Legend and Stories of the Philippine Kapre Tree Demon

The ancient tree abode of my grand-aunt's Kapre suitor

A century old Tamarind tree can be found behind the old house of my spinster grand-aunt. Family legend has it that a kapre fell in love with her.On the eve of her wedding her inebriated fiancé tripped on the stairway of our old ancestral home and broke his neck. Another suitor never married and entered the priesthood.The last man who seriously propose to my grand-aunt was found in his bedroom with the upper part of his head blown off. Bits and pieces of brain and bones where found on the wall and ceiling.The police investigation reported that he had "accidentally" shot himself  with a sawed off shotgun.

A Kapre is a Philippine mythical tree demon. It favors big trees like the Balete(banyan), Mango and Acacia tree where you will sometimes find it sitting under it's shades. It is describe as being tall (8 to 10 ft) brown hairy male with a beard and fond of smoking. A strong scent of tobacco is what humans notice when they believe there is a Kapre in their presence because it is invisible unless it wants to be seen.

They are pranksters. Often disorienting travelers and making them lost their way in the thick forests or mountain trails. Even in familiar surroundings a person can forget where he is if a Kapre decides to play a trick on the unsuspecting. Victims also experience loss of memory when they are under the enchantment of the Kapre.

Witnesses have heard loud laughter from unseen beings.Rustling leaves from tree branches even if there was no wind. A pair of fiery red glowing eyes staring at them from tree tops. The smell of tobacco and smoke coming from behind leaf ladden branches.

They are also romantics. If they fall in love with a woman they will consistently follow the "love interest" throughout life,

and no man shall ever come between them......

The Kapre

The three friends were waiting for their first victim.

Having filled their pockets with the seeds of the tamarind they were well stock with ammo.The only road leaving from the town proper going to the rice fields and adjacent barrios had to pass by the Tamarind tree where the boys lay hidden.The leaves and branches of the huge tree extended across the small dirt road like an umbrella and over the low whitewash wall of the town's cemetery. Portions of the wall had crumbled from a recent earthquake. Large gaps in several places provided glimpse of ancient sepulchers that had breaches in their masonry and the newer tombs made of hollow blocks had ugly cracks.

On nights when boredom or the lack of any other activities made them restless, the boys would climb up the tamarind tree with a bottle of gin and some smoke to pass the time in conversation and have fun at the expense of an unwary barrio bumpkin, who overstayed in town and now had to go home at night.

"Hey get ready.."whispered one of the boys.

A solitary teenager was approaching. He would glance once in a while at the muted cemetery and at imaginary phantoms lurking behind tombstones.Dust flew up from his hurried steps.He had been to town to visit his girlfriend and time unknowingly passed quickly. Although this road was well traveled in the day time, he found himself alone with the sounds of night creatures his only companion. His new shirt soak with the perspiration from his back.

Passing beneath the extended tree branches a hail of seeds peppered the back of his nape.

Already in an agitated and fearful state of miserable wretchedness,the hapless turn looking towards the direction where the projectiles came from.

Because the huge tree trunk was overgrown with branches blanketed with leaves he could only make out the smoke and the glowing embers from the boy's cigarettes. A rustling of branches tied with a string of Manila hemp did nothing to improve his confidence. Stories of Kapres inhabiting these dense growth of trees have been told ever since he was a toddler.

The hidden pranksters did all they could to stop from laughing and betraying themselves.

"Did you see that!" "I think he broke the school record for the 100 meters" Gerardo held on to his stomach to stop the pain cause by the scornful mirth.

"It still can't top the performance of that dumb ass Julio" recalls Eddie. "He left a trail of piss, remember?"

"Well, maybe we'll get someone to shit in their pants" "HA Ha ha" The third boy Manding was hysterical as tears flowed freely from his eyes.

A lull fell in the conversation as the three friends quietly waited for their next victim. Only the chirping crickets and the occasional hoarse utterance of a bullfrog disturbed the silence.

"Hey Eddie,pass the bottle"

Taking a swig,Gerardo ask of no one in particular " I wonder what happen to that school supervisor they sent from the city? Some said he saw a real Kapre."

"Oh...so now you believe in fairy tales?" Eddie riposte. "Hello...anyone in there?" as he gave his friend a gentle rap on the head.

"Didn't even know who or where he was." Continued Gerardo. "Remember when they took him back to the city?"

The boys where among a crowd of curious town folks when the man was led out into a waiting ambulance.He had to be restrained as he refuse to leave the safety of the police station where he was in protective custody to avoid hurting himself and others. He was yelling expletives and incoherent statements about a dark man stalking him. Some said that the rumored insanity that ran in the man's family had finally overcome him.

