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Life In Guam

Doria, Guam
January 2007

Let me start off the story by giving you a little history of Guam.

Guam is a little island in the Pacific Ocean. A U.S. Territory to be exact.

In WWII the Japanese invaded us and many Chamorros (natives from Guam) were tortured and killed. Anyways a lot of people believe that the ghosts of the innocents executed still reside on the island. Here on Guam we call ghosts Taotaomonas (t-ow-t-ow-mona) which in our language means "ancient people."

I grew up with my grandparents telling me to always ask permission when going into the jungle or if I see a tree where its messy with leaves and debris around it except under it to leave it alone or else I'd get pinched by the taotaomonas. There's two kinds of pinches. The first one looks like a fresh normal bruise but doesn't hurt. The other is red and usually gets swollen and feels like its on fire. Okay now that the history lesson is over and done with I can get to my story....

It all started when I was in elementary not sure what grade I was but it was before I was 5th grade. My sister and I were playing with these buckets that we turned over and used sticks to hit it with pretending they were drums. After a while it started to get dark and my sister decided to go in to watch some TV and I stayed to play "drums."
While I was banging away I had this odd feeling of someone watching me. I suddenly looked up and there, near our house is this massive tree with vines all over it and I remember seeing this HUGE MAN lying on the veins. Thinking it was just my imagination I went inside the house.

Later on in the week our class was looking at books with legends of Guam in them and there was one about taotaomonas and illustrations from people who'd seen them. And this one picture caught my eye, it looked exactly like the thing I saw. In the book it describes some taotaomonas as BIG MEN holding their heads in their hands and going around the jungle and if you make noises at night they'll come and get you. I didn't tell anyone about the thing I saw and nothing happened for a while. But I noticed I'd start to feel uneasy at some places, or I'd suddenly feel as if someone was watching me.

Anyway's as I started middle school a few years after and my sister and I got a brand new bunk bed to give us some privacy being as we were sharing a room. Me, being the oldest got the bottom bunk because it was the bigger bed. I used to spend hours reading books, mags, or writing in my journal sometimes I'd stay awake till 3am. One night I was starting to get sleepy so I put my stuff to the side of my bed and started to doze off when I started to hear footsteps near my bed. I knew it wasn't my mom or dad because I would have heard my door opening and it couldn't have been my sister because I could hear her snoring above me. So I did what any logical kid would do.. covered my face with the blanket.
Let me tell you, trying to sleep with your face completely covered with no air conditioner on Guam is horrible.
I fell asleep eventually and I guess in my sleep pushed off my blanket and I awoke few hours afterwards to whispering near me. My dog Butch was tied up near our window and while I could hear the whispers he was barking like crazy. I used my arm to close my eyes and kept praying that night and eventually fell asleep again.

The next day my mom took us to go visit my grandmas house. My grandma did the usual hugs and kisses and when it was my turn she noticed a huge bruise on my arm. She started speaking in chamorro to my mom and then started using her saliva and putting the sign of the cross on the bruise. Being completely grossed and freaked out I just stood there while she asked me if I been in the jungle or made noises at night. Being scared I said "no" to all those things. Anyway's I couldn't figure out why she was so worried and freaked out and my mom wouldn't answer me while we were at my grandmas. But as soon as we got in the car I started bombarding my mom with questions and she told me that my grandma was saying it was a taotaomona pinch on my arm. And she put the saliva of the cross there to make it go away and sure enough the next day it was gone, like nothing was there.

I've had many pinches through my life. My uncle who's a seronu (ser-on-new) said they liked me. So I've used the spit and cross method many times. Anyways every night I would hear the footsteps and voices and it became natural to sleep to. Then my sister and I got new beds since we were growing out of our bunk bed phase. And once we got rid of the bunk beds the voices stopped. I came up with a theory that "they" only bothered me when I was alone and since my sister and I were on the same level they didn't bother me anymore.

Two years passed by and no occurrences happened. Then my sister went to sleep over at my aunties house and me, wanting to be able to go on the computer without someone nagging on me to get off, stayed home. I was on the computer while my brother was in the living room directly behind me watching TV. All of a sudden I felt this cold draft and I heard someone screaming my name. Thinking it was my brother I turned around ready to yell at him for disturbing me. But when I turned around our living room was pitch black and the door to my brothers room was closed. So that basically put me out of the mood for the computer so I started to shut it down. Then thinking maybe it was just my imagination I went into the kitchen to get a drink and had this feeling of someone watching me and laughing, then I heard a heavy object falling in the kitchen and thinking my brother probably came out of his room to get something, but when I looked the living room was still pitch black and my brother wasn't there. I basically ditched my cup and walked as fast as I could to my room and turned on the light and closed the door.
All night I could feel someone watching me and I swear I saw a devils face on my wall. But it could just have been my overactive imagination.

Anyways our house was built on marsh land and it was sinking so my mom and dad decided we had to move for our safety. After they informed us of this, the voices and footsteps started up again and I always felt like someone was watching me. My dad later told me right before we moved out that the area we were living at was part of the death march the japanese made the chamorros do. THANKS DAD!

One morning my mom woke me up at 6am and at the time my bed was facing the door. I sat there staring outside the door to the hallway, when I saw a low shadow, maybe 2 ft. above the ground going across the wall and my parents bedroom door. Thinking nothing of it I just kept staring and then another shadow was on my parents door and it looked like the shadow my mom makes when she's on the bed and leans down to tie her shoes. So thinking it was my mom I got up and went into their room calling her and seeing she wasn't in there I made my way into the hallway. My mom heard me calling her and came to me. I asked her if she was in her bedroom and she said no then I told her what I saw and for some reason I just felt like laughing. My aunty, my moms sister tells me that she sees the shadows all the time in the early mornings. Well we moved from that house and as we were leaving I went into my room and said goodbye to "it." But it followed me to the other house. I'd hear things dropping in back of me while I was on the computer. I'd constantly feel like someone was watching. And I couldn't sleep alone in my room from the feeling of someone wanting to harm me.

Enough of the scary parts of my life.... on to unexplainable things that happened to my family.

When I was a toddler we used to stay at my grandparents house and they had this big tree behind it that just dropped off to the neighbors yard. The drop off was 10 ft. high and if you fell down it you'd break something and if you were a little kid you'd probably die.
Anyways this one day I was outside running around and my mom and grandma saw me running towards the back of the tree and they started running after me and were preparing to find me dead on the bottom of our neighbors yard. They didn't see me on the bottom so they started looking when they saw me coming around the other side laughing and untouched. My mom and grandma told my dad and uncles' and they checked it out thinking I had stepped on some roots of the tree to get around, but when they looked no roots or anything was there for me to step on. Freaked out and not wanting another incident like that with me maybe falling to my death, they built a fence around the tree and the drop.

Another story is just my mom.
My grandma passed away and it was her funeral and my mom went to the house to grab some stuff for me and my cousins at the church, when she saw the flashing light on the answering machine blinking, she pushed the button to hear it and it was my grandma's voice telling my mom that she loved us and to take care of us. My mom started sobbing and when the message was over she pushed the rewind button so she could replay it for my dad and his siblings, being it was their mother. When she tried to play it again there was nothing on the tape. My dad and uncles believed my mom of course because my mom wouldn't lie about stuff like that.

Well I hope you guys enjoyed my stories.

There are many more but I feel as if I kept your attention long enough.
I'll save it for another time.

Doria, Guam
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