We have all heard about the various methods of execution used around the world in civilized nations, but quite often we don’t know the methods involved in executing the act. With this list I hope to shed some light on the background of an execution, modern style. All but two of these methods of execution are still in use today. [WARNING: This list includes graphic images.]
In the short time before an execution by lethal injection, the prisoner is prepared for his death. This can include a change of clothing, a last meal, and a shower. The prisoner is taken to the execution chamber and two IV tubes are inserted in to his arms; a saline solution is fed through the tubes. These tubes are then fed through the wall in to an anteroom from where the execution will be carried out. The anteroom contains direct telephone connections to officials who have the power to stay the execution. Once the IV tubes are connected, the curtains are drawn back so that witnesses may watch the execution, and the prisoner is allowed to make his last statement.
Unless a stay is given, the execution begins. There can be one or more executioners, and sometimes in the case of multiple executioners, the lethal dose is given by only one so that no one knows who delivered it. The executioners are shielded from the view of the prisoner and witnesses. The drugs can be delivered by a machine, but due to the fear of mechanical failure, most US states prefer to manually inject the drugs in to the IV. The drugs are then administered in the following order:
Saline solution is used to flush the IV between each dose. Within a minute of two after the final dose is given, a doctor declares the prisoner dead. The body is then sent to the coroner for verification and sometimes an autopsy and is released to the family for burial or is buried by the state.
The Electric Chair
The electric chair was invented by Harold P. Brown who was employed by Thomas Edison for the sole purpose of investigating the uses of electricity for execution. Brown, a dentist used to working with people in chairs, used a chair design for his device. At the time there was still competition to see whether Edison’s direct current (DC) or Westinghouse’s alternating current (AC) would win the current war. Edison was in favor of using his opponents AC as he thought it would lead people to believe that AC was more dangerous than DC. In fact, it would make little difference which current were used at the voltage needed for an execution. Edison was so keen to alienate Westinghouse, that he tried to get people to refer to execution by electrocution as “westinghousing” someone. The chair was first adopted in 1889 and the first execution took place in 1890 in New York.
In execution by electric chair, the prisoner is strapped to the chair with metal straps and a wet sponge is placed in his head to aid conductivity. Electrodes are placed on the head and leg to create a closed circuit. Depending on the physical state of the prisoner, two currents of varying level and duration are applied. This is generally 2,000 volts for 15 seconds for the first current to cause unconsciousness and to stop the heart. The second current is usually lowered to 8 amps. The current will normally cause severe damage to internal organs and the body can heat up to 138 °F (59 °C). While unconsciousness should occur within the first second or two, there have been occasions where it has taken much longer, leading people to speak out against this method of execution.
The post-execution cleanup is an unpleasant task as skin can melt to the electrodes and the person often loses control over bodily functions. The skin is also often burnt. The last use of the chair was on the 12th of September in Tennessee (6 days ago as of writing this)
The gas chamber has been used for executions for a considerable number of years. It has gained the most notoriety from its use in the German prison camps during World War II where it was used to exterminate millions of people in one of the worst cases of genocide in the 20th century. All of the five US states that still use the gas chamber allow the prisoner to choose death by lethal injection instead. The last death by gas chamber in the US was in 1999 when German Walter LaGrand was executed in Arizona. There are unconfirmed reports that North Korea is using the gas chamber as a method of execution and to test poisonous gasses on prisoners.
Prior to the execution, the executioner will enter the chamber and place potassium cyanide (KCN) pellets into a small compartment beneath the execution chair. The prisoner is then brought in and secured to the chair. The chamber is sealed and the executioner pours a quantity of concentrated sulfuric acid (H2SO4) through a tube which leads to a holding compartment in the chair. The curtains are drawn back for witnesses to see the execution and the prisoner is asked to make his last statement. After the last statement, a level is thrown by the executioner and the acid mixes with the cyanide pellets generating lethal hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas. The prisoners will generally have been told to take deep breaths in order to speed up unconsciousness, but in most cases they hold their breath. Death from hydrogen cyanide is painful and unpleasant.
After the prisoner is dead, the chamber is purged of gas and neutralized with anhydrous ammonia (NH3). Both the ammonia and the acid that must be removed from the chamber are highly dangerous. Guards with oxygen masks then enter the chamber and remove the body so that it can be examined by a doctor.