"Didn't he lodge with the Apostols?" He asked.

"Overstayed and fell in love with their daughter Jocelyn" Manding added.

"Yeah,baby......!!" " I get the hots too whenever I see you at school" "MMmmm....Mwahhh..." Eddie was making kissing sounds and thrusting the empty space with his pelvic as he fantasize about their math teacher.

"Ohhhh......I think Eddie's gonna come." hissed Gerardo as the three boys join in laughter.

Soon the conversation drifted aimlessly as the bottle passed from hand to mouth.

The boys were too drunk to notice an indistinct murmuring and furtive movements behind the branches. Deeper into the grove two glowing embers much larger than those from the boys' cigarettes revealed themselves.


Observing...

An odor of tobacco permeated the air.

"Boys will be boys"

"I wonder what Jocelyn is doing?"

"Hmmm.....I think I'll pay her a visit."


Epilogue...

My grand-aunt reach the age of 101 and died peacefully in her sleep. Less than a year later the old house burned down under mysterious circumstance.The new caretaker conveniently  just happen to be visiting relatives in town. Among the overgrown vegetation the old tamarind tree with the fire-scarred side facing the house is still standing. Some people say the place is haunted....On some dusky nights a translucent figure of a lady can sometimes be seen near the old tree.True Love?

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Comments 73 comments

ralwus 6 years ago

Spooky stuff my friend and keep the kapre over there. LOL Thast was an interesting side story of your aunt and the kapre. Eerie. CC


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Yes I agree with ralwus it was spooky indeed. One never knows what lurks in the mysterious kapre tree. Maybe it was the smoking cigarettes and an ash flew into your grandmothers house and burnt it down.

Some trees when you look at them have startling images that cause a very scary image in our minds. Thank you for this share, I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe me I will stay far away from the Kapre tree.


SilverGenes 6 years ago

Wow - I have never heard of the kapre before this. Very creepy story indeed. This was like reading one of the X-Files :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, very spooky story, I also had never heard of the kapre before, really enjoyed it, cheers nell


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

Yes, indeed, please keep the Kapre :D Spoooooky!


greengypsywolf1 profile image

greengypsywolf1 6 years ago from The darkest corner of my own insanity.

Hmmm, I think I shall indeed stay away from Philippino forest just to be safe.

I really dig picture of the demon lazing on the tree branch with a big smoke. Kinda gives me an idea for my next tattoo ;D


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Great story! Your Kapre sounds like the Texas Chupacabre...


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello CC, the side story is really an integral part of the whole.Now which is fact and which is fiction? :) Your spin on the ygorotte was an enjoyable read and fun too! Let's only hope that Wayne will not be sulking in "A Cabin in the Woods"


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hello saddlerider1, I use to have bad dreams about that Tamarind tree and the allege"Kapre"that resided in it.That was my bogeyman. We all eventually outgrow the tales of horrors told to us when we were children...or do we???


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Thank you SilverGenes for inviting me to join your Halloween Challenge.I enjoyed the experience and it has given me further encouragement to improve my writing.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Nell Rose,thanks and I'm glad I was able to spook you..I mean provided you with a spooky story. Cheers!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

RedElf ~ Thanks for being spooked :)and your welcome to the "Kapre". Continuous deforestation here have depleted their natural habitat.Adopt one ?... :)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

greengypsywolf1 ~ like my previous comment above. Government neglect and continuous illegal logging will soon see the demise of the rain forest here. A tattoo of a smoking demon..hmmm


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

Ahhhh, thanks but I'll pass on the adoption idea :D:D:D


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Austinstar ~ The "Kapre" would look more like "Bigfoot" without the tobacco smoking. :) Thanks for the comment.


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

Duh, I will never go near that place where kapre live. Too spooky!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Freya Cesare ~ Thank you for commenting. Compare to Dracula,Freddy,Jason or the werewolves and mummys. The "Kapre"is much less scarier.He is more of a prankster who I would compare to "Loki" the Norse god of mischief and discord. A natural "Halloweener"


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

I hate Freddy and Jason. Mostly Freddy. The legend of him really live up nightmare, literary! But I always thought Loki kind of cool. :D


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 6 years ago from Vermont, USA

A Philippine bigfoot lounging in a tree smoking a spliff...that is an image that I want to dwell on for awhile.

Good story(s).

