Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for...

Click HERE for a list of all
the participants!
For this, my 5th year doing the Challenge, it's the
A to Z of Anansi the spider.

W is for Witches and other supernatural beings.

Although I haven't included any stories about witches in my book, in "Miss Ophelia's Daughter," Miss Ophelia is accused of being one.

There are lots of stories of witches and sorcery in the Caribbean. Mischievous and evil spirits roam the islands at will. In the Jamaican stories there are duppies which were thought to be spirits or supernatural apparitions.  A duppy could even be the devil.

In the Virgin Islands there were stories of jumbies, mischievous and sometimes malevolent spirits, that could cause all kinds of problems.

Essen - Neue Isenburg 15 ies

People used to shut up their windows and doors at night to keep the jumbies out. If a person had a particular fear they would scatter 99 grains of rice outside around the house. The jumbie would see the rice and start picking it up then spend the entire night searching for the hundredth grain.

If a person had to walk at night he or she always wore a hat because the belief was that a bat - a jumbie carrier - would fly in your hair and leave a jumbie behind which would make you crazy. People also walked without any kind of light and wearing dark clothes so as to blend into the darkness and avoid being seen.


  1. I can't imagine counting our 99 grains of rice. Haha
    I think that bat superstition was something that I grew up with too. I remember my Grandmother saying that the bats would get in my hair.

  2. Children do like stories about witches. It's good if they can turn out to be good witches, though.

  3. Such rich stories. Maybe this can be your next book.

  4. Bats getting in your hair seems to apply to many countries. Not that I have any cause to worry these days.

  5. Jumbies - I don't think I've ever heard that term before.

  6. I think witches are quite a big thing in some African cultures as well.

    Witches are cool.

  7. Ah the jumbies! At least the macko jumbies were entertaining.

  8. This is interesting stuff, never heard of jumbies before. 99 grains of rice - I couldn't imagine counting them out.

  9. I love the name, jumbies. It's perfect for something that a bat could tangle in your hair!

  10. pretty nice blog, following :)

  11. Awesome. Now I'm going to have to buy a hat because I don't want any demons lodging in my brain.

    Love this insight.

    True Heroes from A to Z

  12. Wow, what wonderful ideas!


  13. Who knew the jumbies were ocd and had to find the 100 pieces of rice. I have to admit that I would hate taking the time to count out 99 grains exactly, could we just make it an odd number and get away with it?

    I love the name jumbies.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!