Halloween is the spookiest time of the year. Some people like to dress up as ghosts, vampires, and witches and watch horror movies only once a year. Others have devoted their lives to documenting stories of the spooky and supernatural, and bringing stories of Pinoy monsters and myth to life through illustrations, comics, animation, podcasts and other forms of media.
For this Halloween-themed #FollowFriday special, we take a look at some websites, comics, podcasts, YouTube channels and other content creators shedding light on the strange and fascinating world of Philippine horror, true crime, and more.
The Aswang Project
The Aswang Project is a website that was created as an educational resource to share the rich and diverse folklore and mythology of the Philippines.
This website shares in-depth and well-researched articles on all things related to Philippine Mythology and Folklore, Filipino Legendary Creatures and myths.
One sub-section covers articles about shamans, healers, sorcererrs and witches of the Philippines, while another shares articles about ghosts and paranormal events. There’s also a section devoted to comics, movies and videos about Philippine Mythology.
The Aswang Project also has a YouTube channel where they share documentary video features and clips. Check out their 6-part webisodes featuring the Tikbalang (Horse Demon), Kapre (Tree Dweller), Diwata (Nature Spirit), Tiyanak (Demon Baby), Bakunawa (Moon Eater) and Manananggal (Viscera Sucker).
- Website: https://www.aswangproject.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AswangProject
- Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/HighBanksE
Trese is a horror/crime komik, created by writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo, that tells the story of Alexandra Trese, a detective who deals with crimes of supernatural origin in a city where mythical creatures of Philippine folklore live in hiding amongst humans.
In this supernatural crime saga set in the dark shadows and alleys of Manila, aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, kapre are the kingpins of crime, and engkantos slip through the cracks and burglarize unsuspecting folk.
The acclaimed graphic novel, which offers a rare insight into Filipino folklore, is currently being adapted into a Netflix anime series. In case you haven’t read the komiks yet, you can order them here: https://www.myavenida.com/ and catch up before the series comes out!
Trese komiks are hard-to-find in the wild these days due to its popularity. So, if you can't a score a copy online, try this virtual tour hosted on Facebook:
Through the Dragon Gate: The Trese Online Tour is hosted by B Canapi of WanderManila and takes you through a brief flyby of the Trese world, as well as the people and places in Manila which inspired its supernatural tales.
The Spirits of the Philippine Archipelago
The Spirits of the Philippine Archipelago is a book series dedicated to analyzing the mythical creatures of the Philippines.
Authored by Jean Karl Gaverza who made his undergraduate thesis on The Myths of the Philippines (2014) available to the public, the site features original fiction and artwork inspired by Philippine folklore but with a contemporary flair.
The author has spent countless hours scouring through old books and papers on the subject of higher and lower mythology and embarked on personal travels to compile stories of wonder and magic intertwined with those of blood and horror. The website has documented over 1,500 Philippine creatures, 400 deities and penned over 250 stories that anyone can read online.
- Website: http://phspirits.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PhSpirits/
- Support: ko-fi.com/phspirits
‘Wag Kang Lilingon
‘Wag Kang Lilingon is a horror-comedy podcast on Spotify hosted by Grace Marcellana and Mimai Cabugnason, two girls with an enduring fascination for the weird and strange. The podcast discusses the most spine-tingling, and insomnia-inducing tales of horror, mystery, true crime, and suspense.
The channel currently has 73 episodes where the girls casually chat and share their opinions on all sorts of macabre topics from haunted dolls from around the world, to horrific crimes of notorious serial killers and omens of death.
Their latest episodes feature violent hauntings in history and a personal review of The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix.
- Spotify channel: https://open.spotify.com/show/27oWBmVBgmMaujDeCAXaTN?si=7m-yheN0SCKiWdraI1Rcrw
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wagkanglilingonph
Mervin Malonzo is a Filipino artist who created the National Book Award-winning comic Tabi Po and co-founded Haliya Publishing, an independent and artist-centric komix house.
When he’s not creating comics, he’s creating websites, animations, and illustrations for other people and entities, all with a signature gothic and horror theme.
Take a peek below at the making of Ella Arcangel: Oyayi sa Dilim, an animated series based on the comic about supernatural beings by Julius Villanuneva.
The series is set in a strange community called Barangay Masikap, where both humans and monsters struggle for survival in a portion of the big city. The first episode of the series can also be viewed online.
Stories After Dark
Stories After Dark is an independent podcast that features true crime and mystery that has been embedded in Philippine horror storytelling culture. Listeners can tune in to narrative versions of stories and urban legends by tuning in to episodes ranging from 10 to 30 minutes long.
Some episodes deal with the paranormal, including features on demonic possessions, haunted Philippine roads (like Balete Drive and Loakan Road), hanging coffins in Sagada, Baguio’s Diplomat Hotel and stories of legends and myths.
But what’s even more frightening than paranormal encounters are the true crime stories. The podcast features grim and detailed accounts on local true crime cases that shocked the country. The first episode deals with the first documented case of the “chop-chop lady,” in the Philippines, there’s an episode on the killing of the trans woman Jennifer Laude, features on the Ozone Disco Fire of 1996, the 2014 Baguio Massacre, and more.
- Spotify channel: https://open.spotify.com/show/1hyQ3YzcdNsTJ5RWX0robX
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/storiesafterdarkph
Tabi-Tabi Podcast is a bi-weekly episode podcast about Philippine folklore, mysteries, paranormal stories, and maybe some foreign myths hosted, researched, and written by the mysterious host Ethan.
Each episode narration ranges from 4 to 17 minutes, offering quick and easy listening to those who just want something to listen to in the background.
From the pilot episode featuring the dwende, the podcasts have shed light on other creatures of Pinoy myth such as the Batibat (a demon that kills you in your sleep), Kapre, Berberoka, Dalikmata, Tiyanak and more.
Set to atmospheric background music, the breezy and fast-paced narration packs a lot of information about the subject in a straightforward manner.
A new segment of intermission episodes in Season 2 called “Kwentong Kilabot” also features spooky stories shared by readers on Tabi-Tabi Po’s Facebook page and the horror page “Read if You Dare.”
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/64xYiqmuBwFS6q5pcuCQZJ
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tabitabipod
Hilakbot TV’s Pinoy Horror Stories: The Podcast
Hilakbot TV’s narration takes listeners back to the good old days of afternoon dramas on AM radio channels. The episodes are told entirely in Tagalog, with the host serving as the narrator to scripted Pinoy horror stories and voicing all the different roles.
The tense background music and sound effects just add to the creepy factor. The voice quality and types of stories is something you would expect from the Magandang Gabi, Bayan Halloween special.
Aside from their Spotify channel, the creators behind Hilakbot TV also run a Youtube Channel where they upload even more creepy tales.
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1pGO1WZzC96izCxDJwuxEW
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HilakbotTVOfficial
- Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/HILAKBOTTV