Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Unknown Origin Of The Mysterious Miniature Mummy Of San Pedro Mountain

Pedro, a well-preserved mummy of a tiny man found in the Mountains of San Pedro, Wyoming. 


During the summer of 1940, two miners came across something rarer than gold. While digging in the mountains of San Pedro, Carbon County, Wyoming, prospecting for gold, Cecil Mayne and Frank Carr blasted a boulder of rock to get through the vein of gold when they saw a small cave. The only way to get into the cave was to crawl on it, and when they got in, they saw a tiny man perfectly preserved mummy. An old man with his legs crossed and arms folded on his knees sitting on a small rack. With bulging eyes, flattened skull, and dark brown wrinkled skin remained intact, looking sad and unusual.

San Pedro Mummy
Image: Wikipedia

Its size is more intriguing; it does not exceed six and a half inches tall in its sitting position, just over 16 centimeters. And if straightened up, would hardly be taller than 36 centimeters.

The news spread quickly to the journalists about the mummified grown man flashed in the newspaper, the experts started to study the said mummy, and they called it Pedro (since it was found in San Pedro Mountain).

Speculations came in that Pedro’s photograph was fake; experts also said that it wasn’t an adult but a baby. The third group of critics said that Pedro was indeed a grown man since a baby doesn’t have a full set of teeth and ominously pointed fangs.

In addition to the claim that Pedro was an adult are the traces of meat in its stomach and its reason for death, allegedly caused by violence from the injuries into his limbs, skull, and spine. 

San Pedro Mummy
Image: Cody, Wyoming. Western History Collection, Casper College Western History Center

Another theory led to the Shoshone Indian Tribes’ legends, a mysterious race of the “tiny people” or “little spirits”, the Nimerigars, a local native American tribe who once lived in Wyoming. In some stories, these tiny people have healing powers or magical powers. In another version, they were a nasty tribe who attacks Native Americans with their poisoned arrow. It is not a surprising thought since nimerigars mean cannibals in Shoshone Language.

The story may sound odd, but in the 18th century, one British missionary in Coshocton, Ohio, saw an entire dwarf cemetery and said in a note, “I saw in Coshocton long rows of graves of little people. They were buried with their heads to the west, where the sun was hidden behind the mountains. And this gave rise to the theory that these people worshiped the sun.” 


San Pedro Mummy
Image: Wikipedia

Based on an article in the Casper Star-Tribune (a newspaper published in Casper, Wyoming) on July 7, 1979, the mummy’s discovery started a debate, whether real, a full-grown man, a baby, or one of the legendary “little man”. The mummy got into Meeteetse, Wyoming, in a local drug store where it served as an attraction before it was bought by Ivan T. Goodman (a Casper, Wyoming businessman), passed on to Leonard Wadler (a Newe York businessman) and its present location is unknown.

At present many people are looking for it, anthropologists and historians; according to Casper Star-Tribune, an offer of a $10,000 reward will be given to whoever finds the mummy.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Ireland’s Loftus Hall Where The Devil Resides Is For Sale

An enormous country house on the Hook peninsula, County Wexford, Ireland, built on the original Redmond Hall site, is for sale for its astonishing amount of $3 million. The Loftus Hall, the devil’s Mansion. It was built initially by Raymond Le Gros in 1170 and called it Household Castle, and in about 1350, the Redmond family replaced the original castle and named it The Hall or Redmond Hall. Until Henry Loftus, son of Nicholas Loftus, changed its name and called it the Loftus Hall. 

A could have been a dream house for anyone who had that dream of having a comfortable home, large garden, luxurious room, clean and cozy kitchen even a wide garage for some top of the line cars. A mansion, not only that you will buy the house but along with the owner itself, a demon.

Ireland's Loftus Hall,  Ireland Haunted House
Image: Unreserved

In the years 1650 or 1651, Alexander Redmond died in the Hall, after which his family was evicted. It was then when English Planter, the Loftus Family headed by Nicholas Loftus, acquired the Hall. In 1666 when Henry Loftus, son of Nicholas Loftus, decided to move into the Hall from Dungulph, it became their principal residence. And to establish the new name of the property, he had the inscription inscribed in the stone on the entrance piers at Portersgate “Henry Loftus of Loftus Hall Esq. 1680”.

Ireland's Loftus Hall,  Ireland Haunted House
Image: Cool Material

The Loftus Hall has 22 bedrooms, and a landscaped grounds was bought by the Quigley brothers in the year 2011, amounting to $800,000. Before that, the Hall was used as a school for girls and a hotel.

The said Mansion has been allegedly haunted since 1766.

To inherit the Mansion, in 1752, Nicholas Loftus instructed to adopt the Loftus Hall as its name. That was what Charles Tottenham did when he became the new Lord of the manor when he married Honorable Anne Loftus, daughter of the first Viscount Loftus. They have 6 children, 4 boys, and two girls-Elizabeth and Anne. When Honorable Anne died, Charles Tottenham married his cousin Jane Cliffe which they lived together with Anne in the Loftus Hall.

One stormy evening a ship unexpectedly arrived in Hook Peninsula, a young man was welcomed in the Mansion. Anne and the young man became close friends. One night the family and the mysterious man were in the game room. They were playing cards; in the game, each player received three cards except Anne, who was only dealt two by the man. When the butler serving the Tottenham family was about to question the man when Anne bent down to pick a card that she might have dropped. It was said that when Anne looked beneath the tale to look for her card, she saw that the man had a cloven foot.

Ireland's Loftus Hall,  Ireland Haunted House
Image: Insider

Ireland's Loftus Hall,  Ireland Haunted House
Image: The Times

And when Anne stood up and told that he had cloven foot, the man went through up the roof, leaving a large hole in the ceiling. Anne became mentally ill; it was believed that the family was ashamed of Anne, and so she was locked away in her favorite room, which was called the Tapestry Room. It was said that Anne refused food and drink and only sat with her knees on her chin looking out the window across the sea to where Dunmore East is today—waiting for her mysterious man to return until she died in the room in 1775.

It was said that when she died, they cannot straighten up her body, and so they buried her in that position and believed that she is the one who haunts the Loftus Hall.


According to the Quigley brothers through Irish Mirror, “Many people have seen things that have left them wondering.” And “Many have said there are certain areas of the Hall, its atmosphere, the temperature and the general feeling of unease.”

 

Would you still want to live in a Mansion, the Loftus Hall, perhaps?

