A fortnight ago I had a nearly fatal home accident. It was on a Tuesday mid-day. I was coming out of my office, loaded with my laptop on my left hand and a heavy bag on my right hand. Immediately I set my right foot on newly laid slippery tiles, I lost body balance. I collapsed like a three-storey building. My body was entirely shattered. My ribs and waist bones seemed to have gone out of alignment. My laptop got broken while my bag tore beyond repair with the contents scattered in different directions. The worst was that there was no one available to console me while I lay in state. After about ten minutes, I managed to crawl to a door lintel and got up like a baby learning how to stand. Then I moved like a walking corpse into my room, where I painfully lay down on my sick-bed. 

After two hours of recuperation, I went to see a medical doctor for body check-up and alignment. An X-ray was recommended, which I did so forth. The doctor examined it thoroughly and told me that there was no bone fracture and no internal bleeding. However, I was given some tablets and injections to stabilize my body balance again. I smiled home. 

On my way home, the borrowed pastoral car I am using for now, due to poverty, started speaking in the exoteric language. When I marched on the break, it made a foul sound. I needed no soothsayer to tell me that something was amiss. Instantly I made a u-turn and headed to a mechanic workshop at Nwagu Agulu. There it was discovered that the front brake pads have washed away completely and one of the bushings was too bad. I waited for about three hours for the necessary replacement and repair. 

As I was patiently waiting there with tired limbs, I saw a strange young figure walking up and down. He was wearing a black shirt and black trousers. Also, he wore white hand groves like a corpse. Severally, he crossed the busy Ekwulobia-Agulu road without observing traffic movement. Instead, the motorists were stopping for him. I convinced myself that he must be a walking corpse. At intervals, he crossed over a smoking cigarette. I concluded that he must have died of excessive smoking because cigarette producers at the end of their advert usually warn: “Smokers are liable to die young.” His youthful stature showed that he died young. At another time he crossed over the traffic road drinking from a bottle of dry Gin. Perhaps he must have died a drunkard. Everyone came out watching the afternoon drama. School children going home took to their heels when they saw the walking corpse. 

One thing struck my inquisitive mind. I wanted to call the morticians in the nearby mortuary on phone to ask them to check if any corpse was missing in their mortuary. Unfortunately, I did not have any of their phone numbers. I hereby bring to the notice of all morticians in Anambra State to check their mortuaries if any corpse is missing. The strange young walking corpse must have escaped from any of the mortuaries. At last, the walking corpse jumped into a moving vehicle and disappeared from sight. Could it be that he went back to the mortuary from where he escaped? 

Recently it was reported that a certain man from Ebonyi State, who lives at Aba, lost his wife two years ago. He took her corpse home and buried her. The funeral rite was also accorded her. After a period of mourning, the widower went back to Aba to continue his business. Later he travelled to Onitsha about four weeks ago for a business transaction. As he was walking majestically along the New Market road, he saw his late wife being conveyed in a private car by an unknown man. It was mid-morning and there was a traffic hold-up. At first, he thought he was daydreaming. To be certain that he was not seeing a vision, he bought a sachet of pure water and washed his face thoroughly to make sure he was awake. As there was slow vehicular movement, he walked up quickly to the car in which he saw his late wife in order to ascertain the authenticity of what he saw earlier. He came closer and looked at her again. He was very sure it was her. He summoned courage and called her by her name. Immediately she disappeared. On noticing what happened, the man conveying her fainted. Passersby rushed and revived him. He fainted the second time. After pouring cold water all over his body, he regained consciousness. Surprisingly, he fainted the third time. It took a long time to resuscitate him the third time. After about an hour, he opened his eyes and asked, “Where am I?” One of the sympathizers shouted, “Oga, wake up! You are at New Market road in Onitsha!” He narrated his story. He had lived with the ghost woman for a year. He loved her so much and was planning to marry her. At various times he had asked the woman to direct him to her family in Ebonyi State for a formal introduction. But at each time she turned down the request on the pretext that her people are very evil. If the two of them go there, they may not come back alive. The man exclaimed, “So, I have been living with a ghost for a year now!” He wanted to slump but was overpowered. Can this man survive this awful experience? Please pray for him, if he is still alive. 

Someone asked me about the veracity of the above scenario. I told him that hell is real. It is a place or condition of restlessness. Probably the dead woman is in hell. Roaming about is part of the punishment in hell. The souls in heaven rest in peace while those in hell rest in pieces. Thus whenever you see the inscription R.I.P, it can either mean ‘Rest in Peace’ or ‘Rest in Pieces’. A departed person enjoying the comfort of heaven can never come back to earth roaming about. Saint Paul describes heaven as “What no eyes have seen, no ears have heard, nor has it dawned on any mind what God prepares for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). How can someone abandon the Beatific Vision to come down to Onitsha to roam about and live in a sinful state of concubinage? If there is reincarnation, I can never be a Nigerian again. In conclusion, the woman ghost is not in heaven but in hell. This is a warning to those men who carry any beautiful woman they see along the road and sleep with them. One day monkey will go to the market and will not return again. 

Indeed this world is mysterious. Human life is also mysterious. Do you believe that all those men and women walking about on the streets or doing businesses in various markets are all real human beings? I doubt it. Any time you recognize any ghost in human form, he or she will disappear. Are you sure the person you are living with is not a ghost? Be watchful and be prayerful always! 

A few months ago, when I was at St James Catholic Church Neni in Anaocha Local Government of Anambra State as the parish priest, I saw a ghost. It was on a Monday morning around 7.00a.m. Usually, on Mondays, we celebrated Mass at 5.00p.m. On that day, after having a good night sleep and longer bed rest, I did the morning purifications. Then I took my Breviary and walked into the Chapel of Adoration to commune with God. Immediately I set foot into the chapel, I was taken aback by what I saw. Cold shivers ran down my spinal cord. A girl of about 14 years was sitting comfortably on the collection box inside the Holy of Holies. She broke into the box and was counting the money there and then. As an anointed priest of God I made the Sign of the Cross and shouted, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out or disappear!” She neither came out nor disappeared. An idea struck my mind and I hurried back into my room to collect Holy Water and my phone camera. As I was rushing back to the chapel, behold the ghost or the strange human being was trying to escape. She was at the door. I wondered how she came out from the iron protectors barricading the Holy of Holies. I ordered her to go back where she was. Surprisingly she meandered through a small space between the iron protectors and stood still where she was before I came in. I asked her, “Are you a ghost or a human being?” She kept mute and looked at me fiercely. Her two eyes were like fearful stars. By then I had made up my mind to deal with her prayerfully and physically. When I raised my hand to strike her, she made a shrill noise like a wild cat. I sprinkled Holy Water on her and started binding and casting. She stood still. Then I went outside and made a distress phone call. In a twinkling of an eye, two vigilante men appeared. During interrogation, she confessed that she was driven away by her mother because of her strange and unbearable attitudes. Since then she has been roaming about like ghost and stealing from sacred houses. Later she was given several lashes and sent away. 

Some day such a ghost or strange woman would be found in a man’s car or house. Let such a man be ready to faint or die untimely. It is not everything that glitters that is gold. The devil and his agents can disguise themselves as men or women. Also, thousands of real or imagined corpses are walking about in our country Nigeria due to bad leadership and hardship. During this liturgical season of Advent, we ought to engage ourselves in sober and prayerful reflections as we encounter walking corpses here and there. 

By Fr Pat Amobi Chukwuma

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