Ateneo de Manila University is a school not only known for academic prestige and athletic prowess, but also for ghost stories within the campus.
The school was built on land that was formerly a military camp during World War II. If this is not enough, it has a cemetery below the ground.
From the numerous scary stories told and heard about the 54-year-old campus (Ateneo moved from Padre Faura, Manila, to Loyola Heights, Quezon City, in 1959), the ones discussed here are not too familiar yet with the students.
The grade school premises is the one nearest the cemetery. Though there are lots of stories about spirits roaming around the area, little has been said about the ghost at the Grade 6 staircases. I heard this from Mr. Selorio, my Grade 6 adviser.
A woman was said to have been hanged there, left in an awkward praying position. To see her, one has to go there at night and imitate the praying gesture of the lady.
Dwarves and other mythical creatures are said to inhabit the Prep (now Grade 1) premises, as well as the David Hall Rock Garden. When children play there, they have to be polite, so as not to get harmed by the supernatural beings.
There is also a Rizal statue reading on a bench. The janitors say that, at night, Rizal’s spirit appears.
The high school area is one of the more mythical places on campus. For instance, the mango tree at the high school oval is shrouded in mystery. It is said that lovers from Ateneo and Miriam profess their love here, and, if it fails, they commit suicide together at the same spot.
There is also talk that there is a portal for the supernatural in the middle of the covered courts, at court 4.
There are reports of Japanese soldiers roaming in the classrooms, passing through walls at night.
In high school there is a spiritual activity called Days With the Lord, in which juniors attend a three-day retreat. It is said that in every odd-numbered batch, a ghost appears. I was from batch 231, and, indeed, there was a ghost at the chapel while one of us was praying. The ghost was wearing a red silk garb, and he looked angry.
The Cervini Dormitory in the college area has its share of creepy stories. One is about a dormer who was doing his assignment at a table by the window. He saw a jogger pass by his window. It was a normal scene since Ateneans like to jog at night to avoid the sun. Until the dormer realized he was on the second floor.
The Gonzaga Hall was home to the Biology department before the Science Education complex was built. The laboratories on the second floor contained different kinds of flora and fauna.
There was also a real human fetus, which had been aborted and preserved. It is said that, late at night, a baby can be heard crying on the second floor.
In another incident, a student who went down the stairs kept landing on the same floor. The student was stuck in a loop until a friend came to his rescue.
Bellarmine Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus. Rumor has it that when passing it at night, one should avoid looking at the building itself. Otherwise a woman in white can be seen waving from the ninth room of the third floor. It is said that one should wave back, otherwise she might end up going down.
There are a lot more ghost stories at the Ateneo. Who knows, there might still be some undiscovered mysteries surrounding the sprawling campus at Loyola Heights.