Baguio's Famous Haunts : The Diplomat Hotel, Laperal House and Casa Vallejo Hotel

October 23, 2013

Baguio is famous for many things, among them a reputation for being haunted. It is for one, a city rich with history and aged heritage sites. And we humans tend to attribute ghosts to the past.


Diplomat Hotel.
We like to be spooked, to be haunted. Baguio has all the right contraptions for that: the centuries-old structures that survived wars and catastrophes; the hair-raising cold weather, the slow-moving fog that looms over the city, the colossal pine trees that weed out of every crack and corner. They all make for a very conducive backdrop for a haunted city. 

Here are some of Baguio's most famous haunted places we recently visited.
  • The Diplomat Hotel
This two-storey 1911 structure atop Dominican Hill is one of the most famous stops for ghost seekers, usually after a tour of nearby Lourdes Grotto. Once a rest house for Dominican friars (hence the cross), it became a refugee camp during WWII and was bombed by the Japanese. 





Nearly thirty years after, it was transformed into a hotel managed by psychic healer Tony Agpaoa, whose terminal patients frequently boarded the hotel. His death in the 80s halted all operations, turning it into the abandoned, paint-chipped and ghostly hotel it is now.



Since then, residents have claimed to hear screams, clanking utensils and banging doors coming from the hotel. It is purported that these are the collective spirits of war prisoners, the terminally ill and all lost souls who have once made Diplomat their home. Others like our Manong Driver, claim it may be those of taxi drivers who were victims of murder and holdup along Diplomat Road (Apparently, robbery is rampant here especially during the night, and taxi drivers are the most common victims). University of Baguio students also told zis mom that a nurse recently dove to her death from the window on the second floor. 




An 80-million redevelopment plan to transform Diplomat Hotel into an event venue was proposed by the Baguio government last year. 


Spine-tingling factor: 5 out of 5

  • Laperal House
Laperal House, also known as The White House (or No. 4  Laperal), lies along Leonard Wood Road, just a few steps away from Teacher's Camp - itself a purported haunted institution in Baguio. 







It was once owned by the affluent Laperal family, and was seized by the Japanese during WWII. Rumor has it that the Laperal head of the family died here of an accident by the stairs, and he, along with the entire family and a girl in white frequenting the steps at the front porch, still lurk the premises to this day.


Stairs were a girl in white is said to be spotted at night.

Lookey at the window!

A few years back the house was purchased by PAL magnate Lucio Tan, and has since been 

transformed into a museum showcasing Art Deco and Igorot antiques. The exterior was refurbished but still remains eerie. If you wish to step inside, the house is open for exhibits on weekends. We went on a weekday and were allowed only to take photos from the outside by the caretakers.




Spine-tingling factor: 4 out of 5 (from the outside; might be higher if we actually went inside).

  • Casa Vallejo Hotel
Established in 1909, Casa Vallejo was once a pre-war dormitory, a Spanish-owned nook for the elite, and a German detention center before it was transformed into the beautiful boutique hotel it is now. The hotel is also one of only two structures left unscathed during the Baguio bombing in WWII. 



The large mirror at the lobby is said to be a portal to the other side, although when I looked all I saw were zits and freckles. The secluded and dark corridor leading to the ballroom is said to be haunted as well. Guests also claim to hear the sound of wood creaking on silent nights, though that could easily be due to Casa Vallejo's wooden architecture.


That mirror is said to be a portal to another world.
Haunted corridors?

Overall, no spooks felt here, just warm and welcoming vibe. 

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