The Philippines is rich in history. One of the most memorable historical events that took place in the Philippines pertains to the Japanese colonizing the country for a few years. Like most colonization, the Japanese used force and weapons to take control over the government of the Philippines.
Japanese soldiers in the Philippines during World War II. (Link: https://www.silent-gardens.com/history2.php)
Women were dubbed as comfort women during the Japanese colonization. This is because the Japanese soldiers used them for sexual relationships. One home located in San Ildefonso in the province of Bulacan, is said to be the mansion where most comfort women were taken and held as sex slaves. Some of these women died there and many believe that they continue to haunt the mansion called Bahay na Pula or the Red House.
The Red House when it was not yet demolished. (Link: https://www.vigattintourism.com/tourism/articles/Bahay-na-Pula-More-than-just-a-House)
History Of The Red House
The Red House was constructed in the year 1929 and was originally owned by the Ilusorio family. The mansion was painted red on the outside thus the name. It was made of wood and was a two-storey mansion. The house was in the middle of a huge land and it was far from other homes in the area. This is what makes it creeper because it’s as if the house is in the middle of nowhere.
The Red House photographed away from other houses. (Link: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bahay_Na_Pula,_San_Ildefonso_-_panoramio.jpg)
In 1942, the Imperial Japanese Army took over the home because of its location. The mansion was used as a barracks for the army and, as earlier stated, used as the place where comfort women were held as sex slaves. Accordingly, the inhabitants of a nearby village were spying on the Japanese soldiers so all the men were killed and the women were taken to the mansion to be the comfort women.
Comfort Women in an undated photo. (Link: https://allthatsinteresting.com/comfort-women-wwii)
What People Are Saying About The Red House
Some visitors believe that the Red House has such color because of the amount of blood that flowed within the area. Allegedly, around 100 women were taken to the Red House and raped numerous times by the Japanese soldiers. They were held captive for weeks or sometimes even longer and eventually they died in the area. Some of them who were fortunate enough to escape shared that the soldiers punched their thighs and stomachs so that they would eventually pass out. Once they passed out, they could no longer fight these Japanese soldiers so they would get raped by numerous men. They were only allowed to “rest” from being used for sexual pleasures at 6 in the evening.
Another horror story about these comfort women is that even the young girls were raped by the Japanese soldiers. Sometimes, the mother and the daughter are raped in pairs in the same room.
One young woman was allegedly the favorite of these Japanese soldiers. This young woman was raped not less than 30 times in a day. Even if she was already dead after being drowned in a bath tub, she was still reportedly raped. She is said to make her presence known at one of the rooms on the second floor of the Red House.
A former caretaker of the Red House is one of the many who believes that the Red House is haunted by troubled souls who just wanted justice for their untimely and inhumane death. The caretaker said that he has heard countless times the sound of women calling for help.
The Survivors From The Hands Of Japanese Soldiers
A group of survivors have formed an organization called “Malaya Lola” or Free Grandmothers. They call the Red House as the House of Horror and they have written songs about their experiences at the mansion. Originally, there were 96 members of the group but in 2016, only 32 have lived to continue telling their stories. It is unclear how many more are left this year.
Some members of Malaya Lola. (Link: http://footandfire.blogspot.com/2014/10/a-repost-harry-roques-article-on-malaya.html)
The group of women usually light candles on All Soul’s Day on a tomb near the Red House. According to the group, the grave contains the bones of the men and boys who were killed during the World War II.
Other People Held Captive, Killed Near The Red House
Aside from Filipino women being used as sex slaves at the Red House, some Filipino men, who were spies during the colonization, were caught and later imprisoned by the Japanese soldiers near the Red House.
These spies were starved and when they were on the verge of dying, they were tied together outside the lawn. They were then burned alive. Because of this, many people also believe that the souls of these men still haunt the area because they also want justice for their deaths.
Some were killed on the spot. They were stabbed with a bayonet or shot by rifles. The women were forced to watch the men getting killed.
One of the stories that is quite popular pertains to a man who was caught by the Japanese soldiers. It is claimed that that man, name Tarcila Sampang, was castrated. His genitals were then pushed into his mouth.
Other Paranormal Activities At The Red House
People near the area claim that when the sun sets, the paranormal activities at the Red House start to happen.
It was shared above that a caretaker of the Red House has heard women asking for help and their wails. Others claim that they see Japanese soldiers marching or hear them chattering. Some also heard chains being dragged on the wooden floor, and balls bouncing.
The Red House Today
Last 2014, the Red House was in the danger of collapse. It was supposed demolished in 2016 due to a feud among the members of the Ilusorio family began. Now, the Red House was rebuilt in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in the province of Bataan.
Today, many still visit the original site of the Red House as most of its base structure remains standing.
The Red House today. (Link: https://esquiremag.ph/long-reads/features/bahay-na-pula-history-a1729-20190723-lfrm2)