True Weird: Kaith Cimafranca’s Encounters with the Strange

Kaith Cimafranca is a Virtual Assistant by day and a writer at night. “I have three kids, thus the decision to quit the corporate world and work from home in 2012.”

Kaith tweeted Jiggy Cruz and I after I guested on Jiggy’s Geek Speak, where we talked about the supernatural, and I thought it would be nice to share her stories here. But first, the question and answer portion:

How did your interest in the supernatural start?

I guess the interest in the supernatural has been there for as long as I can remember.

I am from Binalbagan, Negros Occidental. It’s a small town 1.5 hours south of Bacolod City. It’s the kind of town where everyone knows everyone, and majority of them believes in supernatural stuff like dwende, kulam, and even aswang. It’s also for this same reason why my first novel is set in a sleepy town.

My maternal grandmother regaled me with stories of my lolo’s, who was a tricycle driver then, encounters with a flying coffin and white lady passengers. I also had an uncle bewitched by a lady resident of the rubber tree near their boarding house.

I think it’s all these stories, and a couple of them being proven 90% true, that makes the topic fascinating for me.

Story 1: Ghost Highway 

I was about 12 or 13 when this happened. It was a Friday the 13th, this I am very sure about. The day felt ominous because for one, my sister who has lupus hadn’t been sleeping well that week. She wasn’t in pain or anything but something was just off. Her yaya then, who hailed from the mountains, tried a couple of well-known pangontra (charms) like burning some rubber and incense at 6pm.

I came home from playing lawn tennis quite late that so I was tired. We were in bed by 10pm. We slept in one room – my nanay, two sisters and the yaya (since my youngest sister wasn’t feeling well), and I always take the side near the window. All the lights in our room were turned off, but we have two fluorescent lights just outside the house, so we can look out the window and not be seen.

Despite the exhaustion, I didn’t fall asleep immediately. I was tossing and turning literally. I was getting frustrated. Then I heard it. First, it was several people passing by talking and all. It wasn’t strange because a lot of people pass by our subdivision from the nearby barangay, instead of going by the highway. They were just a tad bit noisier than usual, but I didn’t mind. Then came the sound of kariton being pushed. Like I can hear the wheels rolling against the road. Then more people passing by. Parang whole barangay ang dumaan and nagchichikahan while naglalakad, that level. Suddenly, my second sister who sleepwalks that time, stood up and tried to open the door. The yaya who may have been woken up the sound outside immediately grabbed her and asked where she was going.
Of course, this roused my nanay and other sister. Then they were aware of the unusual traffic sa labas, so my nanay and I finally took a peek to see what was going on. Annnnd, walang tao! Not even a stray dog in sight. I mean, just a few minutes ago ang ingay! Then even if we caught the last group, we would still see them a few meters away di ba? But nada! Walang katao-tao!
Then we remembered someone saying that our street was like a portal where creatures not from this dimension pass through. If this were true, maybe the group we heard was moving from one place to another. Nawindang kami.

Story Two: Doppelganger

I went to Silliman University for college. For 2 years, I stayed in one of the dormitories in Edith Carson Hall.

During my sophomore year, I shared a room with 5 freshies referred to as ‘smallies,’ while I was the big sister. One weekend, I went home and didn’t come back until Monday. But my smallies swore I was there on Sunday night.
They were all sleeping when I supposedly arrived. They knew it was me by the way I walked and moved. ‘I’ opened my cabinet, arranged my stuff, etc., then went to bed. The next day, they were surprised to find my bed empty. They thought I just went out early. I had orgs and also wrote for the university paper so I would occasionally head out before they were all up for their classes.

But in reality, I was still back in my hometown until 8am that Monday and didn’t get to Dumaguete until 12nn. They were all in the room when I opened the door and semi-shouted ‘I am back!” I had a couple of paper bags full of goodies from Bacolod and they wondered why I was lugging them around the school. I said, ‘what?’ I just got back, fresh from the bus terminal.’ Then sabay-sabay na sila nagsasalita kesyo niloloko ko daw sila. That five of them heard the door open then ‘someone’ came in and moved around like it was the most normal thing in the world. As realization set in, nag goosebumps na kami lahat. Very common ang doppelgänger na story in the school, especially sa dorm namin. And I can attest to this not only because someone tried to be me, but because I saw a dorm mate’s doppelgänger din.

Story 2.1: Doppelganger, Part 2

This happened the same year, not sure if before or after our story. It was a Sunday, sometime around 9pm. Most of the common areas’ lights have been turned off because nga Sunday and we have to be prepared for Monday. I went down to get water from the mess hall. Then I saw this dorm mate walk from the sala towards the hallway. I smiled at her, but deadma sya. I was weirded out because we had always been friendly. Anyway, I got my water and forgot all about it.

Until the next day when I headed down to the mess hall for breakfast. This dorm mate’s little sister and the dorm assistant were talking and I couldn’t help but hear the conversation because they were in the area where I would get the food. The little sister said that her ate would probably miss her morning classes because may problema yata ang buses that time. So syempre, I was like, what. Then I asked where her sister was and of course, inulit nya na nasa sa kanila pa. Eh di mega kwento na ako na I saw her last night, na pumasok sa west wing. Na hindi nga ako binati. The look on their faces. Haha. Sabi ni little sister, impossible kasi nga wala pa ate nya. Sabi ko naman, eh hindi ako nagkakamali na ate nya yun last night. Then we shrugged it off kasi nga normal occurrence na yun.

Thanks, Kaith!

More about Kaith:

Kaith also has a beauty blog and has two stories out on Buqo. One is part of the #StrangeLit Incredible Truth’s bundle, “As The Night Ends,” (#StrangeLit was an online class organised and facilitated by Mina Esguerra. All stories are about the supernatural and paranormal). The other one is a short romance story, “Chasing Closure Away”). She is currently working on the second edition of As The Night Ends, which will be released in both ebook and paperback formats.

Find her author page on FB at KC Cimafranca, on Twitter @alveel_kaith and on Instargam at @alveel_cake.


Yvette Natalie U. Tan is a multi-awarded author of horror fiction and the Agriculture section editor of Manila Bulletin.

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