. In the darkness, Life would join Time and together, they would sit around life and gaze up into the universe knowing the stars were made especially for her.