A disembodied voice whispering in your ears, cries of agony, laughter so cold it brings chills down to your spine. Or perhaps, a sudden apparition? A child or a lady suddenly appearing and then vanishing into thin air. We all have these stories. Did we imagine them? Perhaps. Who knows? There are things in this world our mind can’t simply process or understand.
The Philippines has a lot of ghost stories. Wherever you go and whoever you ask, there is always a tale of horror waiting to be told. This is particularly true for Baguio City. In my opinion, this place is teeming with haunted places and horror stories owing no doubt to its rich history.
Of all these haunted places, one particularly stands out. The Diplomat Hotel. Located in Dominican Hill, the abandoned hotel sits at the very end of the road like a forbidden prize at the end of the maze.
02/26/14. Known as the most haunted building in Baguio City…The Diplomat is as creepy as haunted buildings go.
*photo taken using blackberry*
Like most decrepit and abandoned buildings, Diplomat has an eerie, creepy vibe to it. Entering its grounds is like crossing an invisible threshold that divides the past and the present, reality and legends. The air inside feels heavy perhaps it’s the supernatural or, i’d like to think, that it is heavy with the stories of its past (i prefer the latter, i’m a scaredy cat).
Before it became a famous haunted and abandoned building, Diplomat was first known as a famous haunted hotel. The place was initially built in 1913 to 1915 as a vacation house for the Dominicans, hence the cross.
Because a hotel with a cross is not creepy enough, it has to be abandoned too.
According to all online articles I can find of the place, it became a refuge for japanese forces during the war and later it was bought by a businessman and converted into a hotel. Of course, as any building in this country with a history that includes “it was used by the japanese during the war”, Diplomat lived up to expectations by scaring staff and guests alike with supernatural visitors and the anguished cries of the lost souls.
I refuse to look at this photo for more than a minute.
Even before the hotel was abandoned, ghost stories already thrive in this place. It doesn’t help of course that Baguio as a whole seemed to have more ghost stories than any other place that I know of in this country. The hotel was later abandoned after the owner died.
The Diplomat is a creepy place. Perhaps because when you go there your mind is already conditioned to fear. I don’t know. The place feels different. It doesn’t have the feel of an old abandoned place. The place feels full, suffocating even. At times, it feels like someone is dropping cold water on your spine.
It is a building full of stories. Tales of people who have lived and died not so long ago. The walls, a mute witness to whatever happened in the past. I think of the Diplomat, as I think of other old buildings, as more than just a structure. I think of it as a piece of history. People lived there, each with their own tales of love, hope, fear, and perhaps even tales of horror. They lived during the war afterall. They have seen horrors we can only imagine.
If ghosts are real, then perhaps they just want to tell their stories.