MenagerieOvernight at DLSU: Defer – Part Two

The LaSallian meant for there to only be one article; however, so much happened that night that warranted the article to be split into two. None of us expected to feel this frightened. None of us ever fathomed the possibility of this much fear rattling around in our ribcage. But here we are: we survived that night. The story doesn’t end as we tell you the remainder of the night’s events.

 

Student Media House

1:04 AM / Pamela

After getting some rest, I decided to go with the group to the next building. As they were refilling water bottles at the fourth floor of Br. Connon Hall, I let them know that I would be joining the next leg of the exploration. As they were chatting around the fountain, I got the feeling that someone was watching us. I looked around and saw nothing.

As we moved toward the office for a quick regroup, I felt the familiar feeling of a gaze on me, resisting the urge to look back. Just as I was about to shift my glance, I remembered the darkness beyond glass doors and the tragic story of someone allegedly meeting death in the elevator. Chills ran down my spine; I felt my heart thumping fast.

With fear inside of me, I continued to walk up the stairs together with the group, not knowing whether or not someone continued to watch us from behind.

 

Yuchengco Building

 

Yuchengco Grounds

1:23 AM / Denise

Ramon said that we might have the chance of looking around the Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium (TYA). Despite the possible danger, I have to admit that we were excited to have the auditorium to ourselves.

Getting in the building was a surprising hurdle, too. The group wanted to take the service elevator, but I didn’t like the idea. Earlier that day, I saw the elevator malfunction with students who remained helplessly stuck inside. Prior to that, I’ve had experiences of taking it alone with the buttons not responding to my presses. Seeing the “G” with the arrow pointing down was a surreal experience; was it malfunctioning, or was there a lower floor we didn’t know about?

As luck would have it, the elevator refused to move up. While everyone else was understandably scared and surprised—as I would have been under different circumstances—I reassured them that it was a normal thing for this particular elevator. We exited the elevator and made way for the stairs instead. The rest of the Yuchengco building was pretty calm, especially when compared to LS.

It was cold thoughcolder than we expected.

 

 

Seventh floor

1:30 AM / Yanna

With faint excitement and thrill running through our veins, we surged forward to the doors of the TYA, only to find the location locked off. Disappointed, we walked on like a group of children who had discovered inaccessibility to an amusement park’s main attraction ride. Our flashlights blared as the dim hallways of the building waited to be explored. Even with Denise’s reassurance of the faulty elevator, I felt myself unable to shake off the feeling of fright and unease. If my safety was to be compromised with the threat of otherworldly entities, having no way out in the Yuchengco elevators was not how I wanted to go. Above all else, the building proved to be seemingly peaceful and spacious.

Maybe they were elsewhere.

 

 

Velasco Building

 

First floor laboratories

1:53 AM / Yanna

As we trekked across the dark and lonely space of the Henry Grounds, we eventually reached our destination: the Velasco building. With a light coming from the inside and the gate left unlocked, our group decided to pay one of the open engineering laboratories a visit. We came across a project, an electrical setup of sorts that involved a pair of bright light tubes.

We were accompanied by all sorts of machinery, spare parts, and engineering apparel as the clock ticked on to the dawning hours of the next day. Reaching the second, third, and eventually fourth floors of the Velasco building, our group continued on its journey. I felt the fatigue and exhaustion from the day’s activities creeping into my bones, weighing down on my steps and making it difficult for me to trudge on.

I held my flashlight with one steady hand as I walked on a little ahead of the group, eager to get to the next stop all the while pondering if my sanity was ready for the challenge that was St. Joseph Hall.

 

 

Hallways of Velasco

1:55 AM /  Frank

While we made our way along the hallways of Velasco building, I couldn’t help but be curious if the rooms were open. Most were expectedly locked, but I tried budging them anyway. I was always fascinated by the doors each of the classrooms had in the building. Unlike the other buildings, the classroom doors in the Velasco building faced each other in narrow pairs.  

 

 

Room 207

1:56 AM / Frank

When we got to the second floor, we decided it was time to take another short break. We settled in an AV Room in one corner of the floor that up until that point I didn’t know existed. The room was dimly lit, but the seats were at least comfortable. While we seated ourselves and waited quietly in the room for a few minutes, I had the sudden urge to look into the tech room right above our heads. From its glass walls, I could see the inside of it was pitch black. My curiosity got the best of me.

I got up from my seat and went to the door on the side. I felt the knob.

