Cynthia spied the glass jar on the top of the short concrete step to her small modest home and thought nothing of it. It looked like just an ordinary glass jar that one of the neighborhood kids left behind while playing under the big breadfruit tree in the yard, and it sure  looked  innocent enough.

Absentmindedly,  she opened the bottle and sniffed at the brown powdery contents.

She broke into a coughing fit wheezing and gasping she went into the kitchen for a drink of tap water. She felt dizzy and sat down to get herself together. For the next few hours everything was fine, then Cynthia was ready for bed and started feeling lightheaded and dizzy again.   She woke up and made her way to the kitchen where her mother Julie found her fainted on the floor.

Jerome, Cynthia’s stepfather, had to assist his wife Julie in moving her daughter to her bedroom.

Cynthia could be heard fitfully tossing, turning and muttering in her sleep.   The next day she was running a high fever, her lips were parched and dry she was asking for water which she spat back up.

When her mom checked in on her later she was sitting up in her bed   smiling and muttering to herself.  It was weird.

“Bonjay sa ki faire Cynthia nuh ? e ka wi kor moun ki foll,”  (Oh God what is wrong with Cynthia?  She is acting like someone who is crazy) Julie said to Jerome in a very worried tone.

Cynthia’s behavior became erratic.  One time she was normal, except for her fever, and another time she sat in the middle of her bed rocking back and forth with her thumb in her mouth muttering and laughing silently to herself.  She looked like she was going crazy.

No one suspected a thing; the family just assumed that Cynthia caught a bug, but when Ma Julie went to check on her, she was restlessly tossing her head from side to side oblivious to anyone else in the room. As Ma Julie got a little closer, Cynthia  stopped tossing her head and started  speaking French in the voice of a man. Ma Julie rushed out of the room holding her head and bawling

“Bonjay Woy ! Woy ! ” she was screaming louder and getting more hysterical as the realisation hit her that something evil had taken hold of her daughter.

She went to relate the incident to Jerome, who came back to the room with her but Cynthia was sleeping as peacefully as ever and Jerome just told Julie that she was just behaving stupid over nothing.  Julie got mad because now she was made to look like a liar.   she shouted “mae sakway tonneh Jerome,  sah sah yeh nuh ou mem? chupes ”

A little later she decided to take some food to Cynthia and she asked Jerome to accompany her as she was afraid to go in by herself.

Reluctantly he went and Cynthia was up, this time he got a taste of what his wife witnessed earlier, the spirit manifested itself calling them every nasty name in the book.    Jerome was so surprised, especially when the glass of juice came flying towards his head,  luckily for him it just smashed against the door jam.

The news spread around that there was a jumbie on Cynthia and it was speaking French.  Everybody was curious and they were all came to visit to hear the jumbie cursing in French.  It was frightfully shocking to say the least, but unbelievably entertaining. Cynthia was normally a very docile and shy girl so it was very funny to hear such obscene and vulgar language coming from her. This ordeal had taken a serious toll on her appearance and she now looked a lot older than her 25 years and very haggard.

They made an attempt to get Father Jim the village Catholic Priest to remove the jumbie but there was a lot of protocol involved, so when someone recommended that they send to get a garday (Spiritual Herbalist) from Guadeloupe by the name of Serge, Jerome and Julie did not hesitate.   It was not very easy to get a hold of Serge, and his services were not cheap either, but Cynthia was getting from bad to worse, something had to be done and fast.

There was much to do and excitement when Serge arrived.  Tall, dark, and strikingly handsome Serge was in his mid thirties, his  neatly trimmed goatee, complimented his slicked-back wavy hair held tightly in a ponytail.   He created quite a sensation among old and young women alike.

Armed with a black duffel bag contents being a medium sized glass jar with cemetery dirt,  pure olive oil, protection oil, Florida water,  Banishing, Van Van, Double Crossing, Run Devil Run Incenses, Fiery Wall of Protection Powder,  a clear plastic bag of hot peppers, 7 white candles, a brand new  pair of very sharp silver scissors, fast burning coals , a small iron pot and a few pieces of low John the Conqueror root. He had also a large white cloth with a very large circle drawn in black.  In the circle were some ancient symbols and the four cardinal points.

