Watching a documentary about a haunted place is scary. What more if you do it right at the very spot where the ghostly sightings being discussed apparently occurred?
Such was the peculiar privilege the National Geographic Channel (NGC) gave the press last weekend when it held an advanced screening for its new horror docu-series "I Wouldn't Go In There." The program features haunted sites found in Asia, including one in the Philippines chosen as venue for the self-styled special screening for Filipino journalists and bloggers.
The place is the abandoned Clark Air Base hospital which played a big part in the war-riddled history of the American military facility west of Angeles City in Pampanga.
"We chose this particular place because this has the most number of supporting details and testimonials proving it is truly haunted," said Jude Turcuato, head of Fox International Channel's Philippine territory, NGC spokesperson.
His statement sounded spookier because he was talking while standing in the middle of the makeshift viewing area that led to the walkway of the haunted hospital --- eerily the subject of the episode that was later shown.
Representatives from the Esoteric Society of the Philippines were on hand to escort visiting media people who were given "protection pendants" and subjected to a meditation ritual called "Tower of Light", supposedly to keep everyone safe while inside the territory of "trapped spirits."
Spirit expert Chiqui Martinez related, "Everyone has a third eye, the only difference is the degree of openness. Our group's goal is to help out others in this realm of the unseen."
"I Wouldn't Go In There," hosted by urban explorer Robert Joe, tackles selected haunted places in Asia, with significant interviews zeroing in on the untold stories behind the paranormal encounters, along with reenactments of hair-raising experiences as told by people who witnessed them. The docu unearthed true-to-life backgrounds of the spots that arguably led to their eventual unearthly reputation.
Other Asian places to be featured include the Kadena Air Base and Naval Underground Headquarters in Okinawa, Japan, the Jingmei Detention Center in Taiwan, and the Lawang Sewu in Indonesia. One thing common to them is their "bloody histories."
Clark Air base hospital was a place where thousands of wounded, dying soldiers were flown in. The documentary shows in interesting detail the extent of the trauma and negativity in the hospital.
"We hope you don't get too many nightmares!" quipped Turcuato, referring to the press people scheduled to see the particular episode.
Ghost Hunters International reportedly dubbed the Clark Air Base hospital as "one of the most haunted places in the world."
The weekly series debuts on the National Geographic Channel this Friday, August 23, 9 pm.