It wasn’t locked.

I opened the door slowly, but found the room empty. Nothing but empty seats and tables. I closed the door and went back to my seat trying to occupy myself with something else.

And yet, for the few minutes in silence I couldn’t help but feel like we were being watched.

 

1:58 AM / Pamela

Once we entered the AV Room, I immediately felt frightened of an impending presence or figure coming out. One of us dared to joke about the clown from the horror movie IT suddenly popping up on the screen projector. Even if it was meant to break the tension, it worsened my fear as I kept looking around before taking a seat at the center of the last row, finding small comfort amidst my friends. Behind the chairs, stood a creepy tech room lined by glass walls. The occupants inside would have easily seen who or what was moving from the outside. With these nervous thoughts popping up in my mind, I swiftly slumped into my seat, keeping my head below the chair in case something was behind me.

 

 

St. Joseph Hall (SJ)

 

SJ Walk

2:36 AM / Kaycee

The group agreed to visit St. Joseph Hall at exactly 3 AM. I suggested that we wait for the group from Archers Network, who were also searching for the paranormal that night—though they had a different route than what we had. I found comfort in numbers. Messaging a friend from the aforementioned media group to ask where they were, they were still in LS.

I randomly asked William if he felt anything so far, seeing as he was the only one who could sense the paranormal in the group. He said he felt something follow us back when we were going around in LS. My hands felt cold. I asked him earlier that night to confirm if anything was following us in LS, he said I was just being paranoid. He lied so the group wouldn’t get scared.

We decided to cool down in SJ Walk for a bit, waiting for the clock to strike three.  We were playing songs from the Kpop group Red Velvet to ease our minds. I have a couple of friends who experienced strange things inside SJ before which was why I was a bit nervous for the next stop. I was trying to calm down, letting the notes of Bad Boy engulf me.

 

 

First floor of SJ

2:50 AM / Denise

I didn’t want to walk any further at this point. I was tired and hungry but the group insisted we push through with St. Joseph Hall at exactly 3 AM. Going into this, I completely expected LS building  to be the scariest place we’d have to visit. This wasn’t the first mistake I made that night.

The first floor was uneventful. We passed by the open area with the plants and I commented to the group that it smelled strongly of dahon again. For most of the night, I kept cracking jokes about the smell and how polluted Taft is. Most of the time, it was William beside me as I repeated to him how sweet the air smelled.

He never mentioned anything on the contrary.

Later on he would finally admit to me that it was sampaguita I was smelling the entire night.

 

 

Third floor of SJ

2:51 AM / Ramon

Maybe reading through the previous article published by The LaSallian regarding the same activity was a stupid decision. Back then, I wanted to do it, too. Now, it dawned on me that this situation was certainly not for the faint of heart.

SJ was the highlight of the adventure back then, and I had a feeling that it would hold true for us as well. The air was fresh, and I kept insisting that it was due to sampaguita, which normally blooms at night. That was my guiding principle as we waded through the sea of empty halls of the first two floors of the building.

The moment we started ascending the stairs to the third level of the building, I already felt uneasy. I did not want to wander off too far to the opposite end of the corridor.  

One door, two doors, three doors, and we were halfway through the hallway; I tried going in the middle of the group, but I also wanted to keep guard from the back. I was at the lower left-most of the nine-by-nine arrangement of the group, and I asked how far we were willing to go still. I had to ask; I did not want to go further. Luckily, the group agreed with me that we go back, and instead head up the fourth floor from the side of the men’s toilets.

I was spared, I thought. I was wrong.

 

2:53 AM / Kaycee

At this point, I did not bother to hide how scared I was. I clung to Frank’s arm as my other hand clasped Ramon’s. The group went up in three rows—each row with three people. Frank, Ramon, and I were the last ones in the group. In my head, I found it amusing how we formed a human barricade. I still tried cracking jokes as we went up the stairs, commenting on how slow we were going and how I spent my days in SJ back when I still had lab classes as a frosh. But with each step forward, I began to feel heavier. I stopped taking photos. Ramon let go of my hand. I tried to squeeze myself closer to Frank. I dared not look back.

As we walked further, Denise kept bringing up the familiar scent of the night breeze. She was insisting that it was the smell of grass. I realized it was the smell of sampaguita flowers. I started panicking, remembering the old belief that any random smell of sampaguita meant there were other entities in the vicinity.

