News

'Haunted house' family faces more torment

BY GARFIELD MYERS Editor-at-Large, South/Central Bureau myersg@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, June 15, 2013    

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SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — The Junction Fire Department have confirmed that fire personnel from the station on Thursday responded to a fire at an unfinished house close to the so-called haunted house that was gutted on June 5.

A fireman told the Jamaica Observer by telephone that he and his colleagues responded to a fire call from Rose Hall, South East St Elizabeth about midday, Thursday. He said that on arrival the fire team found "smouldering" and "blackened" items, including the frame of a bed, bedding and sheets outside the house. He said he also saw evidence of a broken window.

The fireman said occupants of the house appeared to be among those who lived at the neighbouring house which was destroyed by fire last week.

A distraught family member who telephoned the Observer late Thursday said the latest fire followed the same pattern of others which had tormented her and her relatives since April, culminating in last week's destruction of their house.

She claimed they had moved into the unfinished house next door and occupied one room and a bathroom following last week's catastrophic fire. She claimed that close to midday, Thursday, occupants heard a window "break" and then saw fire consuming items including bedding and furniture.

Householders used water from their rainwater catchment tank to put out the blaze and then threw the damaged items on the "outside".

The woman, who insisted she does not want to be named in the media, said family members were at their wits' end and simply wanted their recent experiences to stop.

"We need help," she told the Observer. "We need somebody to come and tell us a wha a gwaan and try put a stop to it... we can't live like this...," she said. She claimed family members had also received death threats by telephone.

Since April 20, family members and neighbours have reported strange happenings at the house which was eventually destroyed. They spoke of unexplained "stoning" of householders and mysterious fires which damaged furniture, bedding and settees prior to last week's major disaster. Family members and residents say they believe the family is being "terrorised" by "duppies" (ghosts) at the behest of others who mean the family harm.

The Junction police who are investigating the destruction of the house have sent samples to the Forensic Laboratory in Kingston to help determine the cause of the fire.

Member of Parliament for South East St Elizabeth, Richard Parchment says arrangements are being made to provide emergency housing for the displaced family.

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