Fiction Horror

October 2, 2008

I don't know why I did it. Boredom, I think. We'd already played 100 poker games, and no one felt like sharing scary stories in the candlelight. Or maybe they really didn't have any to tell. Not everyone grows up in a house haunted by five different ghosts, after all.

Daniel would say it was just me being mean, but whatever. I don't feel bad about it at all. The third floor is for girls only. No boys allowed. It's the rule. When I heard the guy's voice from the staircase, what else was I supposed to do? Ignore it, I guess. I mean, we have taken boys into our room, too, but I just couldn't resist.

I crawled over to Katrina's bunk, leaned into the ventilation grill, and laughed the shrillest, breathiest, most childlike giggle I've ever giggled in my whole 19 years of living. I was sure it wouldn’t work, but the effect was magic. The steps on the staircase hesitated, halted, and then a small voice rang out. “Dorm mates?”

I could have laughed then, ended the prank and let them go on with whatever they had planned, but what can I say? I don't like leaving things unfinished, and I'm telling you, that giggle could have made it into a horror movie. It would have been a waste to just end it there, so I did it again, laughing a ghostly giggle that jumped against the concrete walls, moving through the darkness in an echo that traveled the entire length of the hall.

There was an eek, a shuffling of flip flops, and then hurried tramps down the stairs as the couple ran away from the imaginary phantom. We were still sharing a laugh when we heard a group of footfalls come up the staircase and stop at the top, right across our door. “It was here,” the same female voice from earlier said. The fear in her voice was still there, but there was also a bit of pride, as if she survived a battle or something. “There was a little girl laughing.”

“Anyone there? Dorm mates?” The voice of the bull like student assistant asked the silence as a shaft of light moved over the ventilation grill, searching the darkness for a reply.

No one answered. It was, like, past midnight, and the power went out at 10 or 9. People were in bed. I mean, we were up, but we’d made enough noise for one night. He wasn’t gonna get one peep from us.

October 3, 2008

Amy said she heard some juniors in the cafeteria talking about the giggling ghost on the staircase. They’re saying it’s a little girl lol. They asked her if she knew about it (I swear that girl’s friends with everyone), but she didn’t tell them anything. Cat’s still in the bag and it’s staying there.

August 19, 2012

In LB today, being the good older sister that I am. I can’t believe it’s been two years already, and I can’t believe how much has changed. There are apartment buildings everywhere, which is great because I can rent a room for a low price, but the streets seem narrower and the sky seems smaller.

Fortunately, UP hasn’t changed much. The sky over Freedom Park is still wide open, stretching out into an infinity of possibilities. God, I miss being a student. I miss not worrying about taxes and bills and absent project managers.

I wish I were in Bea’s shoes. She’s really excited about everything. I swear I’m her role model though – she’s even in the same dorm! Guess what. She knows the story about the little ghost girl on the third floor. She said it’s the horror story of New Dorm, and no one goes around alone on the third floor during blackouts. She couldn’t believe it when I told her it was just me and it was just “little girl on the staircase” before.

Apparently, a few students have complained about being woken in the middle of the night by laughter and noise from the hall. Seems like someone’s been using an imaginary ghost to get away with making trouble because I know who the ghost is, and she’s too busy being an adult to mess around in the darkness.

March 18, 2016

Veronica’s in Baguio. She’s here for a conference, but she had time in the evening to get away. I took her to Hill Station for dinner and then to the night market after. She’s the same sweet and thoughtful Veronica. She even brought me buko pie. ღ

She said LB has changed a lot since we graduated. (It’s been six years ago already!) There’s a Starbucks there now, and many students can actually afford to go there. Kids these days are rich. I’m thinking it’s one of the reasons New Dorm is going to be only boys next year. Veronica heard they’re getting fewer and fewer female applicants each year, and she said it’s gotten a bad reputation for having a ghost that makes a racket at night. Apparently, it goes up and down the stairs, cackling like an old woman, waking students in their sleep, especially during blackouts, which still happens a lot.