Jesus’s First and Only Portrait Revealed

A historian and biblical researcher found Jesus’s alleged first and only portrait.

Fully bearded and long hair man, crowned with thorns, wearing a white tunic with a blue sash. It has been the image of Jesus that many of us have believed in for centuries and circulated in most Christian countries. But is it the real image of Jesus? Has anyone seen Jesus? Does anyone have his real portrait?

Jesus Portrait, Jesus Coin
Image: Youtube

There have been arguments as to how do Jesus looks. In medieval times there were depictions of Jesus’s image. The Shroud of Turin or the Holy Shroud (a length of linen cloth bearing the negative image of a man, allegedly used to wrap Jesus after the crucifixion), Image of Edessa and the Veil of Veronica or Sudarium also known as Vernicle and often called as simple Veronica (a Christian relic was consisting of a piece of cloth that is said to bear an image of the Holy Face of Jesus). However, these claims don’t have any academic nor scientific supports.

The conventional image of Jesus emerged around AD 300 but did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity and much later in the west. A historian and biblical researcher, Ralph Ellis, claims that he has found the first and only portrait of Jesus, a record that can change an important figure in Christianity’s history.

Ellis has been studying the Bible and events from the holy book of Christianity to historical facts for years. Jesus, being the most significant figure in western history, has been described, drawn, and depicted in many ways. But none of these images has been proven nor being supported by any record or scientific basis.

The portrait which Ellis is pertaining was the image of a man engraved into a bronze coin dating from the first century. It was also believed to be the face of King Manu, who ruled the Kingdom of Edessa in southeastern Turkey, in upper Mesopotamia. It depicts the image of Jesus Christ. According to Ellis, King Manu, and Jesus was the same person.

Jesus Portrait, Jesus Coin
Image: Express UK

To Christians, Jesus did exist, and to modern scholars; He was crucified by Pontius Pilate, for he feared that the so-called king of Jews would encourage violence. In the same manner how King Manu died as what Ellis believed. Like Jesus, King Manu also was treated as a threat to Romans because he supported the Jewish upheaval during the first Judeo-Roman war (year 66-73).

Ellis pointed out that in ancient accounts; both King Manu and Jesus were Nazarene Jews who lived in Jerusalem in the first century. Moreover, Ellis said that “the traditional tiara of the Edessan Monarchs was, as can be seen on the coins, a plaited crown of thorns.”

This claim was supported by some records based on the collected research of Ellis. He added and explained that “The fact that Jesus was the only convict said to have been forced to wear a crown of thorns as he was led to his execution, points to there being a link with this king. Jesus was also made to wear a purple cloak, a symbol of power, and could only be worn by Roman emperors. To disobey was punishable by Death. It is my theory that Jesus was forced to wear this crown in the biblical story because he, or more correctly, King Izas Manu, had attempted to overthrow the Romans. Both the crown and cloak were overtly political statements, warning against further uprisings against Rome.”

Jesus Portrait, Jesus Coin

As a support of this claim, some similarities were too remarkable to happen by chance. Jesus was confusingly involved in an unknown insurgency in the AD30s. Basing on Ellis’s research, Jesus shifts in his historical timeline from the AD30’s to the AD60’s, which makes Jesus the prominent figure in the Great Jewish-Roman War. Therefore Jesus can be a warrior king who challenged the power of the Roman Empire in A.D 68 and paid the price.

Contradicting the orthodox story of Jesus that has become central to the church for thousands of years, it is probable to draw a lot of criticism. But when regarded from a historical perspective, Jesus Emmanuel and Izas Manu being the same is a solid case.

The claims of Ralph Ellis has not been confirmed nor approved. And no living proof can support it as well. The idea of having a savior has played a vital role in everyone’s life, and it makes it easier to win in every battle.

Jesus Portrait, Jesus Coin

“And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold; I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”-Revelations 1:13-16.

Written by Kris De Vera Estrella, Lucis Philippines

Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Ancient Arabian Tale Of Jinn

Jinn is a supernatural creature in pre-Islamic Arabian and Islamic mythology. Jinn is said to appear in human and animal form and influencing people from either good or evil.

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Genie and the magic lamp who grants wishes. It even became more popular when a cartoon adaption was released. Does a Genie exist in a lamp or a bottle? Where did this creature come from? Jinn Anglicized term as Genie is an Arabic collective noun deriving from the semantic root JNN (Arabic: جَنّ / جُنّ‎, jann) which primary means to hide or to adapt, while in classical Arabic it may also appear as jānn جَانّ), with the singular being jinnī (جِنِّيّ). Some authors interpret the word as beings that are concealed from the senses.

Jinn, Genie
Image: Mythology

Some researchers relate the Arabic term jinn to the Latin genius; it resulted from syncretism during the Roman Empire’s reign. Many definitions, yet the origin of the word jinn, remain uncertain. It can be derived from Aramaic (a language originating in the ancient region of Syria) ginnaya (Classical Syriac: ܓܢܬܐ‎), which means tutelary deity (a spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation) or also a garden. Some claim that it is a Persian word in Avestic Jaini, which means a wicked spirit.

In the 18th century, it appeared first in the translation of the Thousand and One Nights from the French, owing benevolent intermediary spirits, in contrast to the wicked spirits like the demons and heavenly angels in literature. It was mentioned in the Quran (central religious text of Islam) approximately 29 times. Jinn is said to exist in the void between worlds from humans or any known world.

Although many Arabs had worshiped jinn during the Pre-Islamic Period, it is not regarded as immortals like the Gods. Regardless of their being mortal, jinn had played importance in everyday life of pre-Islamic Arabs than the Gods.

Jinn, Genie
Image: Green Prophet

Jinn can be a male or female, and they can appear in different forms. The descriptions of their appearance may vary as well. Some may have a black tail or hairy body and have the legs of a goat. Exceptionally tall, and their eyes are set vertically in their head. They can live anywhere, but they prefer deserts, ruins, even places of impurity like graveyards, hashish dens, garbage dumps, or bathrooms. And like any other humans, they can live in a house and like going to the marketplace. Jinn was thought into different shapes but feared in their invisible form. Like humans, the jinn can be judged on judgment day as well.

