Teresita Basa, a respiratory therapist from the Philippines had no enemies whatsoever. She was loved by her co-workers at Edgewater Hospital, adored by her classmates at Loyola University where she worked on her thesis and appreciated by her family members.
Therefore, when she was brutally attacked one February evening in 1977, no one had any idea who could possibly be responsible for such an atrocious deed. The case grew cold pretty fast, but several years later, it reopened, thanks to none other than – her ghost.
Before you roll your eyes, trust us… give this story a chance.
Life Was Going as Planned
Teresita Basa, a single child of a wealthy couple, was born and raised in the Philippines. She successfully graduated from Assumption College in Manila, after which she moved to the United States to earn a master’s degree in music from Indiana University. Life was going as planned.
Even though music played a huge part in her life, Teresita ultimately chose a different path for her line of work. She decided to work in the medical field instead and was trained to become a respiratory therapist.
On a Chilly February Evening…
In 1977, Teresita was 47 years old and genuinely happy with her life. At the time, she was living in Chicago and working at Edgewater Hospital. Teresita had also just gotten back to school and was studying hard and working on her doctoral thesis in music at Loyola University. In her spare time, Teresita held piano lessons at her apartment.
At the chilly start of the year, on February 21, Teresita headed out to work a shift at the hospital. She then returned to her apartment located at 2740 North Pine Grove Avenue. At about 7:30 in the evening, she received a phone call from her good friend, Ruth Loeb.
They Began Smelling Smoke
Teresita and Ruth talked for around 20 minutes before hanging up. Teresita explained she was expecting a male visitor, and Ruth didn’t ask for the guy’s name or any other details. A while later, at 8:40 p.m., Teresita’s neighbors from down the hall began smelling smoke but were unable to determine where it was coming from.
Deeply concerned, neighbors Marid and Katherine Knazze called the building’s janitor who straight away called the Chicago Fire Department and began evacuating all of the residents. As firefighters rushed into the building, the corridor where Marid and Katherine’s apartment was rapidly filled with smoke.
Punctured by a Kitchen Knife
The firefighters discovered that the source of the smoke was apartment 15B – Teresita’s apartment. They barged in and, luckily, were able to put out the fire in minutes. Once the blaze settled down, they witnessed a horrifying scene.
The fire hadn’t been accidental. On the apartment floor, under a bulky mattress, lay Teresita’s body. She was completely naked, and in the center of her chest, a kitchen knife tore through her skin. Detectives were instantly called to the scene.
Confirmed as a Homicide
The investigators confirmed the tenants’ worst fear – this was indeed a homicide. Apparently, whoever had murdered Teresita had started the fire in order to extinguish any evidence of the crime. After stabbing Teresita, the killer threw a pile of clothes on top of her, then lit it on fire.
Since she had been completely stripped, investigators assumed that she had probably been raped before she was murdered. But as it turns out, her autopsy showed no signs of sexual assault. This left the detectives confused as to what had happened that night.
Was It a Robbery?
Even though the fire had swallowed up some potential evidence, it was still evident that Teresita’s place had been wrecked. Clearly, there had been a struggle between her and the killer. Unfortunately, the police weren’t able to determine whether anything was missing from the apartment.
Teresita was living on her own and no one really knew exactly what items she had in her place to begin with. Still, they couldn’t completely dismiss the notion of a robbery, so they declared that it’s very possible that valuable things were indeed stolen.
A Suspicious Note
Investigators scoured the apartment searching for clues that might lead them closer to Teresita’s killer, but, tragically, it seemed like the suspect left absolutely no physical evidence behind. One of the few objects that investigators took as evidence was a note that Teresita had written to herself.
The note read: “Get theatre tickets for A.S.” Detectives had no clue who A.S. was, nor how recent the note was. However, they decided to put most of their focus on working towards discovering more about the initials. This was all they had for now.
Teresita Had No Known Enemies
Over the next several weeks, homicide investigators interviewed Teresita’s neighbors, friends, co-workers, and classmates. Her close friends described Teresita as a quiet and reserved woman who was extremely dedicated to her job and highly praised by patients.
She would occasionally go out on a date or two, but she had never married. She seemed satisfied and happy with her job at the hospital and with her music studies. According to her loved ones, Teresita had no known enemies. Those who knew her were shocked at the thought that someone would have wanted her dead.
The Case Went Cold
Over the course of the investigation, investigators learned a lot about Teresita’s personality and hobbies. However, the information they had collected about her didn’t get them any closer to finding her killer. They reached out to the general public for assistance but got very few callbacks about the case.
