The Ghost Still Remains

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Chinese
Age: 19
Occupation: College student
Residence: Currently studying in the U.S.
Date of Performance/Collection: 11/4/2021
Primary Language: Chinese
Other Language(s): Translated to English

Background Information: JX presents her second story from her own perspective. She goes to retreat once a year to pray and learn how to redeem her sins. Starting from one year, a aunt whose kid she is very close to begin showing symptoms of being possessed. JX explains the theory of why the aunt is possessed and gives a detailed description of what happens when people pray around her.

JX: So here’s the second story. Our church has a special meeting on National Day every year. We name it after the burning fire. During this meeting we will stay at a hotel for three days. There would be a conference room in which we listen to the pastor pray and guide us to repent for sins.

Me: Is it similar to a retreat? I have friends in the US who often go to retreats on weekends.

JX: Oh that’s possible… I think it is. There seems to be a lot more retreats in the U.S. Since the Chinese government has stricter control over religion, we can only do it once a year. There would always be a very powerful pastor to pray for us. Ok so there is a kid two or three years younger than me who I am very close to. Her mom, who I call aunt because we are very close, also comes to church and retreats. That aunt is… in our words, she is possessed by a ghost. This aunt was raped when she was in the house when she was very young. Then she could not forgive her parents, because she thought it was her parents’ negligence and indifferent attitude towards her that caused the tragedy. So she had a strong unforgiveness of her parents in her heart, and that’s why she was possessed by ghosts. In one year’s retreat, she started to twitch in the middle of the prayer. She was lying on the floor, and then there will be… my mother and one of them will be chosen to pray for her. So they put their hands on her in a circle and prayed to her. This is called an exorcism ceremony, and they just prayed for her. That aunt would twist with unnatural movements, and then she would keep wiggling and twitching. Then her voice will change, that is, it doesn’t sound like hers at all. It wasn’t her who was talking… the ghost is just using her body to communicate with us. My parents, oh my dad was not there, my mom and the other people just sat around her and prayed for her, trying to drive the ghost out. But I remember that for many years, they didn’t get rid of this ghost because she always had this unforgiveness for her parents in her heart. Only when she sincerely forgives her parents, there would be a chance that the pastor can drive the ghost out. We have a small prayer meeting every Thursday which my mom participates every time. Occasionally the aunt would just collapse to the ground, or suddenly the became very unnatural, began to have all kinds of strange symptoms. I didn’t know exactly what happened later, but I knew that the ghost is still in her. We heard from the pastor that there are many cases of exorcism similar to this.

Me: But why does she go to church every week if the ghost inside her is afraid of prayer?

JX: Yes, yes. Her belief in God in very very faithful, but she really…she still has that unforgiveness in her heart, so she has contradicting thoughts in her body.

Me: So she has not yet been… Her self-consciousness and soul were not swallowed up by the ghost yet?

JX: No it hasn’t. The ghost just comes up like that when people are praying for her. Because the ghost didn’t like to be prayed. It felt uncomfortable if people are praying around it, so it comes out. And that aunt is super nice. I ate lunch with her, but I can’t anything wrong with her. She seemed very normal. The ghost will only come out when a very powerful pastor or when a lot of people pray for her.

Me: Thank you for sharing! I feel that hearing these stories from people I know feels really different.

Chinese Transcript:

JX: 是这样的,我们教会每年一年一度在国庆节的时候会有一个特会,我们叫他烈火特会。然后这个会当中我们会去组一个酒店,住三天两夜。然后里面有一个会议室,每天就是听牧师讲道理,然后祷告。牧师会引导我们忏悔以前做过的事。

Me:是类似retreat吗,我在美国也有朋友周末常去。

JX:哦有可能,应该就是,这边美国好像很多。但是中国政府对于宗教管得比较严,所以我们只能一年一次,整下就没有了。然后会有很牛逼的牧师来帮我们祷告。有一个跟我关系很好比我小两三岁的小孩的妈妈,那个阿姨就是…用我们的话来说就是她被鬼附了。就是这样的,这位阿姨她很小的时候在家里被人入室然后强奸了。然后她一直不能原谅她的父母,因为她认为是她父母对她照顾的疏忽,对她那么冷漠,那么不理她,她才会发生这种事情。然后她心中就有对父母的不饶恕,所以才会被鬼附身。就是有一年烈火大会的时候,祷告到一半她就开始抽搐。就是躺在地上之类的,然后就是会有…我妈和其中一个人被选中给她祷告。所以他们就围了一圈把手放在她身上给她祷告。其实这是个驱鬼仪式嘛,然后就一直祷告。那个阿姨就会用很不自然的动作扭曲,然后呢还会一直在抽搐。然后她的声音还会变,就是变得完全不像她的声音。说的话也不是她…鬼就等于是用她的身体在和我们沟通。那种…这种情况下,我爸妈,哦我爸不在,我妈和其他人就是一直围着她然后帮她祷告,试图把这个鬼驱出去。但是我记得很多年都没有驱除这个鬼,因为她心中一直有对她父母的不饶恕。她就真的原谅她的父母才有可能把这个鬼驱出去。我们每周四都会有小的祷告会,然后我妈都回去。然后有几次那个阿姨都会就是倒在地上,或者突然一下整个人变得很不自然,然后开始抽搐,就开始有那种症状。后面我也不知道,就是我知道现在那个鬼应该还没被驱出去。但是我们听牧师说有很多这种驱鬼的案例。

Me: 但是她为什么每周还会去教会,如果那个鬼怕祷告的话?

JX:对,对。她就是信的很虔诚,但是她实在…她心中还是有那个不饶恕,所以她其实是很矛盾的。

Me: 所以说她就是,应该是说她还没到自我意识被吞噬的情况?

JX:对,她还没有。她只是类似被祷告的时候那个会浮上来。因为那个鬼不喜欢被祷告,一直围着它祷告它觉得不舒服,所以它就出来了。而且那个阿姨真的还挺好的,我还和她一起吃过饭,就完全看不出来,很正常。只有特别厉害的人帮她祷告的时候鬼才会出来。

Me: 谢谢你的分享!我感觉听我认识的人说这些故事感觉真的很不一样。

My thoughts: When I was researching for ghost stories to tell on Halloween for this class, I listened to tenths, if not hundredths of storied told by normal people. These stories are all collected from people who shared their personal experiences, but I found it hard to really believe in these stories. It felt more like listening to urban tales than personal experiences. However, I feel really different when I listened to JX, one of my closest friends back in middle school. As mentioned by Professor Thompson, the way humans believe is very interesting. They tend to believe in close friends or relatives because they assume that these people won’t lie to them. That’s exactly how I feel after listening to JX’s story. I think it’s totally probable. I’m really curious about what the ghost actually said when people prayed for the aunt, but JX does not recall the specific words. Why do ghosts like people with unforgiveness or hate in their heart? Do they eat hatred like food? What would happen to the aunt if the ghost continues to stay in her? These are all questions I wonder about after listening to this story.