Mercury’s fight with the jumbie

It was the third time this week that Mercury had that same bad dream.

It started after his brother John got that night job as a watchman at the Grapefruit Packing Shed near the Goodwill Junior High School.

In the dream something was following John. Mercury could not tell what it was. It looked like a misshapen man with grotesque features. The thing always started to follow John just when he got under the big tamarind tree on his way home in Bellevue, Stock Farm, and  it followed him all the way home.

On his arrival home, John would rest his work bag down and head straight for the kitchen.  At that time Mercury would get that heavy, sinking feeling as if some invisible force was dragging him down an abyss and he would struggle to open his eyes so that he could chat with his brother.

Strange as this may sound,  Mercury could actually hear his brother moving about in the kitchen, but his eyelids felt heavy and he felt numb. He felt like he was caught in some sort of invisible trap.  Gasping and  choking, he tried to bawl with nothing doing no relief until John came in and shake him saying, “Garsa Merk wake up ! wake up! you alright ?”

Mercury would get up looking at John all bazoody (confused)  “Merk cockma hold you down man,” John would say in amusement.

“Garsa I doe know what happening nuh, for the past 3 nights I have been having a dream of something following you home, and when you get in the house is like the thing coming in and attack me,” Mercury replied, drenched in sweat.

Then he would be too scared to go back to sleep for fear that whatever it was, would come back to torment him.

John made fun of Mercury saying, “Garsa Merk you have kix wi boy,  something following me and is you it harrassing?”

“Garsa I not your pappyshow,  I tell you  something following you home every night from under dat big tamarind tree” answered Mercury, very pissed off and frustrated at John’s humor at his expense.

“Oh you know what?” John asked looking very pensive, “You can play detective and follow Mae Mae home for me to see if she have another man.”

John was dying with  laughter he just could not contain himself and Mercury only rolled his eyes and sucked his teeth.

John, like most people, was a skeptic who did not believe in ghosts, spirits or jumbies. He said it was stories people told  their kids to get them to behave. John explained that what people referred to as  “cockma” was simply indigestion as a result of eating too much at night.

Mercury knew he had to do something about those nightmares but John only laughed at him. So he went over to Ma Baby to relate what was going on.

Ma Baby listened quietly to Mercury,  she did not laugh, nor did she  interrupt.   She was quiet for a while  then she asked him, “How does John come in de house?”

Mercury responded that he assume that since John does not believe in jumbies  he is most likely coming in forward.

“Hmmm,” Ma Baby shook her head. “well dats  your problem right there. John is supposed to come in de house by backwards, dats why de thing following him inside. ”

She continued, “he should also turn his clothes in de wrongside.”

“But Ma Baby you know John only going an laugh if we tell him to do dat,”  Mercury responded very discouraged.

“Garday pou kor-w “(look out for yourself) responded Ma Baby.

The brothers were looking forward to Saturday night because there was going to be a big dance at the Parish Hall. Gaylords and Bells Combo would be playing and it was going to be hot action. Mae Mae  (John’s girlfriend) and Suzie (Mercury’s girlfriend) would both be coming over to spend the night. Mercury had also cooked his usual Saturday  broth with fig, dasheen, yellow yam and a good helping of red fish, for them to all feast on after the fete.

As expected, Gaylords and Bells Combo delivered as promise and did not disappoint the masses and there was quite a turn out.

“Well corfey di matti dat was a good fete wi,” Mae Mae said to Suzie as they made their way across the Goodwill School Savannah.

“Yes wi girl long I haven’t enjoy a fete like dat” agreed Suzie.

Mercury nodded in agreement, he had such a good time that he forgot all about his jumbie woes.

As they approached the tamarind tree, Mercury felt goosebumps and he hesitated  a bit. John looked at Mercury slyly and started snickering.

John made a bold move and decided to urinate on the tamarind tree trunk to show his disdain and contempt for whatever was supposedly living there. He was a little tipsy and still had his beloved small bottle of Belfast

Rum in his back pocket. He opened it and attempted to take a swig.  But before it could reach his lips it was slapped right out of his hand.  He jumped and started swearing and cursing.

All of a sudden Mae Mae felt her blouse being unbuttoned and an ice cold hand carressing her breast. She let out a bloodcurdling scream.

Trembling, Suzie grabbed on to Mercury. They all kept on walking in fear.  John was not laughing anymore.

After passing the junction leading to the prison they saw something lying across the road.

