The Kumakatok (door knockers) are a group of three robed figures believed by many in the Philippines to knock on doors in the middle of the night, bringing bad omens. They allegedly look like humans but wear hoods which obscure their faces to some extent. One resembles a young female while the other two look like old people.

A visit from the Kumakatok is usually an omen of death, as either the eldest or an ill member of the house visited will subsequently die. Reported sightings of the Kumakatok have decreased significantly since World War II. One explanation is that many buildings were destroyed at that time, leaving the Kumatakok few doors to knock upon.



An Omen (also called Portent or Presage) is a phenomenon that is believed to Foretell the Future, often signifying the Advent of Change. People in the ancient times believed that Omens lie with a Divine Message from their Gods. These Omens include Natural Phenomena, for example an Eclipse, freak births of animals and humans and behavior of the sacrificial lamb on its way to the slaughter. They had specialists, the Diviners, to interpret these Omens. They would expect a binary answer, either yes or no answer, favorable or unfavorable. They did these to predict what would happen in the Future and to take action to avoid disaster. Though the word “Omen” is usually devoid of reference to the Change’s Nature, hence being possibly either “Good” or “Bad,” the term is more often used in a foreboding sense, as with the word “Ominous”. 

The oldest source for this practice came from Mesopotamia. There were 3 methods to interpret Omens, and they were Hepatoscopy (i.e. Liver Divination), Lecanomancy, Libanomancy. Hepatoscopy is to observe irregularities and abnormalities on the appearance of the entrails of a sacrificial sheep and they were used most in royal services.

In the field of Astrology, Solar and Lunar Eclipses (along with the appearance of Comets and to some extent the Full Moon) have often been considered Omens of notable births, deaths, or other significant events throughout history in many societies. One biblical example is the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew who predicted the Birth of Jesus after seeing the Star of Bethlehem. Omens may be considered either good or bad depending on their interpretation. The same sign may be interpreted differently by different people or different cultures. For example, a superstition in the United States and other countries across Europe indicates that a black cat is an Omen of bad luck. Comets also have been considered to be both good and bad Omens. The best-known example is probably Halley’s Comet, which was a “Bad Omen” for King Harold II of England but a “Good Omen” for William the Conqueror.