Excavated writing in a region near Palmyra (an ancient Semitic city in present-day Homs Governorate, Syria) called jinn the good and rewarding Gods. Although some archeological records show jinn worship, the Quran daunts such practice. Stating that Allah should be the one to be honored and worshipped

“Yet they associate the jinn1 with Allah ˹in worship˺, even though He created them, and they falsely attribute to Him sons2 and daughters3 out of ignorance. Glorified and Exalted is He above what they claim!”-Quran 6:100

Jinn, Genie
Image: Britannica

The jinn is known from the tales in Arabian Nights. It illustrates several types of jinn and spirits. According to this, spirits do exist alongside humans. They intermingle with one another as they interact with humans.

An Arab prose writer Al-Jahiz categorized jinn in his work Kitab-al-Hayawan. “If he is pure, clean, untouched by any defilement, being entirely good, he is an angel; if he is faithless, dishonest, hostile, wicked, he is a demon. If he succeeds in supporting an edifice, lifting a heavyweight, and listening to the doors of heaven, he is a marid(a type of Shaitan in Islamic traditions, the Arabic word meaning rebellious, applied to such supernatural beings) and if he more than this, he is an ifrit(a powerful type of demon in Islamic mythology, often associated with the underworld)”.

Based on some stories, jinn chose to disobey Allah to bow before Adam and said, “I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay” – Surah 7, Al-A’raf, Ayat 11-12 and insisted on his freewill. He was the Iblis (a frequently occurring in the Quran, commonly about Adam’s creation and the command to prostrate himself before him). And because of his defiance, he was banished from paradise and became the devil and became Shayāṭīn or Shaitan (evil spirits in Islamic belief). The Shaitan will allure humans and influence them to sin and lead them astray or exploit humans to be arrogant and have excessive pride (hubris).

Allah then sends in prophets to provide adequate counsel and guide the humans and the jinn back to the right path. Mohammed was one of those prophets. As illustrated in the Quran, Iblis gained Allah’s favor and granted command over angels’ orders through his devotion. Nevertheless, he still needs to obey and listen to Allah’s ruling even though he has attained a similar rank to that of angels.

“We made the evil ones friends only to those without faith” – Quran 7-27. In Christianity, Lucifer, an angel, became Satan. In Islam, Iblis, a jinn, became Shaitan.

Good or evil, we all should practice kindness to one another until the day of judgment or qiyamah, wherein God or Allah will give the final assessment to us. We should follow the right things about what we do. Wishes do come true with the right amount of faith and perseverance.

Written by Kris De Vera Estrella, Lucis Philippines

The Story Of Heidi

The modest and blissful life of a five-year-old orphan, Heidi raised in the Swiss Mountains of Switzerland.

With a great diversity of landscapes, panoramic scenery and magnificent nature, Switzerland makes the setting of the perennial classic story written by Johanna Spyri more enticing to the readers’ imagination alongside with its simple yet moving storyline.

Heidi, Johanna Spyri
Image: Character Design References

It’s about a five-year-old orphan girl named Heidi, who was raised by her Aunt Deta after her parent’s death. Deta then received a great opportunity to work in Frankfurt and she can no longer accommodate her niece. She then brought Heidi to her cranky and reclusive grandfather in the Swiss Mountain. With Heidi’s delightful innocence and beautiful heart, she was able to soften the old man’s emotion and accepted her happily.
Away from her Aunt’s oppression, Heidi’s life-force soars even more and quickly adapts the heavenly life in the mountain. She then meets her friend Peter, the young goatherd of her grandfather, alongside with his blind grandmother.

While Heidi was living the modest and blissful life, Deta came back to get her and sent to the Sesemann family to accompany the disabled girl Clara. With her cheerful and positive outlook, she gained Clara’s affection and became best friends. In there, Heidi made her stay productive and learn how to read with the help of Clara. But despite Heidi’s ability to adjust in the big city, she got homesick and became pale and thin. It was then decided that she needs to go back home and be reunited with her grandfather and the beautiful mountains. Heidi felt at peace.

Heidi, Johanna Spyri
Image: Penguin Books Australia

With the doctor’s advice, Clara went to visit Heidi and experience the magic of the mountains. All goes well until Peter got envious with the friendship between Clara and Heidi. Out of his bitterness, he pushed Clara’s wheelchair down the mountain. Mischief turned into something favorable. Clara found her courage to do what they thought impossible, and she was able to walk.

With the crisp air, refreshing sceneries, one who will visit the Mountains will genuinely experience the magical healing gift of nature.

It is the authenticity which makes the story of Heidi a masterpiece. Published in 1881, the lessons of the story are still relevant today. Deep love to one’s place is what Heidi wants to implore, to be responsible and appreciate its magnificence. It also upholds a good relationship between people no matter what differences, like her bond with Clara. In the end, it encourages goodness and harmony to one another.

Heidi, Johanna Spyri
Image: Mubi

Don’t let small things get into your way, don’t let the dark clouds ruin your day; just believe and have faith. There’s magic in the mountain.

It was in Heididorf above Maienfeld where Johanna Spyri got her inspiration in making the story of Heidi. Heidi’s fans can visit the small village to experience the blissful Swiss mountain life. In front of Heidi’s house awaits her two goats, “Schwänli” and “Bärli”. With is countryside feel of the living room, the storage room along with her bedroom still appears the same.

Not far from it, you can enjoy the superb mountain landscape of Heidi’s favorite place, her grandfather pasture. You can also go through the 6 km trail and learn about Heidi and her friend Peter from the 12 stations. It is where you can also appreciate the serenity of “Heidi-Erlebnisweg” (thematic trail) and “Heidialp” (alpine pasture).

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Written by Kris De Vera Estrella, Lucis Philippines

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Facts About The Incubus Demon

Incubus A Demon Maniac or Facts About The Incubus Demon

Incubus is a male demon who, according to mythological and legendary traditions, targets sleeping women and engage in sexual activity with them, and impregnates them.

The victim may wake during the intercourse or may not know what happened until their health deteriorates as she carries the parasitic baby of an Incubus demon. It was said that repeated sexual activity with an incubus or succubus might result in deterioration of mental state or even death.

Incubus Demon
Image: Emadion

There are Five spine-chilling facts about the incubus demon.

  1. The name incubus was derived from Late Latin incubo, which means a nightmare induced by such a demon, incubare to lie upon. It is because the Incubus demon attacks their prey at night.
  2. Incubus can be obsessed with a particular victim; thus, women have died due to exhaustion after being abused by the same Incubus repeatedly.
  3. Incubus demons have mentioned in fiction, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Wherein Gilgamesh's father, Lilu, seduces women in their sleep while Lilitu, a female demon, appears to men in their erotic dreams.
  4. Some traditions said that the incubus demon put its victim in a spell and could not move or ask for help.
  5. Study shows that 11% of people may experience a similar to an attack by an incubus demon; however, the term sleep paralysis is being used into such occurrence.

