What was the thought about supernatural experiences growing up, had other people in your family experienced them?
Growing up in Jamaica, it’s pretty much the norm. Everyone talks about it and everyone knows. It was something we always talked about or experienced. We would have family members who would pass away and the living and the dead would have conversations. It’s just the norm.
We always had very strange things happening. We just had certain feelings about things. You know, you have it. You walk into a room and something feels strange and you trust your instincts. But it’s something a little bit more than that. Sometimes you’ll see things that are out of the ordinary or you’ll have situations where you can communicate with people. We believe that everybody’s born with a gift. So some people are able to draw, like my sister, some people can sing really well and some people just see things that aren’t normal, whatever people may believe.
This particular instance me, my mom, and my sister were outside with our neighbors. And I had to go to the bathroom. I have to go to the bathroom all the time. And when I walked in--our house is set up like shotgun so you can see from the front door, straight to the back door. And the bedrooms are on the left. When I walked in something caught my periphery. I just walked past, like it’s nothing. On my way out the house, I saw this gentleman sitting in my mom’s room. So, I was like ‘Oh, ok...alright.’ So I went outside and I said, ‘Hey Mom, there just happens to be some guy in your room.’ And our neighbors who were outside, they literally got up and ran. It’s strange because everybody was outside and these were people who literally came to our house all the time, open invitation. It was two sisters, Suzy and Donna, they had a little sister that was literally like family.
So we go inside and my mom’s like ‘Damn. Not again.’ It wasn’t out of the ordinary that we were having supernatural experiences. We don’t really call them supernatural experiences. It sounds like something on TNT. It’s like where you’re connecting with an extension of this life. Something happens after we die.
Did he look different or did he look like a regular man?
Backstory. He didn’t look like a regular man. Where we live in Jamaica, we live in St. Catherine so it’s like southeast on the island. There’s this really famous beach called Hellshire. It’s right by our house and there’s a neighborhood called Hellshire Heights and its mountainous you can literally drive up and you can see all the way over to Kingston, all the water all of that. Apparently, him and his friends had gone up there and the story was, at least the way he told it, something had pushed him off the cliff and he died. So he was all swollen. You know how people look when they’ve been dead for a while or drowned.
He was looking for his girlfriend, this girl named Sherrika, something like that. The issue was in our neighborhood, all the houses are all adjoined and they all look the same. The only difference is they’re different colors. So he mistook our house for her house. He came in and he was waiting around. He thought she was at work and would eventually come home. Apparently, she never did because she didn’t live there. Unfortunately for her he couldn’t find her. But in waiting around, he noticed that our neighbor was doing crazy things and for some reason he was drawn to her [the neighbor’s] house. So he went over there, watching the stuff that she was doing. He made himself known to us was because she had something coming up. So how it works, from what I know about it, is before whatever thing you set into motion, whatever obeah, (voodoo, Black magic, dark magic, spells, curse etc.) whatever it is that you’re doing or putting out there for harm, there are multiple steps to it.
If you’re visiting this person that you go to, (the person who practices Black Magic) they’ll tell you that you need to do this ritual three or four times, whatever the number may be. Apparently there was this next step coming up that was going to be monumental and he felt like it was imperative for him to say something and make himself known.
It wasn’t the first time we’d seen something like this. We went through shit in our life when it comes to obeah and people just doing crazy shit. You just become aware of it.
So you asked earlier, how did I tell my mom and I was like, ‘Ya know Mummy there’s a guy in the house and he wants to talk to us.’ Clearly he wants to talk to us because he’s in the house for a reason.
Why did your neighbors all run?
Okay! Good question. Our neighbors ran because one, think of the environment. You grow up, at least in Jamaica, them call duppy (ghost) story. So, it’s not secondhand, it’s happening right now. And you’re like, ‘Damn. Duppy inna dem house mek me run, me ah go home.’ That’s your first reaction to it. You’re not going to stay around and be like, ‘Oh, let me see.’ You don’t want no parts of it. ‘You’re like no, fuck this. I’m out.’ So they ran home.
But the two sisters--Suzy,ran home because she was genuinely afraid. Donna, her sister, the one who was doing the obeah, she ran home because she needed to go home because shit was about to happen.
We went inside and we were talking and he, the swollen man, basically laid everything out on the table. ‘Your neighbor, she’s been up to x, y, z. She has your kids names written on paper.’ All this kind of crazy shit. Like cracked coconuts and all that. When a lot of people do obeah and Black Magic, you can use all different types of things, omens, artifacts. So, when you break a coconut, it symbolizes something, whatever it may be for you, invoking some kind of feeling or breaking something to start something.
And we were like, ‘Oh shit.’ But no one knows why she did it. You never know why anyone comes up with the crazy things they do. Maybe you’re too nice or they don’t like the way you do something, jealousy or whatever. The devil always finds work for idlers. We didn’t ever find out why she did it but she literally disappeared.
She ran next door and her sister was so embarrassed, she apologized to us like a million times. The relationship was so soured after that, as you can imagine. It was kind of crazy. You think you know people.
You never saw her again?
They moved. She left and went somewhere. We moved to a the states a few years after. But I saw her years later in passing when I went home but never to speak with. She never apologized and it was very awkward.
Do you think her sister had a conversation with her? How do you think the sister found out?
Oh my God! So when the whole thing came out, we addressed the situation. The guy was so adamant that we address the situation so we went over there. And that’s how we saw the names, my name and my sister’s name and the coconut.
Oh you saw it?!
Yeah! The guy was like when you go over there, look at her house and your kid’s names written down. And Suzy was like, ‘Donna would never.’ And the guy was like ‘If you don’t believe that your sister’s doing it, look under the bed.’ By that time, Donna had already fucking disappeared. She took it out and she was in tears. She saw the whole thing.
What did your mother say once she realized what Donna had been doing?
My mom was livid. So, my mom is very composed when it comes to certain things. My mom has had numerous encounters when it comes to not just the spiritual realm but her connection with God and being in tune to her faith. And I think when people are connected to God, He speaks to them and lets them know when shit’s going to go down. And she has that connection so she knows when she needs to combat obeah on a spiritual level. She wasn’t freaking out but she knew that there were things that she needed to do. But she was pissed. She was slewing curse words up and down. It was not a fun night. It was nasty.
When you saw all that stuff in the woman’s house, were you scared?
No. I wasn’t scared. It was just like, ‘Oh shit.’ I’d already been exposed to stuff like that already so it was more of a confirmation. It’s really real, like she’s really fucked up like this. You think you can trust people.