In October 2013, The LaSallian released an article titled Overnight at DLSU, redux. The article was a sequel to the March 2010 article where three staffers stayed in campus the whole night in search of what goes bump in DLSU at night. This October 2018 marks the third time that staffers from The LaSallian will be spending the night in campus, searching for the truth behind what happens in the University after hours. For this article, each member shared their experience through their own eyes.

Our guide for the night was William; he was the only one in the group whose third eye was open.

Beyond the typical necessities one brings to an overnight venture, our party had something special in our pockets. Because of the decidedly paranormal nature of this excursion, Layout Editor Sofia Dimalanta brought holy salt and Benedictine medals for everyone. These items provided a safety net for uswhether figuratively or literallyeven the skeptics among us found the gesture touching. Salt is widely believed to repel ghosts as it is considered a “pure” substance; Benedictine medals, on the other hand, are believed to be one of the most effective wards against “evil.” Kaycee, the Managing Editor, led the prayer before we left.

While many in the party didn’t explicitly believe in the existence of ghosts or the paranormal, it was decided that it would be safer to err on the side of caution. We agreed that our safeword of the night would be “defer,” if used then, we would retreat without question.

No one used “defer” that night.

 

 

Br. Connon Hall

 

Student Media House

11:32 PM / Pamela

I honestly didn’t know what to do once we started preparing. I was doubting whether I should go around with the group or stay in the Student Media House, our homebase. As we finished our prayer and let go of each others’ hands, one of the members asked me if I was sure that I wanted to go with them. She said, “Your hand is shaking.” My eyes widened in surprise as I felt my body go cold. Was I really that scared? Suddenly, I remembered Kaycee mention that if you are scared, then you didn’t have to go. With that, I chose to stay behind as I watched their retreating figures go farther, uttering, “Stay safe.”

 

Fourth floor

11:34 / Yanna

Putting our sanity on the line, it wasn’t until 11:34 of the night that we made our way to the first location. There we were, a group of students who looked almost comical in their pajamas and flashlight ensemblewith pocketfuls of salt—exploring the Br. Connon Hall from the top floor going down. Nothing but the silent scutter of cockroaches and unfinished paperwork greeted us in the Council of Student Organizations Office. Not even ten minutes in, the situation started to dawn on us. I heard William mention that it was cold. We didn’t see anything beyond the friendly guard who requested to see our permits. We asked if he had any stories to tell and he just laughed.

 

 

Garden of the Lasallian Brother Statue

11:48 / Denise

Choosing to take the stony path through the gardens, the group moved on, setting St. La Salle Hall as the second destination. Passing by the garden statue of the Lasallian Brother cradling another person, we were silently reminded of what histories clung to the halls of the campus’ oldest building. During World War II, the Most Blessed Sacrament Chapel bore witness to the gruesome massacre that transpired inside the campus—people who sought refuge from the Japanese were slaughtered by their soldiers. La Salle Brothers were not spared either. There are photos of the bloody aftermath, forever fixing itself as a stain in our history.

 

 

St. La Salle Hall (LS)

 

First and Second Floors

11:48 PM / William

Walking past the garden, the school felt peaceful. The wind rustling through the octopus tree was only interrupted by car engines and honking from late night drivers passing through Taft Avenue. The lights from Yuchengco accompanied our torches, but other than that, we were at the mercy of the darkness with no moon to light our way. To say that it felt peaceful was nothing but false security to hide the unease I felt. The more we walked, the more I realized that this isn’t the University that I was accustomed to. This might not even be the same plane of reality I’m used to.

 

 

Most Blessed Sacrament Chapel (MBS)

11:51 / William

Upon going upstairs, we entered the Most Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the dreaded location where the massacre happened. We entered to the echoing sound of doors swinging open. It may have been the knowledge of the dark past the chapel has, but I felt uneasy as we walked through the center aisle. Slowly approaching the altar, the feeling refused to dissipate. 

False alarm. It was a cardboard cutout of Pope Francis.

I didn’t want to be here. The walls were pushing me toward the middle. Actually, it wasn’t just that. I saw it in a glance, there was a presencea blur I didn’t notice the first time. The end of each bench felt occupied, the silence not of emptiness, but of solemnitythe kind where strangers kneel to pray in silence. It might not make sense, but we weren’t alone. I wanted to leave.

