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Santilmo from Filipino Folklore

Read "Santilmo" in Tagalog

Anu Ang Santilmo

A ball of fire. Santelmo in tagalog or St. Elmo's fire.

It is believed that santelmo is a lost spirit in a form of a ball of fire. This kind of stories is famous in rural areas in the provinces of the Philippines. Since Filipino believed in the power of unknown, this is just one of them.

There are stories that if a man dies in the water, say in a river, sea or while raining, his soul will stay in the area where he died.

It’s a small bright light and slowly growing, big like a basketball.

The lost souls will stay in the land of mortals and will seek revenge or help from the people. There are souls seeking peace for their soul, asking for help or prayers to go to heaven.

Some people believed that these are children who were not baptized before their death.

Sometimes they used to scare people, by showing in the forest or in a field, in a

form of a ball of fire, it looks like a torch with a bright light. It is believed that if you follow the light, you can never go back unless somebody see you and saved you from being lost.

Santelmo is rarely seen by a few person, only in the provinces.

Other stories said that if this ball of fire spots you, it will chase you.

Santelmo who are found in the water can be dangerous because elders said they can kill you by drowning.

In some stories said, ball of fire can bring a good or bad luck, depending on how many ball of fire you encounter. Does it mean you need to count it before you run?? Isn’t it too dangerous??

Anyway, for those who have encountered a story about santelmo, after sometime chasing you, it will just disappear or slowly fading.

Some of our ancestors said, you can light a candle to the place where you have seen the santelmo, because they need peace and cant rest their soul to heaven.

Stories and Comments about Santilmo

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#8: Guest #1545 (?) - at 03:25 on 12 Aug 2023

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#7: Guest #1544 (?) - at 09:08 on 29 Jul 2023

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#6: Guest #1263 (Bj Coriño) - at 12:33 on 11 Dec 2021

My grandparents once encountered a santelmo wayback home in a road prone accident area in a provincein Mindanao(Agusan Del Norte) they were chased by the creature so my grandmother immediately lit the 'karaba'(a Filipino word for torch)and it slowly vanish.
At first it was just a very faint orange light until it slowly goes bigger.

#5: Guest #1209 (Melissa Dawn Pinion) - at 00:43 on 15 Jun 2021

My grandmother saw a ball of fire swirling across my mother's head and chest when she was young. Is it possible that it's a santelmo? My mother has an open third eye but she's not trained to use it. Is it possible that the santelmo opened her third eye?

#4: Guest #911 (Phantom) - at 12:14 on 02 Apr 2018

Pede pong magpatulong kase kani kanina may nakita po kameng mga maliliit na bola na parang aboy na paikot ikot sobrang dami nila napagkamalan pang taong naglalaro ng apoy pero nung kinunan namin ng camera walang tao yung bola lang na parang apoy yung lumabas kaya na curious po kame.

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