You know what one of my favorite stories from the Philippines was? The story of the White Lady. As a kid, I was told the story by my father who said he encountered her on the drive back to our farm in Batangas. As I grew older, I learned that he wasn't the only one. A lot of people from all over the Philippines claim to have seen the White Lady. The stories of who she is and how she came to be vary slightly, as do the accounts of her sightings. The story from my father absolutely chilled me as a child and I wanted to share it.
According to my father, it happened when he was driving back to the farm late one night. He was by himself and it was particularly dark that evening. There were no stars or moon out and everything behind him was pitch black. His headlights seemed a bit weak because the light didn't seem to reach far but he pressed on anyway. As he was driving down the road, for a split second he caught the glimpse of a woman wearing a white dress with long black hair walking on the opposite side of the road. He did a double take and the lady wasn't there. He figured it was just his mind playing tricks on him so he just kept going without giving it a second thought.
A few minutes passed and he heard the sound of a seat belt click in the backseat. When he looked back, he saw that one of the seat belts had been done up but no one was sitting there. When he looked forward again, he saw these pair of eyes staring right at him from the rear view mirror. It looked like she was sitting in the seat but when he looked back there was no one there, just a done up seat belt. He locked his eyes forward and drove faster, every now and again glancing at the review mirror to see her looking right at him. He told me that he felt her getting closer as he drove even as he muttered a prayer under his breath. Right when he thought she was about to grab hold of him, he drove across a bridge and he heard the seat belt unbuckle. He looked at the rear view mirror and the woman staring at him was gone. From that point on, he decided never to drive that stretch of road at night if he could help it.
Does that sound vaguely familiar? It might. Stories of the White Lady are prolific and there seems to be a version of her everywhere. More than likely, there's a version in your home town as well. There are iterations of a lady in white in movies, from Sadako in the Ringu series, the ghost in Ju-On: The Curse (2000), and the Filipino movie White Lady (2006). The way she looks stays fairly consistent as well: White dress, black hair, pale skin, and a touch of murderous death about her. And in real life there are people, like my father, who swear up and down that they've encountered her.
One of my favorite iterations of the story is A Curva (2004) which is a found footage-style video depicting the supposed true story with the ghost of Teresa Fidalgo. Similar to other White Lady stories, she died in an accident and walks the roads and hitches rides with unsuspecting people. You can watch it below. Fun fact, it's quite creepy.
The fact that there are a multitude of versions of her out there is they reason I'm fascinated by the concept, and why the White Lady is one of my favorite supernatural creatures. Where did it start? Why do so many of the stories share striking similarities even when they're oceans apart? And, most importantly, how do I make sure I never run into one?