Single Person Shooting
Execution by shooting is the most common method of execution in the world, used in over 70 countries. Whilst most of these countries use the firing squad, single person shooting is still found. In Soviet Russia, a single bullet to the back of the head was the most frequently used method of execution for military and non-military alike. This is still the main method of execution in Communist China though the gunshot can be to either the neck or head. In the past, the Chinese government would ask the family of the executed person to pay the price of the bullet. In Taiwan, the prisoner is first injected with a strong anesthetic to render him senseless and then a bullet is fired in to his heart.
All being ready the Marshal waved his handkerchief as the signal, and the firing party discharged the volley. Johnson did not move, remaining in a sitting posture for several seconds after the rifles were discharged. Then he quivered a little, and fell over beside his coffin. He was still alive, however, and the four reserves were called to complete the work. It was found that two of the firing party, Germans, had not discharged their pieces, and they were immediately put in irons. Johnson was shot several times in the heart by the first volley. Each of the four shots fired by the reserves took effect in his head, and he died instantly. One penetrated his chin, another his left cheek, while two entered the brain just above the left eyebrow. He died at precisely a quarter to four o’clock.
In the United States only two states allow execution by firing squad: Idaho, and Oklahoma; though Utah still has four prisoners on death row who were sentenced when it was lawful there and they may be permitted to be executed in this way.
Hanging is carried out in a variety of ways: the short drop is when the prisoner is made to stand on an object which is then thrust away - leaving them to die by strangulation. This was a common method of hanging used by the Nazis and was the most common form used before the 1850s. Death is slow and painful. Suspension hanging (very popular in Iran) is when the gallows itself is movable. The prisoner stands on the ground with the noose around their neck and the gallows is then lifted in to the air, taking the prisoner with it. The standard drop was in common use in English nations after the 1850s - it involved tying the noose around the prisoner’s neck and then dropping them a short distance (usually 4-6 feet) to break the neck. This was the method used to execute the Nazi war criminals. The final method is the long drop, devised in 1872 in which the weight of a person was taken in to account to determine the correct rope and drop to be used to ensure the breaking of the neck. This was the method used by Albert Pierrepoint, the last executioner of England, described here in more detail:
The night before the execution, Pierrepoint would visit the condemned man in his cell with the Warden. The prisoner was not told that pierrepoint was his executioner. The purpose of the visit was to size the man up. Pierrepoint would use the information he had gained on the visit to decide what thickness of rope and what length of drop to use. He would soak the rope in water and would hang a sandbag the weight of the prisoner at the end to prevent stretching during the execution. The next day pierrepoint would put a cloth over the face of the prisoner and tighten the noose around his neck. He was very careful to ensure that the trapdoor beneath the condemned would be opened as soon after the noose went on as possible and would often kick the level with his foot. The person would then drop through the trapdoor and their neck would break, causing death.
There have been some instances where the long drop method has caused decapitation - the most recent of which was the hanging of Saddam Hussein’s half brother, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, in Iraq in 2007.
In some nations that adhere to Islamic Sharia law, beheadings are still a commonly used method of execution. The most frequently seen cases involve beheading by a curved, single-edged sword. While many nations allow beheading by law, Saudi Arabia is the country that uses it most often. The sentence is normally carried out on a Friday night in public outside the main mosque of the city after prayers. The penalty can be dealt for rape, murder, drug related crimes, and apostasy (rejection of religious beliefs).
Saudi Arabia frequently comes under fire from international agencies because of the fact that they continue to pass this sentence on minors. Saudi Arabian officials state that they are not in breach of international law because the sentence is not carried out until the child has reached the age of 18. This was the case with Dhahian Rakan al-Sibai’i (pictured above) who was sentenced at 15 but executed this year at the age of 18.
Contrary to popular belief, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin did not invent the Guillotine; he suggested that a method of execution be devised that was quick and to be used on all people regardless of class. He sat on the committee that eventually designed the device, but it was actually Antoine Louis who came up with the design that was then used to build the first functioning guillotine. This is one of the two execution methods on this list which is no longer used anywhere in the world.
