I am going to start this thread by prefacing it with I am not the sort of person who would typically believe in djinns, neither is my family. Sure our religion insists on it so we are more welcoming of the idea but for us it was our experiences that gave us little choice.
I still can’t say If what we experienced was objectively real, or if there’s a logical explanation for it so you don’t have to believe what I say – we struggled a lot with it ourselves, still do. We’ve just filed it under the tab – knowledge is not absolute. We’ll never know. When I was 6 or 9 we moved to Islamabad to a house that had been empty for 20 years. Something was off about that house & over the course of 16 years we spent there we got to find out what. Can’t recall all incidents in chrono order so I’m going to keep writing until I can’t One of the first incidents was when we moved we had employed a new cook – came perfectly fine but in a month he lost a lot of weight, went a little nuts – wouldn’t eat. He said there were djinns in this house and they were driving him insane – he said they would laugh at him.
His hands would always be swollen because they would make him sing and clap for them all night. If he did sleep they’d drag him out into the green belt at the end of the street. He ran away at the end of the month and we never heard from again. Some mornings my mother – still in bed after waking up would hear footsteps of a child running to & from the foot of her bed. She often checked but there was never anyone there even though she could clearly hear and see someone fidgeting about at her feet. It aggravated quick. Someone started to lock my elder sister in the bathroom from the outside. Wasn’t one of us – often happened when the rest of us were downstairs or out. She also used to have a bunch of photo frames on a chest in her room which she would find all turned down. One summer my khala’s family lived with us while their house got finished. I was in my parents room on a mattress next to my cousin. I woke up in the middle of the night & saw someone lying between us. I still remember what it looked like vividly. Don’t think I’ll ever forget.
It was male. It had eyelids as big as my hands. A face that had been stretched and pulled from chin and forehead. Imagine enlarging features to disturbing proportions. It was sleeping. I don’t know how I got to my parent’s bed. I woke my mother up. I couldn’t talk at all. My mother told me I was pale as a ghost and wet from all the sweat. I had a very bad fever the morning. I wasn’t scared by it – it was just – you guessed it unbelievable. I knew I hadn’t dreamt it. Absolutely not. There was an ominous mango tree outside our kitchen. It was black, thin, never gave fruit – it’s leaves & branches blocked the upstairs living room window. One of my cousins used to visit from LHR and her son would just leave to go to that window and talk to someone in the tree. Initially it must’ve been crossed off as a usual child’s imagination but it started happening frequently to the point it started worrying my cousin so she asked him. And he insisted there was an old man with the reddest hair and beard who sat in that tree and liked to talk.
My eldest cousin who passed away a few years ago was in his early 40s back then. He would never go to that side of the house of the mango tree when he visited & he visited a lot. Don’t think he ever told us why but he was very uncharacteristically scared of that side and boundary. Our grandparents lived with us so there were people coming and going – visiting all the time. One morning my grandmother was lying down reading her Urdu digest when my father came in and lied down next to her on the bed like he used to after work. She thought nothing of it. Eventually my mother came in and my grandmother asked her where my dad went and my mother told her that nobody was home except them. My dad was in miles and miles away in Hattar. These doppelganger incidents were a very regular occurrence at our house. It happened to too many people too often. We don’t generally even go there when talking about this as we always crossed it as someone’s mind taking a shit or something in the water. Who knows. Often cousins would hear my mother calling them when she wouldn’t.
Once a distant relative was over and she saw two bald kids from behind she didn’t recognize. None of us were bald – no one was bald. She tried calling for them from the drawing room and chasing after two bald kids in the gallery but they quickly ran into a room and disappeared. A phuppo of mine once had a child follow her around the house. Lost – staring at her without saying a word. She didn’t react because she said she could see it wasn’t human. She was scared shitless couldn’t say a word let alone scream so she just moved about until it left her side. Our family & cousins didn’t like the staircase in that house. It was right in the middle so you crossed it many times. They tried their best not to come up because on numerous occasions they’d caught glimpses of someone standing on the big step or peeking from the railing above. After my grandfather passed I moved into his office which had a door that lead out into the side with the mango tree. One night I turned off the light and lay down. Fully awake I heard 2 voices whispering very clearly to each other from just feet away – right outside the door.
The neighbors light would’ve casted a shadow on my curtains if there was someone out there. I tried to make out what they were saying but I couldn’t understand the language. By that point a lot of this shit had happened so my reaction was seriously how dare they – the nerve. But yes eventually the fear took over. I was fine but I couldn’t muster the courage to move closer to the door so I did what all good Muslim boys do – recite Surah Naas and after the third time they went quiet. Once my sister, her friend and I were on mattresses in the upstairs living room because obviously – too many guests. I hadn’t slept yet and I heard growling coming from right above the stairs. It was very loud, hostile and beastly – nothing like a dog. We didn’t even let a dog inside the house back then. It went on for a bit. The next morning we found out we all were up and heard it but nobody wanted to get out of the covers or say anything in that moment.
