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hombre lobo

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_illustrations by Octavio Monteon_


"Signs From Above (PART I)" by Octavio Monteon

It was 4:00AM. The year was 2010, May 11th. I suddenly woke up spitting in disgust with saliva dripping down my chin. From afar, I could hear my mother in the kitchen getting her lunch ready for work. It was a typical workday except that I was at my parents’ home. At that time, I was living at my sister’s only three blocks away, rarely did I spend the night over at my parents. The night before, for some odd reason, I decided to stay with it being Mother’s Day May 10 after all. 

At that moment when I woke with spit all over my mouth, aside from feeling strange and confused, I thought nothing much of it. Looking back at it now, however, something tells me that disgust I felt, as I woke up spitting, was a premonition of the event that was about to take place later that day. 

4:00PM later that day. I had just gotten off from work and was at the mall shopping for a Mother’s Day gift as I had only gotten my mom flowers the day before. My phone suddenly rang. It was my sister, Imelda, on the other end, crying out of worry. She told me to rush over to the hospital; my parents were involved in an accident and did not know their condition.  Upon my arrival, I learned that my mother had passed; she died on impact.          

Two days prior to her passing, she experienced a paranormal event (we later learned about this from my dad days after). That Sunday morning, May 9th, they both had gone to get breakfast at a restaurant nearby. As they left the place, my mom froze and stopped my dad. She asked him if he had seen an elderly man inside wearing a cap and glasses. My dad replied, “No.” The elderly man my mother described was my cousin’s father-in-law, who at the time had recently passed just months prior. She insisted it was him. My dad said she had a pale look on her face. She said, “This is the second time I see him. I saw him just last week while shopping at the store.” Here’s where things get even more strange. Just nights before the accident, my mom woke up terrified from a nightmare. It was my Abuelito Toño, her dad, who also had just passed that visited her in her dream. It is almost as if he was warning her of what was to come.           

1:00AM. I accompanied my dad back to their home. To my surprise, I found a letter lying on the couch. My mom was a neat freak. Her house was always orderly and clean, which is why seeing that letter there automatically threw me off. Why was it there? Of course, it was a letter from her. She had written and given this letter to my niece the week before at a church retreat for her first communion. To this day, I still cannot explain how that letter got there other than it was meant for me to read. That letter spoke volumes to me as I sat there and read it. In the letter, she told my niece that she hoped she was learning a lot about God. And that whatever she learned, to share it with us so that we too could learn about God through her. Here’s what’s crazy, it is as if she was speaking to me. A good friend of mine (Diana) was planning to invite me to a church retreat taking place that May (2010). Due to my mother’s passing, I could not attend. So, she invited me to their next retreat taking place in December instead (more about that in a bit).           

Around the same time I was reading the letter, my oldest sister, Marysol, and her husband were arriving to their home. Like I, they both received a surprise from above as they opened their door. As soon as they walked in, they heard the radio playing. Years before, my mom had given my sister that alarm clock radio as a gift. Two weeks before her passing, although it could still tell time, that alarm clock radio finally gave in; the radio and speakers were no longer working, I repeat, no longer working! They stood there, by the door, turned, and looked at each other in disbelief. The radio was playing!          

Now let’s fast forward seven months later… remember that church retreat in December I was invited to? Well, I decided to attend. The retreat was given a name, named after “El Amor” by Tito El Bambino which became the retreat’s theme song. Come Sunday, at the conclusion of the retreat, the coordinators had a little surprise in store for us; we were greeted by our family members and loved ones. As we walked into our surprise, they began to play “El Amor” full blast over the speakers. When I finally got around to being greeted by my family, my sister Marysol paused for a second and said to me, “You know… that is the same song that was playing over the radio the night we walked into the house after coming home from my mom’s accident.” Chills.         

That was just the beginning. I will conclude with other supernatural/paranormal events that took place in Part II of my story. Thank you for reading and allowing me to share this with you.  

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"¿Puro Cuento? Stories my Grandma Told me" by Monica Serrano

So this is actually my grandmother's story. She would always tell us these stories whenever we were all together in the living room. Supernatural stuff always seemed to accompany her. In my opinion it’s what added to her rough life and eventually led to her illness.    

My grandmother was a young mom. She had her first child at 18. She was a young Chicana growing up in Compton, California. Her and my biological grandfather (named Freddy) were active gang members and never denied it. But this story doesn’t take place in Compton.

My grandmother used to do seasonal work. She picked tomatoes and jalapeños and made tortillas on a line in a factory, going where the work would take her. My grandfather's family is originally from Escondido and Vista, California. It’s like on the other side of San Diego, near the San Pascual tribal land. My grandmother said and always believed her mother-in-law hated her (who doesn’t hate their in-laws?) and that her suegra cursed her out of jealousy for marrying her son. She said that many an occasion her suegra was caught conducting rituals that were meant to curse my grandma. 