The device itself is a large timber frame with a space at the bottom for the neck of the prisoner. At the top of the machine is a large angled blade. Once the prisoner is secured, the blade is dropped, severing the head and bringing about immediate death. Much speculation exists as to whether or not the person dies immediately, and one man went so far as to ask a prisoner to blink after his head was cut off if he could. The accounts tell us that he did blink, but it is most likely that if he did, it would have been a post-death twitch.
The last public guillotining in France (photo above) was secretly filmed, and the scandalous behavior of the onlookers caused the government to ban public executions. It was the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was outlawed in 1981.
Stoning to death is when a person’s movements are restricted and an organized group throws stones at them until dead. Under Islamic Sharia law, stoning is an acceptable method of execution and it is used in many Islamic nations. In Iran, stoning is sanctioned for adultery and other crimes. Article 104 of the Law of Hodoud provides that the stones should not be so large that a person dies after being hit with two of them, nor so small as to be defined as pebbles, but must cause severe injury.
“The penalty for adultery under Article 83 of the penal code, called the Law of Hodoud is flogging (100 lashes of the whip) for unmarried male and female offenders. Married offenders may be punished by stoning regardless of their gender, but the method laid down for a man involves his burial up to his waist, and for a woman up to her neck (article 102). The law provides that if a person who is to be stoned manages to escape, he or she will be allowed to go free. Since it is easier for a man to escape, this discrimination literally becomes a matter of life and death.”
Sentences to death by stoning, or stoning without a sentence have occurred in Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi-Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in recent years, according to the International Society of Human Rights. Videos of recent stonings have been smuggled out of Iran
The garrote is the second method of execution on this list which is no longer sanctioned by law in any country though training in its use is still carried out in the French Foreign Legion. The garrote is a device that strangles a person to death (as in the photograph above). It can also be used to break a person’s neck. The device was used in Spain until it was outlawed in 1978 with the abolition of the death penalty. It normally consisted of a seat in which the prisoner was restrained while the executioner tightened a metal band around his neck until he died. Some versions of the garrote incorporated a metal bolt which pressed in to the spinal chord, breaking the neck. This spiked version is known as the Catalan garrote. The last execution by garrote was José Luis Cerveto in October 1977. Andorra was the last country in the world to outlaw its use, doing so in 1990.
sa pinas to
In this crime-ridden, ex-Soviet state, no longer does the government stuff their Armani suits with rubles, but the vandals and gangsters. The Russian mafia runs amuck, there are more gangsters than police, and a Russian is assassinated every 18 minutes, averaging 84 murders per day in a nation of 143 million. The nucleus of Russian crime is stationed in the Republic of Chechnya, a region within Russia just north of Georgia. Prostitution, drug trafficking, and underground restaurants are arbitrarily controlled by the Chechens. Foreigners are kidnapped more frequently due to the higher ransom allocated. Crimes towards include but are not limited to: pick pocketing wallets, cell phones, cameras, cash, and physical assaults. From superpower to Third World country, think tanks are beginning to speculate if communism really was the cure for Russia.
For anyone traveling to Brazil, it is not a matter of whether you get mugged, it is a matter of when! Grinding poverty still lives alongside incredible wealth in a country that is riding a wave of economic growth. But with prosperity, rates of crime have also soared. Street crime is rampant in parts of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, and whilst many victims are left unharmed, having a broken bottle put to your throat for your bracelet is not pleasant. The incidences of “quicknappings” has risen in major cities. This involves being abducted and taken to an ATM to pay your ransom. If you can’t pay, thanks to mobile technology, your family is only a call away. Along with street crime, organized criminal groups have waged wars against police and public institutions that were unable to be bribed. Prison riots are brutally suppressed, drugs and narco-terrorism claim civilian casualties and if you survive all that - the piranhas are waiting.
8 South Africa
Any nation described as the ‘rape capital of the world’ should be one to take extra special care in. Although rape had shown a declining trend to 113.7 in 2004, it increased in 2005 to 118.3 per 100 000. Another damning statistic for South Africa is its appallingly high murder rate. The 2010 World Cup host is consistently in the Top 5 list of countries by homicide rate. Most crime is confined to poor areas but it hasn’t stopped gated communities springing up all over South Africa and armed guards protecting wealthy tourist groups. Farming in South Africa has become one of the most dangerous professions in the world. The murder rate for farmers is 313 per 100 000 - about 8 times the national average. And like anywhere, sex can be very dangerous in South Africa, where more than 10 million people are infected with HIV.