Sadly, detectives weren’t able to come up with any solid leads, and after just a few short months, Teresita Basa’s case went cold. Many believed this marked the ending of Teresita’s case. Her life was taken away by a vicious killer who was still roaming freely.
But Then Reignited
The investigation heated up again in July 1977, after Detective Joe Stachula came to work one morning and found a note on his desk instructing him to call the Evanston Police Department to discuss the Basa murder. Curious, the homicide investigator immediately dialed the number.
The officer who picked up told Detective Stachula that they had just received a call from a person claiming to have information about Teresita’s murder case. He was then told to get in touch with Dr. Jose Chua, a man who lived in Skokie, a small village in Cook County, Illinois.
“Do You Believe in the Supernatural?”
Along with his partner, Detective Lee Epplen, Stachula made an appointment with the doctor. He arranged an interview with him at his home. Dr. Jose Chua provided them with some valuable information about the case, information they never saw coming.
Dr. Chua appeared terribly embarrassed to tell Detective Stachula and Detective Epplen what he knew. After several minutes of awkward small talk, Dr. Chua asked them if either of them believed in the occult or in supernatural forces.
Teresita Began Appearing in Her Dreams
Detective Stachula and his partner exchanged glances, trying their best to conceal their cynicism regarding the topic. They tried hard to appear non-judgmental and proceeded to talk with Dr. Chua as if it were business as usual, as if they were willing to follow his train of thought.
Dr. Chua proceeded to tell the pair of investigators that he believed that his wife, Remebios, was being possessed by Teresita Basa’s spirit. Remebios, also known as Remy, was also from the Philippines. Dr. Chua explained that she had started dreaming these odd dreams involving Teresita.
Suddenly, a Strange Voice Began to Speak
According to Dr. Chua, Remebios had tried to ignore the dreams, but, one day, while she was fast asleep (or at least appeared to be), she began calling out her husband’s name, speaking to him in a voice that wasn’t her own. Dr. Chua said she was “in a trance-like state.”
He described that Remy seemed to be almost comatose while talking to him. He was startled by the whole event, as he didn’t recognize the voice that was speaking to him. This unfamiliar voice cried out that she was Teresita Basa and that she desperately needed his help.
Please, Let the Police Know
The voice coming out of Remy’s mouth made some seriously grave statements. She claimed that she had been killed by a man named Allan Showery. Furthermore, she begged Dr. Chua to go to the police with this piece of information.
She revealed that Allan had hopped over to her apartment to fix a few things in her television, but ended up killing her. Ultimately, the voice coming from Remy’s mouth made a final plea for him to call the police and let them know. Then, Teresita’s voice faded away.
She Had No Memory of the Event
When Remy woke up, she had no memory or knowledge of what had just happened. Her husband informed her of the things she had said, but none of it seemed real to her. She stared blankly at him as he tried to explain the bizarre events that took place.
Dr. Jose Chua, still startled by what he had just witnessed, made the decision to let it go and forget it. The following week, however, the same thing happened. Yet again, Remy fell asleep and soon after started talking to Jose in the same voice as before.
He Demanded Proof
This time around, Teresita’s tone of voice was angry. She wanted to know why he hadn’t done anything with the information she provided him. Dr. Jose Chua played along and explained that he wasn’t going to go to the cops without any proper proof to back up her claims.
Dr. Chua insisted that he wasn’t going to point a finger at Allan Showery just because a voice coming out of his sleeping wife told him so. Annoyed, Teresita’s spirit told Jose that if proof is what he wanted, proof is what he would get.
She Provided Specific Details
The voice revealed that right before he burned her place down, Allan had stolen some valuable items from her apartment, unique pieces of jewelry that her dad had bought in France as a gift for her mom. After stealing from her, Allan had given the jewelry to his girlfriend.
Teresita’s voice gave Dr. Jose Chua the names and phone numbers of a few people who would surely be able to identify the jewelry. Jose was still skeptical about the whole thing, yet he decided it was worth a shot. The following day, he called the police.
The Initials Matched
Understandably, detective Stachula and detective Epplen raised their eyebrows before they agreed to take him seriously. However, Jose’s claims were starting to sound a bit reasonable, as the name he gave them matched the initials on the note Teresita had written to herself – A.S.
Perhaps, they assumed, there was something to Jose’s claim after all. In any case, this was the first tip they had had in months, so they figured it wouldn’t harm anyone to, at the very least, check it out. They decided to run a background check on Allan.
Allan Was Her Neighbor
The background check on Allan Showery revealed that the man lived near Teresita. Even more suspicious was that he was also working at Edgewater hospital but in a different department. After talking with several of Allan’s co-workers, they were dumbfounded when they heard one of them mention that Allan had indeed fixed Teresita’s TV for her.
