How does it feel living around burial grounds in an environment that is struggling daily to unravel tales of ghost communicating with the living?
Many of the residents living around Osere, an area popular with location of the Muslim Cemetery who spoke with North Central Trust narrated their experiences living around the area and what people perceive of them when they go outside.
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For Abdulrahman Kehinde, a trader who has spent eight years on the cemetery road, before his decision to leave in the area, they have heard tales of ghosts knocking on doors of residents in the night around the area.
“But all of this is about belief. If truly ghosts knock on doors to ask for water, my mother was buried in that cemetery and she has never knocked on my door which should be the one she should knock first.”
“In fact when my mother died in Lagos, she was brought back to Ilorin around 2 o’clock in the morning; that is supposed to be the time that ghosts start their activities. I think people should always see the cemetery as a place of learning; to learn the reality of life which is vanity and not a place to fear.”
On the part of a young welder, Aliu Dhikrullahi, whose shop shares the same fence with the cemetery, he has never encountered a ghost since working around the area.
He said, “Since the time I got here, I have never experienced such. Most times, we are still here till nightfall, around 8-9 pm. We would have stopped working, but we will be hanging out with friends and we have never seen such an occurrence.
“Even neighbours that I met here who have been here for more than a decade, none of them has ever told me that they have seen or heard of such incidents,” he added.
According to Alhaja Afsat Balogun, a trader and resident who operates a shop directly opposite the cemetery, “Ever since I moved to this area, years ago, I have never experienced such nor have my neighbours both at home and at my shop. But we have heard a lot of tales before about those living close to the cemetery.”
Asked the reactions of people when she tells them where she stays, Balogun said: “Maybe in the past many years ago people might react in strange ways but now if you look around, you will see that a lot of people have built houses here and a lot of communities have surrounded the cemetery.”
Speaking on the issue, the secretary of the Muslim Cemetery who also doubles as the supervisor of the night watchmen, Taofiq Abdulrahman, said: “From my own experience, having been on night watch for more than 18 years and as per people’s beliefs, ghosts are nocturnal beings that move around in the night and I have never met with one before.
“We usually go deep into the burial ground late in the night and we will wait for several minutes, thousands of people have been buried here but not even a single one of them has risen from their graves before.
“There are some people who attribute chilly winds to the presence of some supernatural beings most especially ghosts, but such wind in the cemetery is due to the presence of many trees in the premises of the burial ground and not any activities of paranormals”.
Narrating an experience, Abdulrahman said, “Someone once asked me because I stayed more around the cemetery if I have seen a ghost. I asked him if he can wait here till 1am at the darkest part of the night and we will go deep into the burial ground and sleep in between the graves. So these are just people’s belief about the residents here”, he added.