Since Monday, students at a Mdzimba High School in South Africa have been unable to attend classes since becoming possessed by demons, an epidemic prompting a mass exorcism that has, so far, yielded very few positive results.
No, this isn’t the latest Troma film or a teaser for the new season of Todd & the Book of Pure Evil, it’s an actual news story from the Swaziland Observer.
According to the school’s principal, Sgwili Dlamini, the problem started last school year, only affecting nine students by the end. At the beginning of this term, however, it became quickly apparent that half the school was affected by the demonic infiltrators.
“Towards last term’s closure it struck again. When we opened this term the problem was still there and this time around it engulfed the whole school. But we believe the prayers from this pastor will contain the situation as he has a track record of dealing with such things. Otherwise, since Monday he and his team have been fervently praying at the school, and we can only wish them all the success,” Dlamini told reporters.
The affected children, mostly consisting of girls and just a few boys, are seen running and screaming from invisible apparitions that often instruct them to gaze into a nearby pond. In this pond they are shown a list of students targeted by the demons, to whom they run and inform of their discovery. The children claim that they hear the principal’s voice in their heads telling them to drink from the school’s tap. They see visions, speak in strange languages, and if held down, they writhe and scream in agony.
The outbreak has prompted school officials to call in a prominent area exorcist, Pastor Mduduzi Manana, in an effort to expel the demons from the children. Manana, who performed a mass exorcism ritual in the school hall Wednesday, had become a local celebrity after expelling evil spirits from the local army the previous year.
So far, the efforts have proven unsuccessful, teachers noting that the activity subsides in the afternoon, only to reappear in full force early the next morning. Many of the parents have reported their children falling under spells at home, muttering the name of the principal and claiming to hear his voice commanding them to do things. During the mass exorcism, several students felt the principal should be exorcised as well. Dlamini initially refused until police, who had to actually be called in after students beat up a minister, made him.
Acting Chief of KaLamgabhi, Samuel Hlophe, noted that this was not the first such incident prompting school closures in the country, saying that this situation was the perfect time to take a closer look at the validity of the area’s religious beliefs, something he believed was part of a “bigger problem”.
Even so, the ministers have sworn a vow, promising to banish the unclean spirits from Mdzimba High.
“By the afternoon, we had managed to have quelled the situation, come tomorrow and witness us chase the demons away for good,” Pastor Mduduzi told the press.
I think it’s a pretty safe bet to take a stab at what’s going on here. Greatest senior prank ever?
For more on the outbreak at Mdzimba High, visit The Swazi Observer.