THE

SHADOW FLYERS

ARIKPO LAWRENCE OMINI

DEDICATION

This book, titled; “THE SHADOW FLYERS” is dedicated first of all to God almighty, to my family far and near, my friends and to all people of the world

About the Author:

The Author of this book has written a couple of books over a long period of time some of which were published locally in the social and cultural circles. Among his recent books are ‘Wings and White Robes', a historical fantasy thriller novel based around the life of a mysterious and legendary figure called the ‘World Teacher.’

Also, “Germany Has Fallen,” a book that explored the way of life of most Germans while shinning a light on new populist traditions adopted by right wing far right groups and parties in Europe as well as its impact on immigrants and refugees.

He has worked as a columnist and editor of ‘Trumpet’ and Pathfinder Magazine and has written several articles in local journals and magazines. He currently lives and works in Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany.

INTRODUCTION

NIGHT FLYERS

My name is Ogbemudia. That’s also my father’s name. I was born in 1922. Growing up in Benin city, an ancient warrior kingdom and a once powerful West African empire sprawling with beautiful geographical plains of a flat land form, sweeping landmass with rising features of elevated hills and a temperate tropical climate alongside a fertile support rainforest lands with a long history of bronze carvings having some of the finest African metal plaques and sculptures, some of which decorates the British Royal Museum today, one of the most talked about events in the absence of good renaissance society, modern jobs and forward thinking minds, were the allegorical traditions and superstitions, which some might call non fictitious reality surrounding Witchery and Night Runners. And while some might say, ‘night running’ is a form of witchy control, in itself, over the sub conscious mind, a spirit often thought to be a gift or curse by forebears that is passed down onto the next generation in a shrouded rite of passage often less understood. But it’s generally believed that the entire activity though popular in some cultures was still practiced behind the veil, as normal everyday people don’t get to see or know of their work, practice or process because of the nature and propensity as well as the quantum principle of physics involved in the practice. Moreover, if well understood, it might elicit outrage and rebellion to the exponents and ideologue of this ancient practice.

Many parents have been taught to have willfully initiated their children, grandchildren and even neighbors into the sacred practice to protect and enrich them with the secret world of mysteries around us as it was once taught to unite the man and woman, their souls with other creatures and plants even entities in other dimensions including the universe. And while it’s not true for all in view of the modern times, to want to be part of that world due to the shady, misunderstood and somewhat unholy intentions of the practitioners, as some, if not most have been known to have initiated people into the witchery shadow practice without their conscious permission just like the underworld of vampires initiate others, sometimes as a way to survive with an undiminished legacy to stay relevant in the world.

In the end, the aspect of blood rituals and sacrifices play a good role in this witchery practice as was done by our earlier ancestors. As apart from those initiated into the secret craft, many others were killed not just for sport but for those who engage in it to retain their power and title, and as a sacrifice that enables them to become more powerful with a strong magic as it appeases the unpredictable forces in the other world. More also the practice of witchery or ‘night jumping' is rooted in the ancient practice of Juju or black art as a form of religion that connects them to nature, knowledge and study of astrology, astronomy, medicine and the spirit of the earth itself knowing all living things are in one way or the other connected in a broader web of life. A practice that involves magic and the use of spells to heal and bring sick or troubled people back to a healthy body and mental balance. A religious practice with affinity to nature in pagan traditions. A situation where children, adults and businesses or goods were believed to be vulnerable to the witchery of jealous neighbors.

Sometimes, a new born or young child is spelled with malicious magic long before he or she is born into the world as a result of the fact that his or her light was seen shinning before he or she was born, and seen as a social threat to them by jealous or envious relatives. Therefore, such a child yet unborn or just being born is spelled with a malevolent attack from an enemy with ties to the family to suffer from some ill-fate in life when he is born, making sure such a child either dies before fulfilling such a great destiny or is caught in a web of time delays and prevented to reach the next level due to some illness or misfortune that might befall him or her as an adult who is ready to make a change in the world. Others use this same magic art to heal or protect people hunted by malicious witchcraft attacks or evil magic users. This is the aspect where the concept of ‘White Witchcraft’ emanated from. This is a benign witchcraft and socially acceptable sort which may be employed to turn the malevolent ones aside or identify the supposed evil doer, so that punishment may be carried out by the community.

Other witches and warlocks use their necromancy in the conjuring of the spirits of the dead or for divination or prophecy to see the future or influence the future outcome of events seen ahead of time. And while Europe may have moved on from the belief of this diabolical art and its practice especially after the middle ages witch craft inquisition and killings initiated by Catholic church to identify and fish out shadow evil doers among the true believers by punishing and eliciting confessions from supposed villains, who were then sentenced to death. Africa on the other hand still practiced and believed in them as a culture or religion, and although civilization had evolved and managed to change hearts and way of life, many still delve into this dark arts, that are almost universally seen as evil and not adding to the good, welfare neither the socioeconomic growth of their people.