Succubus is the female equivalent of the Incubus demon. They appear in men's dreams and become pregnant by them. Some believe that Incubus demons and Succubus Demons are the same entities, having the ability to shift between male and female forms.

Incubus Demon
Image: Wikipedia

There are different versions of the story of the Incubus demon and Succubus demon around the world.

German folklore's version is called the Alp of Teutonic, a vampire-like creature that also visits its prey at night. It wears a cape called Tarnkappe, which is filled with magical powers.

African folklore, particularly in Zanzibar (semi-autonomous region of Tanzania) they have Popo Bawa, a shape-shifting evil spirit who follows its victim at night from the shadows. The way to stop it from repeatedly attacking is by telling others that you are being victimized by it.

Chilean folklore
, according to the traditional mythology of the Chiloé Province (one of the four provinces in the southern Chilean region of Los Lagos), has the Trauco, a hideous, deformed dwarf who calms nubile young women and unmarried women, seduces them, and impregnates them.

Hungarian folklore has its Lidérc can be a satanic lover, it flies at night, appears like a flaming light. It has the body of a human but leaves a footstep of a horse.
 
In South African folklore, the Tikoloshe a dwarf-like, hairy supernatural creature who does sexual acts to women and bites children's toes while asleep.

Norse folklore has a Mare, a demonic being who gives sleeping people nightmares by ridding in their chests.

Western Christianity, an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church Thomas Aquinas, said that "Still, if some are occasionally begotten from demons, it is not from the seed of such demons, nor their assumed bodies, but from the seed of men, taken for the purpose; as when the demon assumes first the form of a woman, and afterward of a man; so that they take the seed of other things for other generating purposes." He argued against the possibility of children is being perceived through intercourse with demons. 

Image: Pinterest

Are incubus demons and vampires the same?


Incubus demons and vampires are similar that to some, the legend of one has come from the legend of the other. The difference between the two is pretty apparent; a vampire is a zombie-like human, not a demonic being. A vampire is a dead human; an incubus demon is not human at all.

6 Methods Of Philippine Sorcery And Its Counter Spells

Black candles, needles, blood, pictures, a strand of hair, and voodoo dolls, are but few items that come into mind when the word sorcery is mentioned, along with some special incantation uttered while conducting it.

Sorcery was practiced a long time ago, in the form of faith healing. The negative notion about sorcery has been attached to it, such as black magic (supernatural powers or magic for evil and selfish purposes). It was said that sorcery is a category of belief and practices considered separate from both religion and science. Maleficium is the Latin term, which means witchcraft was performed to cause damage or injury, the resultant harm. 

Kulam, Barang, Mangkukulam, Sorcery
Image: delarchieve

People who are practicing or performing sorcery include various kinds of people with different cultural connotations and occupations that depend on the ethnic group they may be associated with. Sorcery in the Philippines is entirely different from the Western notion. 


But how did it become a spine chilling ritual? And how can it be performed?

Despite the fright, some people are into it and curious about how it works. In Philippine culture, the said practice is still taboo to many. Yet, it has slowly grown as it continues to give every interested imagination satisfaction and thrill to every spell a sorcerer utters.

Perhaps some are wondering what methods and techniques on how does a sorcerer perform the ritual are. And if there is a way to counter such a thing.


Before Casting The Spell

There are two factors on how a spell can be executed by a sorcerer; through an agent or tools and a victim’s representation. Magical tools come in different forms like small animals, insects like centipede or beetles, or objects like needles and pins. On the other hand, effigies, puppets, or the famous of all would be the voodoo dolls; these can also be used and linked to the victim by using nail clipping or strands of hair. Chants, spells, or symbols will activate it. The sorcerer will then harm the effigy that will cause corresponding harm to the victim or physically send the object into the victim’s body, ranging from pins, stones, or even insects.

Soil, fire, herbs, spices, oils, candles, kitchenware, and utensils are often used for charms, rituals, and potions. Ingredients in the said act themselves will determine the effects on their victims. These practices were documented as early as the 17th century by Francisco Combes, a Spanish priest who established Christian in the Philippines.

The factors, as mentioned earlier, will be divided into the following methods of sorcery. Barang, Hilo, and Usik are the ones that need to use agents, while the second part is representation-based sorcery Paktol, Sampal, and Laga. 

Kulam, Barang, Mangkukulam, Sorcery
Image: travisjthompso

Barang: The Killer Insects 

An ordinary human being does it with black magic. They tend to torture their victims and later kill them by infesting the body with insects. Barang is probably the most known method of sorcery in the Philippines. They are different from mangkukulam, who only causes pain or illness. 

  

In legends, the mambabarang (the sorcerer who performs the Barang) keeps their swarm of carnivorous beetles in a bamboo section and carefully feeding them with ginger root. When the sorcerer employs the dark art, a prayer ritual or incantation will be uttered and whispers instructions, and identifies the victim to the beetles. They will then be set free and seek out the victims and gain entry into the body through its orifice (nose, mouth, ears, anus, or even existing wounds). The resulting illnesses are supposedly resistant to conventional medical treatment and only reveal its true nature when it succumbs, and flying insects will come out from the body. The beetles could lay eggs inside the victim’s body that may cause a post mortem. Barang can be performed through a hair strand of the victim and tie to the bug or worm, which will serve as a medium. When the sorcerer pricks the bug, the victim will immediately feel the intended effect.

Kulam, Barang, Mangkukulam, Sorcery
Image: Blogger

Usik: Pin of Death 

Usik is a method of sorcery that is similar to Barang. They both use insects or animals. The difference will be the prayer or spell during the ritual; Usik uses smaller insects. One type would be the Usik Daginut; it results in more excruciating agony to the victim as it is summoned to live inside the hair follicles or skin pores. Other versions of it use tiny sharp objects entering the victim’s body that will cause intense lacerations and terrible pain in the vital organs. The items might be a needle, pins, grains of sand, or broken glass pieces. 

Kulam, Barang, Mangkukulam, Sorcery
Image: Blogger

Hilo: Poison Magic


Hilo is a Cebuano term that means poison. It is a method of sorcery that uses poison on its victim.

