Ghostly Ancestors: Why They Can’t Leave the House Alone - Part I
Why Ancestors Can’t Leave the House Alone
My grandfather Vicente’s house was built in 1945. It used to be the lot of my great grandparents Perfecto and Amalia, but the house and land title was under my grandpa’s name.
The house of Lolo Perfecto and Lola Amalia used to be just a square house, nothing fancy, not even Spanish type. But the government had it torn down because it was not safe anymore, dilapidated in other words. That's why Lolo Vicente built a new one.
For many many years, the house has been haunted by long deceased family and relatives, so as stories went that there were events with not just ghosts in the house but apparitions as well.
Do negative vibrations such as relatives arguing, ancestral home items missing, or a mere plan of selling or renting the house become unappealing and provoking to the ghosts of our departed ancestors to haunt the house over and over again? Have their spirits really left? Are they trying to bewitch our presence in the house and stimulate an eerie charm to let us know that they are watching and listening? To let us know that they still care?
In my grandfather’s old house which is still standing on the ancestral lot is a recipient of ghostly ancestors who haunt the house.
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It is a two-storey Spanish house with steps to the first platform, then to a long staircase to an open hall leading to the bedrooms.
The house is white and painting is old and worn. A refreshing breeze makes its way into the house from the sea just steps from my grandpa’s house. The windows open like doors with hooks and its chocolate brown framing frames the capiz shells on the windows. There are three bedrooms on the upper floor with the largest having closets kissing the ceiling. The next sized bedroom is my grandma's where she had spent her years until she rested breathless on her bed. Lola Juliana had a peaceful death. Her dark antique aparador (closet) is still standing in this room with a couple of her very old, fragile dresses made of piña fabric. Piña (see Youtube video) is derived from the Spanish term for pineapple. The fibers from pineapple leaves were used for clothing for women and men especially during the Spanish colonial era.
The kitchen has one large work table and the counter sink is made of cemented structure stretching from wall to wall. On the ground level is another bedroom right beside the entrance to the living room where my Lolo Vicente slept to his very last day. Inside his bedroom is a tall cabinet with see-through glass where the family’s “Pieta” a life-size statue of the mourning Virgin Mary cradling the dying Jesus on her lap is kept, protecting it from dust year after year. The dining room faces the sala (living room area). On the wall adjacent to the family dining table was a heavy and large old mirror (before it mysteriously fell and broke- http://coffeegginmyrice.hubpages.com/hub/Yin-and-Yang-Effects-of-a-Mirror-Reversing-the-reflections-affecting-your-home-and-you) above a sectional counter where beautiful china and silver cutlery were kept. At present hangs a similar mirror but smaller. The old china and silverware belonging to my grandma had all disappeared and are believed to have been stolen and sold. There is no refrigerator for electricity was scarce in the old days in the island and there is no need to have one since no one is living in the house this present time, but the house has a cooler box where ice is kept when descendants or friends come visit the hometown and stay in the house.
The bathroom is the smallest area in the huge house with a wall that separates the bathroom from the comfort room. There were no faucets before and shower pipes were later added after several years. In the old times and up to this day, a tall bin or barrel is for storing water and a tabo (originally a wooden dipper to scoop water) are still being used. This way, one can still conserve water. I remember in my younger years during my visits to the island that water was scarce. Fresh drinking water was bought from a water vendor pushing his cart house to house. The water used for bathing is taken from my grandpa’s deep well outside the back of the house which is the same source used to launder clothes, wash dishes and rinsing of feet before entering the house. The water sold house to house was mainly for drinking. The water to drink is then transferred into an over-sized clay jar banga which keeps the water cool.
Lighting in the old house when I was a kid was through the usage of Petromax lanterns where one has to pump a kerosene filled lamp to get it lighted. It does cover almost the whole floor for its brightness until it dies down again. Also smaller kerosene and oil glass lamps with flat wicks were available.
Right next to the comfort room or toilet is a single maid’s quarters. Kalay, a completely blind woman was once a house helper of my grandparents and would depend on her young son on some errands, but she perfectly mastered her way around the house like she can see. Her hearing and her sense of knowing is very sharp. She's still alive and still making banig (woven mats- see Youtube video). Even though blind and in her 80's she has very good memory of the names after she had left the house. She just comes around now as a neighbour during the Holy Week season and every time she comes to the house, she begs for money.
There was a square balcony hanging between the two bedrooms upstairs. This balcony had been turned into a small bedroom with jalousie windows. This is has become my favourite bedroom since my family can privately be in one room without having to share it with relatives.
My grandpa’s house is a meeting place where the descendants reunite, gather and celebrate with their families and relatives across oceans and skies around the world.
Find out about the ghost stories in grandpa's old house at http://coffeegginmyrice.hubpages.com/hub/Spooked-in-the-Ancestral-House