As they approached, John saw it was a full sized coffin looking all tattered. He could’nt believe his eyes.

They were all frozen with fear. Nobody could run since their legs all felt wobbly.

Anyway Mercury, with all his fear, remembered someone talking about a similar experience.  With a burst of courage that he did not know existed within him, he carefully  peeled off his clothes and stark naked as he was

born faced the coffin, belt in hand and started swinging left and right beating it, demanding that it go back to wherever it came from.

“Foul creature of darkness” he shakily chanted.  “Depart!  from whence you came and return to the bowels of Hell!”

He chanted over and over , while continuously beating the coffin.

And then there were screeching and groaning and fluttering in the coffin as if something struggling to be free from its confines.

Suddenly there was a loud crash and the lid of the coffin flew open. Caught by surprise  Mercury lost his footing and almost fell backwards.

Suzie screamed and grabbed at him. Mist was slowly coming from the coffin and with it rose the ugliest creature they ever saw as if it had really crawled out from the bowels of hell indeed.

The atmosphere suddenly grew very chilly  and misty.  The creature looked like a cross between a man and a ram goat. The head was oblong, its eyes were hooded and bloodshot, the ears were small and pointed and there was a pair of horns protruding from its misshapen forehead. Behind it was a long scaly tail. The foul putrid stench emanating from its body was that of death and decay.  It looked angry and out of its ugly mouth drooled a thick slimy stinky clear substance.

It looked around and focused its sinister glare on Mercury, its nemesis. It grinned and its sharp crooked teeth looked deadly.

Mercury regained his composure and was not sure whether he should continue using his belt while the creature stared at him almost daring him to.

For a moment Mercury got that cold clammy feeling like he was caught up in that invisible trap, and he felt himself weakening but he pulled through and with a confidence in his voice that he really did not feel and  remembering his days as an acolyte, said a silent  prayer asking for strength. He then commanded the creature to go back  to where it came from.

There was a loud and  ear splitting shriek as the thing made an attempt to claw at Mercury’s face.

Mercury, in defense, put up both hands to shield his face and in so doing he inadvertently created a cross with his hands and the thing shrank back in fear.

With renewed courage, Mercury continued  commanding and denouncing the creature.

Then thunderous pounding of horses hooves could be heard approaching as in stampede.

The three looked around in apprehension but  Mercury did not shift his gaze from the creature because this was an attempt at distraction that he would  not fall for.

He chanted Psalm 23 in its entirety and the sound of the horses hooves faded.

The creature  pranced around snarling, growling  and lashing its tail.   It reared its ugly head and snapped at Mercury.

“Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me,”  Mercury was hoarse but he continued  praying.

The creature started backing off. It looked bewildered and defeated and its refuge in the coffin.

Phew !  what a relief !  Mercury continued his assault on the coffin with the belt and both He and John took turns.

The thing could be heard wimpering and writhing in agony. Then it grew quiet and something amazing happened.

The wretched coffin slowly and painstakingly drifted to the side of the road and was gradually disappearing in a white mist.

A gentle breeze was blowing, there was finally a peaceful and blissful silence marred only by the occasional harmless distant barking of the neighbourhood dogs.   No one spoke,  Mercury made very sure his clothes were put back on his person inside out (wrongside). Tired and exhausted, the four wearily continued on their journey home.

Dawn was approaching and the sky was brightening up. A rooster was lustily crowing, somewhere close by,  birds were merrily chirping signaling the welcoming promise of a beautiful new day.

Finally they were home.

Ma Baby and her husband BeBell were already in their yard feeding their chickens.

The strange night events took a heavy toll on the two couples and in no time they succumbed to a much needed sleep.  So much for the delicious red fish broth.

They woke up in the early afternoon around 3 p.m.  John developed a new found respect for Mercury. He no longer jeered and laughed at the reality of the existence of evil.

Mercury called Ma Baby over and related the night events to her. She instructed  him to get a brand new mirror and have it facing the entrance of the living room, a crucifix, the Lord’s Prayer and some holy water. All these items should be blessed by the local Catholic Priest .  These items she explained would keep evil entities from feeling welcome in the home.

She also explained the jumbie followed John because of the small rum bottle he kept on him. “Those  things like de scent of rum !” she further stated.

John and Mercury made it a habit to sleep with their clothes inside out (wrong side). John quit his job as a watchman at the Grapefruit Packing Shed and got a regular day job at Astaphans.

Finally, yes he believed that evil existed and that he will never forget!

