Ti John and the loogawoo at the court house

Ti John shrieked with delight, as he jumped up and down and whooped like a child at Christmas.  His Grandmother Ma Rose who was busy frying titiwi accra rushed out of the kitchen to see what the fuss was all about.

“Mama I made it.” he shouted as he effortlessly lifted Ma Rose and did a victory dance up and down. In his sweaty palms was an official looking letter embossed with the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force’s insignia, accepting him as a candidate for basic training in Barbados for 2 weeks and upon successful completion he would be stationed at Morne Bruce where he would undergo another two weeks of   rigorous physical training.

This was Ti John’s dream come true and before too long everyone in Loubierre got the news. Some expressed pride and joy, but there was of course the haters as usual rolling  their eyes and sucking  their teeth with major attitude.  One lady, Ma Cany stated, “well is now self Ti John will show off.”

“Hmm show off eh,” responded another. “De big loogawoo by the courthouse will show him who show off.
she continued, “Well corfey di mati at least he made his Grandmother proud” interjected Ma Paul, a usually quiet and soft spoken lady.   They were all by the river doing their weekly washing beating and cho choing their clothes and ‘ponging beff’ (gossip).

Uncle Ferdie, Ti John’s uncle was an old retired police officer, pulled him aside and told him that he needed to be prepared, since the hardest and final part of the police training was to guard the big court house opposite DBS for one week.

After completion of the crucial 7 days, ”then and only then you can call yourself a police officer and wear your uniform with pride”, he informed his nephew.

Ti John could not imagine why this was such a big deal especially since he now considered himself ‘The Man’.  To him nothing could be worse than running through Roseau in the rain in white tees, khaki shorts and those  heavy black combat boots that pinched his toes and gave him blisters and on top of all that, Sergeant Dell his training officer was known to be a complete and miserable asshole.  Rocking a permanent scowl and a serious overbite Sarge had more teeth in his mouth than a set of triplets. He demeaned and insulted his rookies and they feared and hated him with a passion especially Ti John who in turn wasted no time hitting him up with smart remarks about his teeth  “Hey Sarge no more room in de garage?” The other recruits tried very hard to suppress their laughter.

Although Sarge bore a strong resemblance to Brer Anansi, his wife  and young daughter were beauties and Ti John took great pleasure secretly messing with the man’s wife.   The other guys thought that he had to be both mad and reckless.  Everyone waited for Sarge to explode but that man  was slicker than oil  and he never let on that he  knew about the affair.   He appeared neither worried nor angry, but he planned on dishing out his own special‘don’t mess-with-me’ brand of payback.

The dreaded day came along with the dark and mysterious task of guarding the Court house on Victoria Street. The first three nights came and went without a hitch, but by the fourth night the venomous stench of evil lay heavily in the atmosphere and as Ti John leisurely strolled around the building, he became aware of a prickling sensation at the back of his neck as if someone was watching him.

He walked faster as clouds obscured the light of the moon, casting eerie shadows around the big yard. Ti John felt the cold hands of fear clutching tightly at his heart  and filled with a terrible superstitious dread decided to break out into a panicked  run.

As he jetted around the back corner of the courthouse, he was confronted by  the biggest and ugliest dog he had ever seen.    It stood a few feet in front of him snarling and growling.  The dog was actually a loogawoo and there  was something sinister and evil coming through its eyes, a hatred so deep and  intense swirled around its massive body.  This time around  Ti John
couldn’t run, his legs were like lead.  Every bone in his body seemed to grow cold. His insides like ice water,  and he just emptied his bowels and soiled his nice crisp uniform.

He never felt such fear and humiliation in his life before. Whimpering like a small child, Ti John wished he had heeded Uncle Ferdie’s warning. The dog inched forward menacingly, sat on his haunches and a low mournful howl erupted from deep inside its throat.

Ti John felt the hot breath against his ear, the hoarse whisper “Ahah say pa coparwayzor ou coparwayzor? Ou ka ka a sou-w.,” the frightful gleam in the dog’s eye said it all.

Ti John could not even scream, the insides of his mouth and  tongue felt like sandpaper. Just as he was about to give up, to his relief  he saw the headlights of a car coming up the road, but his heart sank when the driver appeared to take a different turn.  The big dog crouched low ready to pounce.  Ti John knew he was destined to become a distant memory, but as if In answer to his prayer Uncle Ferdie dashed out of the bushes with precise timing armed with a thick stick  (a bator wajay) in one hand and a brown bag in another.

With  a voice of authority he shouted “Waitay la! Dell!  Pa mem borday nuh”.The dog halted in its movement, stunned for an instant.  With the element of surprise on his side, Uncle Ferdie swung the stick aiming straight for the dog’s legs  and using his left hand, forcefully threw a handful of salt at its eyes.  The dog yelped in protest
it was a blood curdling  almost human scream.   Angry and full of rage the dog leapt forward and hurled its massive body against Uncle Ferdie, who missed his footing and fell over backwards.  The dog was on the old man’s chest in a heartbeat ready to tear him to shreds, but Ferdie reached into his front pocket and in a desperate effort at self defense  stabbed the dog on its side with his French penknife.