My grandparents moved into a what I was told was a huge two-story white house in the middle of nowhere in San Marcos. This is where the supernatural stuff started to happen. Many times they would hear coins being tossed down the stairs. Many times she said she would hear chains being dragged around the house. I was also told of times when she would see white apparitions that would disappear into those old school accordion heaters. But the most terrifying thing in my opinion about this story was the tall man in a top hat dressed in black that would knock on their door, and eventually would appear at the foot of my grandparents' bed. She said, “Freddy would tell me, don’t turn off the light, because every time the lights go out, the man stands at the foot of my bed and watches me.” Ooof. That would do it for my 12-year-old heart. 

Apparently, according to them, they had a priest come and bless the house and the priest told them there was gold buried under the sink. But it was cursed. He placed a little cross in the house and said that wherever the cross would end up was where they should dig. But they didn’t. They would soon start to hear crying coming out of a well, to footsteps on the roof of the home, to the gentleman in black with the top hat knocking at the door and demanding to be let in... They lived there for I don’t really recall how long but I know that they lived the remainder of their lives back in Compton and Bell Gardens, respectively. They divorced and my grandparents remarried other folks. They both passed but I love and miss them dearly. Quien sabe if any of it is true or puro cuento, but I cherish these stories and plan to tell them to my kids when the time comes.

Thanks for letting me share. 

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"It was not a Nightmare" by Jared Monjaras

I’m 33 now but this happened to me when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It is the first paranormal thing I remember happening to me.

It took place in our very first house in South Central Los Angeles, a big grey creepy house. A lot of unexplained things happened to my family and me in that house. We used to rent out an extra room and den to other families, but for some reason most of the activity happened when we lived alone.

This experience in particular happened when I was really little so it has really stuck to me over the years. I was around 5 years old, sleeping in my bedroom. My mom was next to me sleeping on my bed. I think her and my dad fought or something and she decided to sleep with me in the secondhand queen-sized bed that night. The bed had no metal frame; it was just the mattress and the box spring (we were poor) in the corner of the room next to a big window with no curtains which I always found creepy. It was around midnight and I couldn’t sleep so I just stared at the ceiling, my mom next to me fast asleep on my right.

I looked to my left out the window at the huge full moon. For some reason looking at the moon gave me shivers that night. It was like one of those big picture moons you see on the internet, bright with a lot of detail but a little off-putting and unsettling. I looked to my right to see the room and it was just completely dark. The light from the moon didn’t seem to hit the room. Suddenly, I got a strange feeling that something was in the room, I don’t know why, it was just like a strong feeling I had even though I was just a little kid. My eyes watered a little and all my senses got triggered. My heart was racing as I looked around. Even with my mom next to me I was in sheer terror as if something had  triggered this “fear.” At that moment all the Salvi ghost stories and tales about spirits and entities my family would talk about flooded through my mind. I clutched my blanket and I could hear my heart pounding in my ears. I knew I was feeling the presence of a dark entity. As I tried to close my eyes and ignore what my body was feeling I could hear my mom breathing. I tried to focus on her breathing but slowly and very faintly I could hear my name being called after each breath from my mom. I then heard my name being called from under the bed. The frame and mattress were a foot away from the wall so there was a small gap between the bed and the wall and I could hear my name coming from there. I distinctly heard two whispers, one male and one female. They said my name at the same time in Spanish, like quietly and calmly. "Jared. Jared. Jared." No aggression in their voices, but like saying it like when someone who's trying to mess with you. It was strange, and it got louder after each breath. I started to panic. It felt like as it got louder that something “BAD” was going to happen. At that point I started gently kicking my mom and shaking her and calling her name. After what felt like forever, she woke up. I was so relieved! I was almost in tears talking to her. My mom being half-awake slowly calmed me down and told me I was just “having a bad nightmare” and that it's late and we should go back to sleep. I, of course, was nowhere near “asleep.” As my mom drifted back to sleep the voices were gone. The intensity in the room was gone and it felt light again. The moon even seemed brighter than it was some minutes ago. After a moment of relief and calm I was able to fall asleep.

I replay that night in my head a lot even in my adult life. Till this day I just chock it up to it being some dark entity trying to mess with a small kid for kicks (and no ma, I wasn't dreaming)... 

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"Drunk in a Forest in Mexico" by Alex Garcia

Yo what up! I got one.

This happened to me and my cousins over in Mexico. We got invited to a party by some girl named Heidi, who we met through my cousin Monica. So we go to this party and it was at some ranch. It was really nice and big. Over there the land sometimes merges with the local forest. So she lived by what looked like a forest. We got to ride her horses and stuff. It was six of us: me, my cousin Marcos, Monica, our friend Steve and his girlfriend Stephanie, and the girl Heidi. 

We were drinking when all of a sudden Heidi proposed that we all go into the forest with her. She kept saying it was haunted and told us a couple of local folkstories. I didn't believe none of that paranormal stuff at that time! Boy was I fkn wrong!

