Vampires and witches…

‘Amadou, do you believe in vampires?’, a guest staying at my house asked. Amadou looks at him with a puzzled faint smiling face as if he’s wondering how anyone could possibly be so ignorant. With a tone of disbelief in his voice he answers: ‘Of course I do; they are very real!’

‘But have you ever seen one yourself?’, the questioning continues. No, he hasn’t, but he’s sure he would recognize one if he would see one. Yes, of course they do have special powers, but they are also very human. They do not only live on human blood or human flesh, they also eat the food we eat. And therefore it is harder to recognize them, unless you have a chance to really look them in the eyes. That’s when you will instantly know, but of course they will try to avoid that.
‘You know, a human who is being eaten by a vampire or a witch continues to live, just until the moment the head is being eaten’, Amadou explains. I’m listening with attention, looking at both Amadou’s and my guest’s faces. It’s fun to see the entirely different expressions. The passionate conviction on Amadou’s face and the almost giggling disbelief on the other side.

‘But how do you know if there’s a vampire around?’ my guest asks, clearly looking for a gap in Amadou’s story. ‘Well, that’s quite simple’, Amadou explains, ‘if they want to let you know they are around they eat the interior of a papaya in your garden or kitchen. Only the skin will stay and the moment you cut it you’ll find it entirely empty. That’s when you know one’s having an eye on you!’
‘Monique, he really believes in vampires and witches’, my guest brings out in great disbelief after Amadou has left for the bathroom. Yes, he does!

A few weeks later Amadou told me about a particular village, not too far from Ségou, that apparently is well-known for being populated by witches and vampires, who seem to use a certain kind of secret language – including strange chickens – amongst them to discuss whether or not a visitor is a potential prey. Your attitude – in terms of showing respect, or the lack of it – as well as the amount of flesh covering your bones will be taken into account. A number of unlucky people are being summed up – including a Malian singer – who turned insane, paralyzed, got extremely ill or even died after visiting the village.

The mosque in this particular village seems to be widely known for its very special powers. If you really long for manifesting something in your life all you need to do is visit it, make a sacrifice and think of your desires. As you can imagine not a lot of people do find the courage to visit there, knowing that they might turn into vampire or witch prey.

Having a garden with lots of papaya’s, I am happy to share that so far I have not found any proof of a vampire or a witch having an eye on us 🙂

Having said that, I’ve not yet visited this village, it still being on my shortlist…

About MoInMali

Monique is the founder of Papillon Reizen, a Mali based travel agency specialized in inspiring journeys in Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin. Fair-trade and with a heart for people, environment and culture. Small-scale group journeys as well as family trips and journeys tailored to your wishes. We love to share West Africa's beauty with you and take you on a journey to experience rather than to see. Monique lives in Mali with her Malian partner and shares some of her daily life experiences with you through this blog. For information on Papillon Reizen:
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