The jumbie in the house

As a teenager I had long since heard my mum talking about the jumbie that inhabited the house two doors down from us.

Our house, along with the next three along were built on the place where a garden used to be, more of a banana field really, owned by a farmer called Gibbs.

Our neighbours, Mr. & Mrs. Brown, who had Gibbs in their house for many years, told us that on numerous occasions, lights in their house would turn themselves on and off without the aid of any human beings.

Similarly, their TV would turn off whilst they were watching it and would turn on in the middle of the night. Also, a particular cushion on the seat of an armchair in front of the TV would sometimes have a very visible indentation, as if someone was sitting on it.

But the strangest thing was the smell of pipe tobacco that wafted through their house at different times of the day. No-one living in the house smoked a pipe, so that was a completely unexplainable thing that happened most days.

Mr. and Mrs. Brown got very used to ‘The Farmer’ keeping them company and as they got no negative vibes from him, they used to chat to him, saying hello and acknowledging him as if it was completely normal to be talking to someone they couldn’t see.

Now, my mum had told me about the Browns experience with ‘The Farmer’, but hadn’t ever mentioned the smell of pipe tobacco.

A few years later, Mr. Brown died and Mrs. Brown stayed in the house for a few years after that, until she moved in with her daughter in a nearby village.

I was 16 at the time, and several months after Mrs. Brown moved house, I was babysitting one Saturday night. I got home just after midnight, and what struck me when I entered our house was a strong smell of pipe tobacco. The smell hit me, no-one in our house smoked even cigarettes, let alone a pipe, so it was puzzling.

In the morning, I asked my mum if they had any visitors the night before, and if so, had they been smoking a pipe.

With a look of relief on her face, she said that she was so glad that someone else had smelt it, as she thought she was going mad.

She went on to tell me about Gibbs and the pipe tobacco smell in the Brown’s house, and said that she had smelt it regularly from a couple of weeks after Mrs. Brown had moved away.

Her thinking was that ‘The Farmer’ went looking for the Browns, unsettled at their disappearance and ended up in our house.

I smelt pipe tobacco in our house several times after that, indoors and in the garden. Twice when I was in the shower, I felt a hand touch my shoulder.

Strangely, it never scared me, I never felt threatened. After about six months ‘The Farmer’ left us. We didn’t have any more experience of him…..I often wondered where he went.

My dad, who was a complete skeptic smelt the pipe tobacco too, but wouldn’t accept it was a ghost, though couldn’t offer any other explanation.

One night, my dad had an encounter which left him very shaky. It was a very windy night, around 11 p.m, and a sheet of galvanize was blowing against something outside, audible from indoors.

Dad went outside to see what was making the noise and he walked down the short drive to the road and glanced to his left to look down the road. A tall figure in a long black cloak walked along the road towards him. He couldn’t see the man’s face (he assumed a man from the height) as the hood of the cloak was pulled low over it. The figure turned up the lane opposite our house and vanished.

Dad came back indoors, shaky and affected by the experience. He had no explanation for what he had seen and commented that the strangest thing was that the figure moved silently, making no footsteps along the road. The sceptic became a bit more open-minded after that.

Another experience I had many years later, involved a pet. My husband and I had a cat called Benji. We only had him for five months before he was hit by a car and was killed.

Benji had a habit of scratching his claws on our sofa when we were in bed; he did it every night before joining us upstairs.

In the week following his demise, my husband and I both heard him scratching on the sofa whilst we were in bed, on two separate occasions…..then it stopped and never happened again. Was he just letting us know he was still with us? Who knows….but very odd nonetheless.

My only other experience happened last year.

My mum passed away in 2002 and I often talk to her and have asked on many occasions for her to give me a sign that she is still around.

One night, I was watching TV late one night, on my own. What felt like a hand came down on the top of my head. I looked around, expecting to see one of my cats on the back of the settee behind me, touching me with a paw, but there was nothing there.

My immediate reaction was to say out loud, “Mum, if that was you, please do it again.”

I looked back at the TV and within two minutes, I felt another touch on the top of my head.

I admit, I sat and cried, and am convinced that my mum was responsible for the touch.

It has never happened since, but suffice it to say that these experiences have reinforced my belief that there is something after death.

I accept that everyone has their beliefs and opinions, but for me, jumbies definitely exist…… although I’ve yet to see one.

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. Anonymous
    July 3, 2014

    cool story

  2. Special
    May 11, 2012

    OMG i cant believe people can be so negative instead of judging what is written attempt to do better its really people like these who make people who try give up…nothing wrong in stating that the story wasnt interesting but its how you say it man come on…we really need to do better than that as people…stop bringing down each other jeezzz smh

    April 18, 2011

    allu are a disgrace to Dominica if u hav nothing good to say dont say anything at all!!!! nothing not good enough for allu they ask for experiences NOT scary stories if u want scare watch a horror movie!!!! and the person speaks very proper and fluent for people like u to understand.listen to urselves u are angry becauese someone is speaking proper english?!?! u guys speak like uneducated people…stupes. I LIKE THE STORY.P.s and if allu doh like it publish a better story and make sure it TRUE

    • sugar
      May 10, 2011

      What are you saying ? I kind a see your point, but are you insinuating that the other sensational
      ghost stories were written in broken English? just asking… people are just expressing their opinion, their likes their dislikes which I believe in a democratic island such as ours, they are entitled to without being attacked. They don’t like it for some reason or the other and they stated their reasons what is your problem ????

