not so important news
- Family Harassed By Invisible Forces In Malawi
Panafrican News Agency
February 6, 2000
by Raphael Tenthani
Blantyre, Malawi (PANA) - A family in the southern Malawi district of Phalombe, 80
km from the commercial city of Blantyre, has been spending sleepless nights
since it moved into its new home on 1 December.
Ribson Mvaro, father in the family, said invisible forces keep harassing his family
every night. He said since the family moved into its newly-built home, family
members have been hit, whipped and pelted by various missiles by forces they do
"We are scared. We don't know what's attacking us. We don't sleep at all," he
Mvaro, 62, said he is dumb-founded by the ordeal which started the very day the
family moved into the new house. He said the front door could not move when he
tried to open it as if it had been bolted from inside.
He said after hours of trying it gave way easily and there were no bars inside that
might have been preventing the door from sliding open.
But that was only the beginning of what was to be nocturnal battles with invisible
enemies. From then on doors would open and shut on their own, strange footsteps
could be heard but nobody could be traced.
An officer at the Phalombe Police Post confirmed receiving a complaint but could
hardly do anything since the culprit could not be traced.
"Our laws do not have anything on witchcraft," he said.
Neighbours of the Mvaros speculate the forces behind the harrassment of the
Mvaros may be elves.
They say Mvaro's brother used to keep the elves but he died before leaving
instructions as to how they should be cared for. Hungry and restless, the
neighbours are quoted as saying, the elves are harassing the Mvaros for food.
But Mvaro said he has sought magical intervention from a dozen reputable
traditional doctors, including some from across neighbouring Mozambique, but
none has succeeded in exorcising the house.
He said the more the witchdoctors come the more volatile the harassment
In fact, according to Mvaro, one Mozambican witchdoctor left in a huff when the
invisible elves hounded him out of the house. That was like fuelling the situation as
from then on the blows grew harder and the pounding of invisible feet louder.
Doors keep opening and banging shut, making it impossible to sleep. In fact, the
harassment, that hitherto used to only happen in the dead of the night, began
happening even in broad daylight.
Ironically, neighbours do not hear a thing. A neighbour told PANA when the Mvaro
children are playing with other children, they sometimes notice a young Mvaro just
writhing on the ground, seemingly trying to wad off blows.
After sometime, the attacked child limps home leaving his playmates wondering
whether it was not a mere bout of epileptic fits.
Another surprising thing is that despite the hard blows no blood is let out, nor do
any swellings result.
Phalombe, which was formerly part of Mulanje district, lies in an area fraught with
stories of sorcery.
For instance, Mulanje Mountain, the highest peak in southern Africa, is said to be
harbouring ghosts that terrorise climbers if annoyed or provoked.
One advice tourists hear often is: "When you find food left uphill eat it but don't
take any of it with you. If you do, you will loose your way."