Jokes aside, the Philippines also has its fair share of conventionally horrific elements. If you pay a visit to any of the places below, there's a good chance you'll sense/see/hear something from the world beyond. Let's take a peek at some of them, shall we?
The Manila Film Center
Location: Atang Dela Rama, CCP Complex, Pasay City
Before the Manila Film Center, the Philippines didn't have an official venue for screenings of films from around the country. Hence, then-First Lady Imelda Marcos commissioned the Film Center, which was designed by architect Froilan Hong. Unfortunately, tragedy struck.
Around 3:00 A.M. on November 17, 1981, the building's ceiling scaffolding collapsed, burying 169 workers under several layers of rubble. In spite of the accident, Mrs. Marcos insisted that the first Manila Film Festival go on. And so, the festival managed to showcase 17 movies from around the world.
But the dead workers refused to rest in their graves. In 1990, an earthquake struck Metro Manila and parts of Luzon, forcing the authorities to leave the Manila Film Center to rot. Those who visit the place reported hearing screams of anguish, and the Center eventually inspired the horror movie "Tragic Theater."
Location: Intramuros, City of Manila
Fort Santiago is best known as the place where Dr. Jose Rizal spent his final days before his execution on December 30, 1896, though it's taken countless other prisoners' lives as well. It's no surprise, then, that within the fort's walls, the dead continue to seek justice to this day.
On its own, the façade of Fort Santiago is already quite forboding. But visit it during the night, with only a few street lamps to light your way, and you'll instantly understand why the fort is such a horrific place for both the living and the dead.
Hear the screams of the tortured prisoners echoing off the walls. Listen to the shouts of their Spanish overlords telling them to shut up (or keep talking, if they have valuable secrets to tell). Keep your eyes peeled in this place, lest a shadow take a turn in a corner near you and disappear forever.
Clark Air Base Hospital
Location: Clark Freeport Zone, Angeles City, Pampanga
At the height of World War II, Clark Air Base Hospital served as a refuge for wounded or dying American soldiers. That refuge would turn into a trap on December 24, 1941, when the Japanese mercilessly bombed the area, killing all who considered the place their home.
Needless to say, the souls of the bomb victims linger, perhaps still hoping that their war-induced injuries would be treated. The former hospital frightened the locals so much, that it was featured on shows like "I Wouldn't Go In There" and was named one of the most haunted places in the world by Ghost Hunters International.
If you dare visit this tragedy-worn place for yourself, know that while some spirits are harmless, others are much less receptive to visitors. People have reported objects being thrown at them by unseen forces, indicating that the former are not welcome at all. It's better to have a local or expert guide with you, so you'll stay safe while reflecting on the historical significance of this particular hospital.
Location: Dominican Hill, Baguio City
Considered one of the most haunted places in Baguio, the Diplomat Hotel didn't always have a fearsome reputation. In fact, it was originally a seminary-slash-vacation house for Dominican priests in the early 20th century.
But, as is usually the case for haunted dwellings in the Philippines, it became what it is now due to World War II. Refugees fleeing from Japanese soldiers hid themselves in the hotel, only to be found out and summarily executed. Today, visitors say that they can hear doors banging at night, even though the hotel doesn't have doors at all!
(Former) Location: Timog Avenue, Quezon City
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), you can no longer find this place today, as it's been demolished to make way for a branch of "GoodAh!!!," a local food chain. Still, the Ozone Disco fire remains as one of the most horrific tragedies in recent memory.
Ozone Disco was a relatively new place, opening only in 1991 under the ownership of Segio Orgaoow. Five years later, a fire broke out around 11:30 P.M. on March 18, 1996, causing the deaths of at least 162 people. To date, the Ozone Disco incident is considered the worst fire in Philippine history.
And, judging by the strength of the hauntings, the fire's victims agree. Prior to the disco's demolition, people claimed to see faint disco lights around the area, and sometimes the spirits of the dead dancing.
For now, we leave you with five of the creepiest places in the Philippines. Tomorrow, we'll cover the most haunted houses in the country, so stay tuned!