 

 

11:52 PM /  Yanna

I felt threatened, unsafe even. As the rest of the group walked through the aisles toward the altar, I considered staying by the doors to keep them open, should they close for some unknown reason. Frank, our University Editor, started opening the doors to their fullest and I found myself helping him. The lone light casting a red hue over the statue of Jesus outside, making it look sinister. William mentioned a slight buzz in the air; we began to second guess the number of occupants in the chapel.

 

11:55 PM / Denise

I’ve never been a huge fan of religious paraphernalia. The eyes always scare me, how they seem to follow you whenever you moved. When the night started, the quiet halls of the St. La Salle building was actually peaceful if a bit too dark for my tastes. But the feeling of being watched didn’t really settle in my bones until we reached the chapel.

As we went up the stairs, we could already see the reddish light peek out from the corridorthe only source of light beyond our measly flashlights. Jesus Christ, crucified and standing guard, was there before the chapel’s entrance. The light illuminated Him, almost as if He was warning us not to go further.

 

 

But we did.

Frank led the way into the chapel with William and I at his flank. As William is one of my staffers in the Menagerie, I took it upon myself to guard him from any spirits we might have seen that nightif there were any. He told me earlier that the smell lingering in the building was because of the lack of pollution this late at night. For the rest of the night, I believed him. I smelled a whiff of it again here, and just thought that it was a particularly fresh night. Only the three of us went around the altar and peeked into the rooms at the sides. I had a bad scare when I thought I saw a figure. It turned out to be a stand of Pope Francis.

Despite the chapel not frightening me out of my mind, it did feel a bit off. It didn’t feel like other places of worship I’ve been to, it felt heavierlike time was frozen inside its walls. The only light came from the cross outside, and I made sure to keep my eyes down and forward while I walked. I tried not to look behind me the rest of the night.

 

11:57 PM /  Arden

The walk had been uneventful so far. We only came across empty rooms. My camera was full of blurry attempts at capturing the dark hallways. At the chapel’s entrance, a large crucifix stands tall, probably watching guard. The wooden cross was eerily reflected in the glass doors, giving an impression that He was behind us.

I haven’t been inside MBS Chapel and it was larger than I expected. I looked back at the entrancethe doors were still open. The closer I walked toward the altar, the heavier the air felt.  The lone light coming from the crucifix felt like a beacon as the entirety of the chapel was pitch black aside from the light coming from our flashlights.

It was probably my paranoia kicking in as I couldn’t stop thinking about its dark history. I do not know if the others felt the same way; I don’t think they did, as some of them still had the audacity to tread around the altar.

I did not want to look back as we headed out. As we shut the doors and bid the crucifix goodbye, I told myself that I didn’t want to return that night. Who knows what would be waiting for us there if ever we returned? The crucifix can only guide us so far.

 

LS Corridors

12:00 / Kaycee

I was one of the last to exit the MBS Chapel. Like the others, the crucifix spooked me. But as I passed it, I began to feel more at ease. I did not want to look up when we were still inside the Chapel, in fear that I see something or someone watching over us.

We left the chapel and began walking through the empty corridors of LS. The group was peeking into each of the classrooms to see if there was anything interesting or questionable. I avoided looking, because I was worried that a face might greet me if I tried to sneak a peek. Instead, I tried to list down which classrooms I had classes in.

Denise kept noting how the air seemed so fresh, so grassy. I agreed, but I knew it was not the scent of grass. I could not pinpoint what it was, but it was not grass. Besides, I remembered how it would often smell like this in LS when I used to take night classes. It was just nature doing its thing.

 

 

Medrano Hall

12:05 / Ramon

I’ve only been inside this place once, and my opinion hasn’t changed. Despite having the light of day the first time I was here, it always felt as if the walls would close in on you. The portrait above the middle staircase made me feel uneasy as I gazed upon it. I feared William might sense something in here, but the room proved to be just old and dark.

 

 

Room 228 and the third floor of LS

12:16 AM / Yanna

Choosing to sit and wait in the room 228, we all held our breaths as we counted off five minutes of uncertainty. We found nothing and the streetlights and car honks along Taft Avenue seemed to jar us all back into reality. For a second, I wondered what we looked like to the onlookers as we continued with our flashlights and cameras.

We took a short break at the water fountains. Here we would face the first shock of the night. As we turned the corner to descend down the stairs, a bat greeted us with its big leathery wings. Perhaps it was an omen for our next stop: the Pearl of Great Price Chapel.

