This is another of the topics that come from my heart to write, it is enough for two or three people to read it someday.
It seems to be an extremely interesting topic, since I was a child, I had heard a lot of stories about supernatural events in the Dominican Republic.
From a bride dressed in white appearing on the Malecon, the devil appearing in a nightclub to dance, a haunted house on the Duarte highway.
All those stories I heard over and over again, but I was always a person too skeptical to believe nonsense and repeated stories.
Only one real story, lived by myself, has made me wonder if ghosts really exist in the Dominican Republic.
What I am about to tell you happened in the late 1990s, in a city north of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Everything I am about to describe, really happened, it is not a story, it was not a dream either, it all started on December 31st, on New Year’s Eve…
The shiny man with a hat in Villa Mella
Villa Mella is a city located north of Santo Domingo, a place with a strong African culture.
In my family, there was a tradition of visiting Villa Mella every December 31, to spend the end of the year in a family reunion at my grandfather’s house.
My grandfather’s house was not very big, it had a large terrace in front, and on both sides, it had alleys that led to a dark backyard planted with different plants.
I remember that one December 31st when I was a child, we were in the street waiting for the end of the year celebration.
While my cousins and I were in the street on the other side of the house playing with fireworks, I noticed a man coming out of the alley on the right side of the house.
It was just before midnight, and everyone was out on the street celebrating, but apparently, only I could see the man.
I stared at the man because I immediately noticed several things that didn’t fit:
- The man was wearing very old clothes, he had a hat on and a dress suit. (nothing similar to how people dressed in the 90s).
- His body was glowing, at first, I thought it was a reflection of the fireworks, but no, the man’s body seemed to emit light, for real.
- He was walking as if in slow motion, I don’t know how else to describe it, but that man, as he walked out of the alley, I noticed that he was moving as if he was walking in outer space.
The details of his clothing could not be distinguished very well because it was practically like a figure formed of light, but I remember perfectly that the outline of a hat was drawn on his head.
I also noticed that he was wearing a dress jacket, those two details gave me the vibe that he was an older man, with old clothes, but well dressed for a “special occasion”.
I realized that my cousins could not see him, I also realized that the man sensed that I was looking at him, but he was not able to look directly at me (I don’t know why), he just lowered his head, stopped, and immediately went back to the alley.
Have you ever seen that look that dogs give you when they are scared of you? with their heads down and pointing away but you still know they are watching you? That’s what I saw, that’s why I say he realized I was looking at him.
That man never looked up or stared at me and he didn’t want me to look at his face either, and returned to the alley, much more hurriedly than at the slow pace he had when he came out, I got the impression that he didn’t want to be seen, Ironically, he seemed to be running away from me, unwilling or unable to approach me.
I wasn’t scared at all, I was surrounded by my cousins and in front of us were my other family members, besides, I was on the other side of the street, I just kept staring and shocked.
The alley where the man came out of was very dark, I remember a part of my childish and curious mind telling me to stand on the sidewalk and look down the alley, and another part of my mind telling me “don’t go, it’s a trap, you won’t like what you might see in that darkness”.
The photo above, was taken on that day, in the center of the photo is my grandfather (RIP), I am on the right side with a dark striped shirt, my little brother is in front of me with a funny expression with his mouth open, around me are all my cousins.
Just behind that wall where the picture was taken, is the alley on the right side of the house.
Something bad was about to happen inside the house
The most shocking thing was about to happen after the man entered the alley, I asked my cousins “did you see that man?”, they only answered “no”, they thought I was joking or lying.
Suddenly, I heard screams coming from inside the house, and I saw how the whole family ran inside, my cousins and I ran to see what was going on.
As we approached the bedroom, I saw my grandmother being held down, she was having some kind of nervous breakdown while screaming, I had seen that before at funerals and wakes.
Her arms were spread out and her whole body was tense, my aunt, who apparently was the only one who knew what was going on, was giving instructions to the others on what to do.
My grandmother had her fists clenched very tightly, my aunt was telling my uncles not to let her clench her fists.