Unlike the witches, who carry out hidden pacts in their secret gatherings in the ‘Sabbath' and attacks their enemies, or the marked ones in an invisible way seen only in a dream or transcendental state, the Night Runners, on the other hand, carry out their nocturnal practice with their flesh and blood as they are moved through blood lust to go to people’s houses to trouble or disturb them at night when they are sleeping while instilling fear into their victims. However, there are other ‘Night Runners’ who merge their shadow practice with Juju magic such as when a ‘witch' goes hunting as a 'night runner' they are powerful, as they command and ride on leopards, lions and other wild animals to people’s homes in a shape shifting form by appearing and disappearing, and even when they are caught, they have the power to make one motionless until they are finished with attacking their victims and gone, then only can one regain his or her strength, consciousness and motion. An attack which eventually turn into bad luck or elicit unfortunate events in their victim’s waking life.

“Before my future took a drastic turn, I have heard several times how my friends and other people talk of this shadow people and their disturbing and strange activities and how one can detect them. I once asked my close friend those questions. He said something important that day which I spent time reflecting upon.

“What if your mum, was one of them?” He asked in a plain voice while looking at me. But quickly blew the stern with a smile. You will only meet disappointment and pain if you knew more. He meant it as a joke. You’re under watch at all times by paranormal forces and could be initiated in a dream. Such obscure initiation often come with a mark on your body. A secret mark that can’t be visualized with your physical eyes. But could be seen by those who have the eyes to see. Those with the gift of the third sight.

“Be aware of your environment. Open your eyes. Be watchful what you eat and who gives you food whether real or subliminal because they use food to initiate many people unknowingly into their evil craft,”he added. “Could my Mum be a part of these shadow people like you said?” I further asked my friend. “If she is one of them, she will not hide forever,” replied my friend. Though I didn’t put much thought into it since I never really saw my mum speak about it nor my Father, so I can’t really say for sure, but mostly because I wasn’t interested. I may have experienced Night attacks as sleep paralysis, succubus attacks, sometimes of a sexual nature. Just as my siblings where they were pressed down and paralyzed by witches and other entities at night unable to breathe or move even though conscious. Or when witches use instruments to tear the souls of our feet or parts of our body at night to suckle our blood, and when we wake up in the morning, not just me but my fellow siblings will report the same situation often with physical marks accompanying it as evidence as if they used a razor blade to do such an unexplained damage but never imagined my Mum or any close relative of mine as one of them or belonging to their world. I hope not.

We had a neighbor when we were growing up as teens, which we use to call MOTHER WITCH. She lives with her husband and family just behind our house, and every one of us were convinced the woman was responsible for such brutal nightmarish sleep paralysis travesty we experienced almost every night either alone or in concert with her other secret members. But how can you prove it when such activities are done in the shadows of the night through a mystical transcendental medium in an altered body state. “How can one see, apprehend or prove that she was the one behind it?” But luckily, our local cultures, also have ways of trapping or arresting witches especially when two or more people suspect and complain of the activities from one individual such a person is usually invited by the local authority and questioned. It’s even worse of a measure that will be taken against such a witch, if one reports that the witch has caused the downfall, death, illness, misfortune, accident or death of their victim. Such a suspected witch could be banished from that society or punished in other ways.

Sometimes to catch a witch, especially when the suspected witch is your mother or relative, there are traditional tested ways to discover the truth. One is told to rob hot pepper on the bed of the witch, so on the re-entry of the witch’s astral body back into his or her physical body, it will cause his or her inconvenience, making her to cry and scream at night in pain, that way, her children and neighbors will know she was actually the one doing those things in the dark, causing untold pain and suffering to other people at night when they are sleeping. Sometimes making some people unable to have a good night rest. However, the worst story was told me by my biological sister, something she overheard from the old people gossip. She said, if a witch wants to travel a distance, say a hundred miles or even a thousand, it’s possible with a target destination but one has to be an expert to travel long distances, if not, coming back from such a long distance mission might be difficult as some journeys are cut short due to impediments such as electricity grid entanglements on the way or some people might not expect that they would be ambushed by their victims, but it sometimes occurs, as such ambushed spirits of witches are imprisoned through the mystical art of another experienced occult practitioner, as a warning to others not to cross his or her path again. Those who go on this long journey expeditions or missions are often not alone as they always travel in groups crossing the paths of other witches on similar missions while plying the road of their inglorious mission.