Serge prepared the room by anointing the door frame and window panes with the pure olive oil and cleansing his hands with Florida water, he then annointed himself with the protection oil.

He proceeded to smoke out the room by mixing the various incenses on fast burning coals.  He had the jar with the cemetery dirt slightly opened and close to him.   Cynthia sat down in the middle of the bed with a blank expression, her mouth slackly opened, the demonic spirit was quiet within her.  Through her it was watching….waiting…to strike but Serge was ready, he knew his job, this was not new to him…he was prepared and very much alert. Through some mysterious manner he had subdued the spirit ahead of time, so that Cynthia did not harm him and herself during the cleansing process.

He placed the large white cloth on the floor and carefully lit the white candles placing them  around him and offered up a prayer to St Michael patron saint of protection. Slowly and deliberately he sprinkled the fiery wall of protection powder in the circle so that the spirit would be unable to possess him.   Glancing up towards Cynthia  with an intense and very stern look he addressed the demonic spirit in his native French language denouncing its occupancy of an innocent young girl and demanded that he leave her alone.   He muttered some more incantations.

Cynthia’s expression transformed from blank and empty to a look of pure hatred. Pig like grunts emitted from deep within her throat  and in a raspy voice, verbally attacked Serge, Cynthia, Jerome and everyone in the most vulgar and obscene manner imaginable.

Serge was ready for action, chewing on a piece of low John the Conqueror he stepped out of the protective circle  and with three swift and purposeful steps, he made his way to Cynthia’s side and deftly locked his left forefinger into the middle of her head.  He used his right hand and one by one firmly fed the hot peppers to Cynthia.  It was show time! Questions needed to be answered and the Borda Ma Jacque  (hot peppers) would surely do the trick.

When asked by Serge what his name, who sent him and what was his purpose, the spirit responded that he was Jean Jacques Labode of Guadeloupe who had died by gunshot and on the third day of his death, his spirit was summoned by one Monsieur Pierre Chateau of Guadeloupe, a garday working at the request of one Mamzelle Joanna Castille from Dominica, an ex-girlfriend of Jerome Prosper sent to kill one Julie Prosper.

Jean Jacque’s spirit was trapped in a glass jar with some cemetery dirt taken on the night of the new moon.   Jean Jacques went on further to brag about what a bad man he was while he was alive. He confessed to strangling his grandmother with his bare hands because she was always trying to interfere in his business and she was too nosy.

He said he spoilt a friend of his, by sprinkling cemetery dirt in his drink and turned the man mad.   He claimed that he never liked to see another man with a penny more than him and so out of jealousy he borrowed moneyfrom a friend and when the time came to return the money, he worjay it (fixed it) so that the man became poor and unfortunate, searching in garbage for food.   He told Serge that Cynthia was young and sweet and he had no intention of getting out of her body.

With precise and calculated timing, Serge twisted the center of Cynthia’s head a little tighter, and just as fast as the word of protest “Ow” came out of Cynthia’s mouth Serge cut the hair around his fore finger and quickly shut it in the glass jar.   The hair could be seen twirling and twisting in the glass jar as with a life of its own.

Mission accomplished,  Jean Jacques Labode reign of terror was over. Cynthia collapsed on the bed like a limp ragged doll, the whites of her eyes were clearly visible and froth was seen coming from her mouth.

Serge went over to her side, cleaned her face up and spoke soothingly to her.  She would be given a bath with some special herbs that he brought over from Guadeloupe, and she had to be in isolation for 7 days.  Serge would take the remnants of the ingredients back to Guadeloupe with him then he would go to the cemetery that the miserable Jean Jacque Labode was buried, and bury  the items  over his grave.

Serge would be making a follow up visit to purify and seal off Cynthia’s home from any more spiritual attacks.    As for Mamzelle Joanna Castille she was locked up in a mental home in Guadeloupe.  She did not pay the Garday Pierre Chateau for his services like she promised, and he made sure that her sanity was gone for good.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Persons are asked to submit stories about real-life ghost experiences, folklore, and anything related to dominicanewsonline@gmail.com Submissions are strictly confidential, so do not worry. The column appears every Tuesday.