Ramon assured me that the flowers bloom at night to no avail. I don’t, however, recall the University ever having sampaguita around.

 

2:55 AM / Denise

By the time we reached the third floor, William and I were leading the group. As William was our guide for the night and I was his keeper, the group decided it would be best if we were in front. Generally, I tried sticking to the middle. If we did see something I didn’t want to be in front where I’d get the best view of the thing, nor did I want to be at the back in case there was something behind me.

But here I was with sweaty palms walking forward, though Andrea commented that our pace was slower than before.

Something didn’t feel right.

Ramon felt it too. We crossed half of the corridor when Ramon suddenly spoke up, his voice echoing in the silence, “Denise, can we use the other stairs instead of that one?” He didn’t like how the other side of the corridor looked, the side with the girls’ restroom.

I didn’t like how the corridor felt. William didn’t like it either.

 

 

The fourth floor of St. Joseph Hall

Each member was holding someone’s hand. Our steps were small, slow, and continuous. William and Denise were leading the group, but they halted in front of the third door. The whole group suddenly stopped dead in their tracks, quite like a practiced choreography but nothing was planned. Everyone shared the same feeling of sheer uneasiness and raw fear.

 

2:56 AM/ Sofia

As we walked up to the fourth floor of the SJ building, my mind went blank and my heart felt heavier than before. I clung onto Andrea with my right arm and held my lightstick tightly. The corridor looked longer than the previous floors and I thought to myself, “Something will definitely happen in here.”

 

2:56 AM / Denise

Fourth floor now. William had Arden’s flashlight in hand. Most of the time the light was strong, strong enough to illuminate the entire corridor. It didn’t on this floor. The fourth floor was darker than the others, and I promise that the corridor felt elongated somehow. Like the space was stretched out.

We kept walking. It was only later that we realized that as one, the group wasn’t so much walking but plodding our way forward. Our hearts and feet felt heavier than ever. We just passed the third classroom when William and I stopped walking.

The entire time he was trying to shine the light at the girls’ restroom; the entire time the light was bouncing off the mirror—until it didn’t.

The mirror went black and I felt William’s rising panic as the light looked like it was being consumed.

 

2:57 AM / William

There were warning signs. The first floor smelled strongly of nonexistent sampaguita, the second floor was eerie—causing me to breathe deeper. We couldn’t get past half of the third floor corridor. Was the paranoia blinding us? Why didn’t we go back?

Who was reeling me in?

Walking up to the fourth floor, my legs felt heavier, as if gravity was preventing me from going up. We were all climbing slower. It might have been exhaustion. It could have been sleep deprivation. It should have been fear—but we kept going.

My eyes were trained on the end of the corridor; the women’s comfort room was open. Holding Arden’s flashlight, it reflected off the comfort room mirror, reassuring me how far we’ve walked. My tunnel vision stopped me from looking at the doors on the side. My eyes were trained straight ahead, waving the flashlight back and forth as if I expected the reflection to disappear—it did for a split second.

I didn’t say a word. For their safety, I didn’t want the group to panic.

I wanted to go closer. Something wanted me to go closer.

“Do you guys want to go to the end?” Ramon broke the silence, and I was taken out off the trance.

“How close do you guys want to go?”

Why didn’t I just tell them to turn back? Why was there still a suggestion for us to go closer? Their unified response straightened my thoughts. I almost gave in to whatever suggestion was placed into my mind.

I turned back, still too fazed to realize the door beside Elijah creaked open.

 

 

2:57 AM / Ramon

Scientifically speaking, if light is not reflected from where it is directed, then something—or someone—must be blocking the light in its path. This was the deal-breaker for me. I was utterly scared of something I could not see or explain, for I did not know how I will keep myself safe and protected. Human instinct. We decided to turn back and head downstairs, as seconded by William.

Suddenly, a door creaked open.

 

2:58 AM /  Elijah

Personally, I wasn’t at all spooked from the previous buildings. I’d make jokes about seeing something in the dark every now and then but that perspective of mine died as we went up the fourth floor. Going up the stairs, all of us in the group instinctively held hands, locked arms and stuck closer together. We started walking slower and came to a halt when we were nearing the floor. And I thought that was weird—we were all mutually scared now.

Other than fear, I also felt that my chest got heavier. Not that I had hard time breathing, just that the air seemed thinner. The floor was all dark too, and all the windows were shut. Nonetheless, we continued walking in the hallway. What made the experience creepier is that the flashlight we had couldn’t reach the end of the hallway when it previously did at the third floor.