The sorcerer needs to build first an improvised altar of branches or stones in an enchanted or secret place. Blades should be arranged in a similar appearance to a bagakay tree (a bamboo species native to the Philippines). The sorcerer will then summon the spirits through prayer and offerings to send a snake to the altar. 

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The snake will appear, gliding on the blades leaving its blood and poison in it. It will be collected by the sorcerer and mixed with a potion from a poisonous plant. The finished concoction can be used in different ways. It can be put into the victim’s drink or food or poured into the sorcerer’s hands where they can introduce it to their victim’s body by a simple touch.

The poison can be used indirectly on the victim by burying it in the ground where the target usually walks. After stepping on it, the poison will then enter the body and cause bloody discharge.

Hilo is a sorcery method that requires a high price to acquire but will give a guaranteed result. It is said to be pricey because before using elsewhere, it needs to be used first in any people living in the consignee’s house, such as their husbands/wives or children.

Kulam, Barang, Mangkukulam, Sorcery
Image: The Moonlight Shop

 Paktol: Doll Magic

Paktol is a sorcery method that uses dolls as a depiction of the victim.

The first step in doing this method is by placing a doll with a piece of paper pasted on it. Written in the paper is the name of the target. While mentioning the name, the sorcerer will utter the words, “now you will suffer for what you have done to me.” After that, the sorcerer will recite the Apostle’s Creed; when they reach the part that tells about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to the cross, they will start inserting needles into the doll corresponding to the body parts of the victim. As long as the needle remains, the victim will feel the pain. 

  
Another way to perform Paktol is to use a skull from a person who is yet to be baptized. The ritual should be done on a Friday at noon or eight o’clock in the evening. The sorcerer will then give an offering to a specific spirit to help them in the ritual; it was said that the life-force of the unbaptized skull is the one who will plague the victim. The sorcerer should take seven leaves from the following: mangungkoy, kanomay, and balanti. The leaves should be placed in the left, right, and backside of the skull, a paper with the name of the target is placed in front of the skull. The leaves and the paper are all tied up in the skull using a nito vine or black cloth with three wedges inserted between the cloth and the skull. Then the sorcerer will make a rod out of the mentioned tree.

After that, the ritual is performed to summon the spirit and kill the person with a name written on the paper in front of the skull and tap the wedge in the skull. A chant will be repeatedly uttered while tapping the wedges. “Now you are not a living person. You are among the dead, and I have a command for you. Go to the person written there (pointing the piece of paper using the branch) and kill him.”

The sorcerer can repeat this after two weeks; the victim then will die due to severe headaches. Seven taps on the wedges should be done, and if one of the black cloth snaps, the victim will die immediately. 

Kulam, Barang, Mangkukulam, Sorcery
Image: New York Post

 
Laga: Boiling Magic

This method requires the sorcerer to boil herbs, animal essence, and any traces, body excrement/parts, or any possessions of the victim, which shouldn’t be touched by the sorcerer. The said objects should be bounded in the leaves of mangungkong, balanti, and kanomay trees. The sorcerer should also make a makeshift tripod from the mentioned trees after calling the spirits’ help. At the same time, a pot is placed atop of the tripod containing the victim’s wrapped items and a noxious poison called Igdalaut, prepared during Good Friday at 3 in the afternoon. The ritual should be done Friday at noon or 8 in the evening.

Once all the ingredients are placed in the pot, it needs to be covered by the leaves from the three trees and should be tied using nito vine seven times around the pot. The trees mentioned above will be used to fuel the fire to boil the ingredients, along with hagnonoy, lagundi, and alipata sala. The sorcerer will lit up the branches of the tree to boiling the potion. All branch needs to be consumed; the victim will then endure body swelling, high fever, and even heart attack. 

Kulam, Barang, Mangkukulam, Sorcery
Image: Blogger

Sampal: The Sea Creature Magic

Similar to the method paktol, Sampal needs to gather body fluids or parts of the victim as depiction, any traces, and a small sea creature called Bahagbahag should be included. To find bahagbahag, one needs to use the hairs of a dead woman. The dead woman’s hair needs to be tied near the sea creature’s tail and will be placed in a basin. The sorcerer needs to make a gripper made out of the branches of mangungkong, balanti, and kanomay to hold the representation of the victim that is wrapped in leaves. Afterward, the representation needs to be inserted inside the Bahagbahag through its mouth. The mouth of Bahagbahag will be tied as well using the same hair of the dead woman. It will then be put back into the sea while tied to a rock or stick to keep it in place.

This method’s effect includes enlargement of the stomach during high tide with unbearable stomach pain until the victim’s body will burst. The sorcerer can just put the Bahagbahag into the shore and wait for it to die; it will also speed up the victim’s death. 

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In every problem, there is a solution, in the same manner, that there are ways to fight back sorcery and cure the victim with the methods mentioned. Not only that the victim can be healed, but the sorcery may bounce back to the sorcerer himself. It is called Balisug.

One way to counter the sorcery is by using the Balikbalik tree’s shavings around the victim’s body. The shavings will then be divided into two piles, both wrapped with leaves of the Badyang plant. One will be buried under the branch of mangungkong, balanti, and kanomay and put fire on top. And the other pile will be carried to the sea; the carrier of the stack needs to make sure not to meet anyone along the way. The carrier needs to go into the sea where water meets its chin. On that spot, the pile needs to be buried in the sand. If conducted successfully, the curse or sorcery will return to the sorcerer.

The way to counter the Barang is through a shaman or a mananamba (healer). The mananambal will take an insect from the body of the victim. Wrap using a black cloth and place in a pot with sap from the trees of badyang, alipata, gusoguso, and sorosoro, including seven pieces of balikbalik tree. Note that fluid must be taken from the left side of the plants and trees. The pot should be covered using gabi plant leaves and put into boil using the branches of balikbalik, mangungkong, kamonay, and balanti as fuel. If made successfully, the curse or sorcery will return to the sorcerer.

For the method Usikan, a specific counter that can be used is called Dapo. It is done using boiled coconut oil mixed with 21 slices of a plant called Badiang; it needs to be wrapped in black cloth and rubbed into the affected area of the victim’s body while uttering an incantation. The objects used in Usikan can be seen inside the black cloth when opened.

Sorcery can’t be explained by science. It has been around since the earliest people on Earth. It was said to be documented through carvings in the walls of a cave. Along with the fast-changing evolution of the world, sorcery has also evolved. It has been developed to intricate systematic knowledge and practice of the supernatural.