  4. is dert!!
    April 15, 2011

    i enjoyed it..keep em coming

  5. corinne
    April 12, 2011

    Your story was fun and interesting it was different again it does not have to be hair raising ,
    sensational, goosebumps and all to be a good story and again its entertainment. Folks its
    not a competition to be judged and criticized especially so harshly

  6. the story was interesting
    April 10, 2011

    I find the story was interesting. Everyone has one. You may not like mine and I may not like yours.
    However, others may like both or one or none. That’s life. Even the less being makes chocies. But,
    discontentment only ocurrs when another person does not respect the other. For instance, when someone is write a text on the net, the mis spelled words not nesscessary means that , that person cannot spell. They just look over it or thinking the word and thought they are typing it right .
    What i do in this case as a reader, I look over the small things and keep reading on for the big picture. Sometimes I honestly spell a word wrong, if someone corrects me in a polite way it is A Ok with me. So let people be free to express their selves. If you are not help a person, please do not bring them down more. You never knows a man or a woman situation until you walk in his or her shoes.

  7. chakalaka
    April 7, 2011

    it was time Dominican’s learned to speak and write English correctly.

  8. sweet pum pum
    April 6, 2011

    I applaud the lady’s writing efforts as far as I see all these harsh criticisms were uncalled for
    dno called for ghost experience which is what I believe she did. It may not have been hair raising
    sensationalism goosebumps and all but its supposed to be a fun and entertaining website some of you all sound very bitter. People are going to be very scared and discouraged to write anything
    to this website. tsk tsk Not nice folks.. Not nice :evil:

    • Trojan
      April 7, 2011

      so true. not nice at all.

  9. TASK4ever!!
    April 6, 2011

    You know what is interesting……some persons said it was boring…yet still they read the entire story….can’t figure, for the life of me, why we want to live like crabs in barrels!!!!!!! Its amazing!!!

      April 18, 2011

      I AGREE :-x

  10. Kb lyric
    April 6, 2011

    what is this English class?

  11. Bodjey!!
    April 5, 2011

    Alas give de person some credit!!! at least he/she tried!!!! i found it to be interesting. All those dat bringing down the author , it just shows some lack of consideration on your part!!!

  12. joe
    April 5, 2011


  13. omg
    April 5, 2011

    bojai dat was not fun need more developement

    April 5, 2011

    boring ass story… i would have given it a D-.. lacked structure, exitement and most of all from a grammatical standpoint, it was poorly written. Sorry but better could have been done. Hope i wasn’t too hard with the criticisms..

    • Truth, Justice, Love, Peace and Unity
      April 5, 2011


      Who asked you for an advice and to be a critic? Be respectful. The story is not about a competition and one to grade. You are even criticizing the grammar. There are professional writers and there are amateur writers. People like you will cause others not to do anything or write nothing.
      I often wonder why such comments as yours are allowed on this Website. It serves no useful purpose.
      You, too, do not write well. You made an error. The word is spelt: “excitement”. Check your writing again.
      Why do you not write a story so we can see how well you can write?
      I will inform you in my estimation it is a well-written story. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with it. You have a severe problem. :twisted:

      • Ultimate Judge
        April 6, 2011

        amen to that, well said. some of these people they live a miserable life and they want people to be as miserable as them also.

  15. Surprise
    April 5, 2011

    No taste what so ever.Made me fall asleep.

    • is dert!!
      April 15, 2011

      but yet still u read it..hmmmm..i really dont c ur point

  16. fake sh*t
    April 5, 2011

    that sh*t was boring, my gosh this woman has a poor imagination.

    • just being me
      April 6, 2011

      she does not need imaginatiom!!!!! She was relating her experienc!!!! I just can’t understand why the admin. allow these nonsensical comments, as if you idiots represent Dominica’s intellectuals!! If you have nothing sensible to say, shut up!! I wonder what else you can use the computer for.

    • Anonymous
      April 6, 2011

      The person does not need your kind of imagination. He/she was just relating his/her experiences! I really don’t understand why the admin. allows such nonsensical comments, as if you idiots represent Dominica’s intellectuals. Can you write a better story? I wonder what else you can use the computer for!!

  17. Jade
    April 5, 2011

    Wasn’t as interestin as the others and didn’t stick to the topic which should have focused more on the Brown’s House

    • April 3, 2012

      The Browns moved, the ghost moved but the idiots are still here. How sad. Good Story, keep them coming.

  18. eh sa!
    April 5, 2011

    Uhhhh, its ok. Not that interestin as the others.

    April 5, 2011


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