Why is it that so many stone-throwing ghost stories come from Zimbabwe? What gives this country a peculiar preponderance of pitching poltergeists? Does it have a lot of loose stones? Are strong-armed ghosts showing off their rock throwing in a misguided attempt to get drafted by the Colorado Rockies?
“It has been happening for a while now, stones are thrown on the roof. At first, we thought it was thieves or someone making fun of us until now when the stones have become rampant that we even get these attacks during the day. We called our neighbors and they searched where the stones were coming from, they did not see anyone but stones kept coming, we are worried”
Day and night pelting has been torturing Portia Zhou and her family, according to a report by the ZBC News. Portia doesn’t say why a person or persons would choose just her house for stoning, but one unnamed neighbor told ZBC News the rocks have been making the rounds.
“When our neighbor came to tell us, we thought it’s a joke until a huge pebble missed my leg. I am in a state of shock. I am leaving the house to sleep at my sister-in-law’s place.”
These mysterious rock incidents have been occurring in Gwanda in southwestern Zimbabwe, but they sound similar to reports in 2017 in the northern Zimbabwe town of Chinhoyi. There, the poor family selected for torment was also pelted by bags of clothing, and some stones reportedly appeared in the house without breaking any windows. What could cause such mysterious stonings? Another neighbor of Portia Zhou had an idea.
“I came to look for whoever was attacking them, but I and my other guys we just saw stones being thrown, but we didn’t see the person throwing them. These are goblins I tell you.”
Goblins! Of course. When in doubt, blame goblins – that’s the Zimbabwean way. These are not the impish prankster goblins of European folklore but evil creatures blamed for everything from rock-throwing to livestock killers to molesters of women to murderers of men. The Zimbabwean belief in goblins is so strong, there’s a cottage industry of nefarious goblin-removers who claim to exorcise them for a fee. This happened in 2018 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, when hundreds of people reported getting hit by rocks and numerous women claimed to have been assaulted by goblins – claiming they woke up in the morning with no underwear … apparently another goblin modus operandi.
The stone-throwing was blamed on a goblin named Mike Maqobola (maqobola means “hit with an object like a stone” in the indigenous IsiNdebele language of Zimbabwe) and locals hired a team of goblin hunters from the Zion Church in South Africa. There was no word on whether they succeeded, but no further incidents were reported in the media.
This is not just a Zimbabwean problem. A ghostly rocking-throwing incident in Brazil in 2014 prompted homeowners to bring in an exorcist, but the locals were not convinced the problem was removed and demolished the house.
Traditional and religious beliefs in evil spirits and beings are strong worldwide, as are humans who take advantage of these fears for fun (pranksters) and profit (nefarious ‘religious’ leaders and exorcists). It’s highly likely that humans are the throwers of Portia Zhou’s rocks. And yet, the local media does not seem to have investigated this, and there are no reports from the police. Too busy? OR do they believe in poltergeists and goblins too?