At that point, the investigators decided it was time to pay the man a visit. They dropped by Allan Showery’s apartment unannounced and found him relaxing with his girlfriend, Yanka Kamluk, at home. After some small talk, they asked him to accompany them to the police station.
He Changed His Story Several Times
The detectives told Allan that they were investigating the murder of Teresita, and because he was one of her acquaintances, they hoped he would be able to help them. Allan Showery agreed, no questions asked.
During their investigation, Allan denied ever visiting Teresita’s home. When they confronted the suspect with the fact that workers of the hospital had overheard him talking about fixing her television, Allan changed his story. Suddenly, he admitted that he actually had gone to her place, but said that once he arrived, he realized that he lacked the necessary tool to fix it.
They Wanted to Talk to His Girlfriend
According to Allan, he left Teresita’s house straight away and told her he would fix it some other time. He stated that when he left her house, he instantly returned to his place. He said that he and Yanka were dealing with some electrical problems at the time, and he headed home so he could fix them.
Even though the investigators still couldn’t fathom that they were following up on a lead from a ghost, they were less skeptical by now and even started to believe that they had the right guy. They paused the conversation so they could take Allan back to his place and have a chat with his girlfriend as well.
“Belated Christmas Gifts”
When they sat down with Yanka, she told the detectives that she was completely unaware of any electrical issues in the apartment. She also mentioned that even if there were any problems, Allan would have no idea how to fix them anyway.
Sachula and Epplen then asked Yanka if she had received any jewelry from Allan lately. She told them that he had gifted her a few unique pieces of jewelry back in February, calling them her “belated Christmas gifts.”
Teresita’s Jewelry on Yanka’s Neck
At the time of their investigation, Yanka was wearing the jewelry and pointed to the pendant around her and the gold and pearl ring on her finger. Upon seeing the jewelry, the detectives asked Yanka if she would be willing to follow them to the police station.
Like her husband, Yanka agreed. It was obvious that she had little idea of what was about to go down. Still shocked by how the case was unfolding, the investigators arranged to have all the people able to identify the jewelry come down to the station as well.
The Jewelry Matched
Once they arrived, they took one glance at the jewelry Yanka was wearing and confirmed that it had indeed been stolen from Teresita’s apartment. Right after Allan Showery was confronted with what police had discovered about the jewelry, he confessed to the murder.
Allan revealed that he decided he was going to raid Teresita’s house and steal her valuable items because he needed the money to pay rent. Since Teresita was expecting him to fix her TV (and had apparently decided to hand him theatre tickets as a thank you gift), she let him into her place willingly.
What Actually Happened…
As soon as Teresita turned around, Allan beat her. He told the cops that he had stripped her naked to make it seem like there had been sexual assault. Then, he stabbed her once in the chest. However, his malicious plan to get enough money for rent failed.
Allan was only able to find 30 dollars. So, instead, he snatched some jewelry from her room to make the whole murder worthwhile. Then, he sparked the fire to cover up the evidence.
He Had a Change of Heart
Soon after his confession, Allan Showery was charged with murder. He went to trial on January 21, 1979, but the jury couldn’t make a decision. He awaited retrial in prison, and during his time there, he had a change of heart.
He decided to plead guilty so he could get a sentence reduction. The killer was given 14 years for murder, four years for arson, and four for robbery. Rumors have it that he decided to plead guilty after Teresita’s spirit paid him a visit in prison.
He Served Only Five Short Years
The likelier version is that Allan’s change of heart happened after his lawyer talked him into it, convincing him that pleading guilty would be in his best interest. Eventually, Allan served only five short years before he was released from jail on parole.
This eerie story about a ghost who helped crack her own murder case reached several newspapers across America and Canada. But the story still seems dubious to some. The investigators involved insist that Teresita’s spirit was indeed involved.
Some Fishy Things About the Case…
Even though they were initially skeptical of the paranormal, the detectives told news reporters that they truly had no other explanation for how things played out in this case. Still, there are some things that seem a bit fishy. For example…
Remy and Teresita had met before at the hospital. Remy had also worked at Edgewater hospital at a certain point as a respiratory therapist, so they crossed paths here and there. In addition, Remy worked with Allan as well, and some people argue that she didn’t like him all too much.
Was Remy Simply Too Scared to Admit It Herself?
So, was Remy actually possessed by the spirit of a woman she had encountered just a few times in her life? It seems to be that she suspected that Allan had killed Teresita, but the fear of him prevented her from going to the police herself.
For that reason, she made up the whole Teresita’s ghost thing as a way to give the police a lead without anyone thinking she was the one who gave him away. Remy denied this idea, but to many people, it seems like the more reasonable explanation.
