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Can cars be haunted by spooky ghosts?

Paranormal investigator Jade Martin explains

For whatever reason, we let Ford sweet-talk us into joining a ghost walk tour. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Never mind the possibility of cars being haunted, the subject of ghosts per se is already a hot debate between believers and skeptics. But since it’s October 31st and everyone seems inclined to scare himself, I’ll indulge you.

A year ago, when this website was still a vague idea in my head, Ford Philippines invited me to what it purported to be a “ghost walk” within the walled Intramuros premises. I normally yawn at these things, but since I needed a story for the newspaper I was writing for at the time, why not?

Spiritist Jade Martin is in the business of making people believe in ghosts. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

At the center of the activity was a self-styled spiritist by the name of Jade Martin, who presumably had stumbled upon a lucrative career as a ghost walk tour guide.

Before the actual ghost hunt, Ford brought me to New World Manila to be briefed by Martin, who introduced herself as a “paranormal investigator.” She was (and still is, I believe) part of a group that organizes the so-called “Intramuros Ghost Walk”—they have a Facebook page, in case you’re bored—and charges P250 per head for the supposedly hair-raising tour.

Intramuros, apparently, is teeming with ghosts. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

According to Martin, she had been raised in a haunted house in Biñan, Laguna, and that she had the ability to communicate with the dead. She then showed me a photo she had taken in Intramuros, with the image of a handsome man she said was a ghost. She revealed her discovery that the dashing phantom had been her lover in a past life. At this point, I tried to recall if the soppy storyline had been nicked from either Regal Shocker or Pinoy Thriller.

The way many Filipinos drive is scarier than ghosts. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

I fired off a few questions.

Can cars be haunted?

“That’s very rare. Because cars are constantly moving. Ghosts prefer abandoned and quiet places or houses since they don’t want to be disturbed.”

What about those who die as a result of a car accident? Do they haunt the vehicle involved?

“It’s possible, especially if they’re not aware that they’re already dead. You just need to tell them that they’re already gone, and they’ll move on. Some dead people who were victims of a road accident may sometimes ride any random vehicle because they think they need to be taken to the hospital. They just need to know they’re dead.”

How do you know if a secondhand car you want to buy has been involved in a fatal accident, or if someone has died in it?

“A psychometrist will be able to tell the car’s history just by touching it.”

What do you do if a car has had a death inside it?

“You just have it cleansed. It’s a spiritual process performed by qualified individuals. But even if a car has a scary history, it still depends on your frame of mind. If you’re a positive thinker, even a tragic accident in the past is nothing. Ghosts may manifest themselves, but they won’t hurt you. Now, if you have malevolent spirits, that’s another story, because these can physically harm you.”

A psychometrist will be able to tell a car’s history just by touching it

In what particular place can one find malevolent spirits? What routes should I avoid when driving alone?

“The province of Quezon has a lot of these spirits, because there are many people who practice witchcraft there. They may be present starting from Maharlika Highway.”

What about accident-prone cars? Is it possible they may have bad spirits messing things up?

“Most of the time, pag accident-prone, kasalanan na ‘yun nung driver.”

Is Balete Drive really haunted?

“Not anymore. The ghost there has likely moved on. Ghosts move on, especially if there’s human activity in the area.”

If I’m traveling alone, and then I look up and see an image in the rearview mirror, what should I do?

“First of all, relax. If you panic, you might do something dangerous and get into an accident. This—and not the ghost—could then kill you. So stay calm. If you can, talk to the ghost. Let him know that he should already move on, so he’ll leave you. The ghost won’t harm you. And more often than not, it will just manifest itself very briefly.”

'Okay, now we're giving a special prize to the most gullible participant...' PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

After the question-and-answer session, we proceeded to our fleet of EcoSports and made our way to Intramuros. Once there, Martin brought us to certain spots she said were haunted. Most of the ghosts here, according to her, were those of priests and nuns killed during the Japanese occupation.

“If you don’t see a ghost during this tour, don’t worry,” she exhorted our gullible curious group. “It doesn’t mean the walk is a failure. They’re there, trust me. I can see them.”

The paranormal expert then invited us to take photos. “Ghosts may be invisible to the human eye, but they can be captured by devices.”

Nope, that's a living, breathing person. Our camera is not that sensitive to spirits. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

The activity wasn’t so much a stroll as it was a joyride. We drove the EcoSports the whole time, save perhaps for a couple hundred paces. And as we cruised back to the world of the living, I realized there were a lot more things to be scared of than a haunted car—the horrendous traffic being one of them.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.