After Ramon asked us how far we wanted to go, we all mutually agreed to leave. We didn’t even reach half of the corridor. Just when we were all turning back, the door by my right, slowly creaked open. Not too wide, but it was open enough to stick our heads in to look inside. And get this— there was no wind and all the windows were shut; nobody dared to even touch the door handles.

At that moment, blood rushed to my head and I felt my heart pounding. I didn’t dare peek through the door’s window. My fear won over my curiosity. I held Andrea’s hand tighter at that point and pulled her with me as we hurried towards the stairs. None of us looked back, and we all rushed downstairs.

By the time that we reached the grounds, something in me was telling me to go back there, to try and see something again. I’m not sure what the others thought of the door opening in the fourth floor, but for me it felt like an invitation of some sort. I wonder who or what was inviting us though.

 

3:02 AM/ William

It all happened in three seconds.

We got back down and we were walking past the Power Mac Store to get to Henry Grounds. The clear area and open lights along the sidewalk and vending machines kept me calm. We’re safe now. I looked back at where we passed, and I wondered what was with me in there.

I saw someone.

The first glance showed a girl moving past SJ walk.

She had black shoulder-length hair and a white shirt, my head turned too quickly to notice anything else. A split second later my brain registered what I saw.

Another split second my brain instinctively turned my head back at that building and there it was again, walking past a pillar, yet my head turned back towards the path I was going. When I finally realized what I saw, I looked again to nothing. My head finally visualizing everything that happened as if I didn’t see it the first time.

My brain took three seconds to respond.

 

 

St. Miguel Hall (M)

 

Second Floor

3:25 AM / William

After the whole ordeal back at SJ, there was a sense of relief when we saw the students working on the eco car. Going up the second floor welcomed a completely different atmosphere. The air smelled like sampaguita, most notably at the warpzone.

It was naive of us to wave it off again. The closer we were to the bridge to SJ, the hazier my thoughts were, I was reliving what happened there.

I only looked back on two occasions before this—once in LS, and once in SJ. Walking along Miguel’s corridor, I couldn’t help but look back again. It could be waived off as paranoia, but living with a third eye made me think otherwise.

 

3:25 AM / Ramon

We didn’t dare explore the rest of the building. The smell of sampaguita was strong throughout the second floor, and its overall aura was nothing short of sinister. As we made our way through the hallway, the darkness looked like a big, dark void ready to swallow our group whole. At the right corner of that corridor’s end, a door was open; it was the only one ajar. Not having recovered from what happened yet in SJ, we dared not to look.

We moved forward.

We turned left to head down the building, passing by the male toilet felt weird. Something was urging me to look at my right and peek at what was inside. Of course I defied the feeling; I was not ready for the unknown. Good thing the stairs were there right after.

We descended, to our hearts’ relief, but it was as if something—or someone—didn’t want us to leave just yet. I didn’t want to look up; in that instance, I swear it was not heaven that was above me.

Heaven does not feel like a dark persona.

 

Mutien Marie Hall

 

3:30 AM / Denise

Mutien Marie is perhaps one of the scariest buildings in campus, not even taking into consideration how it looks at night. Even when the sun’s rays are beating down the rest of the campus, the dim hush of Mutien is undisturbed. Aside from St. La Salle Hall, Mutien Marie has a reputation for having unexpected sightings. At night, the building actually looked scarier. There was hardly any light besides our flashlights, and earlier we could still hear the sounds of Taft, here it was still.

The thing about this building, the walls are very thin. We went around the first floor and we were about to go up to the second floor. Ramon found it locked, I can’t pretend that I wasn’t relieved about this. But then he said that there was a back entrance. I felt my joy deflate like a run-over trash bag.

Once again, William and I were leading the group. It wasn’t so bad until we reached the supposed back entrance. To get there we had to close a really narrow walkway—if it could be called that.

As one, our tired group took one look and decided Mutien Marie will not be disturbed that night.

 

William Shaw Theater

 

3:35 AM / Ramon

We approached the theater after coming from the uneventful exploration of Mutien Marie. Honestly, we expected more from that building; maybe it was for our own good that we noticed nothing out of the ordinary.

We only headed towards the theater because we were too afraid to ascend the stairs of William Hall, else we find ourselves too near SJ. As expected, it was locked, so we decided to check the side doors instead.