CP


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Freya Cesare ~ We may hate Jason or Freddy but we still flock to their movies. A totally harmless pursuit for a cheap thrill or good scare......I think


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Fascinating and very, very scary story.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Christopher Price ~ Just don't ask me if they're "Cuban cigars" :)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

breakfastpop ~ Thank you and I hope it didn't spooked you into forgetting to prepare breakfast. There would be a lot of hungry and disappointed fans. :)


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 6 years ago from United States

This is fascinating. I love stories like this. Thank you


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Tom Rubenoff ~ Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Legends and folklore have always been a source of fascination for me too.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love your story. Although you make me scary with this. But I really enjoy to read this hub. Thank you very much. ~prasetio


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

prasetio30 ~ Thank you for liking the story. I hope I didn't scare you from coming back to read my other hubs. :)


MiseryHinata profile image

MiseryHinata 6 years ago

That's creepy..definetly a story for the Halloween campfire!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Silent Reed - oh, my! You are too, too good at this stuff. Now I'll cringe more than ever before when in the woods! Trees can be scary enough without their occupants rendering then TERRIFYING.

Then, like a woods sprite yourself, you run off leaving us to imagine all the possibilities. Certainly would be JUSTICE for those two ornery boys to be visited by a real Kapre themselves, and especially after they had the nerve to ogle the lovely he'd picked out for himself!

Dangerous territory, for sure - as the various suitors of your spinster grand-aunt didn't live to tell about! WOW. I'm trembling.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Nellieanna ~ Leave it to the imagination. I couldn't hae done it any better than to leave the reader in the woods with his/her own resourcefulness at vivid imagery to scare themselves. I only hope I didn't terrify you too much. :)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

MiseryHinata ~ Thank you for reminding me about my Boy Scouting years. We did like to tell stories around the campfires although not all were scary. Like all growing up boys we talk a lot about girls. :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Oh my word! I’m a lover of trees, and from now on I will see the kapres in them. Scary. Lol! This was a great read. Your promotion of our Halloween stories is truly appreciated by me. You are great!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

MartieCoetser ~ Thank you and you are welcome. Wouldn't it be great if we could elicit the aid of the "Kapre" to protect the forest and trees against illegal logging. Just a whimsical thought. :)


d.william profile image

d.william 6 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Good Halloween story. i enjoyed it too.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

d.william ~ Thank you for the appreciaton and encouragement.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

Dude, kapre's are kickass! NEver heard of them before. And I got to tell you, as much as I liked your story, I REALLY liked the sidebar story about your aunt. THat is hella cool. Especially since I can believe it's true if I choose to. :) I might have to do some research on kapres and maybe work one into a fantasy novel or something. Good stuff.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

Shadesbreath ~ You just gave me an idea to chew on. A spin off story of a bull riding Kapre instead of a tree clinging one would provide more action :) Thanks and I'm glad you enjoyed both stories.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Thanks for the really scary story. The true bits were the most horrific. I wouldn't like to be competing with a Kapre for anyone's love.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

christopheranton ~ Thank you. I understand your hesitancy to compete with a Kapre.But love is blind and when your opponent is invisible even a cat with nine lives doesn't stand a chance ;) Then again, a cat is suppose to have the abilities to see ghostly apparitions......


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Like so many others, I, too, had never heard of the Kapre. A fascinating story, especially the sidebar tale.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

mysterylady 89 ~ Thank you for your comments. The Kapre is a Philippine folklore like the bogeyman used to scare misbaving children. ;)


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

I liked your comment when you compared the Kapre to Loki. I put a link to your story on my "Un-Halloween" hub. Happy Halloween!


3 Finger Reader 6 years ago

Great ending!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

mysterylady 89 ~ Thank you for including me in your links. Happy Halloween !


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

3 Finger Reader ~ Thank you. BUT will it scare the bejesus out of a teener? .....:)


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

Definitely spooky, certainly can't sleep on my own tonight, but then fortunately I don't have to! You're a great writer.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 6 years ago from Philippines Author

acaetnna ~Thank you for your comment and encouragement. I hope I can continue to write in a way that is both interesting and entertaining to the readers.


PaperNotes profile image

PaperNotes 5 years ago

I believe that kapres exist somehow as well as other elementals. There are things that we cannot see but we have to believe in them.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

PaperNotes ~ Thank you for commenting. Yes, there are many mysteries out there waiting to be discovered in this baffling world of ours.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I can't believe I just stumbled across this fascinating hub. I shall never look at the largers trees on our property with the same eyes again. Well done!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Genna East ~ Thank you for commenting.The best time to look would be at twilight when the tree branches cast their shadows and day soon turn to night...:)


sheila-susnine 5 years ago

yes..there are certain things which we cannot see.because thyre invisible,..we need to believe..like me i experienced saw a ball of fire jumping from one place to another..pary hard and belive!


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

sheila-susnine ~ Thank you for your comment.That must really have been a scary experience for you.I hope it didn't shake your belief in God.Take care.


