Interviewed by: Ma. Rita Martha "Myta" H. Santiago
1. As noticed much in Southeast Asia, a majority of ghost stories, if not all, are femininely inclined. In the Philippines, if you read some of our more traditional ghost stories, it is not much different from other SEA countries. What do you think is the reason why traditional ghost stories are tilted to the female side?
Answer: I believe it's all in where you look. What you may be observing is that stories that deal with a feminine presence are much more popular with the male populace. As a ghost hunter, I have found that ghostly activities have an equal balance when dealing with male or female entities. With men, it may sound more romantic when there is a female spirit involved in the ghost story. You can see that with the names of various female spirits, such as The White Lady of Stow Lake which is popular in San Francisco. Whoever is writing the story can center on the female entity, which brings on a male audience. We seek out a colorful character and it appears that female spirits fit that bill. By the way, thank you for the information on The White Lady of Balete Drive and Bloody Mary! Talk about ghostly colorful characters!
2. In traditional ghost stories, female ghosts are seen as beautiful women in white and found often in long sheets and act as lost hitch hikers. What is the reason for this? Is there any symbol or metaphor for this?
Answer: I feel we have a lot of urban legends out there, with no real substance. They may be some foundation of truth to these stories, but the stories become exaggerated by the author of these stories. One urban legend tells of Jesus Christ as a hippie hitchhiking and then vanishing in front of the driver's eyes. This story has been told many, many times. That is what makes legends, a good storyteller. Many stories on Billy the Kid are fiction, but we want to believe those stories. Billy the Kid became a legend through the authors that placed him high on a pedestal. I want to give you one case example. If the true facts of Machine Gun Kelly were told, you would discover that he was actually a bland and mundane gangster that hardly accomplished anything. But, because he had such a cool sounding name, various authors credited him with incredible feats that he actually had no part of. Machine Gun Kelly became a legend solely on the words of the authors that wrote stories about him. If I wanted, I could actually create my own legend through my writing. That is why they say that the pen is mightier than the sword. You can accomplish a lot in good story telling. Writing is power. Like Stan Lee says...With great power there must also come — great responsibility, as referenced to his creation Spider-Man. I try to be responsible in my writings, I noticed when I do discuss an urban legend in my articles, that at times my readers will take the urban legend to heart. I attempt to let my readers know that the story may or may not be true and that most urban legends are fiction.
3. I noticed that some female ghosts in traditional ghost stories appear alone. What is the explanation for this?
Answer: Again...there is the romance to the story. The damsel in distress, of a lone female figure, longing for her lover, needing to be rescued, needing security. When I was in Germany, there was a story told about 'The Lady of the Full Moon' that was seen at the Simon-Loschen Lighthouse in Bremerhaven. The story goes, that this beautiful woman caught her fiancee in bed with her best friend and she climbed the lighthouse and jumped to her death in the icy cold waters of the Atlantic. During a full moon, people claim that they can see her on top of the lighthouse looking towards the sea. They say she looks sad. She is wearing a long bright red gown and as they watch her, she falls from the lighthouse and vanishes midway before hitting the sea.
4. Now, when it comes to response, why is it that girls (in any age group) are often being contacted by female ghosts, regardless if they have the sixth sense or not? Is it because of the trust in girl-to-girl contact?
Answer: You hit the nail on the head. I know this from experience. How many times was my sister preached to by my mother, father and her brothers (including me), that boys can be deceiving and that they have one goal in mind. A woman can trust another woman in finding answers and the truth that she seeks. The mind is very powerful and if a female is an empath, she may be centering on contact from a female presence, opening a door for that female entity and closing the door on any male entities that have a desire to contact her. Also, there has been case examples in which an entity referred to as the 'protector' will keep other entities away from the occupants of the home. A female entity knowing that the contactee only wants female assistance, may keep away any male entities from the contactee. The intrusion from a male spirit may be halted from the protector, a female entity.
5. Why do girls respond better to ghost stories rather than boys? I mean, why do some girls enjoy this conversation while some boys avoid it?
Answer: This is questionable. Men may avoid talking ghostly talk with women, due to their machismo persona. I found that many men LOVE ghost stories. I believe it's equal, men and women both love ghost stories.
6. My friend said that the reason why female ghost stories are more abundant is that we have this concept of evil that females are "evil." Do you believe this? Why or why not?
Answer: Not at all. Unless of course you are talking about the Bell Witch...LOL! That was one mean female spirit! There are many mean and devilish male spirits. Case example: The Bogdanovka Incubus. When I was in Moscow, Russia, I heard about this demon, a male entity that would terrorize the village of Bogdanovka in the 1930s. Females fell prey to a black mist that would follow them into their homes and they were sexually assaulted by this entity. I have heard more stories of evil male spirits, than evil female spirits. When I was visiting the East End of London, people still claim that the spirit of Jack the Ripper haunts the streets. I believe there is strong residual haunting activity in the East End and I would not be surprised if the residual negative energy of Jack the Ripper is there!
7. Does our culture have something to do with female-inclined ghost stories?
Answer: I really feel the stories are equal on male and female spirit activity. I have been working with Shannon McCabe - President of H.P.I. (Haunted and Paranormal International) www.hpiparanormal.net for one year now and have been on over 60 investigations and Shannon and I, can attest that we have both heard equal stories on male and female presences in various locations we have investigated.
Thank you so much! You may publicize this if you want. Those who would like to participate in this public interview may email me at mytasantiago[at]yahoo[dot]com.
Thank you for this interview, it has been a great pleasure! May the spirits of good fortune be in your favor!
Ma. Rita Martha "Myta" H. Santiago
Ateneo de Manila University
Bachelor of Arts, Major in European Studies - First Year
mytasantiago @ yahoo.com
mrm.h.santiago @ lycos.com
Ateneo Lingua Ars Cultura (ALAC) - Human Resources Department Kaingin - Spiritual Department
Ang isang pinuno ay dapat pinuno upang pumuno. - Boyet Dy