This small, densely populated and poor nation has giant problems. A civil war between Hutus and Tutsis tore the nation apart between 1993 and 2006. A ceasefire was declared however most provisions have not been implemented. Mass murder and mayhem compete with environmental problems as the biggest headaches for the people of Burundi. The list of assassinated leaders is extensive, and control of the nation has changed hands numerous times in the last 50 years. Crimes committed by roaming gangs and armed children are risks for visitors. Muggings, carjackings and kidnappings await, so you are advised not to stop the car for souvenirs. Should you be injured or harmed while in Burundi, you may need to be well trained, as local clinics have almost no resources to assist you.
While murder, rape and robbery may not be a big problem in this part of the world, the hostile conditions are. Antarctica is home to some extreme weather conditions, with the mercury regularly dropping below -60 degrees Celsius (-100F) and winds tearing in at more than 100km/hr. If exposed to this weather for more than an hour, you will most certainly die. Antarctica has no hospitals, no food to forage and if you get lost, not a lot of hope. Stay with the tour groups. At least there is a McDonald’s at Scott Base if you manage to find it.
This nation has for hundreds of years, been one of the worlds most strategically important and lusted after territories. However it remains one of the poorest, undeveloped and unstable. During the Soviet invasion, the Red Army planted more than 12 million landmines in Afghanistan. Hundreds of people are killed, shredded, and maimed each year due to these insidious devices. Following the Soviets came the Taliban, whose control meant women were banned from jobs and universities. In 2001, the United States overthrew the Taliban, but banditry, tribal rivalries and drug related violence has left the nation unstable. Suicide bombings are a constant threat, and nobody in Afghanistan is safe. The most lethal suicide attack occurred in Baghlan Province in November 2007, killing more than 70 people. Did I mention Afghanistan is also the worlds largest supplier of top grade hashish and opium?
Somalia is a failed state known for its anarchy, corruption, lack of government, and starvation. Travelers are warned against entering Somalia, the self-proclaimed “independent Republic of Somaliland” or even sailing near the Horn Of Africa. Pirates patrol these waters armed with AK-47s and will seize craft and hold crews to ransom. Inter-clan fighting has claimed thousands of lives in the north of the country, while territorial control in the capital, Mogadishu is carved up between many clans and warlords. Ethiopia attacked Islamic troops in Somalia in late 2006, resulting in hundreds of casualties and the internal displacement of thousands. Heck, if this place is too much for the Marines, what chance do you stand? Make sure your insurance is fully up to date.
Desperation, death and destruction are synonymous with Sudan. Terrorism is a mainstay of this nation, which has been controlled by Islamic military regimes since its independence. Some of the worlds most famous killers have earned their stripes in Sudan, finishing with degrees in car-bombing, rocket launching and genocide. Violence is rife in the Darfur region between government-backed militias, government troops and local insurgent groups. Sudan has been in open warfare with Chad partly due to the Darfur conflict. Since 2003, 230,000 Sudanese refugees have fled to eastern Chad from Darfur. More than two million have died during the 2 civil wars that spanned the last 50 years. Along with its bleak desert conditions, Sudan is one of the worst places on the planet.
Kidnapping is the main worry in Colombia. There were 2338 kidnappings in Colombia in 1998. Of the victims, 138 were killed by their captors. Ranked Fourth in the world for murders with 69.98/100000 in 2006, the popular targets are mayors, with dozens of them being slain each year. And of course, who can forget cocaine? Colombia supplies 75% of the worlds supply and thanks to Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel, paramilitary groups have waged war on the government in a bloody conflict with no end in sight. Even those working in the name of charity are not excluded from the frenzy. In 2005, 5 Catholic missionaries were murdered, down from 9 in 1999. Colombia’s beautiful coast and rugged mountains should make it a tourist paradise, instead it is among the most feared destinations you can visit.