Ti John still in shock could only look on in amazement.

So many questions, and did he just hear Uncle Ferdie refer to the big ugly dog as Dell?  Then It meant that Dell was the big Loogawoo that all the recruits had to face?  But Ti John knew by then that Sarge had a different plan for him, and  he would have been killed if not for Uncle Ferdie, who was now battered and bruised.

The old man struggled to his feet and held on to his chest,  the loogawoo was wounded but still had a fighting chance,  it crouched low getting ready to attack  Ferdie, but Ti John mustered up enough courage just in the nick of time and grabbed on to the loogawoo’s hind legs in an effort to abort the attack.  The loogawoo was dragging Ti John all over the place like a rag doll trying to shake him off.  Ferdie pulled out his pipe filled it with tobacco and started to smoke, and scattered some pyay poule and zeb cowesse. Loogawoo and soucouyan are afraid of those things, Ti John always heard people say.

He watched fearfully as the loogawoo seemed to be losing strength.  It was painfully dragging itself away from the courthouse.   Uncle Ferdie and Ti John threw a handful of salt and some tobacco over their left shoulders, before they jumped into Uncle Ferdie’s old pickup and hightailed it out of there never looking back.

The next day Sergeant Franklyn Dell was found at his home in Pottersville in a critical condition.

He was taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital where he died the next day. He had a great turnout at his funeral.   Ti John and Uncle Ferdie kept quiet for the time being but went to the Funeral armed with some garlic bulbs sewn in between for protection, to prevent the loogawoo from coming back to wreak havoc.

As for Dell’s wife, Ti John left well enough alone.  He was all set, he had learnt his lesson.

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 when available.

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  1. November 21, 2013

    bdat full my stomach wii

  2. May 30, 2012

    Great Job my mom enjoys it, and i take great pleasure in reading them to her.

  3. Sweetpea
    February 8, 2012

    ohhh…that was a wonderful story…well written…u need to put out some more…get yur pen and paper and get to writing…lol…dem stories there seem too scarce…

    • November 21, 2013

      y didnt they call u sour poo

  4. c.c burgins
    September 14, 2011

    love it aunty… short n sweet…. i believe some persons need to learn to shut der ass talkin bout gramma errors.. tupesss…… non of us rnt perfect… try writin one lemme see hw perfect ur ass is… tupess… love u aunty… great job.. keep dem comin…

    • Corinne E Burginscor
      September 23, 2011

      Hey girl what can I say? don’t let that one person get to you. In life you will always have haters. I know I have an excellent command of the English Language that’s why the person who is criticizing cannot dare write a story :lol:

  5. Jolie
    September 14, 2011

    Thank you’ve made my day … its been a minute

  6. zandoli
    September 14, 2011

    Wey papa Corrine, you made me laugh girl.

  7. Wongping
    September 13, 2011

    I really did enjoy reading and laughing.the kreyol adds a bit of pepper to your work.gimme anoda wan :-)

  8. Real Dominican Diva
    September 13, 2011

    From one writer to another; superb job. Excellent descriptions however, be mindful next time about leaving loop holes in your story. Complete your thoughts, don’t leave loose ends. It aids in the flow and sequence of the story, but overall very good effort. I’m inspired when I read of these sort of tales from other Dominican writers.

    September 13, 2011


  10. uhh huhhh
    September 13, 2011

    i didnt feel an ounce of fear….grammar could be better…but all in all grade C-

    • Ice
      September 23, 2011

      I saw no grammatical errors in this story maybe you have a personal vendetta against this storywriter.

      Good Job Corinne we needed that keep on writing

    • Corinne E Burgins
      September 23, 2011

      I’ll be writing another one :wink: I might just use you as the jumbie :wink:

  11. dominican abroad
    September 13, 2011

    I once saw a loogawoo in la pionte, at midnite it was a big dog bigger than a great dane it was dragging a big chain behind it i almost piss on my self this is real Man.

  12. public office
    September 13, 2011

    U sure it wasn’t SCARED RAT and his CABAL????

  13. islandgyal
    September 13, 2011

    yay!! its been months since my last ghost story…im so happy now…i love this one.. please submit them weekly nuh!! REAL REAL TALK

  14. clue
    September 13, 2011

    Hahahahahahahhaaha maybe logawoo by the court now

  15. mouth of the south
    September 13, 2011

    ti john and the loogawoo going on in the courthouse in roseau all now…. um where is the story about the mount gay rum nah… d.n.o… i thought u all had a Beff section

  16. believer
    September 13, 2011

    Terrific Corinne. You continue to provide a superb mixture of suspense, horror and local superstitious folklore that is quite commendable.
    Cheers to you.

  17. Frenchy12
    September 13, 2011

    Great Story! :lol:

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