In the Philippines, sorcery also takes the role of a healer. Although sorcery frightens most people who have never encountered such a thing, sorcery can be abused and used in wrongdoings. That makes sorcery frightening and deadly sometimes. Sorcery can also be a solution out of desperation to someone who has been hurt.

Sorcery is a skill that can be passed on to generations, it can be terrifying, but it can be a solution. It needs to be studied and observe safely, for it is a dangerous yet enticing practice.

The Tales of Biangonan: Backward Footed Creatures

The Philippines is known for its rich culture, traditions, and beliefs and has an array of mythology and folklore stories from different tribes. The Batak Tribe of the northeastern portion of Palawan has this kind of tale; they called it the Biangonan. Biangonans are small, human-like creature with black skin, and have kinky dark hair and feet pointing backward. Biangonans are believed to be seen climbing through the tallest trees. It was said that it could transform into a human or pig, its way to sneak into a village and hunt for its victim. Biangonans are believed to eat pigs or even human meat. They devour every part of their prey but leave the jaw bone and hang in on a tree.

Biangonan, Urban Legend
Image: Aswang Project

Believed to be the oldest indigenous tribe in the Philippines, Batak is an old Cuyunon term, which means “mountain people” who were once nomadic. The most threatened among ethnic groups found their haven in the province of Palawan’s northeastern portion. Batak has also inhibited series of river valleys along the coastline of today’s Puerto Princesa City since ancient times.

Although it is a small tribe, it has an amusing culture and unique way of living, along with its religious creeds and beliefs, in which Biangonan is one of those.

Batak Tribe in Kalakwasan, Sitio Tanabag, Palawan, with less than 300 people, claimed that their Babaylan (pre-colonial Philippine tradition of female mystical healers whose spiritual connectedness was a source of political and social power) went missing for weeks. Until there was a jaw bone found hanging on a tree, it was then believed that Biangonan was the one who took and killed their Babaylan. They then made large fires for days that served as their security to drive away from the Biangonan and not kill anyone.
Biangonan, Urban Legend
Image: Aswang Project

According to the Batak people, they know if a Biangonan is near the area if they smell a rotting foul odor. Like any other mythological creature, Biangonan can be driven away by fire.

Jose A. Samson wrote an article entitled “The Bataks of Sumurod and Kalakuasan” which stated that Batak believed that Biangonans are small people possessed of talons who hide in rocks and trees. Before they attack their victims, they utter long deafening screeches that weakens and paralyzes them, and then they will tear and claw the throat of their helpless victim.

These horrifying tales were passed from one generation to another; it was not intended only to frighten the people who listen or read through it and show the country’s strong preservation of culture.

Tales of Aswang (shapeshifting evil spirits), Manananggal (a vampire-like mythical creature), Tikbalang (Half-human, half-horse creature), Tiyanak (a vampiric form of a beast that takes a form of a baby), and more, are some of the commonly known stories to most Filipinos.

Parents used to tell these stories to summon their children to have their afternoon nap, and our grandparents also told these stories to their grandchildren or friends who were playing at night during the full moon, like the tale of Biangonan.

Long as these stories exist and are passed through written or word of mouth, it will remind us about the chilling stories and hark back to the story and the Batak Tribe’s culture. That one exists.

 Written by Kris De Vera Estrella, Lucis Philippines

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Methuselah: The Bible’s Longest Living Figure Who Lived 969 Years

 Methuselah is a Biblical figure who was said to have lived for 969 years. He is also known as the “man of the javelin” or “death of sword,” Methuselah, an eighth biblical antediluvian patriarch and a figure in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The man who has lived 969 years and has lived the longest of all the Bible figures.

Image: Opera

The statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live based on the year of birth, current age, and some demographic factors, including gender, is called life expectancy. 

Jeanne Louise Calment, a French supercentenarian from Arles, the oldest human who has a well-documented lifespan, claimed to have lived to age 122 years, 164 days, from February 21, 1875, August 4, 1997. Long enough to witness the grandeur of life and its trials as well. But in some documents, there is a Biblical character who was said to have lived for 969 years. His name, Methuselah. 

As documented, based on the Book of Genesis, he was the son of Enoch (a Biblical figure before Noah’s flood the son of Jared), father of Lamech (a patriarch in the genealogies of Adam), and the grandfather of Noah (the tenth and the last of the pre-flood patriarchs). He was also mentioned in genealogies in 1st Chronicles and the Gospel of Luke. 

Aside from Methuselah, some Biblical characters have lived long as well; they are Adam lived to be 930 years old, Adam’s son Seth lived 912 years, Seth’s son Enosh (or Enos) lived to be 905 years old, Methuselah’s grandfather Jered lived to be 962 years old, Methuselah’s grandson Noah lived to be 950 years old. 

Image: Unsplash/Artlasovsky

Where is Methuselah found in the Bible?

Methuselah can be found in Genesis 5:21-27; he was also mentioned in the Hebrew Bible outside of Genesis 1 Chronicle 1:3, which was cited in a genealogy of Saul (the first King of the United Kingdom of Israel which took place in the late 11th century BCE). Methuselah was also stated once in the New Testament when the Gospel of Luke traces Jesus Christ’s lineage back to Adam in Luke 3:23-38.

Based on the Bible, Methuselah allegedly died during the flood, but no record nor scriptures can identify the cause of his death; not even the Bible has mentioned.

Though from Tanakh chapters 6-9 from the Book of Genesis, the Genesis flood narrative was a flood myth. It was said that God have seen the earth was corrupted and filled with violence, and so He instructed Noah to build an arc wherein he, his sons, and their wives, along with male and female of all living creatures, would be saved from the waters.

According to geology and paleontology’s physical findings, the global flood mentioned in the Bible was inconsistent. Therefore it may or may not support the death of Methuselah.

As cited from the Catholic Encyclopedia, the name Methuselah has become a synonym for longevity; thus, the oldest tree in the White Mountains of eastern California, a bristlecone pine that is allegedly 4769 years old as of 2019, was named after Methuselah.

Some people would want to live long enough to do what they want to do and succeed in their lives. Enjoy the beauty of life and make a legacy that some may always remember. As the famous saying says, You Only Live Once (YOLO), so make it worth remembering by the people in the next generation and appreciate even the smallest thing that comes along.

