The Good Visitor

This first-hand story happened in 1996 in my birth town, Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines when I was just 10 years old. It happened more than two decades ago but I can still vividly remember everything that happened. Let’s just say I have some sort of extra sense for something that not all people can see, hear or feel. So here one of my many stories.

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon. Our old house, before it was torn down and replaced by a concrete one where my parents and my younger sister live at today, was a Spanish-style two-story house. It has all the wooden panels and the iconic Capiz-ornamented windows. My grandparents had their room on the first floor and ours were at the second. I share the room with my parents and my bed was placed just beside a huge window which when opened, can let all the sun (or the rain) in.

I just finished doing homework then so I decided to go to our room and relax on my bed. I kept all my things and grabbed my newly-bought comics and went upstairs. As I climb the last few steps of the shiny wooden slabs, I saw someone sweeping the floor. Well, I did not actually saw who it was since the body was blocked by the curtain that divides the living room and the kitchen. As I was about to finish my climb, the sweeping motion stopped as if the person doing it finally saw me.

I assumed it was my mom since that was the only logical thing I can think of because I know that I left grandma downstairs and my dad was manning our small convenience store. My grandpa passed away when I was 8. Mom, kwarto po muna ako.(Mom, I’ll just be in our room.), I told her. There was no response but the sweeping resumed. I thought to myself, silence means OK, right? So I just let that pass and went straight to our room. Onto my 5th page, I suddenly felt something very odd. A cold breeze blew on my face from the window.

I felt scared so I went out to see my mom. I saw the broom still sweeping the same spot I left it. I could also see that someone is holding it since the curtain moves as someone would constantly bump to it while sweeping the floor. So I called again, Mom, tara dito sa kwarto.(Mom, please come inside the room.) The sweeping continues but still no response. There was an eerie silence. Suddenly, the wind blew behind the curtain revealing only the broom sweeping the floor on its own! No one was holding it! I froze.

My fight or flight response started to kick in. I want to run downstairs but my legs won’t move. I know I should shout but I think, whoever (or whatever) is making that broom move might suddenly appear and who knows what else it can do! So I was glued on the spot looking directly at the broom. And then it dropped on the floor!! I managed to turn around with all my might and run downstairs. It had like ten steps and I think it only took me two to reach the bottom.

I run straight to grandma and told her what happened. She asked me to relax and sit down and after a few sips of water from the cup that she gave, she said it was a Namamahay, an uninvited visitor that usually do no harm to people. Those entities think they are alive so they do all the things they did when they were still flesh and blood. Grandma accounts that she also had been hearing someone doing the dishes in the wee hours of the night and then she can hear and see the lights turning on between 2 and 4 in the morning. As I listen to her sweet voice, my mom came out from the rest room and asked if I am done with my homework.

I know that experience is just the start of a whole lot of unworldly things that will happen. And sure enough, all sort of things started to emerge. Were all those things true? Or was it just a result of a child’s creative imagination?

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