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PLAYFUL KAPRE

Last April, I accompanied my best friend on a short visit in Bulacan, Philippines. Her sister told me that the suburb where we were residing during our visit used to be a forest. We stayed at the house of the parents.

As there was a shortage of beds, I decided to sleep with two others on a thin mattress with two other members of the family. The next morning, I woke up with a fever and felt light headed. I decided to take the antibiotics I brought with me.

By late afternoon, I felt a bit better. The fever subsided. On the second night, as we were preparing our beddings, a strong urine odor permeated the air. I checked the floor. It was dry. The odor seemed to be much stronger at the corner.

Suffice to say, I chose the space farthest from it when it was finally time to sleep. Around 2 a.m., I heard the sound of plastic scrunching. The sound came from behind the door where I had my handbag sitting on a plastic bag.

Suddenly, I became very wide awake. Any trace of sleepiness was gone. Then, I heard the same sound again coming from the same direction. I knew then that something was putting pressure on my bag for the plastic bag to make the noise.

Refusing to feel fear, I took out my DVD player and used the headphones to watch a movie. The feeling of being watched by something unseen made me uneasy. Just as I was starting the movie, the urge to sleep came back.

I turned off the player and was slowly drifting off to sleep when I smelled a very strong animal like odor right in front of me. I knew that whatever it was, it wanted me to notice it. Refusing to feel afraid, I turned on my side, hoping it would go away. It didn't.

I turned to lie on my back again to avoid it. Then, I felt this ever so gentle pressure at the side of my right lower leg. That scared me. I was so relieved when my friend's mother woke up at that exact moment.

Not wanting to sound foolish, I casually asked her if she has ever experienced something strange in the house. She said something invisible scratched her back once while she was sitting on her bed. That got my full attention.

I made up my mind right there and then not to spend another night in that house. As I was telling her about my plan to move house, that same stinking smell of urine filled the air. I knew then that whatever it was did not like what I just said.

I moved to another house just around the corner. I packed my pillows, towel, blanket and bedsheets in my suitcase and left after breakfast. The weird thing about the smell I observed was, it could come and go in a matter of minutes.

Upon arrival at the other house, I decided to take a shower. As I was drying myself, I heard that familiar sound of a plastic bag being moved again. I verbally asked permission to use the shower room. Nothing happened after that until I went upstairs to hang my freshly washed clothes at the verandah.

Every time I lifted my arms, something pinched me around my abdominal section. After the third time, I told whatever it was to stop because it was hurting me. Thankfully, it left me alone after that.

The whole day passed uneventfully. Around five in the afternoon, as I was sitting on a bench watching TV, I felt a gentle pressure in the middle of my back which was followed by a pinch. I was leaning on a pillow at the time so I knew that nobody could access that part of my body.

I asked a friend to check my back but he saw no sign of redness at all. I began to feel uneasy again. Then, I felt something very sharp scratch my foot. I thought it cut me but after inspection, I found no cut. It left me alone after that.

When bedtime came, I chose to sleep downstairs on a folding bed. As I was unpacking my beddings, I felt dampness. Then, that urine smell came back again. All my beddings were wet and smelled like urine. It was terrible. My friend was baffled as well.

She then mentioned something strange that happened early that morning before I moved. My friend's mother own a plastic urinal but kept it stored in a plastic bag under her bed. Since buying a commode, that urinal was not used for several months.

That morning, they were shocked to find it right next to my pile of beddings. Nobody knew how it got there. After hearing this, I knew it wanted to follow the scent. It was not finished with me yet. I refused to feel intimidated by this unseen spirit so I made me bed as usual, even using the pillow that stunk of urine.

As I was drifting off to sleep, I heard the kitchen utensils being moved. The feeling of being watched was back again. I turned the lights off and tried to sleep on my right side, hoping that it would leave me alone.

Suddenly, I felt sharp insect feet crawling up my exposed right forearm. That made me jump out of my bed to turn the lights on. I saw nothing. I was kept awake after that. Even my portable DVD player would not work.

Then, after what seemed like an hour, I felt exhausted and thought I could not take anymore. For no reason, I sat up and started thinking. The thought of turning off the portable fan crossed my mind. My friend left set it so it was not stationary.

Then, I heard the ticking sound just like when someone manually stops it from moving. I slowly turned around to look where it was coming from. The fan was stationary, pointed directly at me. I turned it off and went back to bed.

I felt a lightness in the air as if whatever it was has left. Feeling so tired due to lack of sleep, I dozed off. Suddenly, I was jolted by the sound of my friend's voice saying 'Good morning!’ I could not believe it when I saw it was broad daylight.

It just couldn't be possible but I lost time without being aware of it. After narrating what happened overnight, friend and her relations told me that the 'kapre' from the mother's house followed me. They have known about it ever since the house was built.

She was even scratched on her back while I was sitting on her bed. They said maybe the kapre made fun of me for not asking permission to stay. I should have said 'tabi-tabi po' when I first entered the dwelling. I did that and I was left alone that whole day.

Unfortunately, I had to leave that same day because I could not take the chance of a repeat of that strange encounter. Kapre or not, nothing could have stopped me from leaving. I vowed never to go back to that town again for a holiday just to be safe.

ANONYMOUS SUBMISSION.


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