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

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  1. Special
    May 11, 2012

    very good story….lol lol boi imagine i read that and the only thing that stick in my head was the food Mercury cook B4 the party yea…i miss those caribbean foods dre :(

  2. daflower2
    September 29, 2011

    great imagination :-D :twisted:

  3. believer
    April 14, 2011

    Another gem by this writer.

    A good mix of ghost folklore, a bit of the writers’ imagination, grounded in well know locations and an excellent use of alliteration.

    Another great job.

  4. dj question
    April 13, 2011


  5. just being me
    April 13, 2011

    The column says “True Ghost Stories”
    Has anyone ever related their true experiences?
    I’ve heard many stories, but I’ve never had the experience.

    • corinne
      April 13, 2011

      You have a point there :) my ghost stories are based on experiences related to me by people whilst growing up as a child. I added a few little twists and turns here and there to give it the spice
      “fear factor” The characters are fictitious. Throw in a little Dominican dialect..and here we go !

  6. Reading
    April 13, 2011

    So you mean to tell me the story was not real? Wow! Then, please keep it up because you sure made it sound real. Excellent story.

  7. wondering
    April 13, 2011

    I experienced cockma once that was carnival Monday of this year I was scared to death because I knew I wasn’t asleep and I heard something whispering in my ear i tried moving my arms they were frozen, my legs worst I tried to scream but I couldn’t… I stayed like that for about 2 minutes then when it was all over I flew up from the bed. I checked the time it was about 10 pm…. I was trying to figure out what on earth just happened… I prayed and cried at the same time asking the devil to return to where he came from….

    aye by the way which astaphans John working I need to ask him about his experience

    • Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
      April 13, 2011

      Many people as I, have had this feeling while sleeping for years. It is like between sleep and wake. It appears that everyone has experienced it sometime or other. They may attribute it to a nightmare.
      I saw a TV program about it and how some people had bites all over their bodies and other experience while sleeping.
      A few years ago during a relevant discussion, someone told me it is not a nightmare. It is the enemy of God and of our souls who roams around bothering people and in their sleep. It is also stated, if he cannot get us during the day, he will try to get us at night, when we are sleeping, the wicked thing that he is.
      This feeling could happen around midnight or early morning. I once had a terrible experience. This one really scared me. Ever since, I am not without my Holy Water and blessing my place of residence with Holy Water.
      It is said that when you experience that feeling, pray the Our Father. If you are a Catholic Christian, also pray a Hail Mary and Glory be to the Father… It may sound as if you are mumbling but God who knows, sees and hears all things is aware of your prayers and what the enemy is up to. You will soon wake up from this type of trance. It works.
      Then bless your bedroom, your entire home with Holy Water and tell it where to go – Hell, as your also read out loud relevant Psalms. If you do this also prior to going to bed and also if you wake up in the night, you will never experience that feeling. Mark my words. It worked for me to this day. Happy to pass this on. God bless and protect you.

      • wondering i wz here 1st
        April 13, 2011

        thanks for the advice I appreciated it I will take your advice… thanks once again

