This most recent work of Eliza Victoria involves beautifully woven stories of horror, insanity, and juvenile crimes. I am not exactly a fan of dark and scary novels but I found myself enjoying Victoria’s book. It was wicked and creepy. Reading this book was a new experience for me because I’d never before come across a Filipino book that touches on the sensitive themes of juvenile crime, gender, and sex.
She reviews each of the four stories in the ebook. “The Ghosts of Sinagtala” is a favorite of hers. (This story appears to be the favorite of readers, so far.)
“Ghosts of Sinagtala”
Just like most grandparent’s stories, this is about the ghosts that live in a mansion built during the Philippine Spanish occupation. It touches on the dark histories of Filipino families who lived during those times. Ben and Emma inherited a big mansion called Sinagtala, located in an isolated place in the province. It was taboo in the community to talk about the ghost stories about the mansion, and Ben, the oldest sibling, dismissed them as nonsense. This is the creepiest and scariest story I’ve read in the book (or maybe all my life). I started reading it one night but I had to stop and finish it in the morning because it was too terrifying. Victoria uses a technique — connecting the past to the present — that can be found in other horror stories, and it was intense! I can’t even believe I survived reading the story. Despite that (or because of it), “Ghosts of Sinagtala” is a favorite.