Soul and Spirits in Filipino Culture
While Teresita’s story may sound wacky, tales of ghosts and souls are extremely common in the Philippines. Of course, they differ per ethnic group in the country, but the main concept of souls in the Filipino culture includes both souls of the living and souls of the dead.
The origins of souls in the Philippines come from sacred indigenous religions, where each religion has its own idea on soul composition, retaining and caring for the spirit, and issues concerning the passage of the soul after the person dies.
Different Ethnic Groups Have Different Notions
In some instances, souls are provided to humans by certain sacred deities, while other ethnic groups believe that souls come from special regions across the land. Some groups in the Philippines believe that people have two souls, while others have as many as five souls!
Many Filipino groups believe that a person’s mental and physical state contributes to the overall health of their soul. In some cases, if a soul is lost, the person will become sick and may end up dead. However, some claim that the body can still live on despite the loss of all its souls.
Ghosts Are Regarded in High Esteem
Due to the linguistic diversity of the word ghost, words like Espirito and multo (taken from the Spanish word muerto) have become an all-encompassing term for the spirits of the dead in Filipino culture. Unlike in the West where ghosts are normally considered evil and spooky, ghosts of the dead in different Filipino ethnic groups are actually regarded in high esteem.
These ghosts are far from “spooky.” Instead, they’re treated as wise ancestral spirits who can guide and protect their loved ones and the general community. In many cases, they’re venerated and deified.
Urban Legend Number One – Kapre
Filipino culture is full of ghostly tales and eerie urban legends. One famous legend concerns a Filipino ghost called Kapre. He’s a 9-foot tree demon, muscular and dark-skinned, who enjoys smoking cigars. He normally hides himself from human sight.
Kapres live in large mango and banyan trees, where they often play pranks on ordinary passersby. They get a kick out of confusing travelers in the woods. Some travelers have reported hearing laughter and seeing large eyes glance at them from the treetops.
The Kumakatok are a group of three creepy figures in robes who tend to knock on doors in the middle of the night and deliver bad juju. This hooded trio will knock three times on your front door, usually to signal an upcoming death of a family member.
One figure is a young, pretty and female, while the other two are elderly men. If you open the door for them, they will likely disappear in an instant. People from Luzon and Visayas (islands in the Philippines) used to paint white crosses on their doors to scare them away.
This Filipino folktale has Latin American roots. These small, mischievous elves are more playful than other ghosts. They dwell in people’s homes and will usually present themselves to the landlord with good or bad news, depending on how well they were treated by them.
Dwendes normally live in the countryside, underground or high up in the trees. They usually wander around at noon and sometimes in the evening hours too. During these times of the day, it isn’t unusual for parents to tell their kids to stay indoors.
This tiny goblin dwells on top of anthill mounds. This ghost is depicted as an old, long-bearded man who is easily disturbed and angered by anyone who dares upset him. Filipino children are encouraged to keep quiet next to the nuno and say things like “tabi tabi po” (please let me pass, sir).
Kids who destroy anthills by kicking or, even worse, urinating on them, can be cursed by the nuno. Their feet might swell up, their pee may turn black, they may start experiencing severe stomach aches and a number of other ailments.
Aswangs and Manananggal
There are many rumors surrounding these malicious witch-vampire hybrids. For one, they’re said to travel in the dark and hunt humans down. These creatures are terribly sneaky because, during the day, Aswangs are in human form, but they can easily shapeshift into other animals like pigs and cats.
They enter houses to drink human blood and steal corpses. They’re particularly attracted to human fetuses and tend to sniff out the scent of pregnant women, which they say resembles the smell of ripe jackfruit. It’s said that once the pregnant woman arrives home, the creature sticks its long tongue into the mother’s womb to feast on her baby.
Like the aswang, a manananggal is a creature that feasts on humans. They fly around at night, seducing men in order to munch on their internal organs. To kill a manananggal, one must find their torso and sprinkle salt or garlic on top to prevent it from joining the demon’s upper half.
If their body is still detached in the morning, the demon will die. Pregnant Filipino women sometimes leave small jars of salt or raw rice, paired with the scent of burning rubber to shoo away the malicious demon from entering their home.
The tale of the White Lady is an urban legend famous not only in the Philippines but all over the world. Legend has it that the White Lady found its way into popular culture due to several scary movies that have been made about the topic.
The white lady usually pops up and frightens drivers on dark, desolate roads. They first see her reflection in the rearview mirror, after which she usually vanishes. One of the most famous white lady stories from the Philippines is the White Lady of Balete Drive. According to the story, a young woman once died in a car crash while driving across Balete Drive. Since then, she wanders the area in a state of unrest.