Tale of WitchCraft in Siaya

Tale of WitchCraft in My County

Storytime: Tale of Witchcraft in Siaya

Have heard many tales of people telling stories of witchcraft in Siaya County, my county of origin. I was born and raised in Nairobi county, I hardly know a lot about Siaya. The information I have mostly came from stories I was told by my parents, aunts, and relatives. Today am going to tell you one of the stories I was told about witchcraft in Siaya.

In the remote areas in Siaya town, some people practice night running. Unlike the common witchcraft, we see on television with witches ridding on broomstick. On this side, it is totally different. Here some groups of people harass people in the le hours of the night. People have reported seeing them running in the thickets bare-necked. They normally do not attack people one-on-one but they attack where you stay. They harass people by knocking on their door at night, jumping on your house roof, or throwing stones on top of your roof. When you go out to confront them they run away laughing. They do not want to get spotted because this will result in them being kicked out of the community.

Some have been caught and beaten very seriously and even killed. There is a documentary about it on YouTube you need to watch. It is said that if your parents were practicing night running the kids will also end up doing it. It is an activity that gets passed down the family tree. It is said that if you catch a night runner and see their face and you do not report him or her you are going to get livestock outside your compound. Maybe this is why the activity is still active to date there.

One of my mother’s uncles had a problem with a night runner who was harassing his family late at night. He was kicking his door late at night and running around his compound. This affected his kids who were not able to sleep by themselves. My mother’s uncle had two wives and seven children in total. His two wives each had their own house on his compound and the kids also had their own house that was used for sleeping. There was the main house that the man of the house used and a kitchen that also served as a store. In total, there were 5 buildings on the compound and a toilet, just a regular boma.

The man of the house and his family belonged to a religion called Children of Israel. Members of the Children of Israel are very physical during prayer and worship. They hit drums very loudly, shake Kayambas, sing, and dance aggressively. They always put on a white overall during worshiping and a white headgear.

Let’s call my uncle’s mother Eric on this story. Eric practiced praying every night with his family before going to sleep. And every night when he started his prayer that is when the night runner started kicking his door. When he stopped to open the door the night runner would hide and start laughing loudly. In the village, there are no street lights so it’s peach dark at night. When he turned on the torch the night runner would be behind the houses on the compound. Immediately he closed the door and resumed prayers the night runner would come again and start kicking and hitting his door. This action scared his kids too much and now they did not want to sleep in the house. Night runners do not make you sick or harm you physically all they do is disturb and torment you. You do not get your peace when night comes.

Eric had to come up with a solution to this madness. He could not continue leaving like this because it affected his children. So one day he asked his wives to prepare food early and feed the kids so the kids could sleep early. After the kids had gone to sleep he called his wives to his main house for prayer as usual. He lit two lanterns so the house would be brighter inside and they started their regular prayer. This time round he did not close the door with the lock, if you pushed the door it would open wide. This time round he was praying loudly so the night runner would believe everyone was inside the house.

As they continued praying the night runner came as usual. He heard them praying and clapping of the hands and this was so exciting for him. He started throwing stuff on top of Eric’s roof. Eric did not open the door to check who was there as he usually did. This must have annoyed the night runner and so he got angry. His next move was to kick the door as he usually did, he assumed maybe because they were praying too loudly they did not hear things falling on the iron roof. His plan was to kick the door loudly which would scare them and they would have to open the door and investigate. So he moved back a little and dashed towards the door, when he was almost at the door he jumped and threw his two feet at the door.

Eric and his wives heard the door hit and a naked man flying across the living room. The night runner hit the floor loudly and just stayed there in shock. He did not know that this was a trap and now everyone had seen his face. When the second wife saw him she screamed and rushed to her house. Eric asked his first wife to give him something to cover up. Eric proceeded to close the door which now was wide open. The first wife brought a leso and gave it to Eric. Eric gave the man who looked the same age as Eric. Eric told him to remain sited there and wait for them to finish praying. The old man knew Eric had now recognized him and it was better to just wait and know his fate. Running away would not be a solution because if Eric were to tell the rest of the villagers he might end up beaten and even killed. Sometimes they even burn their houses and chase their whole family away from that region.

Eric and his first wife continued praying and they even included the night runner in their prayer. When they finished praying, Eric opened the door and told him he could now leave his house. The night runner left without uttering a word, he did not know what was going to happen tonight or the next day. Eric asked his wife to go to sleep and that night it was quiet and peaceful. The next day Eric called his two wives and asked them not to tell anyone about what had happened or reveal the identity of the night runner. His wives did as instructed and days passed with no incident of night runner disturbing them during prayer.

Am sure the kids wondered where the night runner had gone. When asked Eric would tell them God must have saved the night runner. One day they found a goat that was tied to the center of the boma. Eric and his two wives knew where it came from. To them, the most important thing was that the night runner incident was gone for good.

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