All right, who’s up for a real life ghost story to kick off the work week? Hopefully you guys, because it’s a real doozy (not mine, although it never fails to give ME chills.) I also HAD to use the punny title of Mosquito Ghost, a play on the title of the 1986 Harrison Ford movie Mosquito Coast – ’twas far too good a fit; I couldn’t just leave it laying there. The less we say about the nail art, the better (“Nice bee?” asked my husband.) Now on with the thrills and chills!
*Dims lights and jams flashlight under chin at classic “monster lighting” angle*
Somewhere around the late ’90s, early 2000s a friend of mine and one of her friends traveled to Ghana for a holiday/educational trip. One night they found themselves staying in a somewhat remote camp comprised of a jumble of little cabins. It was on the porch of one of these cabins that they found themselves chatting with a couple of local men some hours later who stopped by for a brief natter. The interaction was a totally innocuous one, just traveler types swapping stories, and the men were on their way with smiles and waves within the hour, but all the same, my friends were suddenly very aware of WHAT they were – namely, white females travelling alone in a remote part of a foreign country after dark. Maybe time to go inside, lock the doors and call it a night.
But before hitting the hay, my friends went about the cabin locking the wooden shutters from inside, throwing the lock on the door and pushing various obstacles in front of both the windows and the door. Finally, after crawling into their shared double bed, my friend tended to the most important part of any Ghanaian traveler’s pre-bedtime routine, the hanging of the malaria netting. On this point my friend conceded that she was pretty OCD, having adapted a unique (but slow and fussy) method for hanging and tucking the netting from another traveler friend. I said she could – and probably should – be as OCD as she wanted about malaria netting – strikes me as one of those places you shouldn’t be cutting corners. Then, with the evening’s origami activities all played out, my friends said goodnight, turned out the lights and drifted off to sleep.
At some point in the evening my friend suddenly snapped awake, most likely roused by the sound of her travelling companion’s rhythmic snoring, which was coming from the far side of the bed, her body turned towards the wall. But if her friend was on the other side of the bed snoring into the wall, then who exactly was laying directly against MY friend’s back?
Rolling partway over, my friend glanced behind her and noted her friend, still turned towards the wall, blissfully sawing away, and then, laying between them on his back, a Ghanaian man, fully clothed, eyes closed, hands resting gently on his chest. Figuring that this was some sort of half asleep/half awake confluence of middle-of-the-night fears exacerbated by the previous evening’s scare, my friend shrugged it off, rolled over and immediately fell right back asleep.
The next morning she awoke to find her friend already sitting up in bed, distractedly rubbing the sleep from her eyes and staring fixedly down at the space on the mattress between them. Her friend then uttered a wild, disbelieving laugh and said, “Oh man, I slept like total crap last night. I had this dream that I woke up and you were still asleep, but there was a man sleeping on his back in between us. He didn’t move or anything, though, and after a bit I just fell back asleep again. But it really freaked me out.”
And it freaked her out even more when MY friend relayed her nearly identical experience, right down to the clothes the man was wearing and the position of his hands on his chest. Feeling overwhelmingly confused and terrified, my friends suddenly realized they hadn’t experienced some sort of tandem nightmare. Rather, a man had entered their cabin in the dead of night and, what, SLEPT between them? Whatever it was, it seemed to be a fairly “innocent” interaction, but a violation of their safety, trust and privacy all the same. They could not get out of there fast enough.
That’s when they peered out through the gauze of the mosquito netting and saw that everything in the room was exactly as they had left it the night before. The windows were all still locked and shuttered from the inside, and the door was both locked and blocked. There wasn’t a single item out of place, the cabin just as neatly buttoned up as it was when they crawled into bed and installed their netting. And on that point, my friend’s netting, an origami-like arrangement pretty well unique to her and her alone, was completely undisturbed, still neatly tucked and folded into the mattress…from within the bed.
*Ghanaian ghost mic drop*
So what do you think, friends – ghost or pervert? Because I can tell you which option my friends preferred, and not too surprisingly, it was the more supernatural of the two! Personally, I like to think the sleepy ghost man saw his opportunity to innocently bunk down – literally – with a couple of cool girls for the night. It probably gets pretty lonely being a ghost trapped in a cruddy cabin in Ghana; I’d go looking for somebody (or somebodies) to lay beside every now and then, too.
Alternately, he died of malaria and was just in total awe of my friend’s prowess at hanging a mosquito net. One of these options is slightly more romantic than the other.