A mysterious presence
It would be inaccurate, however, to attribute the believability of the series purely to good marketing. This is where PSICOM’s paranormally charged editorial process comes in.
Over the course of TPGS’s existence, PSICOM has worked with multiple writers, a pool which Claudine claims was partly comprised by a team of “paranormal experts,” before the series started gaining popularity and receiving submissions from fans. And while old editors are difficult to detect, and authors sometimes submit under pen names, one key figure stands out: a certain Sharron Naverra.
“She has a third eye,” Claudine tells me.
Sharron first started being referred to as a source by one of TPGS’s old editors at age 18, for her clairvoyance abilities. The way Sharron describes it to me in an email interview, “They said I am good at bi-location. Meaning I can go to your house without leaving my seat. Tipid pamasahe.” The standard definition for clairvoyance is the ability to see things beyond the normal senses, from points of view beyond the clairvoyant’s body. The way Sharron’s “powers” work, she gets psychic impressions from what she reads, and is therefore able to verify the stories PSICOM gets from fans, and their pool of paranormal contributors. “It is like the movie (Sixth Sense). I see dead people walking like normal people.”
“It is like the movie (Sixth Sense). I see dead people walking like normal people.”
It’s hard to believe, I know. This woman’s job, when you get right down to it, was basically to fact-check ghost stories. But when I asked Sharron, a self-described “inborn” clairvoyant to go more into detail about her abilities, she tells me something that makes me almost jump out of my seat.
“The best example I can give is this. When you messaged me, I felt something. A recent dead woman actually dressed in blue with a sash on the waist. Always with you.”
There are a few reasons to doubt this claim, of course. While I trust Claudine as a source, I wouldn’t put it past someone working in sales and marketing to sensationalize the abilities of her professional network. One source claims that he submitted a fake story and it still got published in TPGS 8. “I just made sure it was written horribly,” he tells me. It also occurs to me now, writing this, that maybe Sharron could have — I don’t know — bi-located to my house for a face-to-spectral-face interview.
But I consider (and perhaps you should too) the kinds of stories and superstitions we entertain in our day-to-day lives.
I don’t know. It is hard — probably impossible and maybe naive — to journalistically verify supernatural claims and abilities. But I consider (and perhaps you should too) the kinds of stories and superstitions we entertain in our day-to-day lives: the girls in Catholic school bathroom mirrors, the way we say “Tabi-tabi po” before taking a piss on soil, the cases of demonic possession that your tita claims to have witnessed, those creepy-ass houses your batch might’ve stayed overnight in for your senior retreats. No matter how well we suspend our disbelief, there will always be the little compartment of your brain that tells you that the way to escape being trapped in a forest is to turn your shirt inside-out. You keep that knowledge anyway. Because why wouldn’t you?