One of my phuppos (have many) swears on her life there was a wolf like humanoid creature in the house because she had seen it numerous times peeking through doorways. Maybe my eldest anti-mango-tree cousin mentioned he encountered it too but I can’t say for certain. Can’t recall. One of our cousins lived in our guestroom while she went to UCI. One night while she was studying late in her bed – locked room and all said that she turned her side and saw a giant standing next to her bedside. What she described was very close to what I had seen. And I retrospect I think what I saw was a child – she saw an adult. She freaked and ran to my grandparents room hyperventilating and was pretty shaken up for the next few days. Didn’t sleep in the guest room for a long, long time. One night my sister heard someone humming; melodious, echoing across the gallery. She went to my younger sister and told her to stop. My younger sister shouted that she thought it was her. Both ran through the house screaming. My elder sister was shivering she was so scared. Ouijas are BS but once my sisters & frnds were on it. They asked for a sign and the puck went nuts – they weren’t touching it. It flew from the board and hit the wall. The candles went out. +1 instance of girls screaming. Sister’s friend injured her foot while making a run for it Only other weird Ouija board incident was once on Eid our cousins, aunts & uncles joined for an impromptu Ouija session. Questions were asked that had very strange and I cannot stress this enough impossible answers. Fast forward to 10 years later. All those predictions were true.
There was a lightning storm in ISL and the electricity went. I had to go up to my parents room in the dark with no light on me. I wasn’t scared but maybe I should’ve been. On my way back I made out three bodies standing together close to the stairs railing just feet away from me. They were looking at me. Could’ve been a trick of the light or lack there of but what I felt then was crazy. I knew it in my soul that they were smiling at me so I looked away and pretended I saw nothing and kept walking. Another cook of ours had recently gotten married. We had a swinging kitchen door with a glass pane that lead to the dinning room. He was cooking and he saw his wife burnt across the glass. He got so disturbed that he threatened to quit but what could we do. He eventually did quit. I’m not nuts – I think. One normal evening. Clear skies, light outside. My mother and I were sitting in the drawing room. There was a window overlooking the garden. For a split second I saw a massive ball of electrical white light form a feet above the grass and explode.
I went did you see that. My mother didn’t. But she saw the whole room light up for a second. I googled later being the loser that I am and the closest phenomena I could find was something called St. Elmo’s Fire which seafarers would encounter on the open water. So fuck me right? One of our cousins had a very eccentric friend who came and lived with us for a weekend. She had some strange habits – very funny though. She would talk to herself a lot amongst other things. This is so weird I can’t believe I am relaying this anecdote:
She said the moon in this house was different and she went outside and talked to it for an hour in the garden at night – on her own. I know. I know. Pretend like you’re not reading this thread. Midway through our stay in that house we had two unrelated religious scholars visit our house. One of my dad’s friend even brought Maulana Maududi’s son from Lahore. No link between them – Both said the same thing: There was a family of 5 who lived in that house. (We were 5 – is this the movie The Others? Are we the Djinns). They said they did not want to hurt us. They had grown used to us so we shouldn’t worry and think of them as almost – but not necessarily offering protection. Whatever that means. By the last years of our stay in that house they had grown rather confident and we brave. Shared experiences is what really cemented that there was definitely something there. After my grandmother too passed away we converted her bedroom into a living room because we missed her. We spent most of our time downstairs, in that room, together. We would all hear someone running above us on the upper floor – banging doors. We would mute the tele. Do a double check and then I would run up the stairs to see if anyone was there – obviously nothing.
Another tree outside my grans room would rustle and move like someone climbing over it. The curtains open. Tree right there in front of our eyes. No human in sight. It was too obvious at that point. You could literally track where they were moving – especially above in the house. The funny thing is they really felt like they couldn’t be arsed at that point. If you were upstairs you could often hear pebbles and debris being rolled around by someone’s feet on the roof. You heard friction. We were so desensitized to it that it became background noise. The funny thing is they really felt like they couldn’t be arsed at that point. If you were upstairs you could often hear pebbles and debris being rolled around by someone’s feet on the roof. You heard friction. We were so desensitized to it that it became background noise. After we moved our landlord lady’s sons called my dad v seriously, worried asking if we had had any strange experiences in the house cause they weren’t having a good time. My dad was like I told your mum numerous times but they’re harmless. The son said I think they don’t like us.
I talk about this house lovingly and calm-ly because well I grew up there but know that most people were shit scared of that house. Not in a visual sense of the way that oh this is an old house, it has some dark corners – it was a fairly average looking house – but more like. You genuinely felt like you were being watched or followed in it. You felt like you were the one intruding on someone else’s territory. There are more anecdotes spread across extended family and friends of that house. But this is where I shall end this thread. Sweet dreams.
By Kayhan Suleman (@7kayhan) on Twitter