It doesn’t matter whether you are George Bush, Pele or Chuck Norris - you are not safe in Iraq. Despite its rich history and its oil reserves, it is a ruined nation that is wracked with violence, despair and confusion. Since 2003, the United States has occupied Iraq which has led to a civil war claiming the lives of more than 650 000 civilians. Al-Qaeda, Sunni insurgents, Shiite security forces, Kurdish rebels, American soldiers, Turkish troops and criminals are involved in a cycle of violence that unfortunately, will not abate any time soon. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs) and mines are a constant threat, as are suicide bombers who have slain hundreds. Kidnappings and random killings are reported with almost mind-numbing frequency. Since 2003, 2 million Iraqis have fled to neighboring countries and another 1.9 million in Iraq remain internally displaced. Depleted uranium used as armor-piercing rounds will poison Iraqi civilians and US servicemen for decades. Truly, a hell on earth.
Human Parasites - Eye Worm
African eye worm
In your eye: Known as the African eye worm, or loa loa, this is a nematode that requires a male and female in the host for full infection to ensue, according to Stanford University. This parasite is transmitted by Chrysops fly bites. It’s endemic in the rainforests of West and Central Africa, but has also been diagnosed in tourists.
worst human parasites - tapeworm
Also in your gut: The good old tapeworm. A parasite of many stories. Including how they’ve been used to help people lose weight. Snopes.com, an urban myth debunking site, lists the tapeworm diet pill story as “undetermined.” Either way, it’s a good idea to cook your meat thoroughly.
Nether regions: Pubic lice, AKA the crabs. These are small, six-legged creatures that infect the pubic hair area and lay eggs, according to Google Health. They can also be found in armpit hair and eyebrows (probably preferred compared to the alternative). Can be treated with a prescription wash. Resist the urge to use fire.
In your mouth: This is a particularly disturbing one called Rhinosporidiosis. Once considered a fungus. Now considered a parasite. The disgusting factor hasn’t changed. Drinking contaminated water is a likely source of infection.
From the big screen: The hookworm, which lives and dies in your small intestine and feeds on your blood. You can become infected by walking barefoot or swallowing contaminated soil. This one looks a lot like the creature from “Tremors,” with Kevin Bacon.
If you have read my other stories please read this one as well.
Sa Maniwala kayo at sa hindi totoo talaga itong storyang ito. Para mag-umpisa, pabayaan niyo akong mag-kwento ng kaunting impormasyon tungkol sa bahay namin. Sa alam namin, nasa ilalim pa ng Spain ang pilipinas noon, 333 taon na katanda ang bahay namin. Ang bahay namin ay ginawa noong 1800’s. Lahat yun ay gawa sa kahoy, tumitindig parin hanggang ngayon, paniwalaan niyo ako talagang matibay ang mga kahoy na yun hanggang ngayon hindi parin nasisira.
Doon ako sa bahay na yun pinanganak at pinalaki, kaya ganun marami akong make-kwento sa inyo na nakakatakot. Ang bahay namin ay may dalawang kwarto at isang hagdanan na laging dun tumatanggap ng bisita.
Nag-aaral ako nun sa taas. 7-8 taong gulang pa lamang ako nun. 4pm na nun nagbabasa ako ng libro imbis na maki-laro sa mga bata. At dahil diyan nasa TOP ako sa klase. Maglaro kasama ng ibang bata ay hindi ko hilig. Balik sa aking Storya, nagbabasa ako ng libro nun may nakita akong Babae na mahaba ang buhok at naka-puti na lumulutang sa hagdanan. Alam ko na hindi ako inaantok dahil ilang oras na ako gising. Syempre bata, makakita ng Lumulutang, syempre matatakot ako. Nagulat ako at hindi makagalaw. Ilang segundo lamang sumigaw ako sa kataas-taasan ng baga ko para tawagin ang Nanay ko. Nagmadali ang Nanay ko at tinanong kung anong nangyari. Umiiyak ako ng sinabi ko sa kanya na may nakita akong White Lady na lumulutang paakyat sakin. Sabi ng Nanay ko tahan na at titigil na ang lahat. Bilang bata, tumahan nga ako, pero hindi ko maalis ang mga ganung bagay. Simula nun nag-iingat na ako sa mga hindi nakikita.
