In this article, I am going to discuss the presence of malevolent forces i.e. ghosts that intend to frighten the occupants, in Maltese homes. For those of you who are sceptics like I used to be, I can assure you that these things exist. Those of you who are inquisitive and like to read ghost stories, are encouraged to enjoy the following true account.
If I had to pick a particular period of time, when Maltese ghosts had to withstand their biggest test, I would definitely choose the seventies. Those were years of upheaval and change, and mark the end of British rule. When Malta became a democratic republic on the 31st March 1979, everyone was encouraged to think big, and there was a place for everything. Everything, except for ghosts.
Before I proceed with the actual ghost story which will take place in the town of Birkirkara, I will explain the term “poltergeist”. The word comes from German, whereby poltern means “to make noise” and geist means “ghost”. Poltergeists are different from other ghosts as they are more inclined to harass rather than hurt. Their aim is to frighten the occupants of any given house. They are fastidious and have an uncanny sense of timing that could almost indicate some form of intelligence behind the ghostly occurences. A famous example of a poltergeist occurred in Hamrun, to Saint George Preca who had a stone thrown at him whilst he entered a haunted room in one of the religious doctrine centres the priest had founded. A good question to ask would be “Is there a way to get rid of poltergeists?” Yes there are two options. One can either choose to leave the house which is occupied by these devilish spirits, or opt to exorcism.
Brian (a fictitious name) was always attracted to the town of Birkirkara and longed to buy a house where he could settle with his family. He already owned a shop in the locality and it seemed a good choice, if he were to buy a home close to his place of work. He did not have to wait long, as the right opportunity came his way where he bought a maisonette, where he settled happily with his family. On one particular day, his wife and children left the house to do some errands. While he was alone in the house, he heard a loud noise in the dining room. He went to check what happened. To his surprise, an ashtray made of iron had fallen to the floor. Obviously he found himself quite bewildered as he had no pets in the household, he was alone and no windows were open at the time of the incident. If there had to be an open window, the wind could not drop such a heavy object! He resorted to pick the ashtray from the floor and rushed out of the house terrified out of his wits. But before he could do so, an iron bolt came out of nowhere, and missed his head by a fraction of an inch!
Brian’s wife noticed that lately, her husband was not his usual self. He always was a million miles away and she was worried that his health or business might not be as it should. When she tried to ask him what was wrong, Brian would not give any details of the incident. One day, the Abela family had the misfortune to experience a terrible attack as a beautiful porcelain vase which stood in the middle of a table, had smashed to the floor. As soon as Mrs. Abela made the sign of the cross, they saw that the chandeliers were swinging to and fro, as if someone was pushing it to move like a swing. Then the chairs, tables and piano started to be levitated in the air. Brian had no other place to go and the only way out of this nightmare, was to bring a priest to perform an exorcism.
Priests do not cherish such duties, although when asked they do it. And this is what happened. Armed with his prayer book, a cross and holy water, the priest began to invoke God’s assistance for the debacle. No sooner had he mentioned God’s name, objects began to lift themselves and flew in his direction. The priest took up the holy water to sprinkle about him. It was at that moment, that a two inch iron nut came flying towards him. Luckily, it encountered the water from the sprinkler, a foot away from his forehead, and to his amazement, it stopped in its trajectory and dropped harmlessly on the floor. It was as if the holy water had removed all the diabolical force that was behind it.
Brian and his family never experienced any more diabolical experiences in their home and they could now get their lives back. Since this story had ended up on the local newspapers during the fervent election period, the Maltese were dumbfounded and wanted to know more about this haunted house. After the exorcism, even Malta could pursue with its politics and election, as the tension that had gripped the nation, soon switched back to their beloved political parties.