Two of My Favorite Filipino Horror Stories

Photo from Google Images

I can’t stomach most horror movies and avoid watching them at all costs but I LOVE reading scary stories. Besides, the truth is always stranger and way scarier than fiction, am I right? So since it’s Halloween, I’m sharing some of my favorite Filipino ghost stories with you. The first one is about Clarita Villanueva, who is considered one of the most legit cases of demonic possession in modern history. The second one is about Teresita Basa’s mysterious murder that took place in Chicago.

The Exorcism of Clarita Villanueva

Clarita Villanueva, a 17-year-old Filipina girl, had known a life of tragedy. She did not remember her father. She did not know if he had died or had deserted her mother. Her mother was a fortune teller by vocation. The girl was brought up watching her mother holding seances, communicating with the dead, and using clairvoyance to predict to people what they could expect in the future. Her mother took money from people for her services, and then laughed at them behind their backs. To her it was all just a game, a means of making a living by duping unsuspecting and gullible people.

When Clarita was 12 years old, her mother died. Since she did not have any immediate family to take her in and care for her, she turned to prostitution for survival. At 18, she moved to Manila with her boyfriend but found out that he was already married so she began working as an exotic dancer. The big city was a hiding place, a center of money and vice for her business.

But one morning at 2 a.m. on the streets of downtown Manila, Clarita was picked up by the police who suspected her of being a vagrant of homeless. The policeman called for a vehicle and Clarita was taken to the ancient Bilibid Prison, used as the city jail. Bilibid has been a prison for over 300 years. It was built by the Spanish and used by the Americans, the Filipinos, and the Japanese as a prison and a place of torment.

Two days after Clarita was incarcerated, there struck the strangest phenomenon to ever hit Bilibid Prison in its 300-year history. This young woman was bitten severely on her body by unseen and unknown alien entities. She claimed there were two of them — a huge monster-like spirit and a smaller one. They sunk their fangs and teeth deep into her flesh making deep indentations. They would bite her neck, back, legs and arms simultaneously. Blood flowed, mostly underneath her skin, from the bites. The 18 year old girl screamed in horror and fainted.

The guards and medics heard the commotion and came running to the women’s division of the prison. The other female inmates pointed to the writhing, tormented girl on a cot.

The girl was taken to the prison hospital for observation and treatment where all the doctors declared that they had never seen anything like it.

These strange demonic bitings began to occur daily, baffling all who saw it. Dr. Mariano Lara, the chief medical examiner at the prison, appealed for help through the media and permitted many to view the strange phenomenon. Filipino, Chinese and American doctors, university professors, and other professionals were called in to analyze the situation.

After three awful weeks of this torture, a radio reporter came to Bilibid and taped a session while the doctors were violently struggling with Clarita. The reporter immediately released his story on a local radio station, just after the 10 o’clock news.

The news media soon caught wind of the occurrence and sent more reporters out to investigate. The newspapers, radio stations and magazines found it their kind of story and began to publicize it. Even the cartoonists were soon drawing pictures of the entities from Clarita’s descriptions, as the bitings continued day by day. The UPI and other world news services began to report the phenomenon worldwide.

Original caption: Writhing under a “vampire” attack. Clarita Villanueva, 18, of Manila, Philippines, is watched anxiously by the city’s mayor (with glasses) as she is held by a police officer, doctor and a nurse. Source: The Barrier Miner, May 28, 1953.

This incident made the frontpage of many newspapers — Switzerland, France, Germany, England, Canada, even the United States.

One doctor accused the girl of putting on an act in order only to get publicity. Clarita gazed at the doctor and said: “You will die.” He didn’t feel anything at the moment, but the following day the doctor expired without even getting sick. He simply died. Fear struck the city when that news was spread about. The girl was not only a harlot, they said, she was also a witch who could speak curses upon human beings and they would die.

The chief jailer had a confrontation with the girl. He had kicked her for something she had done wrong while rebelling against him. Clarita looked at the jailer in cold, inhuman hate and said: ‘You will die!’ Within four days the man was dead and buried, the second person to fall victim to her curse.

Dr. Lara and his medical staff were deeply concerned. They had a prisoner who certainly was not crazy, but who was being wildly attacked by unseen entities and being bitten deeply on all parts of her body by creatures no none else could see. They were afraid that this thing would kill them as it had the two others who dared cross it. It was their responsibility to do something for the girl, yet they had no earthly idea what to do about the situation. It was beyond their medical knowledge.

