Sunday, 13 March 2016

Was I Possessed..?

Was I Possessed..?

Possession by ghosts seems to have been a norm in my ancestry. I've already posted the story of how my mother was possessed. Now I will write about my step-grandmother. My paternal  grandmother’s sister, who was also my step-grandmother, was possessed on or about 1913. ( I cannot get the exact date because none of my relative want to talk about this phenomenon.) My grandfather and his family lived in a place called Madda, in a village called Cortalim, Goa, in Portuguese India. A feudal lord owned more than 10,000 acres of land,  he actually owned an entire hill, like owning a mountain , I suppose. A psychopath, who enjoyed castrating his slaves. Many slaves died at his hand. It is said that one unfortunate victim, a tall brawly slave was castrated, and he managed to break free, and ran down the hill screaming in agony, and dove into the Zuari River, that was adjacent to the property, and he drowned.

So every night at around 3 am, the screaming ghost of that slave could be heard as he ran, down the hill. Some even saw him. My step-grandmother was unfortunately, one of them. One night when she went out to relieve herself,( there were no toilets then) after giving birth to her son. Her timing  coincided with the running ghost, and the collision led to her possession. The ghost decided to jump into her instead of the river. No amount of exorcism, prayer or coaxing, would convince him to leave. He wanted his revenge, ignoring the fact that my grandfather and everyone else hated the landlord  just as much as he did. The ghost insisted on taking my step-grandmother’s life. After that he was never seen there again. I suppose she was the sacrificial lamb that saved the village.

My Godfather, John Fernandes, once told me how he was possessed. He was a young boy going to a wedding party at night, with his family. It was very dark, there was no electricity in the villages of Goa in the 1940s, and so they were not sure of the way. They saw a group of people with fire torches ahead of them, and rushed to join them, thinking that they were going to the wedding too. As they approached them, the people began to fizzle out and then, suddenly vanished. John, a very young child was petrified, and he got possessed! (The secret of not getting possessed is not to be afraid. It’s a miracle if that is possible!)

He began to have very high fevers and babbled consistently, like he was speaking in tongues. They called the doctor, whose medicines did work; they called the priest, whose prayers did not help. They finally called a witch doctor who announced that John was possessed, and the only way the ghost would leave, would be if John’s feet were dipped in fresh blood spilled on the night of a full moon. This was quite cryptic, because the witch doctor did not specify whose blood or what type of blood was needed. I can only imagine, the chaos, with family debating on which one of them  should slit his/her jugular vein, to save John. After a lot of deliberation, pleading, bargaining and even threatening, they concluded that no one was willing to make the sacrifice, so they should take him to a slaughter house instead, which was about 4 miles away.

Only the male members of the family were allowed to participate in this ritual. So, they carried John to the slaughter-house in the middle of the night, and dipped his feet in a freshly slaughtered pig’s blood. John said he felt the heat of the blood enter his body, and travel up to his head, and stream out, taking away the bad spirit and freeing him. John was saved, to live a very crazy life!

I too, have an experience. I was about 3 years old, in Nairobi, Kenya and I would get these really bad nightmares,(or I thought they were nightmares) like someone or something would carry me in the middle of the night and swirl me around very precariously, so fast I felt my limbs would come off. In the mornings the family would find the mirrors smashed and all the picture on the wall turned upside down. They say the house was haunted. Was I possessed?!!

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