Patrick Chitumba/Freedom Mupanedemo, Midlands Reporters
THERE was a satanism scare at a house in Gweru’s Mkoba 14 when two orphaned children allegedly turned into spiritual snakes during a family prayer before demanding blood from their grandfather, forcing family members to abandon the prayer session on Thursday.
The orphans — a girl aged 10 and her 13-year-old brother, who are under the upkeep of their grandfather reportedly went into a trance, with the girl reportedly oozing blood from fingers and sweating profusely, charging towards the grandfather demanding that he becomes their “next meal”.
The siblings — sources said — told family members that they were recently initiated into satanism at their schools (names withheld). The strange utterances forced the grandfather and other members of the family to scurry for cover while sending SOS to neighbours who then quickly gathered at the house.
When Sunday News newscrew arrived at the house at around 11am, hordes of people from the surrounding area had gathered while over a dozen police officers were trying to contain the commotion, driving away the crowds outside.
The media was denied entry inside the house where relatives of the siblings were said to be busy trying to contain them with the assistance from the family’s United Apostolic Faith Church (UAFC) members. Three high-ranking police officers who arrived in a truck later got inside the house while their juniors continued to deal with the crowds. They spent more than 30 minutes locked in before the dizzy-looking siblings were carried into a church car and whisked away under police escort to Mkoba Poly Clinic and later Gweru Provincial Hospital where they were later admitted.
A neighbour said the siblings recently started behaving strangely and later fell sick when their family members decided to conduct a prayer with consultation from the church. He said during the prayer session — the siblings fell into a trance and the girl allegedly turned into a spiritual snake and said she wanted her grandfather’s blood.
“We just saw their guardians bolting out of the house claiming that the kids had turned into spiritual snakes and that they wanted to kill their grandfather since they are satanists who survive on human blood. The grandfather then screamed for help before church pastors were called in,” said a neighbour on condition of anonymity.
However, a distant relative who declined to be named, said the girl had complained of chest pains and headache since last week.
“The boy then followed suit and said he was not feeling well complaining of the same chest problems and headache like his sister. We then phoned our pastor at the UAFC, who asked us to pray for them. We then gathered in the spare bedroom to pray for the kids. It was during this prayer session that they started manifesting, the girl screaming uncontrollably while saying she was seeing a huge snake suckling blood out of her,” said the relative who declined to be identified.
The relative said the scary screams forced them to abandon the prayer and seek help from neighbours.
“We even called our UAFC leader to come and help us but by the time he came, hordes of people had gathered here and the situation was becoming uncontrollable. We then decided to call the police who responded swiftly and helped us out,” said the relative.
The relative denied reports doing rounds that the girl was bleeding while in a trance.
“You know when something as strange as this happens, there are bound to be many versions. Some witnesses allege that they saw a snake while some are saying the girl was bleeding profusely, these are all lies. They just fell into a trance and we are waiting to get information about their condition from the hospital authorities,” he said.
Police sources said the grandfather told them that previously he had seen something that looked like a rat with blood all over running around the house.
“The grandfather said strange things have been happening to the siblings of late and he saw a strange rat in the house which had blood. At Mkoba Poly Clinic, the children were said to be anaemic — and were referred to Gweru Provincial Hospital where they are admitted,” said the police source.
Midlands acting police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende could not readily comment.