So then we were all drunk and we had courage and we all agreed to go. We left the party and went into this small forest. Now it was super dark, we could hardly see and all we were using were our lighters and whatever light the flip phone gave (this was a long time ago).

Heidi kept saying we weren't far from one of the many small abandoned houses within this forest. We're still drinking. Passing the bottle back and forth. We reached the house already buzzed and started taunting each other about ghosts coming to get us, and whatnot. We then made a small fire pit and sat in a small circle and we started going around telling scary stories, one by one. My cousin Monica then asked, "Hey, so why were these houses abandoned?" 

Then all of a sudden "SHE" started telling the story: "Yeah, the house was abandoned a while back. It was sad when the family left. I missed them a lot."

I was so confused and buzzed. I was like, "Wait, why did they leave?"

She said, "Oh, because that's where I killed myself."

We all started laughing our asses off. Then all of a sudden my drunkenness left my body so fast because at that moment I saw that she wasn't even sitting with us. She was standing up and she looked pale af! And then it hit me... we only had three girls with us... not four! And no one knew her! We ran back so scared!!

This was the most horrific experience I've ever had. I went to church for months after that. I still try to convince myself it was from drinking and that I just imagined it all. But all my cousins and Heidi still confirm that we saw her all together. I know it sounds a bit far-fetched but seriously Mexico has some crazy stuff man. 

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"A Basement in New Orleans" by Sonia Gomez

Hey hombre lobo, not sure if you’ll read mine. 

When I was 24 my boyfriend at the time and I lived in New Orleans and rented a very old house. It was going for a very low price, so without hesitation we took the house. For the first couple of weeks, there was nothing unusual. Until I started noticing that the basement door will always open. My boyfriend, assuming the lock was messed up, decided to change the lock. The door was perfectly fine and we didn’t see any reason for it to mysteriously open. We just dismissed it after switching the lock. Until...I started waking up around midnight for no reason and would always be so thirsty, and so I would go get myself a cup of water. And I would always find it open! Keep in mind, to get to the kitchen you had to walk by the basement door. I just thought my boyfriend would forget to shut it. 

One night I woke up again, thirsty… I asked my boyfriend for a cup of water. No response… I then noticed he wasn’t in bed. So I got up, half asleep and mad, and made my way to the kitchen. As I walked down the hall towards the kitchen, I saw the basement door open! I got really mad assuming my boyfriend forgot to close it, or that he was downstairs working late. When I reached the basement door, I saw the light downstairs ON. So I started calling for my boyfriend, mad. “Tony go to bed it’s 4am!” No response. I said, “Whatever, do what you want,” and I started walking away when I heard him say, “Sonia, come down here, look at this.” 

I was like, “No, you come up here.” 

Again I heard him respond, “Sonia, come down here, please,” and then a small laughter. I thought he was either drunk or just messing around. When I was about to walk down, I heard my name again, but this time from behind me. “Sonia, what are you doing babe?” I fucking shit you not guys I was so scared. Because when I looked behind me it was my boyfriend standing right behind me. Confused, I looked back inside the basement and the lights were off!

I teared up right on the spot and asked my boyfriend where he was. He said he was in the bathroom. I freaked out-- scared and crying I explained to him what just happened! He mentioned he’d been waking up at night hearing someone in the hall walking back and forth and random nightmares of a shadowy figure starting at him for over 2 weeks. We moved out a week later! 

Hope you get to read it guys. I haven’t shared that story with many people. Hope to hear from you soon.


Illustrations by: Octavio Monteon



"My Tia's New House" by Fulana Hernandez

My experience is somewhat short, but definitely something that scared me enough to faint. 

I visited my aunt’s new home. Beautiful home, two floors. When I arrived I felt fine until I set foot in the house, it felt somewhat heavy; Weird and hard to explain. In other words, I just felt uncomfortable. She started showing me around while we talked about my uncle’s new job in town. 

We went upstairs and she began to show me the rooms, but even upstairs I felt really weird as if someone was staring at me. We went into the last room down the hall which was the second master room. My aunt’s phone began to ring, she walked out of the room. So I started exploring the room and all of a sudden I heard someone walk into the room, me thinking it was my aunt I called out to her as I turned around and saw no one. At the corner of my eye I saw someone outside the window. It was a lady, she noticed me and smiled and waved. I casually waved back. I assumed she knew my aunt. My aunt walked back in the room. She asked what I was staring at. I told her, “Your neighbors, they are really nice.” 

She said, “What do you mean, mija?” 

I explained to her, “Yeah your lady neighbor just walked by and said hi.” 

When all of a sudden my aunt reminded me, “Mija, what do you mean? We’re on the second floor…” I froze and chills ran up my spine and I couldn’t keep my balance and I passed out! 

My aunt has told us of many other experiences she’s had. But just wanted to share mine.

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