The Djinn Inside

An Islamic summer camp in Northern Michigan is turned upside down when a young man becomes possessed by Djinn.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

GLYNN WASHINGTON, HOST:

All right, all right, all right. Everybody finished with their s'mores, tell me you didn't live those fish we caught in my tent Charlie. Now bring some more wood for the fire, come one gather around, gather around. Don't play up in the Malik, you set your narrow behind on the chair. Now get ready because uncle Glynn's got some scary stories. Yeah they really happened, that's why they're scary. Say what? You want me to say it in my radio voice or how about this? Tonight in the woods on SNAP JUDGMENT, from PRX and NPR we proudly present "Campfire Tales." Y'all scared ain't you? Somebody get the baby please. Amazing stories of scary stuff that happened to other people. Don't wander off the path, don't get too close to the flame because you're listening to SNAP JUDGMENT. I do have some stories I need to tell y'all, this first one was from a friend of mine. It was on a camping trip not unlike the one y'all are on right now. But then stuff started going down.

KEITH: It is called Camp Pidad (ph), it is a an Islamic camp, strictly for Muslims. I'm not sure where exactly in Michigan it's in, what city but it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, just woods everywhere. I mean Islam generally supports like oneness with nature. One of the primary activities we generally focused on was lectures from the Sheikh and the Sheikh is in Islam basically what a priest is in Christianity. It wasn't necessarily his main topic of discussion but he would end the lectures off, I don't want to say warning us, but he said there's been multiple, like weird things I guess going on in the campsite and he brought up the topic of djinn. He told us djinn are a part of a whole other dimension that we're not able to access. They're generally known to inhabit secluded areas, you know, separate from like civilization or humans. Like right when it hits sunset I guess, that's when it's basically their time. They come out and he told us don't, like even, think about going into wooded areas by yourself because when you show some sort of extreme fear, high levels of vulnerability become evident towards these djinn. So it's about like, 9, 9:30 at night and you know, we're all coming back to our cabin, our consolers are with us. We're getting ready for bed at this point, you know, we're all talking. The door, to our cabin, the front door, the entrance starts opening and closing continuously for like three minutes. I mean it's basically impossible for the wind to blow it in, this door, every time it closes, you know, there's a latch. I know this one kid, I look at look at him and his face is just white. He's just likes sweating very intensely and he start screaming like, what the hell's going on, what the hell is going on. He was crying man like, and everybody's telling him to calm down, you need to relax yourself, like this is going to stop in a second. I started getting shivers telling you this man. He's out of his bed, he's on his knees leaning towards the ground and just like that man, his had just starts swinging back and forth, back and forth. On his knees the back of his head would touch the ground, he leaned forward, go back, the head, his head would touch the ground again and he did this reportedly for about, like 10 seconds. When this is happening, while he's going back and forth, he starts vomiting, just viciously man, like it was disgusting. I've never seen vomiting, like it's such a rapid rate, it seemed ridiculously excruciating. Our counselor gets the camp doctor and they grabbed this kid, they put him onto the bed and he starts going crazy. And this is when I realized, like, all right there's something wrong with this kid, I think he's freaking possessed. He's like; he's just tossing them off of him, like swinging with his finger, clawing him. They're trying to contain him by basically putting like extreme pressure on his forehead. He's screaming, ana iblis, ana iblis, which means I am the devil. Iblis in Islam is considered the devil; you know that is the name of the devil. He wasn't gagging, he was moaning, like it was a moan of pain echoing you know, ana iblis. It was a very dark sort of tone and I mean I know this all seems very superstitious and we all thought, OK maybe he's just having a panic attack. But yet the atmosphere of the cabin itself was so thick and dark and just very murky, that we knew man, that this kid had a djinn inside of him. He's clawing at them, he's screaming ana iblis, ana iblis. So the counselor, you know, he leaves us there and he goes and gets the Sheikh, the Sheikh of the camp. Now the Sheikh bolts in, this is about two minutes later, you know, after he left, he bolts into the cabin and instantly dude no further explanation was required. He saw what was going on and he knew right away. And in the situation it's known in our religion that there's a specific verse you have to recite. It is a verse called, Ayat al-Kursi, Ayat al-Kursi, from this one chapter in the Quran, which is our holy book. The Sheikh, you know, he starts reciting, Ayat al-Kursi, he's reading, he's reading, I'm like dude, what is this supposed to drive the spirit out of the human body but yet he's still going crazy, yelling, ana iblis. So after about like, five minutes of reciting man, he starts vomiting again. Not as he was before, you know, it's kind of like normal vomit, you know. After he stops vomiting dude, he lets out this like demon like screech. It was so deep and powerful. It was unlike anything I had ever heard. So he lets out this screech and it just became silent man, just silence. As weird as this sounds man, like instantly I swear to God, the air just - you can feel it. It started to clear up. They rush him to the hospital, the Sheikh hops in with him, the counselor and the doctor, they all go with. I'm sitting there dude, and I'm not going to lie, I'm bawling, I'm just like crying my ass off. When they got back, they told us the doctors were very confused, if he was having like a panic attack or anxiety attack, his blood pressure and heart rate would be through the roof. But this kid, he had a heartbeat that was pretty much unnoticeable. He left the hospital probably two or three days later. I've seen him one time since that incident and I'll tell you one thing man, he will never be the same, ever. Nowhere near the kid he used to be. He's - I mean, I guess very introspective but to the point where he doesn't say anything and when he does say anything it's got something irrelevant. Definitely in his own world. I mean, honesty man I believe that when you become possessed, you know, I told you that the humans and the djinn dimension, they can contact us but we can't contact them, but this kid literally has opened up this dimension in his own way. Like, I've never asked him to elaborate on this because honestly man, I don't want to hear any more about it. I mean, I'm not going to lie; I've developed some sort of phobia towards this whole topic djinn. The next year they had changed the campsite, you know, they decide to never go back there and you know, they've never gone back since man.

WASHINGTON: Yep that's how it happened, believe it. Thank you so much Keith for telling your story to Anthony Briones.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.