A shadow creeps out of the corner of your eye. You look backwards, sidewise, and all around, but you see no one. You suddenly feel the hair at the back of your neck rising. Strange noises come out from nowhere. A door suddenly slams while the curtain sways even though there’s no sign of wind. You hear footsteps but you’re all alone. Is it just your imagination or is there a ghost lurking by?
Some people are interested in the world of supernatural entities. These people are drawn to the unknown, unseen and hard to explain. They are called parapsychologists, paranormal investigators, paranormal experts, or spirit questors.
Spirit questors in the Philippines
The study of paranormal activity has captivated Filipinos for a long time. There are different groups of spirit questors in the Philippines.
Jaime T. Licauco, more popularly called as Jimmy Licauco, is a known parapsychologist in the country. He is the founder and president of the Inner Mind Development Institute, a training center dedicated to parapsychology, psychic investigation, philosophy and metaphysics. Licauco is an expert in “inner mind development, creative and intuitive management, paranormal phenomena, and Philippine mysticism.” He has authored 17 books about these subjects. Licauco’s services are frequently sought to investigate paranormal phenomenon around the country. He has appeared in numerous TV programs to talk about haunting, possession and other paranormal phenomenon.
In Baguio city, a group called The Silent (an affiliate of the Spirit Questors, Inc.) “promotes peaceful and compromising coexistence and understanding between what is seen and what is unseen.” The group conducts paranormal research and investigation. The members focus on providing explanation to paranormal events in Baguio City area. The Silent renders free services.
Dion Fernandez, paranormal researcher and founder of Spirit Questors Baguio, states that supernatural beings come in different varieties, forms and figures. He classifies the spirits according to the following types.
- Archetypes – It is the most powerful of the spirits according to Fernandez. Archetypal spirits are high entities that include angels, spirit guides, demons, deities, and spectral guardians.
- Ghosts – They are often associated with spirits of the deceased. Ghosts take on corporeal figures such as human forms or animals. Fernandez believes that ghosts can also be manifested by the living which includes “crisis apparitions” (ghosts brought about by a traumatic incident) and “non-crisis apparitions” such as “doppelgangers” (ghost of the person’s image) and “living others” (ghost of another person). The concept of ghosts also includes “revenants” (ghosts that appear for a short period of time after the death of a certain individual) and “haunters” (ghosts that make its presence felt repeatedly over long periods of time in a particular location).
- Elementals – This classification is linked with forces of nature (earth, air, fire, water) and energy. Mystical creatures that filled childhood stories like fairies, elves, mermaids, and dragons are classified as elementals.
- Thought forms – These are mental projections and not actually real spirits. Thought forms may be manifested through visualization. They are created by the mind. It is the least powerful of the form of spirits.
Fernandez heads a small closed group of professionals who act as spirit questors during their spare time. He says that the call to help spirits is a special gift that only a few possess. His team is made up of gifted individuals. One of the questors has the ability to call spirits by playing the flute. That person is now a practicing nurse in Manila. Another member who acts as a medium is now living abroad. The other members have interchanged roles. There’s someone who can interpret while another has the gift to calm spirits. One member has the capacity to set spirits free.
The group of Fernandez has once been requested by the National Bureau of Investigation to help in a rape murder case. The questors helped reconstruct the victims’ last five hours before she was brutally raped and murdered. Fernandez recounts that the police officers and NBI agents who joined the circle fainted during the paranormal investigation and had to be carried out. The questors were informed years later that the authorities were able to pin down two suspects with the help of the quest.
The Baguio Spirit Questors played a role in the investigation of the kidnapping of two students from the University of the Philippines at the start of the millennium. During the paranormal investigation, the questors saw the “image of a young man holding out his hand to the girl and leading her to the light.” The questors informed the authorities that the kidnap victims have been killed. The group helped the two spirits achieve spiritual freedom.
Although the questors have been instrumental in helping free spirits, there have been instances when their abilities were not enough to help the spirits. Several years ago, after the onslaught of typhoon Pepeng, the two remaining questors were not able to help all the spirits that wanted to be set free.
The members of the Baguio Spirit Questors have dedicated themselves to setting many spirits free. They helped many wandering souls find spiritual liberation. The group also helps the living find peace by uncovering certain things about their departed loved ones. The members revealed that they do not appreciate being “sought out during Halloween and made into a joke by networks.”
Words of caution from spirit questors about ghost hunting
Ghost hunting has become quite a popular activity especially during Halloween season but paranormal experts warn thrill seekers and novice questors about the dangers of paranormal investigation.
People who think of ghost hunting as a game often go to cemeteries and alleged haunted places hoping to witness spirits, ghosts or entities. Experienced paranormal investigators warn ghost hunters that the metaphysical dangers of an investigation are real and should not be taken lightly.
Keep in mind that if there are benevolent spirits, there are also malevolent ones that can attach themselves to you and follow you home. There are mischievous entities that seek out the living with the intention to inflict damage. Some negative beings trick unsuspecting ghost hunters into thinking that they are spirits of the deceased that need help in order to win the trust of the living and later cause them harm. Mental breakdowns can also result from joining paranormal investigations without prior knowledge and training. Experienced spirit questors stress the importance of knowing how to protect yourself before dealing with unseen forces.
Photo c/o Pixabay. Public domain.
Rachel Yapchiongco, also known as Rach to her friends, is a Psychology and Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University. Rachel is a chocolate lover, full-time mom to a charming young boy and married to an entrepreneur who has a passion for cooking. She shares parenting experiences and slices of everyday life on her personal blog called Heart of Rachel.