Miss Pearl has spent most of her life living next door to the Loyal James Lodge premises in Morant Bay, St Thomas. Her children, she said, played in the yard and they have never seen or heard anything spooky.
“Mi surprised bad when mi hear seh bone find over there, because mi live right next door and didn’t know what was taking place. I know lodge meetings use to happen there, but I never see anything out of place,” the 90-year-old told THE WEEKEND STAR.
A massive police probe is under way after several boxes of human remains were discovered in the building by workmen who were carrying out a demolition exercise.
“Mi stand up and hear dem talking about finding skulls, and mi live here from mi young, til mi old now, and never know about anything spooky,” she said.
Councillor for the Morant Bay Division in the St Thomas Municipal Corporation, Rohan Bryan, this week said he was followed home by the ghosts of three children. A police officer attached to the Morant Bay Police Station, which is located across the road from the lodge building, told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has heard ghosts there talking to each other late at nights. But Miss Pearl rubbished those claims.
“Mi nuh think nuh duppy did a bother anybody. Mi would have to see dem with mi two eyes and mi never see not even a shadow. I am not afraid, and at my age, I don’t see why I should get fraid about any duppy,” she said.
Meanwhile, Horace Richards, who was one of the workers who discovered the remains, said he was not surprised about the find.
“Wid lodge mi expect anything fi happen a dem place yah. Mi always walk with mi vial a consecrated olive oil inna mi back pocket, and mi use it and rub up miself. More time mi co-worker dem tell mi to give dem a touch offa it and mi gi dem,” he said.
Richards pointed towards two wooden boxes which he said contained the skeletal remains as well as a wooden rooster. Old photographs, books, ancient coins and small bottles with liquids were also observed.
“Mi nuh fraid a nutten more than the Almighty. The only reason why mi naah work today is because the police dem halt di demolition fi now. Mi a duppy myself,” he said.
Anthony ‘Donovan’ Sinclair, a man who has mental challenges, said that he is now homeless as the building has been his home since 1995. He told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has seen and heard ‘duppies’ but he remained mostly unbothered.
“Dem use to make noise a mi head all the time. One night mi couldn’t take it nuh more and come outside and mi buck up inna a coolie woman, so mi just move out of her way because coolie duppy nuh play,” said Donovan.
Acting Commissioner of Police Gary Griffiths, commander for Area 5 in which St Thomas falls, recalled being stationed at the Morant Bay Police Station when he was a constable. He said that he saw persons attending lodge meetings, but he had no idea of the rituals that took place there.
Griffiths said that investigations into the find are ongoing and offered that the police “do not expect to find any more human remains” there. He also said that people should not be scared to be in the vicinity of the old building.
“There is nothing to be scared about because the building has always been here, and if you existed with it from the 70s until now, there is nothing to be scared about,” Griffiths said.