Mavis and her daughter in front of the old duppy house. - IAN ALLEN/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
THE SECOND I saw the curtain move in the window of the old duppy house, my knees started to shiver something fierce. Believe me, I was only seconds away from experiencing a massive cardiac arrest right there on the roadway between a stack of logwood and a weird man with a hole in his hat. But luckily, as I grabbed my chest and prepared to meet my maker, I realised that it was only a little girl who had shifted the curtain as she was running by. Whew!
You'll have to forgive me. You see, photographer Ian Allen and I were in Kellits, Clarendon, which is the home of a well-known duppy called 'Wenticko'.
Now, as residents tell it, Wenticko is no ordinary duppy. He only comes around once every two or so years, and only around crop time. It being crop time right now, you can understand my fear.
OLD DUPPY HOUSE
We were standing in front of what is known as the old duppy house. You see, Wenticko makes his presence known by 'going into' the same woman every time he comes around.
"The duppy go inna di woman and do all kinda sinting wid har. Only she him tek set pan and do her all manner of evil," said one man when we first got to the community.
The 'duppy woman's' name is Carrie and, by the tales we heard, has been set upon by Wenticko every couple of years, for more than a decade.
"Him fold her up and put her in a drawer, put her up in a tree top and do all kinda something wid her," we heard.
It being crop time again, Carrie has gone into hiding. Her neighbours said she was staying with family in St. Ann.
We were standing in front of her house in Kellits where most of the possessions have taken place. There was something really spooky about that place. Then again, that might have just been me.
Mavis is staying at the duppy house until Carrie gets back.
"Aren't you scared staying in that house?" I asked from a safe distance of about 30 feet from the house.
"No man. Wenticko only come fi di same woman. Is not me him want, so I don't have anything to scared about," she said with a 'that's obvious, you idiot' expression on her face. The sky was really dark now and I was getting a bit nervous. Well, more nervous.
We asked Mavis and a man in a cowboy hat who had joined us to tell us some of the things Wenticko did to Carrie.
"Dat brute strip her naked, put her up inna tree top and put all gravel inna her food," Mavis said, a worried look on her face.
"Yes I saw it with my own eyes," said the man with the hat. "Wenticko wrap her hands in front of her and all roll her up the hill. Dat Wenticko, him nuh easy at all," he continued.
"But why does he only pick on Carrie?" I asked.
"Well that is a long story. Nuh seh mi seh so, but mi know how it go," Mavis said.
Apparently, one day back in the early 80s, Carrie stumbled upon a man in a very compromising position with a very frightened-looking pig. The story is that Carrie raised an alarm and the pig lover was chased out of the community. In his quest to get revenge on the whistle blower who came between him and his pig, the man went to a 'Madda Woman'. The Madda Woman supposedly set the duppy on Carrie. The duppy was given the name by residents.
Now everyone we spoke with in Kellits has a story to tell about Wenticko. He has been around for so long, that almost everyone who lives in the community has come in contact with him. Church members have visited Carrie's house to try and preach the duppy back to wherever he came from and even Obeah men from near and far have given it a try.
But there is only one man in all of Clarendon who can boast that he managed to chase the duppy away. Well, once anyway.
Bredda Boobs is Carrie's uncle and we caught up with him at the local pub.
"Yes man, mi nuh fraid a dat brute," he said gesticulating wildly.
"I remember it like it was yesterday. Mi just get fed up a di whole thing so mi go down a yard fi di brute. When mi reach inna di house mi see Wenticko have Carrie up inna di ceiling and him call out mi name," Bredda Boobs was getting into the spirit now.
You haffi cuss whole heap a bad word fi get rid a di brute. So mi go in deh go tell him bout him what's it not!"
Bredda Boobs, however, said this plan hit a snag.
"Di bugga lick mi dung a ground!" he said, rubbing his temple.
Bredda Boobs said he gathered himself and went to his doctor to get some pills to relieve the pain. When he was feeling better, a light bulb went on in his head. "Mi seh him is dead and me is alive, so how mi fi come mek him defeat mi? Mi just go ketch a bucket a water and go inna di house go fling it pan him. Heh Heh. You waan see di bugga run out lef Carrie! Heh Heh," he said, obviously still very proud of himself.
It was now about 6 o'clock, it was getting dark and I started to get a bit antsy. Some smart alec made a joke about the duppy taking a liking to visitors, so I got the you know what out of there, and not a second too soon!
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