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42 Victoria Street

Tony, Toronto, Canada
February 1999

This goes back to the late 70's and early 80's. First of all, I want to let every reader know that I surely will not waste my time writing if all were not true.

My family and I lived in Tokyo, Japan for 4 years. After my father's term as Economic Attache' was over we went back home to the Philippines to live permanently. As we needed to find a place to stay right away, My parents decided to rent first before purchasing a home. My parents finally found this house in the same village where my grandparent's lived. Very convenient as we were and still are a very tight knit family and they lived close by. It was no. 42 Victoria Street.

After school each day, I was 10 then, I would always do my homework in the den. It was a routine for me to go to my parent's room on the second floor to watch TV. I would always watch cartoons on channel 9 like any other child at that age. But the TV would never stay on one channel. After turning the TV on and finally settling down, the TV would start changing channels and always go to this Filipino Soap Opera. I would get up and change it back but again....back to the soap opera. This would go on for about 20 minutes to the extent that I'm already holding the rotary dial,fighting with the TV (by the way, there was no remote control for that TV). But whoever was doing this won because the rotary channel would read channel 9 (the cartoon channel) but the actual feed would be on channel 13 (Filipino Soap)!!!!!

To the right of the TV is my parent's washroom, to the left is their walk-in closet. With all the windows closed just the air conditioning on, the doors would open and close. The left would always open first and then the right. Open and close always in sync. I always had this feeling that someone was watching me and see someone running towards the door in the corner of my eye. And this terrible feeling of sadness and despair that was felt in the room.

One day, I decided not to study and just play. I remember being in the living room having afternoon snack and i heard someone distinctively calling my name from the den...."ton.....ton.....ton"....., i thought it was my nanny calling me. As she was strict, I ran but to find no one in the den.

The next day just before going to school, i noticed that the windows of my dad's car were open. i looked inside to find the chauffeur sleeping inside. This was odd because he had his own quarters to sleep in. My father questioned him (as this was his new baby a brand new 450 SLC Mercedes Benz) and he mentioned that he has been sleeping in either of the 5 cars for the last 2 months. His name is Orsino. He recounted that every time he laid down in his quarters, he would always hear someone pacing outside his door,back and forth, back and forth. Sometimes it would stop in mid-stride and he could see a shadow facing the door and would hear this sort of scratching sound. He would try to surprise it by opening the door but every time he did it no one was there. Every night this would occur. Now I understand why he slept in the cars.

One Sunday afternoon after our Sunday lunch after church service. I recall being outside playing with my G.I. Joes and all of a sudden we all heard this loud crash in the living room. We all rushed in to see what the hell was going on. We saw one of our maids, Julie, as pale as a sheet of paper as though she had seen a ghost. According to her she did!! As she recounted, after clearing the table after our meal, she was on her way to the china cabinet to return all of my mother's "Noritake" plates when she saw a ghostly apparition of a lady lying down in the sofa calling her name beaconing her with her hand and giving her the most evil smile she had ever seen in her life!!! Then it disappeared.

There was one incident where 2 of our other maids got into a hair-pulling match and got into a huge scuffle. The same night we found out that she had a nightmare that she was being strangled by this headless ghost. As all the maids (8 of them) shared the same room. They could literally see the maid holding her neck as if she was really being strangled. We shrugged it off as being a dream. But that maid was gone the next day nevertheless. The very next day can you believe that the other maid involved had exactly the same dream that she was likewise being strangled by this headless spirit? She was likewise gone the very next day. As far as I can recall only Orsino and my nanny Dada ever lasted until we left that house.

There is one thing I'd like to mention. Orsino was walking past the glass door that was right across the staircase. He noticed a woman walking up the stairs whom he thought was one of the maids. Of course it was not because what kind of maid can walk about a foot above the floor?

My uncle lived with us for a while and I don't blame him for not staying too long. He was staying in my room (i never slept in my room and slept in my parent's room) and in the middle of the night the door would start opening and closing, going faster and faster until literally taking the whole door off it's hinges. All our doors had those automatic door closes. My aunt Marijo likewise stayed with us and she recounted that there was this white mass that would go in circles around her. She would then turn on the lights and it would disappear and all of a sudden she would here someone pacing back and forth outside her window. But like Orsino, no one there.

Our gardener Caesar, saw this woman combing her hair in front of mother's antique wood wash basin while floating and finally just poof!! gone. It was funny because for some apparent reason this ghost, spectre never ever bothered any of us the actual family. Sometimes things would just get lost and we would fine it somewhere else. I felt it's presence but it was never ever threatening. I questioned my parents about it but they never really said anything to me. Maybe not to scare me. But I eventually found out from the next door neighbor that the former head housekeeper of that house on 42 Victoria Street died of a massive heart attack. She was there when the first people moved in. We moved out after 2 years and moved to our permanent home. I presently live in Canada but on occasion, I still pass by 42 Victoria Street when I go visit Manila and according to the people I still know who live in that area that no one has ever lasted too long in that place. Some just a few months. I guess the old caretaker still roams the premises to continue her job of looking after the house on 42 Victoria Street.

Thanks for reading. I have another one but I have to put that on hold.

Tony, Toronto, Canada
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