Nikka 5 years ago

OMG!!!! My cousin;s babysitter had a story quite similar to that of the kapre being a "romantic". She has this cousin in the province who constantly gets picked on by boys in her school, one day the kapre showed itself to (i'm sorry i forgot her name, lets just name her maria?) Maria. He offered help and maria willingly accepted. So the next day when that boy who usually picks on maria, bullied her again, suddenly levitated and was being punched around like you see in those cartoons, everyone in school had seen it EVEN THE TEACHERS!!! so no one dared to even upset maria, or they'll face the kapre's wrath. So she spent practically her whole life with the kapre as her "best friend" Until one day Maria came of age and the number of suitors started piling up. But the kapre did not like that. Everyone who tried courting maria either ended up badly injured or insane. But what really worried maria was when the kapre itself told her to visit it by the balete tree and when she did it forced her to come with him. Maria told everything to her family, which of course made them want to leave-so they did. BUT maria had forgotten one very important item from the household......her graduation picture (you know the one's where people sign they're grad pics with a dedication to whoever they were gonna give it to) and guess who got it?

The kapre did :)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Nikka ~ Reading the story of Maria's encounter with the Kapre gave my nape a tingling sensation.How uncanny the similarity with the plot of this fictional story that I must express my own "OMG!!!" Thank you for sharing....it gave me goosebumps.


Miguel 5 years ago

hi... i have a story to share to...


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Miguel 101 ~ Hi...Don't keep me in suspense....;)


fashion 5 years ago

I can't believe I just stumbled across this fascinating hub.You did great job.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

fashion ~ Thank you for accidentally "stumbling" upon my hub.I hope it was a pleasant experience :)Have a beautiful day.


MoiraCrochets profile image

MoiraCrochets 5 years ago from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines

Great story! My sister-in-law also went nuts before allegedly because a kapre is wooing her. Thank God she's well now.

You're hub is a great way of keeping Philippine mythology alive.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

MoiraCrochets ~ They are persistent suitors :) Glad that your sister-in-law has regain her sanity.Thank you for your comment.One way of understanding a country's culture is through it's myths and legends.The Philippines abounds with many interesting stories.


Admiral_Joraxx profile image

Admiral_Joraxx 5 years ago from Philippines

Kapre is really one of the most known supernatural in the Philippines and now this Kapre is gaining a future in his international scaring career! Great hub SilentReed! Nice idea of sharing this creepy story. 1 vote up and beautiful. =)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

Admiral_Joraxx ~ The tobacco smoking Kapre is uniquely Filipino. Sly and flamboyantly romantic,He can be compared to the god of discord and mischief Loki "the trickster" of Norse mythology.


god of the sea 5 years ago

is their pictures of it


unknown 5 years ago

if you visit phillippines , just be careful specially near the mountains.

my mother told me that when i was a baby girl , a kapre tried to take me but left me on the carpet floor. I was sleeping between my father and mother, when my mother went to go to the bathroom she found me sleeping on the carpet floor. so believe it or not . its true.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines Author

god of the sea ~ Thanks for dropping by :)

unknown~ Maybe your father was playing a joke on your mother:)


D. Caballero 4 years ago

It's true the Kapre stories. My twin and I still remember seeing a huge dark figure with glowing red eyes by the tree in our old house in General Santos City. We were around 9 years old, casually walking near our garage. We went back crying to our mother and she just laughed and said it's just your imagination. My twin and I still talk about that night even though i'm in university in the UK and he is in San Francisco. It is popular belief that the Kapre likes scaring children.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 4 years ago from Philippines Author

D.Caballero ~ Hello:) There are many things in this world that still cannot be scientifically explain. But I wonder...Did you have a "Yaya"(baby sitter)who enjoy telling scary stories on dark rainy nights when you were young?...I did.:)


D. Caballero 4 years ago

SilentReed, My Yaya never told me stories like this but my Grandmother definitely did. I didn't believe her at first but ever since then I couldn't really sleep without a form of light on. I wasn't curious about these kinds of things because I was scared to the bone. That tree in my house is still there, even though it is enclosed within the house with a concrete wall and a gate (as well as pavement made of concrete around the tree). I still wonder why my parents didn't decide to cut that specific tree when expanding the garage.


chelsea 4 years ago

these stories are so interesting,i like them


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 2 years ago from Philippines

I loved your story about the kapre. It's great that you explain the creature, then create such fascinating tales involving them:)


MsVicky profile image

MsVicky 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Hi there! I just came across your site because I was searching for horror stories about mythical creatures like kapre or aswang in the Philippines. I was wondering if I can ask for your permission to post your stories on the FB page of a group project for my school?

We will give you the proper credits and we will also need to post your profile as our contributor. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 2 years ago from Philippines Author

MsVicky _Ok and thank you.:)

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