To undertake such a mission, an expert or specialist at the exact moment at night would have his or her soul transported to a tree, a point of convergence or place of sabbath for most witches mostly in the deepest night, where they use aspects of that tree such as leaves, staff made out of branches, broomstick or shells of fruits and salve used to anoint those materials to enable its use as a transportation means or guide them through thick and thin to their destination and back. Trees were sacred in our culture as its spirit is seen as one with the spirit inside a man, but there were also the launching pads of all witches traveling from one point to the other. So, trees were not allowed to be cut down just like that, as that disrupts their shadow activities. The day a tree is cut down, especially a big tree, like the big tree that was close to our compound was cut down sometime in 1938, it was the talk of town, as we heard, the person who cut down the popular tree was struck down by shadow creatures after hearing persistent noises in his head, and died a day after, from brief but severe mental illness. He made them mad by taking away their sacred house, their playground, so, he was violently attacked. That was how the story was told. Therefore, even if one is the owner of a tree, one is not allowed to just saw down a tree to spite a witch, such a person might suffer the consequence unless such a person is quickly protected by a powerful witch doctor with the use of potions and other counter magical instruments to prevent him or her from being ruthlessly attacked by the witches as revenge for his or her actions. In most occasions, on our way back from school, when we pass by a notorious tree, we just mumble some silent words, saying, this could be one of their lair of operation but we were afraid to speak out loud for fear of being over heard by a witch who might lurking on it and could trail us to our own home and attack us later at night.

Juju and the Shadow craft is common among the residents of Benin city during this period. The colonial times. It’s a practice and lifestyle passed down to them by the generations before them with roots in old pagan traditions, and they are entitled to do the same, and pass it onto their children or so they believed. However, even if some saw it as a gift to their unborn or young children to later inherit, not all of them saw it that way, as some witchery practitioners go the extra mile to protect their offspring or kids from being indoctrinated or initiated into such a restless shadow pact through a spelled ritual as they themselves see it as a curse rather than a blessing that restlessly hunts one and his or her flesh unrelenting, and often lead to their untimely death, if they are not watchful in their shadow activities. The aspect of not sleeping well at night is a thing experienced by everyone in Benin, and that gave a lot of people the cause to be more vigilant at night as they were able to see and identify those who attacked them and to know when exactly such an attack comes so as to be vigilant or be able to fight against the shadow intruder in a daring way to stop them from returning. While a few houses are marked as a no-go area for witches due to some magical protection or fear of being caught, others are marked as a place for gathering and feasting by them including schools and churches. That is because some of their victims may have known their plot and have found some form of sorcery or charm for protection while others are not so gifted as to know how to go about it even when they are the subject of constant brutal night attacks. Education may have brought illumination, as well as Christianity must have played a role in exposing their tracks and mounting a defense against them, but same people are almost always the easiest targets for these witches to pounce on at night.

Down the Ekpoba hill street lived a friend of my father who always complained of the impunity of “Night Runners,” when he visits us. Their somewhat reckless transcendent activities at night makes the whole family drained for fear and anticipation of an attack, as those shadow creatures driven by some form of blood lust rise at night to go hunting for their victims. I have over heard him several times speak on how the “Night Runners” come at night throwing stones at their roof and knocking heavily at the door. When they open up the door and look outside, they will see no one.

Our attackers derive pleasure from such disturbances, and if they are able to make us scream and not sleep, they feel fulfilled in their acts, he said. It’s a form of domestic disturbance, and the times we managed to hide and wait to ambush the perceived shadow attackers, they were always veiled by the magic of the dark night, in such a way they can’t be recognized. If they did and they are mistakenly revealed, their cover will be blown and it will be difficult for the perpetrators to keep attacking their victims again since they will be marked and targeted as well by the community, he added.

Even worse were those who come at cover of night transforming into or riding on black cats, huge black dogs, bulls, leopards and lions, with animal sounds often overheard by their victims even though those animals were hardly found in that region. It means their activities were mystical or other worldly, summoning the invisible shadow creatures, gain control over them and use them to trouble or attack their victims. However, the later one is often vicious as they bring along other shadow beings, entities and wild creatures to enable them to inflict maximum pain, as the roaring sounds of those creatures don’t just scare their intended victim but also the neighbors.

They gain entrance into your room through the key hole. Then, they either perform a perverted sexual act on their victim or outright attack them by beating, breathlessly pressing down their victims, incising brutal deep razor cuts on their bodies and sucking their blood. Then disappear as they came.

When asked by my father why he didn’t pay local ‘watchmen’ as vigilantes to watch his house for one night in order to counter attack and arrest the ‘night runners.’ He responded that he once did, but in an unexplained situation when the time came and the Night Runners appeared, the ‘watchers’ were immobilized with some strange sleep or paralytic influence or spell cast on them that they could not move their bodies until the whole night attack was over and the attackers gone, then they were able to move their bodies. This is because those who carry out the later attacks fortify themselves with some lurid or shroud powers of sorcery to enable them to control the physical forces including human sometimes inducing sleep on their victims to enable them to attack their victims successfully. In other words, the attackers were able to shift their forms and control the two worlds of the seen and unseen as they could appear, breeze into unsuspecting homes, induce their victims to sleep and then draw blood from them, by making them motionless while in bed, then disappear with signs and marks left as evident of such malicious attacks at the dawn of the day.