The Common Colors and Meanings Of Aura

Have you ever felt any discomfort when someone gets physically close to you as if they touched you even they did not? Or that act of being near to our love ones or someone who motivates us, and we start to feel that comforting vibe, a physical impression of warmth and ease. That invisible something can be called our space, our bubble or energy field. And the spiritual term for it is called Aura, the unseen field of energy. 

The Common Colors and Meaning Of Aura
Image: Aura Aura

 All living things have Auras. It can typically spread three feet away from the body, depending on the person.

Try to rub your palms together; it will generate heat, then stop and slowly drift them apart. Pay attention to that energy you are feeling between them. The vibration, trembling and remaining heat is your Aura.

Someone who is well versed in Aural reading can see and identify the colors of it. It can show your real emotions and feelings if the color is clear and bright, then that is considered healthy, but if it is muddied, the person may be experiencing some emotional issues. 

Image: Amino

Here are the common color and meanings of Aura


Red

The color that is connected to your root chakra, it is sometimes hard to interpret since it can be positive or negative. It can mean a sense of worth and healthy pride, or it can also mean anger and anxiety. From a physical perspective, red Aura provides a picture of the heart and blood circulation.
  • Dark red indicates someone who is centred and grounded with a strong sense of self-preservation.
  • Muddy red can indicate anger.
  • Bright red is someone passionate, competitive, sensual and energetic.
  • Pink can be artistic or loving; this may not be the usual color of the person’s Aura, it is possible that it turned pink because the person fell in love or feeling love overpoweringly or can also indicate psychic ability.
  • Muddy pink shows deceit and emotional immaturity.

Orange

This color usually means that the person is full of vitality and energy or healthy. It also gives an understanding of what is going on with the person’s reproductive system.
  • Red-orange means confidence
  • Yellow-orange indicates that the person is intelligent, perfectionist and creative.
  • Muddy orange shows laziness or lack of ambition or the person may be emotionally clogged and unable to move forward.

Yellow

This color indicates a person who is full of life, optimistic and fun; it may also show that the person’s liver or spleen is malfunctioning.
  • Pastel yellow means spiritual awareness and optimism
  • Bright yellow shows the struggle for personal power.
  • Muddy Yellow indicates fatigue from doing so much all at once. 

Green

Healers and many teachers have green Aura; this is the color of love and healing if a person has a green Aura, they tend to work to help the world in whatever way they can. It also provides information about the heart and the lungs.
  • Yellow-green indicates that a person is a good communicator.
  • Bright green means a natural healer
  • Muddy green shows jealousy, insecurity and has trouble taking responsibility for their actions.

Blue

A person who has blue Aura is sensitive, intuitive, calm and compassionate. This color of Aura also indicates about the state of the thyroid.
  • Turquoise a powerful healer mainly in emotional and mental health.
  • Light blue peaceful and truthful
  • Bright blue spiritual intuitive, a person with this Aura can read others’ thoughts and future.
  • Muddy blue Deceitful, not out of hatred but instead out of fear

Purple

People with this color of Aura are profoundly spiritual and has extraordinary gifts. It may also indicate that something is going on with the nervous system.

Indigo indicates a daydreamer in the best possible way. A person who has this color of Aura can make the world the way they want it to be.
  • Violet wise and psychically powerful.
  • Lavender creative and imaginative.
  • Muddy violet the psychic gift of this person is blocked by some internal force.

Silver 

A color of Aura that indicates abundance may it be spiritually or monetarily. However, a grey Aura tells that a person is filled with fear to the extent of physical suffering.


Gold

A person with gold Aura is in direct communication with the Divine. Many great leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi and Dalai Lama have gold Auras.


Black

People who have black Aura are pulling all energy towards themselves, like a black hole. These people are physically or psychically wounded and trying to heal themselves, however ineffective.


White

This color of Aura indicates purity and newness. Celestial entities are said to have white Auras. An enlightened person may have white Aura along with children.

So what do you think is the color of your Aura based on these Aura colors mentioned?

England’s Chilling Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic

Rare vinyl records, old shoes, coins, comic books, or anything that held great value and were able to survive over the years, these are just a few examples of collections one can possess, odd for some, a treasure for others. But have you heard of witchcraft artifacts collection?

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Image: Flickr
Crystal balls, flying broomsticks, Ouija board, a book of spells, tarot cards, wands, black candles and other peculiar magic and witchcraft memorabilia, all of these can be seen in England, The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.

It all started when a schoolmate who seemingly a witch who taught the young Cecil Williamson on how to cast a spell. Magic was introduced to him and the fascinating world of witchcraft.

Located in Boscastle, Cornwall near the port right beside the National Trust Visitor Center, southwest England, a modest yet mysterious Museum of Witchcraft and Magic formerly known as Museum of Witchcraft was built By Cecil Williamson in the year 1951. It was initially located in Castletown, Isle of Man before it settled in Boscastle in 1960.

The cozy cottage looking exhibition hall displays folk magic (religious dimension and syncretism), ceremonial magic (long elaborated and complex rituals), freemasonry (fraternity organization), and Wicca (pagan witchcraft). It also holds the world’s largest and oldest collection of witchcraft-related artifacts, with over 3000 and 7,000 books that contain information about the history of magic and the realm of the occult.

“Three miles away from this spot you can find this pre-historic maze stone carved into a living rock face, proof that from ancient times man and his magic making with the world of spirit were active in this area. The centuries have passed and times have changed and yet all around us in this quiet corner of England there is a strange feeling that we are not alone and that the shades of persons passed on and over into the world of spirit are very close. That is why this Museum of Witchcraft is located here. One is standing on the edge of the beyond.” –Cecil Williamson

When asked why the museum exists, the owner and founder of one of the most quirky shops in the world said those words. It was also said that the current location of the museum was not chosen by chance. It seemed that it is where the museum should be.

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Image: Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

After the devastating flash flood happened in Boscastle in 2004, that caused damage in the museum, Simon Costin felt the connection. “I had known of the museum for many years, but it had always seemed too remote reach,” said Costin. He is now the current director and has supervised the museum since 2013 when then-owner Graham King got in touch with him.

He was then the go-between with the Geology Museum in London which was decommissioning old mahogany display cases and arranged to be donated in the museum. He was then asked by Graham King if he likes to be the new curator of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic back in 2012, on October 31, 2013 he signed the documents, an uncannily date.

Costin has been a voracious reader ever since he was a child, particularly on some mysterious stories. With his parents’ copy of Rider’s Digest, folklore, myths, and legends of Britain, he has been able to pour his passion for magic and witchcraft.