        • sugar
          April 14, 2011


  8. Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
    April 12, 2011

    Interesting! I believe your experience. I visualize how scary it was for all of you. Fear not! The first thing to do when such occur is to call on the Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are Catholics also call on The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary. Just say “Our Lady help me/us” as you pray even one Hail Mary. Little do some know how the enemy, those evil creatures fear Her who bore the Word Incarnate. Read Secret Of The Rosary.
    What you call Cockma, some of us call it a nightmare until we were told that the enemy is the one trying to keep us down. He is very busy at that. We try to wake up but cannot move or lift our head. We feel as if we are dying. Ever since I commenced blessing my place with Holy Water and also my bedroom, I do not have that feeling.
    I had heard of a story that a man who resided in Goodwill was walking home. As he walked, he heard footsteps. He turned around and saw a horse. He kept walking and quickened his pace, no doubt praying and arrived home. This animal may have followed him home.
    I have also heard that when coming home late and you arrive at your door, turn and walk in backwards.
    I have a small bottle of Holy Water in my purse. If I am coming in late and alone, as I walk along I sprinkle the area with Holy Water. When I arrive at the door I do likewise and sometimes sprinkle the Holy Water behind my back. When I arrive in I sprinkle Holy Water on the door and the surroundings. The enemy does not stand a chance of coming in, lodging in and making itself comfortable. I inform all my Catholic relatives and friends about the frequent use of Holy Water as I distribute relevant information.
    Those evil spirits are souls of wicked people who have died. They are restless creatures. I read that they do not want to go to Hell. Also, Satan allows some of them to go about roaming the world to annoy and tempt people. Their day will come when they will be in the abyss forever.
    We have recourse to God, the power of prayer and Holy Water, etc. Let us utilize them to the fullest.
    We must bless our homes with Holy Water as frequently as we possibly could or twice a day, morning and night and play religious songs in our home as we practice the faith.
    Taken from the book: “The Last Secret”:
    Demons could come as seductive women or fearsome animals but were more like insects. They crawled in and infested whenever there was a hole in the spiritual armor, and proliferated as long as they were unnoticed (flourishing like cockroaches in the dark). They affected the mind with oppression, confusion, pride, and anxiety. Pride was one of the best signals of their influence. Left alone, they could cause not only mental and societal ills, not only personality disorders like arrogance, but also ailments of the body, as Jesus had shown when He cured so many by first casting out their demons.
    They were like insects, but they could also appear as a crow, a centaur, or a sea monster (Isaiah 27:1). They were bats. They were werewolves. Not a soul lived who had not encountered them, yet few paid attention to Christ’s admonishment that in His Name such spirits should be bound, isolated, and cast off or exterminated (Matthew 10:8).
    The Mother of God, The Ever Blessed Virgin Mary refers to the enemy as “flies”.
    I heard on Catholic Radio, EWTN Global Catholic Radio: “He is also going to annoy you, to a serious degree, at times, those people who are doing good in the world. Priests, sisters, brothers, parents, social workers, anybody at all. If they are doing good to keep evil out of things, the devil is going to be on their case.”
    For those who are aware of that, call on the Most Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, recite the Holy Rosary, make good and frequent use of Holy Water, read the 23rd Psalm, The Lord is My Shepherd and other relevant Psalms. Believe me, the enemy will flee.
    At the Name of Jesus demons have to flee.
    God bless and protect everyone!

  9. coshony
    April 12, 2011

    all i can say is ya

  10. interpol
    April 12, 2011

    wonderful story this one had my heart thumping i could c d creature in my mind
    keep it up

    April 12, 2011

    this one is good keep them coming :-D

  12. sugar
    April 12, 2011

    @ Is that so….I think maybe you should ease up on going to the ghost stories column on dno If
    its freaking you out that bad ! We all are reading on the demonic possession of school children
    maybe you should write a story about demonic possession….Hmmmm I think good idea for a story
    freak you out some more :lol:

    April 12, 2011

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW….. I actually read this with one breath… excellent!!!!!!!!! Hats off to you!!! :-D

  14. jj
    April 12, 2011

    that was an excellent story trust me….

  15. Is that so?
    April 12, 2011

    Hey, maybe you should ease up on that ghost story thing eh for a while because all that stuff of children getting demon possessed in schools and such really giving me the creeps

    • Ultimate Judge
      April 13, 2011

      So who that tell you to read the stories… Evil will always be there… Too Sort

  16. sweet pum pum
    April 12, 2011

    All those places.. Grapefruit Packing Shed, Goodwill Junior High School, Stock Farm etc good twist to the story especially to those readers who are familiar with those places.

  17. Dark Chocolate
    April 12, 2011

    Yes! That one had me going, especially when they saw the coffin in the road. Good story keep them coming.

  18. kiki
    April 12, 2011

    very good story. it brought me back to the days when cockma used to hold me…..n my mother used to tell my sisters n i dont enter her house by front and we made that mistake n trust me it was a bad nite…. thanks for making me remember my experiences….

  19. babygirl
    April 12, 2011

    OMG!! That one had me going. papamet i shiver when I reach halfway.

  20. Anonymous
    April 12, 2011


    • Corinne
      April 12, 2011

      Thanks for your feed back :lol: but I had to give the creature some scary features I probably
      went a bit overboard

      • SINISTER
        April 19, 2011


  21. Surprise
    April 12, 2011

    Very good imagination mix with scenes from ghost fiction books. This writer does very well to capture my attention and keep me reading. Good writing with lots of imaginary sensation.

    • Corinne
      April 12, 2011

      No ghost fiction just pure wild imagination :lol: thanks for your comments

  22. cautious
    April 12, 2011

    that was a good story right there :-D

  23. hmmm hmmm
    April 12, 2011

    That was a great story. Keep them coming.

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