A poltergeist that throws hot stones is making life a misery for a Bulawayo family
Lydia Manjengwa, a widow with eight children, has been forced from her house near Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and made homeless after being pelted by large “hot stones” thrown by invisible assailants. The location of this apparent pelting poltergeist persecution is Manjengwa Village in Buhera district. A journalist from The Manica Post visited the family at 1:30pm on 27 June. Moments later Future Mashiri (35) and her brother’s wife Tafadzwa Matevera (19) – both with babies strapped on their backs – emerged from adjacent rock outcrops where they had rushed for cover from the raining stones. The yard was strewn with water buckets, plates, pots, and other household utensils damaged beyond repair and use. Kitchen shelves had been broken and roofs shattered. Fresh and healed scars of burns were visible on most of the family members. The stones were too big for a person to throw around with such frequency
The kitchen shelves had been shattered and roofs scattered
without being detected. The fusillade only ceased when strangers visited. The stones were allegedly passing through walls without leaving holes on the outside or burning the grass thatched roof.
“We had to run away because we were being pelted with the hot stones,” said Future Mashiri. “This place is not habitable. We have become the laughing stock of the whole village and nobody is prepared to give us refuge and food. It started on 9 May. The stones follow us everywhere we go and we are being asked to leave people’s homes as we continued to be pelted with the hot stones. We have sought solutions from seven prophets and a traditional healer, but it was all in vain because the attack has not ceased. We cannot hide as the invisible attacker is always in hot pursuit. We are all injured and our household property was damaged. We do not sleep at all; we spend nights in mountains, with these little babies. It’s so tough and painful to spend cold evenings in the open. All we need is a rest and lasting solution to this problem. Our mother [Lydia Manjengwa] has gone to Makumbe Mission to look for one prophet we were referred to.”
Lydia rejoined her native Manjengwa family in 1996 following a quarrel with Madhimbe Mutondondo Mashiri, who later died in 2001. The Manjengwas, who are the village heads, gave her a portion of land to live on. The family is now divided over the strange occurrences, amid suspicion that a kinsman possesses goblins. This
suspicion was backed up by one Madzibaba Washy in his ‘prophetic utterances’.
Mr Tedious Manjengwa (70), Lydia’s constant companion, said it was embarrassing that the family was not working together. “This is our home and she is our sister, and as the Manjengwas we superintend this homestead and family. What is happening here is troubling me; it is giving me sleepless nights. I am looking for someone who can use whatever powers to unpack the whole mystery, and if possible, send these mysterious hot stones back to the sender. I want the person responsible for these terrible things to be named and shamed. I suspect someone in this family is up to no good. This is an issue we should be putting our heads together as a family, but it is only myself and Lydia showing concern.”
Viola Kobe, wife of Tedious Manjengwa, repeated an account by one of the prophets. “The spirit of an identified family member [name supplied] spoke through aunt Lydia,” she said. “It first identified itself, and admitted to being responsible for throwing the stones, arguing that it wanted a human head to sacrifice and enhance a kombi business. The prophet told this family that the solution was from within. The prophet left in a huff because the family went on to hire other prophets before exhausting what he had instructed.”
A relative, Mr Jealous Mapingire, said at first he doubted the Manjengwas’ account until three stones were thrown at them. “I saw one huge stone being thrown at Moses Masunga’s homestead where they had sought refuge,” he said. “When I touched it, it was hot like it was coming from a blast furnace. I gathered the stones with a view to burn them because they are evil. I still have the stones at my house because I still want to destroy them. Imagine if such stones could hit a child, the child would die. The family has been ostracised, nobody wants to entertain them for fear of being pelted. I wonder what kind of magic, because the stones were so heavy and you would not expect such stones to rise on their own.” Bulawayo 24 News, 1 July 2017. From time to time, Fortean
Times has carried very similar accounts of paranormal stone pelting, most often in Africa. There was a particularly detailed report of a case in Machakos, Kenya, in 1982, with photographs [ FT44:36
40]. Subsequent cases were reported from South Africa in 2004 [ FT189:10] and Halesowen, West Midlands, in 2006 [ FT215:12].
ABOVE: Farai Mashiri with a pot that was damaged beyond repair in one of the episodes. BELOW: Women and children of the Manjengwa family sit outside their home. OPPOSITE PAGE: Another family member, Sekuru Manjengwa, holds up one of the stones thrown by the invisible assailant.