Those who've seen ghosts and those who haven't.
For all my interest in the occult, I am one of those who haven't.
I work in a building said to be densely haunted, built as it is on what used to be a stretch of killing fields during the "Japanese time." Every other officemate has reported unexplained sightings, soundings, and sensings. And of course, the stories fly thicker and faster as November comes near.
It is always Hector this and Hector that.
Hector is the most popular of our resident ghosts.
Last seen, Hector was walking the office corridors and entering the men's washroom. The only trouble is he snubbed the door and entered directly into the wall. He must have stayed there because even the most macho of our macho men stayed clear of the men’s room all day.
Objects were getting lost all week. Keys, files, mobile phones. Si Hector kasi. Then they are wondrously put back. Si Hector din kasi.
One morning last week, as I came in, there was a crowd huddling by the big glass door. "Look, look," they say, "there’s Hector." Before I could scamper away, someone assured me “... it is just his image.” My less than 20-20 vision could only make out amorphous blotches, even as everyone else saw a silhouette of eyes, nose, mouth on the glass door -- as though the surface was thick with mist and someone pressed his face unaccountably on it. The consensus: “Guapo pala si Hector.”
My own daughter had close brushes with Hector, too. She has espied him in caucus with his buddies by the dimly-lit lounge near the stairway. In my room one night, she saw the main door swing open and then swing close, with no visitor to account for the motion. Since then, she refused to again come up at night unless I fetched her from the ground floor.
One night, many years ago, the reconnoitering security guard heard earnest typing at the director’s office on our floor. A workaholic spirit by all indications, as the click-clacking on the keyboard continued until the small hours of morning. Also an impatient one, because between click-clacks, there was the bang-clang of file cabinets flinging open and pushing shut.
First thing the next morning, sure enough, a computer was seen still running. On the screen was a single word: “Hector.” And that was how the playful phantom identified himself.
Come to think of it, I am the only person in the office willing to work alone late at night nowadays, with only the security guard on the lobby for insecure company. When my friends ask me why or how, I can only mumble: “There’s nothing to fear but fear.”
I don’t know why I am impervious to Hector and his buddies. All I know is that they just do not seem to like me, for why else have they never spooked me?!
I think I am about to take personal offense.
Last night, at the online scrabble club, I opened a game with the word "S-P-I-R-I-T-S." My opponent in turn answered with the word "S-E-N-S-I-N-G." One of us remarked how our bingos kept with the spirit of November 1st.
And that is how this post got written.