May isang pangyayari na naliligo ako nun tapos naramdaman kong dumaan ang kuya ko kaya tinawag ko pero walang sinabi. Kinalaunan naalala ko na out of town pala ang mga kuya ko. Yung mga yun ay nakakapag-tayo ng mga aking balahibo. It happened most of the time until I got used to it.
Minsan, kung nasa sari-sariling kwarto na, sa kusina maririnig mo na gumagalaw yung mga gamit sa kusina na parang may party. Meron ding pangyayari na parang may umaakyat at bumababa sa hagdan. Alam namin na lalaki ito kasi ramdam ang bigay ng paa nito. Alam namin ito kasi kahoy nga ang bahay namin. Nung nasa last sem na ako sa Kolehiyo, hatinggabi na ako natatapos sa kagagawa ng aming Thesis. Ginagawa ko ang huling plate to wrap up out thesis ng napansin ko na may white lady na nakatayo sa tabi ko. Lumingon ako para walang makita. Binigyan ako nito ng kilabot. Hindi lang ako ang nakaka-ramdam nito pati mga kapatid ko din, lagi itong nangyayari kapag hinahatinggabi kami kaka-aral.
Years passed and we all finished college. My younger brother moved to a different location. I got married and got pregnant but unfortunately my first baby died of fetal distress. She got to live an hour and a half. We named her Danielle. That really depressed me. One afternoon, a few weeks after my daughter died, I cried myself to sleep. I don’t know if I’m dreaming or what but I saw my grandfather leaving my room with a little girl holding his hand. Thinking that it was a dream I
Bumalik sa pagkakatulog. Ang asawa ko ay ginising ako bandang 5 kung bakit daw pinabayaan kong naka-bukas ang pintuan, Sabi ko hindi ko ito ginawa tapos may naalala ako. Naiyak ako ng tinanong niya kung bakit. Sinabi ko sa kanya kung anong nangyari. Pagkatapos ng isang taon nasa Silid Kainan ako ng may nakita akong bata na naka-upo sa Stove, Hindi ko masabi kasi nakakita ako ng batang naka-upo sa stove winawagayway ang paa. Sabi ng Lola ko minsan ng mag-isa siya nakakarinig siya ng lakad. Hindi niya ito pinapansin. Nung nanganak ako ng pangalawa namin naririnig na lang namin na natutuwa ang anak namin na nakatingin sa wala.
Hanggang ngayon nakaka-ramdam parin kami ng ganun, tinatawag namin itong mabait o kahit anong tawag niyo. Ang pinaka-importante ay hindi nila kami sinaktan kahit nakitira kami sa kanila. Nanirahan kami dun sa 29 taon ng aking buhay. Hindi ko alam kung ang una kong naramdaman ay ginawa akong sensitive tungkol sa mga ganyang bagay. But all I know is that we are living with this “thing”.
Itong susunod na kwentong ito ay ang pinaka-nakakatakot na naranasan ko sa buhay ko. Nangyari ito sa mga taon ng aking Kolehiyo. Kasama ko ang Pamilya at Kaibigan ko sa bakasyon. Ang Nanay ko at ang Ate ko ay kasama ang ma matatanda ng pumuta sila sa probinsya para magbakasyon. We would meet them half way to our grand parent’s house the next morning where we planned to visit the old folks.
Within the confines of my room, surrounded by religious icons, I felt safe. Nasa kwarto ako kasi ang mga Kaibigan ko ay nag-eenjoy sa Preskong hangin sa labas. Nakatayo sa taas ng bundok tumitingin sa gabing puno ng bituin ay tunay nakakalulo sayang lang kasi pagod ako at mas pinili kong magpahinga sa loob.
Nakaupo sa kama, ine-enjoy magbasa ng libro para kahit papano makalimutan ko ang mga problema sa school. Simula na ng makaramdam ako ng presensya papunta sa kwarto.
Hindi ko masabi kung ang nararamdaman kong enerhiya ay buhay o hindi. Sa umpisa pinabayaan ko lang ito at itinuloy ang pagbabasa ko ng libo. pagkatapos ng ilang minuto, nakarinig ako ng tumatawag sakin. It sounded like a soft caring voice. Pamilyar ang boses na ito sakin, kaso hindi ko malaman kung sino talaga ito. Alam ko na hindi talaga ito normal, tumatagos ang tunog ng boses niya sa bawat sulok ng kwarto. Naka-amoy din ako ng Sulfur sa hangin.