I saw how my uncles, being big and strong men, struggled to keep my little grandmother’s fists open, that’s when I realized that something was wrong.
I looked at my grandmother and noticed that she was staring at me with an exorbitant, cold, and empty look, her mouth was open as if she was trying to tell me something, but she couldn’t speak.
I immediately thought that what was happening to my grandmother had something to do with “the shiny man in the hat” that I had seen in the alley a few moments ago.
My aunt, clearly knowing what was going on, gave my grandmother a whiff of a strong substance (I think it was bay rum), while telling us to “stay away from the door”, as if something was about to come out.
My aunt kept calling my grandmother by her name repeatedly, which gave me to understand that the person who was looking at me at that moment was not my grandmother.
My grandmother was not fainting or anything like that, her laser-like gaze was fixed on me, with wild eyes.
Suddenly, my grandmother’s face returned to normal, and she was smiling and asking what happened, as if nothing had happened, that was weird.
The strangest thing of all is that I never felt afraid, I even slept in that same bedroom that night, I was quite cowardly as a child, but that night I felt absolutely no fear at all.
After that, I didn’t feel anything strange in the house, if there was anything or anyone, they were definitely gone.
Well, that’s it, I always wanted to get this story off my chest and tell it to someone, if you got to read up to this point, it’s because you found it interesting, if you ever had a similar experience, please leave me a message or comment about it.
Who was this man and why did he appear?
It is a question I asked myself for many years from time to time when I remember this incident in my mind.
These last paragraphs, I add them after months of having created the topic, but I did some research about it.
I have a theory, very personal, even though I was a child, I remember that I was always very intelligent for my age and I even had the ability to “read people”, I still have that ability, it is something so powerful that it is almost like reading people’s minds.
I remember, of all the people that were around my grandmother during the moment of tension, all the adults looked worried or scared, all but one.
There was one person who all the time kept a slight smile on her face as if she was pleased with what had happened.
I think that ghostly figure was summoned by someone from inside the house, it’s just a personal theory.
Besides, I saw something else in that bedroom that justify my thinking, which I don’t want to go into detail out of respect for privacy.
I remind you that the community of Villa Mella is a community with strong African roots.
If by any chance my family is reading this topic, know that I love you, this is not criticism and I just have beautiful memories of those New Year’s gatherings.
I was researching deities of invocations and the like and I came across a name repeated many times, Papa Legba, what caught my attention is that this spirit is described as an old man with a straw hat, a pipe, and a cane.
Actually, the description has a lot of resemblance with what I saw, Although I couldn’t see any cane, the man I saw was definitely walking very slowly and strangely, honestly, I don’t believe in paranormal events, but what I saw that night was very real, a glowing man that came out of a dark alley with strange clothes.
I repeat I am not an ignorant person, but even though I was a child, I know very well what I saw, whatever I saw that night, it was not a living human being.
Kat Restin’s Story
In a little more of my research, I came across the sad story of a girl from Virginia, United States, her name was Kat Restin (RIP), her story went viral, because she made several posts on social networks, first, declaring to be a Wicca, a kind of ancient pagan religious cult, and then declared to have seen Papa Legba.
What sparked the controversy is that two days after her publication she died in a mysterious way at her mother’s house, according to what I could investigate it is said that she died drowned by a “panic attack” while she was in a bathtub, you know what? although this seems a little twisted it makes a lot of sense to me.
If you read everything I described that happened to my grandmother seconds before I saw the man with the hat, she practically lost control of her whole body for several minutes.
I’m not sure about believing Kat Restin’s story, but I don’t doubt it either, not after what I saw myself, one thing is for sure, something very bad and tragic happened to that girl.
Maybe that girl didn’t die intentionally, maybe it had nothing to do with any spirit, but my grandmother would have died at that moment too if she had been in a vulnerable position, like in a bathtub.
I know that most people do not believe in these things, me too, I am very skeptical, I tell this because I really lived it, apparently, there are things out there, around us that we can not see or understand, It’s as if they were two worlds coexisting, aligned by some sort of rules that keep them apart.