HAUNTED undead or alive
Unlike many U.S. military bases in the Pacific Theater, there seems to be a dearth of “haunted” buildings or other places at Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam that make for ghostly gossip or “mystery tours” during the Halloween season. But there is at least one exception.
It is said that the store at Naval Base Guam is located where a hospital and morgue once stood during and after World War II. Workers have claimed to hear footsteps and children’s voices, and one heard noises from a toilet stall, but no one ever left the restroom. Off base, there are more sites subject to such spine-tingling tales.
One of these is the Old Spanish Bridge in Agat, which is said to be haunted by the daughter of a Spanish official who wanted to marry a local Chamorro boy. The pair often met at the bridge.
Her father could not accept her marrying a “native” so when he heard they had made wedding plans, he arranged to have the boy killed. In despair, the girl drowned herself, and is said to be seen by the bridge crying, while trying to find her lover.
In another story, a Spanish officer and his Chamorro wife lived in Maina in the late 1600s. After their love had faded, the husband sent his wife to get him fresh mountain stream water during a storm, and she slipped into the river and drowned.
Today, it is said the if you drive over the Maina bridge during a new moon and look out into the night, you may see a ghostly figure wearing a long white flowing dress like a bridal gown. She has silver hair and sad red eyes. There are more “sightings” when a big storm is approaching.
Chamorros call her the “White Lady,” and she warns of impending danger. She can be seen at Two Lover’s Point, Harmon Heights and the Fonte River.
Government House in Agana Heights is another such place. There are reports of the heavy double doors of a building connected to Government House opening noisily and the footsteps of someone walking along the hallway being heard. Supposedly, if you look at the door when it is open, it will slam shut.
Two soldiers from World War II apparently walk near the Leo Palace Hotel in Talofofo during the hours of midnight to 4 a.m. It is said that you can see them, in uniform, walking side by side, if you look in the rearview mirror, though, one soldier has no head. But if you turn around to glance back, they disappear.
The Hotel Nikko Guam in Tumon is said by some to be built on top of an old Chamorro cemetery, and it’s believed the spirits of those buried there can be seen and heard throughout the hotel.
And at the old Agana Hospital in Agana Heights, photos have apparently been taken of figures said to be ghosts.
Beware of ancient island spirits
Spirits are part and parcel of local Chamorro culture here on Guam, and as would be expected – they’re not always nice.
One traditional Chamorro belief is in the existence of “taotaomona,” or the people before recorded time, who are the respected spirits of the ancient inhabitants of the island. They are said to live in the jungles, caves and mountains of Guam, especially in the southern part, as well as inside banyan trees and around ancient latte ruins.
It is believed that they can cause bad things to happen if they are offended, so more “traditional” Chamorros say you must request permission from the taotaomona before entering the jungle or taking plants, fruit or wood from it.
This may be based on the respectful nature of Chamorro culture, which extends to those who have died.
Some taotaomona are said to be malicious, while others are said to be kind and aid local shamans, who are called “suruhanos” (male) or “suruhanas” (female). If a taotaomona attaches itself to a person and makes them sick, only a suruhano can force the spirit to leave via a kind of exorcism.
The taotaomona also apparently dislike pregnant women, and Chamorro women with child are told to use perfume to mask their scent or to wear their husband’s clothing, as well as to stay indoors at night.
Source: Wikipedia, guam.org.gu
Dig up more on Guam ghosts . . . if you dare
For those who do not get their fill of ghosts and things that go bump in the night from the brief period around Halloween, here is a short list of websites, including those that give first-person accounts of contacts with “the other side,” which focus on paranormal activity on Guam.
4 Tips for Haunting Your House
Halloween trails only behind Christmas when it comes to spending on decorations. Americans spent an estimated $6.9 billion on Halloween in 2013, according to the National Retail Federation.
You can make more of your Halloween spending with a few spooky tips. Larry Kirchner, operator of the world’s number-one rated haunted house, “The Darkness” in St. Louis, Missouri and owner of Hauntworld.com -- a resource for building haunts, and a national directory of haunted houses, corn mazes, hayrides, and pumpkin patches -- offers advice from his 25 years of experience building professional Halloween attractions.
Give your home’s façade the abandoned, dusty look by spinning cobwebs and creepifying doors and windows. Hang aged and shredded curtains and add lights to each window. Change outdoor lights with flicker bulbs. Add spooky sounds for atmosphere. Lastly, you can purchase affordable computer graphic effects from HauntedHouseSupplies.com and with a TV pressed into your window, add anything from ghosts to werewolves to ghouls to your haunt.
Let the leaves collect for a few weeks in your yard. Add a gothic fence and a few zombies popping up through the ground. Add jute material or aged cheesecloth to your fence. Adding dead bodies under trees or creepy birds helps set the scene. Make gravestones by using a hot knife to carve foam into shapes, and even add an epitaph. To give the tombstone a real stone look, coat in plaster or lightweight concrete. Two simple doll rods driven into the ground can hold the tombstone in place. For a coffin, nail together 1x6 and 2x2 pine boards. For the extra effect, add mulch in front of the tombstones or use paving bricks in the shape of a grave filled with mulch.