Who were these alien entities? The large one, Clarita said, was a monster in size. He was black and very hairy. He had fangs that came down on each side of his mouth, plus a set of buck-teeth all the way around. The doctors verified her description by the teeth marks on her body: buck-teeth solid, all the way around the bite, rather than sharp teeth in the front.

The smaller entity was almost like a dwarf. He would climb up her body to bite her upper torso. Both of these spirits liked to bite her where there was a lot of flesh, like the back of her leg, the back of her neck, the fleshy part of her upper arms. They would bite deep into her, leaving ugly, painful bruises.

Dr. Lara and his assistants called in all sort of observers, medical doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists and professors from the Far East University and the University of Santo Tomas. They claimed they saw bite marks appear out of nowhere on Clarita’s arms. Dr. Lara also described the bite marks as otherworldly because they were too large and round (a human bite is elliptical) and seemed to have been made by molars. No one had ever witnessed such strange and demonic behavior. Nor did they know any solution to the problem. They all wondered who would be the next victim of her curse.

Dr. Lara and his staff sent out word globally: ‘Come and help us. Please help us’. In the end, hopelessness urged them to finally resort to exorcism.

Reverend Lester Sumrall heeded the call. “Because I was a foreigner in the Philippines, I went to the mayor’s office and asked permission to see Clarita. He granted me his permission but warned me that several people had been injured by the girl and that two had been cursed and were dead. I went with the understanding that I would not sue the government if I was hurt, and that I would not complain if mistreated. When I arrived at the prison, the head doctor of six physicians, Dr. Lara, was skeptical of this foreign minister, but he finally permitted me to see the girl.”

Clarita was brought into a special room where the Reverend was waiting with a large group of news reporters, foreign members of the press, university professors, and medical doctors, who had been invited by Dr. Lara.

As Clarita was being led into the room, she looked at them and said nothing, but when she saw Reverend Sumrall, she screamed violently: ‘I hate you!’

“That was the beginning of the confrontation. There was a raging battle with the girl blaspheming God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Her eyes were burning coals of fire and full of hate. I commanded the evil spirit to loose her. After a three-day confrontation with the devil in her, the miracle of God came upon her. She relaxed, smiled, and said: ‘He’s gone’ indicating that “the thing” went out the window.

From: Lester Sumrall, Alien Entities. A look behind the door to the spirit realm, printed in the USA by Whitaker House (PA), 1995, pages 131–138

Did Teresita Basa Come Back From The Dead To Solve Her Own Murder?

Left: Teresita Basa, murdered on February 21, 1977. Right: Allen Showery plead guilty to Teresita’s murder. Source: chicagonow.com

On the night of February 21, 1977, firefighters responded to a call and arrived at a Chicago apartment to put out a fire. They responded that the fire was confined to the Room №15B of a certain Teresita Basa. When they went inside to the room and got the fire under control, they were welcomes by a terrifying discovery: the burned, unclothed body of Teresita Basa covered up by a mattress. Investigators who arrived at the scene suspected that it was a case of rape-murder. Other than a note that read “Get tickets for A.S.” written by the victim herself, there were no other clues that would lead them to the culprit. To unravel the mystery of this crime, they had to dig deeper into the life of Basa and figure out who “A.S” was.

Teresita was a native of Dumaguete City in the Philippines where she is now buried. After graduating from Assumption College in Manila, she immigrated to the U.S. in the mid 1960s. Before her death, she worked as a respiratory therapist at the now closed Edgewater Hospital in Chicago.

As for the real identity of “A.S.”, Detective Joe Stachula had to wait a couple of months before getting a lead. Finally, he was asked by the Evanston Police to contact a certain Dr. Jose Chua to get more information about Basa’s case. Dr. Chua and his wife Remy, both Filipinos, were hesitant at first but later agreed to share their story after Detective Statchula assured them he’s open to anything.

Dr. Chua claimed that his wife would go into a trance-like state and become possessed by a spirit. That spirit introduced herself as Teresita Basa and went as far as naming her murderer — Allan Showery as well as specific proof like the jewelry that was stolen from her and the names and phone numbers of relatives that could identify that proof.

All this led to the arrest of Allan Showery, an orderly working at the same hospital as the victim and Dr. Chua’s wife. The jewelry that Allen gave to his girlfriend was also positively identified as belonging to Basa, prompting the suspect to give a full confession. Allen ended up pleading guilty, was sentenced to imprisonment but was eventually released in 1983 after less than 5 year of serving his sentence.

Source: Teresita Basa Killed Today in 1977 — Did She Solve Her Own Murder? Chicago Now. Retrieved October 31, 2015, from http://goo.gl/laghuj