… supernatural force scares health officials
AS night falls over Mabaruma in recent weeks, persons are cautious about walking at late hours as many believe that a supernatural force is roaming a section of the town.
Two weeks ago, reports are that a senior police officer and some ranks attached to the police station at Mabaruma were given a rude awakening following an encounter with what many persons in the community believe is a “baccoo”.
In Guyanese parlance, the force is referred to as “spirit of small stature” that pelts stones at houses and moves objects within a house or enclosed structure. The creature is said to survive on banana and milk and while stories are aplenty on the spirit’s existence, many do not believe in its existence, except police ranks and a doctor at Mabaruma.
The lawmen were at the time investigating an incident involving a young lady who, according to a neighbour, was behaving “strangely” since late last year. The neighbour reported that the girl, who lives at the Mabaruma Settlement with another neighbour, was making allegations that someone was assaulting her in her sleep and that when relatives checked on her, she seemed disillusioned.
Reports are that neighbours visited the home and began questioning the child who recounted that her grandmother visited Suriname some time ago and brought “a liquid” for her to rub on her body while taking a bath and to also consume some of it. While questioning the child early last month, the neighbour recounted that a hail of bricks would suddenly rain on the home, leaving residents traumatized.
Following an outcry mid –February by residents, welfare officers were asked to visit the home of the family to check on the child. It was then that chatter grew about the existence of the “baccoo”.
The neighbour said the child recounted that her grandmother stored several bottles on a shelf of a door of the family’s home and the child reportedly found the bottle.
She said the child recounted that as she attempted to open the bottle, it fell and broke and its contents, which included the liquid, fell on the floor beneath. This occurred late in 2017, after the child’s grandmother returned to Suriname a few months before. Since then the child seemed possessed and ill.
Reports from Mabaruma state that two weeks ago, after the welfare officials were unsuccessful in taking the child to the hospital, the police were called in to investigate the child’s behaviour.
The ranks managed to take the child, in the company of her guardians, to the police station and it was while a statement was being written by one of the ranks, that their spiritual beliefs were awakened. A doctor was also caught off-guard and almost sought medical attention.
A police rank recounted to residents that on the day of the incident, the doctor who is stationed at the Mabaruma hospital, was in the company of a Regional Health Officer (RHO), a detective and other officers at the police station where the girl’s relatives were providing a statement.
“The thing start pelt up the station and every man jack run for cover,” a health worker at Mabaruma told the Guyana Chronicle. “Even the doctor had a glass and it pelt a brick and knock it out he hand,” the health official said.
The incident left many persons afraid and the police ranks, who earlier did not believe the relatives of the child, were left thinking aloud as the bricks rained on the station.
At the same time, stories are rife in the town as many associate recent personal encounters to the existence of the “baccoo”.
A taxi driver told the Guyana Chronicle that on the night of Mashramani celebrations last Friday, he received a call from a customer for a pick-up at the Mabaruma settlement. He said while climbing a hill, the back door of his car opened suddenly and closed after a few seconds.”Like if somebody come in, and I put on the lights in the car and drive through wid fright,” he said.
Another resident, who lives close to the Mabaruma Settlement ground, reportedly lost several hundred chickens last weekend. The resident operates a poultry farm there and was startled that even though the pens are fenced and the area has electricity, no one saw what transpired. “All they found was feathers,” a resident noted.
Persons in Mabaruma noted that the child’s grandparent is being pressured by neighbours to return from Suriname to undertake a spiritual revival.