Intramuros at night can be quite the place. On one hand, it transforms into one of the most romantic places to visit in Manila, with its street lamps lighting up its old cobblestone roads. The presence of multiple churches inside the Walled City is also a calming sight.
But like all historic cities, there are places inside Intramuros that are simply unexplainable. Tread lightly when seeing the old city by sundown. You might encounter something startling at best, terrifying at worst. Should you want to engage in the paranormal, there are areas in the Walled City that could cast shivers down your spine.
Also read: 14 Haunted Places in the Philippines & the Stories Behind These
Haunted Intramuros spots to check out at night
Being a major historical city, it is certain that the Walled City would have very old structures and places. Most of their stories can be disturbing but are most likely necessary in understanding Intramuros better. So when visiting these places in Intramuros, be prepared for extraordinary encounters, just in case.
1. Observe the relics inside the San Agustin Museum
Located beside San Agustin Church, San Agustin Museum hosts relics that are integral to the history of the Catholic faith and its role in developing Intramuros. Among these relics are hymnals, texts, and other items for rituals to conduct masses and other duties for priests who practice inside San Agustin Church.
What is particularly unnerving is that you can also see garbs worn by deceased priests displayed inside the museum. The reverence behind these garbs never seems to leave and it gives quite a disturbing feeling. And if human-like figures such as mannequins or dolls give you anxiety, there is a collection of saints inside the museum that you might want to leave out during your visit.
Also read: 10 Stunning Churches in the Philippines Every Pinoy Must Visit
2. Dine inside Ristorante Delle Mitre
Continuing with relics and their characteristics, Ristorante Delle Mitre features these items and more inside their restaurant this time. The food they serve is good, no doubt. But for some people, being surrounded by saints that stare into you while dining is just awkward. It doesn’t help that there are framed robes of priests who have since been long gone. So make sure to order their best-seller for a bit of reprieve.
Also read: 10 Classic Restaurants in Intramuros for Timeless Filipino Cuisine
3. Visit Fort Santiago at night
For a disturbing walk in the past, Fort Santiago has activities and shrines inside it that detail what went through inside the structure. This fort was built during the Spanish colonial period and served as a prison which saw a lot of use throughout the Spanish, American, and Japanese occupations. A majority of the prisoners were tortured and executed inside the fort’s very walls. Most notably, this is where Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal spent the last few days before his execution. Even just through observation of Fort Santiago, its cells and crevices always seem to scream of the events that it has witnessed.
Also read: The Dungeon of Fort Santiago Now Open to Fully Vaccinated Visitors
4. Pass by the many universities inside Intramuros
Many college students stay late inside Intramuros at night to accomplish scholastic duties. But there are certain times that they would wish they were at home instead rather than inside these academic institutions for rather terrifying reasons.
There are four colleges inside the Walled City: Mapua Insititute of Technology, Lyceum of the Philippines, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, and Collegio de San Juan de Letran. While entirely different schools, each of them have one thing in common: urban legends. From disappearing figures and doppelgangers to disembodied spectral limbs, it seems that academic institutions are popular among the departed.
5. Visit any of the nearby historic buildings outside the Walled City
Once you conclude your tour around Intramuros at night, you can visit a number of historical buildings that also have rich stories to tell. You can always visit any museum at the National Museum Complex for stories about history. But for our pick, one of the most dread-inducing structures in Manila has to be the Manila City Hall or the Manila Post Office.
Just a few minutes outside the Walled City, Manila City Hall is another old structure that sits right in the heart of Manila. Many employees recount that the building is home to many spectral figures and that certain areas experience sudden temperature drops. Needless to say, not a lot of the workers stay in for long once office hours are done.
As for the Manila Post Office, a lot of guards on night patrol in the building dread looking inside its rooms. Reports of objects being knocked over and areas where breathing is constricting seem common inside the post office. Some ghosts can be violent as well, even taking a penchant for slapping people behind their heads.
Also read: Dark Tourism in the Philippines: What Is It, And Is It Ethical?
Intramuros at night: a classic beauty
Of course, you can always enjoy Intramuros under the veil of the night without the scares. Its mysterious nature is made more alluring by its Spanish colonial-inspired street lamps. While yes, it can be terrifying in certain places, there is no denying that Intramuros is a different character once the sun sets. Visit these places to calm your nerves if things get too scary!
6. Have dinner at La Cathedral Cafe
Before you begin your journey inside Intramuros at night, fueling your stomach is always a good idea. For a hearty meal and an atmospheric night, dine beside the belfries of Manila Cathedral at La Cathedral Cafe. This rooftop dining space provides a scenic view of Intramuros. Its proximity to the cathedral belfries makes it a great spot for photos, too.
7. Attend an evening service inside the Manila Cathedral
Looking for immediate refuge in Intramuros? Why not visit the Manila Cathedral during evening services? It is certainly an important site for Filipino Catholics and one of the most beautiful places inside the Walled City, especially the plaza at night. Should you need a few blessings, go inside and meditate in this bastion of faith and strength for guidance.
8. Chill on top of the Sky Deck
If you find a hangover more horrific than ghosts and ghouls, you can chill on top of the Sky Deck. This rooftop bar at the top of The Bayleaf Intramuros is known for its scenic, 360-degree view of Manila. Apart from the alcohol, Sky Deck also serves impressive food choices, offering a menu filled with modern Filipino fusion for hungry patrons. Weekend nights will sometimes host performances from acoustic live bands so be sure to visit them on a Friday or Saturday night. They might even host a costume party for Halloween!
Also read: 9 Haunted Hotels in the Philippines for a Spooky Staycation
9. Play golf at the Club Intramuros Golf Course
If you want to try out playing golf but easily get irritated by the heat of the sun, you can book your tee times at Club Intramuros Golf Course during the evening. The greenery is more than well-lit and the breeze is much cooler. Time your smashes right to avoid having your golf ball land in the spine-chilling water though!
10. Leave the Walled City through the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge
Maybe Intramuros at night is too scary for you and you want to hightail it out of the Walled City. If you’re looking for an escape route, pass through the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge. This tied-arch bridge is barely a year old but is one of the most popular landmarks in Manila. While the bridge is impressive to see in daylight, it shines at night when its lights turn on. Not only are the bridge lights pretty to look at, but they also serve as a beacon to guide the lost. Plus, the bridge is a great shortcut to the Chinese restaurants in Binondo!
Also read: 10 Things to Do in Binondo, Manila — the Oldest Chinatown in the World
We can only hope that visiting Intramuros at night is a way to get to know the historic city intimately. But in this case, intimacy comes at a cost. One gets to know every detail, with some being more gruesome than others. Regardless, the stories we learn in the Walled City should be taken as lessons rather than just trivia. Intramuros wouldn’t be as interesting without its history, after all.
Also a word of advice: Don’t look behind you.
Featured image credit: Andrey Khrobostov via Canva Pro