Kahit na mala-anghel ang boses, Naka-amoy ako ng sobrang malisyosong bagay. Nanginig ako at bumilis ang tibog ng puso ko. Naramdaman ko ang temperature ng kwarto bumababa ng bumababa. At may nagsabi “Kilala kita”. pagkatapos, sa garagal na boses sinabi nito ang apilyedo ko.
Ng marinig ko to, Nahulog ang librong binabasa ko. Pinikit ko ang mata ko, pinipilit kong kalimutan kung ano talaga ang nangyayari sakin. Inuulit-ulit kong sabihin sa aking isip ang katagang “As I walk to the valley in the shadow of death I shall fear no evil for thy rod thy staff they comfort me”.
Inuulit ko ito ng ilang minuto ng nakikinig lang sa aking boses at kinalimutan ko ang ibang bagay maliban doon. Sa hindi malaman na dahilan, umiinit ng umiinit ang katawan ko. Nararamdaman ko na ang kamay ko ay nasusunog at may tumutunog sa tenga ko. Gumaan ang ulo ko at unti-unting lumalabo ang paningin ko. Nawala ako sa sarili ko at nanghina ako. Hindi ko na alam kahit ano ang taas at baba.
Naririnig ko itong tumatawa kaso nung tumagal parang unti-unting tumutunog sadista ito. Tunog halong babae at lalaki ito. Hindi ko ito mai-kumpara pero alam ko hindi ito multo. Sinubukan kong itanong anong kailangan nito pero ang malisyoso at makamatay na pakiramdam ay yun ang nangingibabaw. Nanigas ako sa takot.
Desperado akong subukan na alisin ang takot. Alam kong kapag hindi ko makontrol ang aking emosyon MAMAMATAY AKO SA KWARTONG TO. Ang palaisipang bumabanaig sa aking isip na bumabagabag sa aking konsentrasyon ay siyang natitira. Yun na lang ang pinanghahawakan ko. Naalala ko kung gaano ako ka-desperado nung gabing yun.
At dun nagsimula ang makulit na imahinasyon ko tungkol sa katatakutan. Tortures, murder, pagan worship, lahat ng ito ay nasa isip ko. Sinubukan kong alisin ito sa pag-iisip ng bagay. Naririnig ko ang paghalakhak at pagtawa nito.
Nakahiga ako sa kama ng parang walang pakiramdam. Alam ko na hindi ko ito mabubuwag kung pinanghahawakan ko ang takot ko na gawin ang alam kong dapat gawin. Alam ko na kailangan ko ng tulong ng Diyos.
Sa aking huling enerhiya at tapang, nagawa kong kunin ang Rosaryo sa bulsa ko at nagdasal. Hinawakan ko ito ng mahigpit. Ang kamay ko ay sobrang namamanhid na hindi ko maramdaman na hawak ko ang rosaryo. Nararamdaman ko na palipat-lipat ito ng likasyon. Ang bilis nito at hindi ko makuha ang tunay na lokasyon nito.
Nagdasal ako ng AMA NAMIN habang hinihigpitan ko ang hawak ko sa rosaryo. sa ilang sandali hindi ko siya naramdaman. Lumalakas nga ang boses ko subalit parang sumasabay lang ito sakin. It sounded like this entity is right near my ear whispering. Nakidasal ito sakin. Dahan-dahan kong pinalitan ang dasal ko sa Latin ng sandali ay sinabi kong PATER NOSTER - Our Lord’s Prayer in Latin. Tinuro ito sakin ng Lolo ko nung bata pa ako
Nung oras na ito naalala ko ang payo ng Pari na kaibigan ng Nanay ko. Sinabi niya sakin kapag nagkaroon ako ng problema na nasusubukan ang aking pananalig, isipin na nag-sakripisyo si Hesus para sa ating lahat. Na tiniis niya ang torture at pagpapako sa krus para maligtas ang kaluluwa natin. Na hindi niya tayo pababayaan na sa panahong lubos natin siyang kailangan.
