"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

As jails are generally not noted for their warm, happy atmosphere, it is not surprising that they are the setting for a good many ghost stories.  This particularly colorful account comes from the “Philadelphia Inquirer,” August 10, 1956:

MANILA. Aug. 9 (UP) Ghostly goings-on in Legaspi's jail were giving police in that southwestern Luzon city a bad case of the jitters today. 

Sgt. Salustiano Esplana, in charge of Precinct 1, was first to experience the spook. He was walking along a second floor corridor one night when he heard a voice from a cell below pleading in the native dialect: "Sarge, let me out. Please let me out."

Esplana thought the voice belonged to one of the city's regular drunks and paid no attention. The plea was repeated three times and Esplana asked the guard on duty, Patrolman Lucio Barcelon, who the prisoner was. The guard said the cell was empty. A quick check with a flashlight bore him out. Esplana was so unnerved by the experience that he asked for and was granted a leave of absence.

Later an American sailor was booked for public disturbance and locked in the same cell. He made so much noise that Cpl. Mateo Martinez asked Patrolman Barcelon to see what was wrong. Barcelon didn't come back. Martinez found the patrolman unconscious on the floor, his eyes wide open and his body numb. He revived only after a pail of water was thrown on him. Barcelon said that as he neared the cell "some unseen force blew an unusually strong air against my face which made me feel dizzy until I fell."

Still later Patrolmen Vincente Santa and Victorio Basco were strolling near the jail when they heard noises "as if someone was taking a bath in the cell." Investigating, they saw a detached hand overhead pouring a can of water. The patrolmen fled. Even firemen housed in the same building were not spared by the spook.

Marcelo Lascano Goyena and Rodolfo Daep, unable to sleep one hot night, decided to take a bath. No sooner had Goyena dried himself, he said, than an unseen hand poured a basin of water over him, knocking him out. Daep found him in the bathroom. Revived, Goyena told of smelling "an extraordinarily malodorous waft of air" which accompanied the dousing.  Legaspi City's hardened guardians of the law no longer are as sure as they once were that there are no such things as ghosts.


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