By Joee Guilas

One of the things we will surely miss this season of souls, when TV stations usually pepper us with scary content, is the annual Magandang Gabi Bayan Halloween Special, which has somehow become part of our annual Undas traditions. Hosted by revered and respected broadcaster Noli de Castro (one of my two mentors in newscasting, Tina Monzon-Palma being the other one), the MGB Halloween telecasts have given us scary stuff that not only sent chills to our bones but also gave us reasons to believe in the existence of entities and activities that are beyond normal.

This year, with ABS-CBN off the air and with the possibility of watching an MGB Kababalaghan Special almost nil, the Thrillmaker now presents you with a printed version of what can very well be two segments of an MGB episode for Halloween. The first one is a real-life tale shared by Kabayan Noli de Castro’s own daughter, Kat, set in the very residence of the MGB host; and another, a totally unforgettable and hair-raising experience that one of the show’s segment producers had while doing a story for the show’s Halloween special some years back.

cats30 1 - Kat de Castro and her dolls
Kat de Castro

Kat and her dolls

Growing up in her parents’ house in Quezon City, Kat de Castro was just like any other little girl who loved playing with and collecting dolls. In her case, she particularly fancied the fashionable kind—Barbie dolls, which are all part of the brand’s limited edition series. Over the years, Kat was able to collect more than 100 of them, displayed all over her bedroom. Nothing scary about that. If it draws any reaction from people, that would be a sigh of amazement for such an extensive collection!

About a decade ago, Kat started going into her own TV production ventures and produced “Trip Na Trip,” a popular travel show she likewise hosted with some personalities from Pinoy Big Brother. Putting the weekly show together took a toll on the amount of time she spent home and, of course, her room: “It wasn’t easy producing a travel show which brings you to many different places. There will be times when I will be out for a very long time,” she shares.

One time, one of her helpers heard faint noises coming from inside her bedroom. They were giggles. A little girl’s giggles. Could it be that Kat may have sneaked in to her room from a trip without anyone in the house noticing? The kasambahay casually opened Kat’s bedroom’s door to take a peek who’s inside. To her shock, no one was there and all the dolls were in total disarray on the bedroom floor!

Not the type who’ll easily give it to her fears, the maid decided to call Kat on the phone just to ask if she actually went home, even for while, after her trip. The maid asked: “Ma’am andito ka na po ba? Inayos mo po ba yung mga Barbie dolls ninyo?” Dumbfounded, Kat replied: “Ano? Wala. Nasa Batanes pa ako.”

Even during times, when she herself is home, Kat notices certain unusual activities that are related with the dolls in her room.

“One time, in the middle of the night, I felt somebody grabbing my dolls. Initially, I thought it was just my daughter, pero wala sya. Then I saw my Barbie doll on the floor. So I decided to just go out of my room to get water,” she recalls.

However, before she could even drink her water, Kat’s eyes landed on “something” that almost caused her to lose her breath: “Sa likod ng ref, me nakita akong little girl. Parang silhouette. Nakatayo, long haired, no face,” she knew she had to get out of there. So she headed to her daughter’s room to check if her little one is alright. She found her daughter sleeping soundly with her yaya.

Then there’s the story of her cousin, who she once warned (in a teasing manner) not to go to her room. Scared, the girl started crying. To further tease her younger cousin for crying just because of ghost stories, Kat decided to take a picture of her as she sobbed. The photo that came out showed a smoky white figure going up the stairs in the direction of Kat’s room.

To this day, whenever Kat finds herself sleeping in her old room where the Barbie dolls are, she would still sometimes hear giggling sounds. She has consulted with spirit questers and even exterminators to get a more logical explanation on the weird occurrences in her room. The activities continue to this day.

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