Does Williamson own all those artifacts? Where did he get all of those?

The collections in the museum are growing. People would ask who owns those pieces. Most of the displays owned by the founder Cecil Williamson that he has been able to collect those remarkable sets for the past years. Some of the artifacts came from donations from magical practitioners, and others are from auction websites. The museum is concentrating mostly on magical pieces, and litmus testing is being conducted as part of the establishing.

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Image: Pinterest

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Image: Pinterest

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Image: Trip Advisor

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Image: Boutique Retreats

The museum also had some involvement in the British Library’s exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic. It has shown some interesting magical artifacts such as, 20th century exploded cauldron, serpentine-shaped wand, magical mirror that was used to practice prediction, black moon crystal ball and many more.

People who visit the museum can see some creepy yet intriguing relics like “Harry”. A preserved human head which thought to be medieval remains, it also went under forensic investigation and was found out to be part of an Egyptian Mummy and turns out to be a woman, “Harriet”.

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Image: Wikipedia

With the array of unbelievable pieces, the museum is in search of a toadstone ring, fossilized teeth of Lepidotes, an extinct species fish from the Jurassic period (Toarcian age) and Early Cretaceous. “Toadstone rings were first reported in the 14th century and were reproduced to the 18th. They’re quite hard to come by, so are at the top of our list!” said Costin. It was said to be a cure to poison; toadstone ring is also known as Bufonite.

In 1996, Williamson suffered from an illness and was forced to sell the museum to his fellow pagan Graham King. Under his guidance, the museum grew even more and received international fame and was even acknowledged as the largest independent museum in the United Kingdom.

INSIDE  Museum of Witchcraft and Magic:

Williamson envisioned in bringing the world of magic closer to the masses and detaching on misconceptions and misinformation about the occult and the practice of witchcraft that is why The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is there to embrace the magical peculiarity in everyone.

Written by Kris De Vera Estrella, Lucis Philippines

Manila Film Center And The Abandoned Souls

The mystery behind the Manila Film Center and the buried souls lies beneath the grand mausoleum.

Named after the fifth president of the Republic of the Philippines Manuel Roxas, Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City is known for its scenic view, beautiful sunset in the stretch of coconut trees. Famous for its commercial buildings, hotels, restaurants, and park, it is also where the grandiose Manila Film Center was constructed at the southwest end of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. A place full of glory, fame and wealth, turned into mystery, curse, and tragedy.

Manila Film Center Ghost

Built under the Marcos regime in 1981, designed by architect Froilan Hong, and conceptualized by then senior technology officer at the Technical Resource Center Ramon M. Ignacio, the lavish Manila Film Center started its construction. It was said to host the first-ever Manila International Film Festival in the following year, the Asian version of the Cannes Film Festival in France.

Formed after the astonishing Parthenon in Athens, Greece, with a $25 million budget, it was indeed a beyond belief project of the first lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos.

Known for her high-class taste, she wants to make Manila the cultural center of the east and an International market for films.

Construction of the said epitome of culture and arts of the Philippines started with a very tight time table, no expense was spared to meet the deadline. Started in October 1981, the Manila Film Center needs to be done in less than three months to host the MIFF on January 18-29, 1982. There was a striking plan for the building. A 360-degree theater to showcase the Philippines' historical and tourism scenes, film laboratory and film archive, and even asked for the UNESCO's assistance for some consultations.

Manila Film Center, Amazing Show
Image: Amy's Crypt

With over 4000 laborers who worked three shifts within 24 hours, work done in six weeks was made possible in 3 days, but it took its toll on them-resulting in an unsafe work practice due to rush, one of the most tragic accidents happened.

On November 17, 1981, at around 3:00 AM, scaffolding collapsed, causing hundreds of casualties. Wounded workers scattered, some fell from the platform pierced with metals, and others were buried in the debris; while some were caught into the quick-drying cement from the waist down, it was chaos that resulted with 169 deaths.

A security alert was enforced to cover the area; neither ambulance nor rescuers could enter the building during the critical hours. After 10 hours, press and authorized rescuers were allowed to get inside the building. There were rumors that some volunteers sang Christmas songs to those laborers that were buried from waist down to keep them sane before they can get them but eventually died after they were rescued.

Manila Film Center Tragedy
Image: Were Proofs

Was there a cover-up? Why did it take that long?

Because of the deadline they need to meet, and with the news blackout enacted by the martial law, no accurate records of the incident were given. Betty Benitez the then project supervisor, made a disturbing decision. She ordered to have the dead bodies covered in an extra layer of cement and proceed in the construction without a glitch and sealed the Manila Film Center infamy. Months later, Benitez died in a car accident and people who have visited the center said that they saw the souls of the men buried were carrying Benitez's soul.

Amidst everything, the Manila Film Center opened as scheduled, hosting the first Manila International Film Festival in January 1982. With more than 300 guests including Priscilla Presley, American businesswoman married to Elvis Presley, Brooke Shields who was only 16 years old then and George Hamilton. It was said to be an event full of glamour and lavishness.

Although the festival pushed through, the theater was still under construction and laborers were still working up to the last minute. Wet cement under fabulous red carpet, some guests wearing long gowns got some paint in their hemlines and walked on top of the workers' entombed dead body.

Years after, the Manila Film Center became the Department of Foreign Affairs office were some employees claimed to have some spine-chilling experiences. Rituals were casts in the hope that it will drive away the spirits, but it remains haunted. Eerie feeling emanates the building. Mysterious things happen, figures of men are being seen, typewriter sound as if someone is working late, flushing toilets, sobs asking for help and cries of those suffering untamed souls.

Manila Film Center
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The building was abandoned after the 1990 earthquake that hit Manila and the rest of Luzon. And in 2001, the Manila Film Center went under rehabilitation, costing over $15 million. In the same year, the building was used by the Amazing Philippines Theater and produced the Amazing Show open to the public with transgender performers until their lease expired in 2009.

In 2013 a three-hour fire damaged the film center, with no casualties but left the film center an immense amount of structural costs.

After almost four decades, many things had happened, yet the mystery in the Manila Film Center tragedy remains unsolved. For some, it is a mark when the Filipino Films was at its glory. For others, it is a symbol of aristocracy or bigotry? Long as it is there, the mystery of the grand mausoleum lives.

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Written by Kris De Vera Estrella, Lucis Philippines


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