 

Room 230 and That Room

12:20 AM / Ramon

Having narrated my experience so far during the exploration, I probably am coming off as the scared, paranoid boy. Indeed, I am.

For a non believer, it was irrational but LS230 had given off a vibe that I shouldn’t let my eyes explore the entirety of the room. It was pitch-black, but maybe the absence of light was not the only thing that made it dark. This time, I was able to light up the room with a flashlight, but it seemed as if somethingor someonein that room was trying to absorb the light, to get rid of it. For a room that old, I guess it wasn’t a big surprise. Then again, darkness doesn’t usually feel as threatening. Perhaps it was the location of the room, just like the other one we managed to stumble into on the third floor.

 

 

Leaving LS230 felt strange, as if the feel of the room was following us. But then again, my thoughts were probably the product of my imaginationlest they be proven true by William. I’d really rather not know. Maybe I would, but not when we are swallowed by the darkness of the seemingly tranquil halls of the St. La Salle Hall.  

As we made our way to the third floor, to the left of the stairs was the staircase that goes up to the Brothers’ quarters. Next to it, was a particularly odd room. It felt like an isolation room. When Frank managed to open the door, there was an armchair, a fan, cabinets, a floor buffer, and the words “God is good”.

It was nothing spooky or terrifying. It was just a plain, rarely used room. I think that’s what bothered me even more; it could have had a use. Maybe it did?

 

Still at LS, but now facing Taft Avenue

12:24 AM / Kaycee

This whole time I was trying to keep the group feel light by saying random jokes here and there. Upon crossing the halls from one end to the other, we even caught a glimpse of another group of students braving the night with us. Archers Network was also exploring the grounds. Seeing them wave their flashlights at us gave me a bit of comfort.

The feeling of unease resurfaced when we started to find random rooms in the building. As a student from the RVR College of Business, most of my classes are in this building. I often try to sprint from one side to the other to make it to my next class on the next floor, squeezing through the students crowding the halls. How have I not noticed these rooms before?

 

 

Tight corridor at LS

12:34 AM / Andrea

Hand in hand, I was following the group together with Sofia as we were the last in line. I recognized this corridor because to the right would be my ACCTBA2 classroom, the lone classroom at the end of the hall. It was pretty noisy as the outside of the classroom faces Taft Avenue. While some of us were surveying L202 through the door’s window, the rest of us were lining up to drink from the water fountain. While in line, I was already feeling uneasy being there in that tight corner.

 

 

Right after I got to drink from the water fountain, I managed to squeeze myself in the area where Arden and Kaycee were taking photos. I took a peek at the empty and dark classroom and decided to move along when I found nothing out of the ordinary. I felt a hard tap on my right arm so I looked to my right and saw Kayceewho looked equally confused as I was. When I realized she didn’t tap my arm, I immediately let it go knowing then and there was not the right time to bring up what happened.  

 

 

LS Water Fountain

12:45 AM / Sofia

As the others were drinking water from the water fountain, I clearly heard four footsteps echoing near the staircase. At first, I thought it was the usual night guard roaming around to check on the group, but then no one came up. I asked Andrea right after if she also heard the footsteps. “I didn’t hear anything,“ she answered. I felt even more nervous after hearing her response.

 

12:47 AM / Kaycee

As the group stopped at a water fountain near the girls’ toilet, something did not feel right to me. I went up to William while everyone else was taking turns to drink water. I told him how I felt like something was following us. He brushed it off with a laugh and said I was being a bit paranoid. I let it go.

 

Student Media House

1:03 AM / Kaycee

The group decided to go back to the Student Media House. It was getting hot and we wanted to discuss our next plan of action. We were all tired but we knew we had to push through. Everyone refilled their water bottles, got extra cash, and hoped that the vending machines around campus were still working.

 

————

 

But no matter how harrowing our experience in St. La Salle Hall, the night had barely begun. This was just our first stop, though we nearly had our fill of what lurks in the shadows. It wasn’t the end of our story. We thought that this building would be the most haunted—we were wrong. It only gave us a taste of what to expect for the rest of the night.

 

Read Overnight at DLSU: Defer – Part Two for the next frightening chapter of our story.

By Ramon Castañeda

By Kaycee Valmonte

By Denise Nicole Uy

By Andrea Punzalan

By Arden Bacallan

By Pamela Isidro

By Sofia Dimalanta

By Yanna Zhang

By William Ong

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