Sa ilang saglit pinalitan ko naman ang dasal ko na Apostles Creed. Ito ang dasal na sinusubukan ang pananalig mo sa diyos. Buong puso akong nanalangin. Gusto kong malaman nito na kung saan ako matapat. Nanahimik ito. Naramdaman ko ang presensya nito na patuloy ng humihina. Unti-unti nang nawawala ang takot sakin. Dahan-dahan akong tumayo. Ramdam kong nanginginig ang Kamay at Tuhod ko. Dahan-dahan at sigurado kong binalik ang aking lakas. During this time I could sense the entity moving wildly in the room.
Pinabayaan ko itong humalakhak, ang tunog na ito ay nawalang bigla. Ang boses na yun ay nawala na sa wakas. Hindi ko na naramdaman ang mala-demonyong, malisyoso at makamatay na hamog na pinalibutan ang buong gabi ko. Nang oras na yun naramdaman kong tumutulo ang dugo ko galing sa aking kaliwang kamay. Hinawakan ko ng mahigpit at hindi ko naramdaman na bumaon na para ito sa aking palad.
Pumunta ako sa banyo para lagyan ng lunas ang sugat ko. Nakatingin ako sa salamin at napansin ko na parang may katabi akong itim na hugis tao. Ang pakiramdam ito ay laging naiisip ko sa mga oras na may naiisip akong nakakatakot. Sa kalmadong boses sinabi ko sa sarili ko na ayos lang ako at pinagpatuloy ko ang paglagay ko ng lunas sa sugat ko.
Pagkatapos ng nakakatakot na pangyayari, may narinig akong sigaw galing sa labas. Sigaw ng aking mga kaibigan at pinsan. Kinakabahan sila ng sinabi sakin na may nangyari sa kanilang nakakatakot. Isa sa mga kaibigan ko na may sugat. Tinanong nila sakin kung anung nangyari sakin at nagpalusot ako na nahiwa ko ang sarili ko ng binubuksan ko ang bote ng beer.
Napaupo sila at kinwento nila yung nangyari sa kanila nung nagsasaya sila, ng napagdesisyunan ng isa sa kanila na maglaro ng Oujia Board na ibang bersyon ng Spirit of the Glass. Alam ng isang kaibigan ko ang pang-umpisang ritwal kaya madali lang sa kanila at mabilis lang ang pag-umpisa.
Nakilala ko ito as CAleb. Sa umpisa ayos lang si CALEB. Nawala sa sarili si Caleb at nagsalita ng kung ano-ano. Ang kaibigan ko na gagawa ng pang-tapos na ritwal, sadyang malakas si Caleb. Nabasag ang baso at ang mga bubog nito ang nakapag-sugat sa isa kong kaibigan.
Sumisigaw sila ng kumuha sila ng Upuan para ihampas sa pinyo. Sinubukan nilang lumabas pero hindi nila magawa. Lahat ay biglang natahimik at nakalma. Pagkatapos ng saktong 45 minuto nakalabas na sila sa takot. Hindi na kailangang sabihin, nakatulog lang sila sa mga Upuan.
Ito na ang kakaibang bagay. Nang may nangyayari sakin, meron din palang nangyayari dun sa mga pinsan at kaibigan ko. Ang kaibigan ko na pasimuno ng Spirit of the Glass sinabi niya sakin na pagkatapos ng panimulang ritwal nag-amoy Sulfur daw dun. Ang amoy na kumalat sa kanilang experience habang may tumatawa at Naghahampas ng mga upuan..
Sinabi namin ito sa ibang mga kamag-anak namin, ngunit wala daw silang narinig na mga upuan na hinahampas sa ding-ding. Pero, pumunta kami sa kwartong yun na kung saan bakas parin ang nangyari sa gabing iyon. Ang kwartong iyon ay sobrang magulo at ang isang upuan pa ay putol. Ang tiya ko ay daling tumawag ng Pari para dasalan ang kwarto.
Ngayong araw, meron paring mga tanong na bumabagabag sakin. Paano yun? Paano akong nasama dun sa ginawa nilang ritwal? Paano niya akong inatake ng mag-isa? Paano nito nalaman ang Apilyedo ko?
Translated by: Ivan Chua