Empty the garage and set up walls to create two to three scary scenes. If your garage isn’t big enough, start the attraction inside and have it exit into the backyard graveyard. Start by sketching a design. You can build simple walls from plywood or drywall. For the old rotting look, cut odd shapes into the walls and screw in thin slats of wood behind the cut out holes. For best results, cake on plaster between the slats, then use raised wallpaper for the rest. Paint the entire wall one color and add some watered down black paint for an aged look.
Spooky sounds, special effects and lighting make all the difference. Play a spooky soundtrack from a movie or find music online. Buy a couple of cheap skeleton speakers, available online for as low as $10. For home haunters on a budget, air cannons or any loud noise are great for scares. Create special effects with fog machines and air compressors. Finally, dress up in your spookiest costume and make your guests scream for candy!
To prepare for next year, stock up on deeply discounted props the day after Halloween. For more inspiration on Halloween or haunted houses, visit www.Hauntworld.com.
This year, go beyond the basics and give your neighborhood a real scare!
Tricks and Treats to stay on budget
Halloween comes but once a year. So make it extra spooky with ghosts, goblins and ghouls galore – and don’t forget all the great treats. While all this fall fun does come at a price, you don’t have to spend a pirate’s booty if you plan carefully.
For more treats than tricks this year, make a budget and stick to it. The shopping experts at Dollar General are sharing great ways to celebrate Halloween affordably.
Before the trick-or-treaters are at your door, spruce up your house with a few household cleaning supplies. Stock up on paper towels to use for clean-up after pumpkin carving, or pick up a new broom for all those fall leaves that are bound to make their way into your house. These fall months lead right into the holiday party season, so make sure you have all the tools you need to be party ready for your guests!
Give your home a fresh fall update. Evoke the harvest season in the entryway with an autumn wreath. Buy one or DIY the project with supplies like glue guns, ribbons, faux leaves and flowers. Use seasonal placemats, runners and pumpkin pie scented candles to accent your home with fall flair.
Stock up on spooky supplies, too. Skeletons, cobwebs, ghosts and other festive supplies will make your home a favorite in the neighborhood.
Whether you’re hosting a Halloween bash or just preparing for a crowd of trick-or-treaters, think frugally when stocking up on treats. Buy candy, chocolates and treats at a discount store such as Dollar General. If you’re ordering online, consider buying in bulk to save further, as many retailers offer free shipping on large purchases.
Make Halloween party snacks for less by buying peanuts, pumpkin seeds and candy corn, and creating your own seasonal trail mix. For dessert, bake a cake and decorate it creatively with gummy worms and colored icing to scare your guests!
For crowd-pleasing ideas and more Halloween tips, visit www.DollarGeneral.com or visit their Pinterest page.
With more holidays on the horizon, be sure to stay within your budget this Halloween season. Take steps to celebrate affordably.
All Hallows' Eve happenings on base
Andersen Air Force Base
• Ghosts & Goblins 5K Fun Run
Coral Reef Fitness Center will host the Ghost & Goblins 5K Fun Run, Oct. 31 at Tarague Beach. Show time is 6 a.m. Go time is 6:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded to 1st place male and female and to the best ghost or goblin costume. For details, call 366-6100.
• Halloween Bowling Special
Come to Gecko Lanes in costume Oct. 31 between 5:30 and 11 p.m. and you’ll and get one free game of bowling with free shoe rental. For details, call
Naval Base Guam
• Trick or Treat Hours: Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m.
• Zombie Run 1.5 Miles
Oct. 24, 7 p.m. (show), 8 p.m. (go) Open to all with base access. Sign up at CKFC and all CYP locations. For details, call 333-2049 or 339-6130.
• Trunk or Treat
Oct. 31, 4-6 p.m. At NAP’s parking lot. Dinner open 5-7 p.m. One free kids meal with one adult meal. For details, call 564-1833.
• Halloween Anniversary Fest at Molly McGee’s
Oct. 31 Trick or Treat all day for kids. Adult costume contest 8-11 p.m. For details, call 564-1834.
• NBG Teen Center Halloween Dance
Oct. 31, 6-9 p.m., $5. Ages 13-18. Tickets sold at the Teen Center & School Age Care beginning Oct. 10. Tickets will be sold at the door. For details, call 339-6130 or 564-1844/5.
• Halloscream Masquerade Ball
Oct. 31, 7 p.m. At Top O’ Mar Sunset Lounge. For details, call 472-4606.
• Liberty Zombie Night & Costume Contest
Oct. 31, 6 – 9 p.m. At Orote Pointe Lanes. For details, call 564-2280.
• Orote Point Lanes Halloween Special
Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m. – 12 a.m. Come in costume and get free rental shoes. For more information, call 564-1828.