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The Juju Man

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On October 1st, 1991, three boys walked into a police station in Cotonou, Benin. Immediately they began pounding their fists on the front desk rhythmically. The only officer in the station at the time was a man by the name of Abiodun Gadébou. Upon hearing the boys’ pounding, the officer rushed out of his office to the front desk.

“What is the emergency?” he demanded. Police stations were a rare sight in Cotonou, reserved only for use in dire circumstances and for housing criminals caught on the street. Many people have been arrested for entering a police station to report robberies or street theft.

“Please state your emergency!” the man shouted, “This is not a public complaint department. You must inform me of some sort of emergency or I will have all three of you arrested."

The boys did not stop pounding. They continued, getting louder and louder.

“Stop pounding!” he furiously demanded. Abiodun pulled out a handgun that was kept under the front desk and pointed it at the boy in the middle.

“Listen to me. If you do not leave in the next minute I will…”

The man froze. He looked at the bright white eyes of the three boys that stood out against their dark skin. They had been staring at nothing the entire time, and now he realized why.

None of the three boys had pupils or irises. Their eyes were completely white.

Abiodun put the gun away slowly. The boys continued pounding. He crept back into his office and made a phone call to the nearest other station.

“Hello? Hello? This is Abiodun Gadébou from Station 11 on Avenue de la Victoire.”

“Yes, is something wrong?” replied a man on the other line.

“Indeed. I have three boys here in the station. About fourteen years old. They are pounding on my front desk and they have no…no eyes.”

“What? Did you say they no eyes?”

“Well…they have eyes but they are empty. No pupil or anything.”

“Is this why you called us? Tell the boys to leave and beat them if they don’t. We do not have time for this. I’m sorry officer. Good bye.”

“No please…!”

The man on the other line hung up. Abiodun peered out his office window. The boys had stopped pounding.

He stuck his head out the door. He looked right to the direction of the front desk. No one was there. He looked the left. The three boys stood in the hallway. Abiodun slammed his door shut. The boys went up to his door and began their loud banging again. He could see their terrifying empty eyes staring at him. Frantically he dialed up the other station again.

“Please! Please help me! They are at my office door and they will not leave.”

The man on the other line sighed. “Officer are sorry, but we cannot help you. Either wait until another officer comes to help you or hit them with away your club. Our job is to help citizens, not other police officers. Good bye.”

The man hung up on him again.

The pounding became intense and rapid. Soon the hinges began to wobble loose.

“Go away you freaks! Get out of here!”

The door fell down. The three of them walked towards him.

“Go away now! You are not wanted here. You will be arrested for this”

They approached him and began to chant Yoruba words in unison.

“He is watching. He is watching.”

Although Abiodun grew up speaking French, he was able to understand what they were saying in Yoruba.

“He is watching. He is watching.”

They did not stop. Closer and closer they got.

Finally Abiodun screamed.

“Who? Who is watching? Tell me!”

After a long pause, the boy in the middle replied.

“The Juju man.”

He looked into the boy’s empty eyes.

“Who is the Juju man? Tell me, who is he?”

None of the boys responded. They turned around and walked out of the door. Out of sight. Abiodun wanted to get up and run after them, but he could not move. After a few minutes he quietly drifted to sleep. It was dark.

When Abiodun awoke he was not in the police station nor in Cotonou. He was lying in the jungle, and it was nighttime. In the distance he could hear the crashing of waves of the Bight of Benin. His breathing began to increase rapidly. In and out in and out. Abiodun could see nothing but a slight glow in the distance. He struggled to his feet, hand covered in dirt and mud. He stumbled through the brush as he viciously swiped leaves out of his face. He frantically ran towards the glow in the distance as it got bigger and bigger. Finally he came to a clearing in the jungle.

There he saw it. The glow was coming from a little lamp on the ground. Behind it was a small clay structure made of three walls and no roof. Above was a sort of pointed framework resembling a gabled house. Inside the structure there many human bones. Skulls, arms, legs. On the far wall many of these bones supported by wooden stand of four layers. Abiodun’s breathing increased. His face grew pale. His eyes widened. He felt an overwhelming urge to run away. As he turned around to sprint back into the forest, he saw something incredibly dark out of the corner of his eye. It was darker than the night sky and darker than his skin.

What Abiodun saw was a short man; at least he thought it was a man. It was no more than three feet tall and was covered in a dark black cloak. It wore a tall, dark wooden mask with two little eye sockets. Its hands and feet were short little stubs connected to its body, and nothing more. On top of its head was some sort of long-leafed plant that appeared to be burning. The little man brought with it an awful, rotten smell that overcame Abiodun and forced him to fall down backwards.

Abiodun watched as the little man, or creature, slowly glided over to him. He was frozen, unable to move a muscle. It came up to his side and stopped. Abiodun felt a burning on the inside. Like hot wax being poured into his mouth. Then he saw what the little man was doing. It had sliced a hole in this abdomen was pulling his organs out one by one. He watched in absolute horror as the creature slid his intestines while blood spew everywhere.

He could no longer feel the pain. His liver was being ripped out and it almost felt…relaxing. Abiodun began to enjoy what the little man was doing. He wanted to help it finish its work. He playfully pulled his stomach out of his body and bounced it up and down like a football (soccer ball). He poured the excess blood into his mouth and swallowed. To Abiodun it tasted like sweet berries. The little man was almost finished. All that was left was the heart. Abiodun reached into his chest and pulled it out, full of excitement and joy.

“I am free.” He thought, “I am free.”

On August 14th, 1993, the remains of a horrifically tortured man were found in the jungles along the coast of Benin. All his internal organs had been individually pulled out from a single incision on his abdomen. DNA tests later identified the body to belong to Abiodun Gadébou, a police officer from Cotonou who disappeared on October 1st, 1991 after making several calls to another police station complaining about “three boys with no eyes.” The only clue as to the reason behind his death was a bloody note at the scene that read, “Par L’homme Juju.” (“By the Juju man.”) No other explanations have been discovered.

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