Clark Freeport to promote ghost tourism

Authorities in Clark Freeport, Philippines, are planning to convert a former US military base into a tourist destination for those seeking encounters with ghosts.

Reports of ghost sightings and certain unexplained events have earned the base a reputation for being haunted. In addition, it has been the setting for many violent deaths, and locals believe that spirits still roam the area. With its popularity rising as a ghost-tourism destination, Clark Freeport officials are now looking to cash in on the publicity and develop the area even more for its tourist potential.

The base has all the elements to provide the eerie ambience that is essential for ghost tourism. An old abandoned hospital, a group of pine trees known as Tres Marias, the Lily Hill and the old cemetery add a level of spookiness to the place. These sites are reputed to be among the most haunted in Clark Freeport, where the American cavalry forces were first stationed in 1901. During World War II, many American and Japanese soldiers died there.

Guy Hilbero, Mabalacat City tourism chief, said that tourists visit the site hoping to see ghosts and to soak up the numerous macabre stories that abound. At certain times of the year, such as All Saints Day, the venue becomes even more popular.

Hilbero said that a former site of an old cemetery within the grounds of the Mimosa Leisure Estate was one of the most haunted places on the site. The abandoned US military hospital near the commercial area is also believed to be haunted, and has already been visited by American ghost hunters who featured the story on a US television show. The hospital’s basement was used as a morgue for American soldiers killed during the Vietnam War before they were flown back to the US.

Hilbero also said that the Tres Marias, three pine trees, is a site where unexplained motor accidents happen regularly. The Lily Hill was the scene of a bloody firefight between Japanese and Americans during World War II, and people claim to have witnessed unusual activities there, which they attribute to spirits.