Baguio City has been known for a lot of things throughout the years. It pretty much has something for everybody, from horseback-riding to ukay-ukay and strawberry picking.
But if you grew up in the 90’s like me, you'd probably remember all the stories of ladies in white hitching rides with motorists, headless nuns floating around abandoned convents, or any of the other creepy tales meant to spook kids and adults alike. It turns out that not only is Baguio a popular tourist destination for the living, but it's also a popular haunting spot for the dead.
Which brings me to the Pine City Fright Tours, a one-man operation run by Mr. Fright (aka Antonio Abrille in real life) who takes me on a 4-5 hour tour of Baguio’s most haunted locales.
At the start of the tour, I'm introduced to a menacing giant of a man. His face is covered by a skull mask, whose ominous undertones pay homage to horror movie narrators of the past. I can't say I'm much of a fan or believer in ghost stories, but my curiosity was definitely piqued as Mr. Fright gave his brief of Baguio's grim past.
According to him, Baguio has always had a reputation for attracting terribly evil or unfortunate events, even pre-dating past colonial times. For whatever reason that is, it makes for good stories. Stories that are engagingly narrated by my tour guide with polished mastery.
“It’s all about timing,” he says, and I’d have to agree. Tours are held late afternoon to early evening. Any earlier, it would lose its eeriness. Any later, and I would need a new set of pants. Tour price ranges from P550 to P2,800 per person, depending on the package you choose. I suggest going as a group, it's more fun that way. But don't be surprised if members start disappearing one by one through the course of the tour. (I'm just kidding.)
Mr. Fright took me to four of the most haunted spots in Baguio: the Abandoned Japanese Mines, Diplomat Hotel, Murder Woods, and the Laperal House.
As we walk through the areas, he accounts their stories with factual hair-raising information about the places. A few embellished sinister details here and there to spice things up. Whether or not you're the superstitious type, he’d be the first to tell you that the tour is “purely entertainment” (mostly his). Regardless, Mr. Fright puts on a highly enjoyable show that is half a chilling ghost tour and half a cool history lesson.
Did I see any real ghosts though? I don't want to spoil anything, you really should just try the tour and see for yourself.
Pro-tip: Take lots of photos. You might miss out on a ghost lurking near you.
But if you're looking for a fun and a unique alternative to Baguio's more conventional activities, Pine City Fright Tours should definitely be a must-do for you, your friends, and family.
For more information or booking inquiries on Pine City Fright Tours, please visit their Official Facebook Page.
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