I cannot believe a harmless prank has gone from being a giggling girl to a cackling hag. I guess I should I feel bad. Then again, if a rumor is going to stop people from signing up for a room in the least old and creepy dorm in the campus, it’s their loss.

April 1, 2018

Just returned from my trip to LB with Katrina and Daniel. It was really nice to see them again and catch up and remember what life was like when we didn’t have to stress about adulting. We even went to New Dorm and got permission from the dorm supervisor (she’s still there and she recognized us!) to go up to the third floor even though it’s exclusively for boys now.

We decided to knock on 301 and ended up talking to two of the residents there. They told us about the rumored poltergeist that’s scaring everyone. One of them even said he’d heard it running around the hall one night. Katrina told them the poltergeist was just a rumor that went all the way back to me in 2008.

They couldn’t believe it, so I climbed up bunk D, leaned into what looked like the same ventilation grill all those years ago, and did my best little ghost girl giggle. It was great, too. I didn’t think it would be, but what can I say. I’m a naughty girl at heart.

The boys just stared at me and – I thought I just heard a giggle. Haha. Must be missing UP already. Anyway, the expressions on their faces were hilarious. They were so cute. They were also very nice to let us in even though we were strangers to them. It was really great to be back, but I have say, New Dorm looked run down and even a bit creepy.

April 5, 2018

I think something came back with me.


Am I hearing things or is it just my imagination? It must be. I can’t actually be hearing things, right? The little ghost girl was me.

I blame work. So stressed. So tired.

April 6, 2018

I don’t think I was imagining it.

April 7, 2018


April 10, 2018

I tried talking to it, but it just laughs, and not even to answer. It just laughs its little giggle sporadically. It also likes to run around. It goes CLOMP CLOMP CLOMP. I'm starting to think it isn't a kid. That or it's just a really HUGE kid.

April 19, 2018

Brought out the big guns.

I know it works from experience, but it's actually been quiet for two days now. Not one sound. Finally can get some good sleep. I need to buy another knife to use in the kitchen though.

April 25, 2018

I keep forgetting that it’s here, and I forgetting to buy another knife. This apartment is too tiny for two, human or otherwise.

May 1, 2018

I have an idea. It better work. Or else I'm calling a priest. Or mom.

May 13, 2018

Aling Nena came by to ask if I'd seen any non-resident children playing in the apartment building. Apparently, residents up on the fifth floor have been hearing a girl laughing and playing around the hallways. It also sounds like some toys have gone missing and a few children been woken by a hand reaching into their bedroom to poke at them at night.

I guess the little ghost girl was just bored.

June 03, 2023 03:58

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Chris Miller
12:00 Jun 08, 2023

Hi Laarni, I got a link to your story through the Critique Circle email. A creepy and fun read. Nice idea, I suppose most ghost stories are rumours. One thing puzzled me a little bit - why did she need a new knife? Suggests all sorts of sinister twists, but I fear I might have missed something. Thanks for sharing. Chris


Laarni Odsey
14:09 Jun 08, 2023

Thank you for reading and commenting! I want to say I did that on purpose, and you just didn't get the thing about the knife, but no 😆. The protagonist was supposed to explain how the iron in the knife repels the ghost, but I was too focused on getting her right that I completely forgot. So much to learn! 😁


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Mary Bendickson
14:17 Jun 06, 2023

If this is you trying to write then I only have a ghost of a chance 👻👻👻imagining what your actual writing would be like. This is great! Thanks for liking my 'flirty birdie murder'.


Laarni Odsey
15:36 Jun 07, 2023

Thank you! Writing is hard. Haha! It's great fun finding so many good stories in here though! I really liked how you wrote the murder story (fun use of idioms!), but felt really bad for her.


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03:48 Jun 05, 2023

Super creepy and just desserts. I like how you get the story of this person life. That, despite the nature of short story format, we are able to witness the protagonist grow over time and her changing opinion of peoples reception to her practical joke, which by the end, does not seem so practical anymore.


Laarni Odsey
15:33 Jun 07, 2023

I actually kept changing words and restructuring sentences up until I submitted because I wasn't sure if I managed to make it sound like she'd changed throughout the years, so I'm glad to hear that. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!


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