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A message from the dead

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by Jude Knight 15.SEP.06

I was fourth born into a family of five boys and two girls. We were always bold and nothing used to scare us easily. My mother was a seamstress and my dad was a very well respected Minister of Religion and was Superintendent in charge of about 28 churches for many years. We had lots of friends who would visit our homes from time to time… I said homes because we were forced to move from parish to parish, since my dad was responsible for boosting churches that weren’t doing so well and replacing Ministers who would have resigned or retired.{{more}}

We had moved to a new village, and our new home fortunately or unfortunately was almost adjacent a cemetery, which grounds encompassed a large century-old Anglican Church. It was unfortunate for some of us because we never got to see some of our friends after 6:00 p.m. Not many people would venture there during the night. This was not only so because of the cemetery, but we were told that the neighbour who lived near us and close to the cemetery, was a “Heart Man”. He was involved in devil worship, and reading of “black arts” books and we had even witnessed him removing bones from the cemetery to use in his craft.

I remember one day I was sitting on a wall watching some recently-born German Shepherd pups when this man grabbed me by the legs for some unexplained reason, and was dragging me towards his house. My dad rushed out of our house after hearing my loud screams. And I noticed that my dad, with all his Christian principles and resolve was chomping at the bit to do something quite irrational and out of character, but thank God his religious teaching took control.

That never stopped us from playing in the graveyard during the late evenings, and coming from such a large close-knitted family there was hardly anything that we were really afraid of. The fortunate thing was that we never had too much outside company during the night to get us into trouble.

My dad was at the time ministering at a church he had recently rebuilt and there was this particularly nice old lady, Mrs. Forde, owner of a small bakery who had taken a liking to my eldest brother Andy. He was very bright and was into his early years at secondary school. Mrs. Forde used to present him with a large, tasty coconut bread every Sunday without fail. One night after church we went home, had our dinner and retired to bed. Then it happened.

At around 2:00 a.m. Andy got up to go to the bathroom when I heard this wild screaming that woke up the whole family. On inquiring what was happening he told us that Mrs. Forde was lying, hands crossed over her chest, in front of our bedroom door and wouldn’t let him pass. My dad put on the light but Andy was still seeing the old lady in front of the door. The thing is he was the only one who was seeing her and she couldn’t be dead because we had seen her earlier and she was very much alive. But what really got me scared was when he came out of the bathroom and made a motion like he was stepping over something. He told dad Mrs. Forde had him scared because she wouldn’t move from the door.

By now, as you could imagine, that was virtually the end of my sleep for the night. Within minutes the phone rang and my parents were really curious as to who would be calling at this time of the night. So dad answered the phone and on the other end of the line was a member of the Forde family who had called to inform us that grand old Mrs. Forde had passed away at 2:00 a.m. that morning, the exact time my brother saw her lying across our bedroom door.

Believe me, it took me a while to settle down in that bedroom again and although I eventually got over that experience it still remains fresh in my mind just as if it had happened yesterday.

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