Goblins… yeah. EXPLODEY ones. This episode of Virtual Skeptics we also talked about elves and had a fun and rather disturbing game of Scientology? Or North Korea? Don’t miss that it’s a hoot and a holler. The full video is linked below. Check it out. But I wanted to write up and link to the information I gave about the Zimbabwe goblins. It was a fascinating story, not quite what you think.
Last Tuesday, the 22nd, I came across the story of a so-called sorcerer’s house in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe that exploded under mysterious circumstances.
Police officials said the blast killed five people. The sorcerer, often known in the West as a witchdoctor, was doing business with a man seeking to improve his failing finances, They were both among the dead, witnesses said. Army bomb disposal experts told neighbours they found no remnants of a bomb or petrol or gas containers.
In Zimbabwe superstition, sorcerers can use lightning, to eradicate enemies. Neighbours told reporters they feared a “lightning manufacturing process” was being carried out.
I heard nothing more on this, I didn’t expect to.
But then on Monday, I find this story:
A traditional healer and a survivor claim that the house in which they were carrying out a cleansing ceremony exploded after they beheaded a goblin. According to the story, a man acquired the goblin from a neighboring country to bring wealth and prosperity to his business. But the goblin became troublesome, making demands, so he needed to get rid of it. The ceremony cost him $15,000.
At first, I didn’t connect the two stories until someone told me it was the same place. So things got interesting.
According to the traditional healer, Mr Clever Kamuyedza acquired a moneyspinning goblin from a nearby country to boost the fortunes of his transport business. But it became a liability rather than an asset. Time to do away with it.
Sekuru Shumba [the witchdoctor] beheaded the goblin. Clever [the businessman], subsequently told his wife to go collect the US$15,000 from their car that was parked outside.
“That is when Sekuru shouted that the goblin was fighting back,” she said. “All I remember after that is a loud sound coming from the bedroom. The walls of the house crumbled.”
The mysterious blast killed five people, including Sekuru Shumba, the businessman, and a seven month old child. Investigators are still trying to establish the cause of the explosion that also damaged 12 other houses.
A whole pile of questions arise with my reading of this story.
What was the goblin? A person? An animal? A cover for some explosive device?
Zimbabwe and goblins go together. Some of the other stories I’ve found are just as bad or worse. Let me give you a quick rundown of what goblins are up in southern africa.
- St Sebastian Secondary school was under investigation by the education ministry after several traumatic weeks when teenage girls ran away screaming that they had been attacked by goblins. Parents say their daughters were attacked in classrooms by dwarf human beings which transformed into baboons.
- Two schools have temporarily closed and nurses are threatening to abandon a clinic over claims GOBLINS are terrorising staff. Seven teachers fled Tshebetshebe Primary School after the gremlins allegedly helped themselves to teachers’ groceries and romped with female teachers who woke up to find themselves naked and their underwear hanging from the windows. Nine students also fell ill.
- Goblins are said to be responsible for trouble at a homestead in Chipinge South where mysterious occurrences are haunting the Sithole Family. The family experienced stones being thrown at them for the past two months, soil is intermittently tossed into their food pots by invisible assailants, and three huts at the homestead as well as a house suddenly went up in smoke. Whenever one young male member of the family, Taso Sithole, 16, entered each of the huts and as soon as he came out, that hut would unexpectedly go up in smoke and this happened on all the four structures that were burnt at the homestead. To make matters worse, efforts to put out the fire were rendered futile as the well at the homestead mysteriously ran dry, only for the well to automatically fill up soon after the huts had been razed.
- A Grade Seven pupil has died under “mysterious” circumstances at a Primary School in Kezi District, where a recent goblin exorcism ceremony resulted in the village head committing suicide. The death, of the girl, has divided villagers with some saying the goblins that were allegedly removed from the home of the village head were responsible for the student’s death.The girl had a boil on her right leg. However, she started screaming saying something was burrowing into her left thigh and causing unbearable pain. “We think it is those goblins because no one could see anything,” said a villager. A teacher at school said villagers believed that the goblins were now feeding on human flesh because their owner was no longer around to give them food.
- A 62 year old Gokwe man has come out in the open and claimed ownership of a goblin which has been terrorising women in his village by taking off their panties at night while they were asleep. Upon conduction the ceremony to remove the goblins, the activity ceased. No goblin actually appeared at the ceremony to giggle like a dirty old man and run away.
- Earlier in January, residents of a Zimbabwe village said they’ve “cleansed” a medical clinic of goblins but nurses who fled the clinic are still too afraid to come back to work. The Irisvale Clinic has been closed since Nov. 22, when four nurses fled following what they claimed were attacks from goblins.”We have been hearing stories that the goblins have moved to businesses in this area. Several female employees in these shops have been complaining about the mysterious attacks. What the attacks were is not disclosed in that story.
Back to the exploding goblin story…
A relation of the deceased healer said the family believed he had “supernatural powers and a mermaid spirit” (mermaids are also popular in Zimbabwe folklore). People had been scattering salt on the road around the area to ward off evil spirits that may have been let loose in the blast. One explanation passed around was that the healer had been sending lightening to strike a target but the chosen target was protected by a more powerful force and the ‘curse was returned to sender,’ hence the explosion. Then came the exploding goblin story. Theories of juju, black magic and witchcraft came out, and we got wind of the goblin story that sounds so weird to us.
The favored explanation appears to be that this was a bomb of some sort. The self styled prophet/witchdoctor may have been attempting to extract mythical red mercury from a grenade brought to him by Mr Clever Kamudzeya. It’s a common occurrence that the people trying to do this often fail spectacularly.
A recent explosion in Zimbabwe that killed 5 people is attributed to a quest to reclaim red mercury from a live landmine. Yet other locals swear that Mandere – who doubled as a self-styled prophet – may have been trying to extract the . No-one has proved the existence of red mercury, but it is believed to be a key ingredient of dirty bombs usually used by terrorists.
So, in conclusion, superstition is extremely rife in this part of africa where they mistake animals for mischievous spirits that causes trouble. [See Tokoloshe] Notice that people use “goblins” as a scapegoat or coverup for any bizarre activity… especially where ladies underwear is involved. It’s not likely that we will see the truth about this particular exploding goblin but I’m hopeful. What I’m certain of is that scapegoblins will continue to show up to explain any event where people really would rather not know or tell the truth.