Locked.

We approached the door to the backstage instead. I was already wishing it was closed. Like the rest of the doors leading to the theater, it, too, was locked. Yet, it felt as if there were eyes inside that I could not see, but could see me. They were staring.

Or perhaps it was just one, strong, something that stared at me while I made sure I did not meet its gaze. Unsure if my mind was playing tricks on me, like the traitor that it usually is, but I swear someone seemed to be there.

I was not happy to be exploring even just the outsides of the theater at that time of day, neither did it like me being there as well.

 

Faculty Center

 

3:40 AM / Frank

With no luck entering the theater, we decided to explore the Faculty Center. A few steps away from the locked backstage door was the backdoor of the adjacent building. I tried my hand in opening the doors only to find them unlocked. Another adventure, I thought.

Upon entering, we found the building pitch black save for the neon exit signs that hung above our heads. Cold air clung throughout the building, and if you listened closely you could hear the low hum of the air conditioning units fill the room. The narrow hallways were so cold that I couldn’t help but feel that it saw us as unwelcome to be there as if it was a sign for us not to go any further.

We walked around the first floor peering into the departments and offices. After our “encounter” in SJ, I had a bit of hesitation in looking around. When we reached the front door, we checked whether or not they were locked. They were surprisingly open. We all had a moment of relief.

When we finally circled the first floor, we were all unwilling in going upstairs. However, after a brief discussion, we went up the second floor. We didn’t last long though. Admittedly, I wasn’t as confident as I was in previous buildings, even if I thought that the Faculty Center was less haunted. We didn’t stay long and soon made our way out of the building.

 

Management and Organization Department

3:43 AM / Andrea

When we entered the Faculty Center, Elijah and I made sure both doors were open before we moved further into the dark. Although, we left only one door ajar as the other wouldn’t budge. As we walked towards the Accounting Department on the right, I noticed a tall dark figure on the left. I brushed it off and told myself I was imagining things.

When we made our first rounds in the first floor, I finally brought up what I had seen when we first entered the building. It spooked Ramon and Elijah but as we passed by the area of the figure, I assured them it was just a tall black cardboard that looked like a person.

Thankfully, that’s all it was.

 

Miguel Warpzone

3:52 AM / Denise

We decided to go back to Miguel again with the intention of crossing to the Gokongwei Building. For the first time, I was afraid of being in Miguel. As a Liberal Arts major, Miguel was my home, or at least it was before we got moved to LS. I smelled the scent again right by the stairs on the first floor— already I couldn’t wait to get back to the office.

The building was eerie at night, and when we passed the stairs connecting Miguel to SJ—I felt my chest tighten. I did not want to go back there. The memory of the black thing I saw was hanging above my head. I couldn’t breathe.

I’m not a particularly superstitious person, I went into this reassuring Pamela that ghosts weren’t real. Now, I’m not so sure.

Whatever that thing was, I felt it waiting for us by the stairs. I think it knew we were there and it wanted us to come back.

No means no.

Walking through the warpzone towards Gokongwei, I felt like I could finally breathe.

The smell was strongest here. The air was so sweet. I told the group that it smelled really fresh and grassy here. Everyone agreed that it was weird that the smell would be so strong here of all places. I jokingly said that it was the smell of oxygen.

It wasn’t the smell of oxygen.

William lied to me when we were still in LS. The entire night as we went around campus, I thought that the smell was just grass or the plants. No, it wasn’t grass.

It was sampaguita.

 

3:52 AM/ Kaycee

Any whiff I got of sampaguita made me want to run. It was so strong here that I wanted so badly to back out. How can, of all places, the Miguel-Gokongwei warpzone smell like sampaguita? Why was Miguel cold, when all the classroom doors are locked and it has been several hours since the University closed?

 

Student Media House

4:06 AM / Frank

We returned to the media house again to process everything we had experienced during that night. The smell of sampaguita was the only thing that stuck in everyone’s minds. Having a quick discussion with the Archers Network’s psychic, we were surprised to find that a lot of our experiences overlapped with the other group.

But we quickly went back to discussing the scent that pervaded the buildings, and how it seemed to follow us wherever we went.

The psychic, a Biology major, told us something.

There were no sampaguita growing on campus grounds.

————

While the staffers who braved the night can never know for sure if what they had seen or what they felt was real or not, it is undeniable that the experience changed them.

But one thing is for sure: the smell of sampaguita will never be the same again.