The Shaman’s Prayer

This happened to my aunt on my mother’s side when she was just a kid.

Although it doesn’t look it now, the land near my mother’s family home used to hold a graveyard, and the children always used to play there.

One day, after my aunt returned home from playing there like she always did, she suddenly felt sick so she went to lie down. Her fever quickly broke 40 degrees and showed no signs of going back down. They wanted to rush her to the hospital but she couldn’t move, so they called a doctor to come out and visit instead. The doctor’s diagnosis was that he had no idea why she was sick.

At any rate, he prescribed some medicine, but she still showed no signs of improvement. One of her parent’s acquaintances remarked that, “She was playing in the graveyard, so perhaps that’s the cause?” The acquaintance then introduced them to a so-called “shaman.”

Locals often consulted the shaman for various matters, so he was well known around town. When he arrived at the house and took one look at my aunt, he immediately started praying with the family. This went on for several hours.

Shortly after my aunt started praying, she apparently fell into a fitful sleep, but gradually things calmed down and slept peacefully. Once the shaman was done praying, he explained to the rest of the family what had happened.

“It would appear that there is a gravestone buried in the land this house stands on. Because a house now stands above it, the owner of that grave is angry. It will be difficult to dig it up, so you should prepare offerings and water every day.”

There was a small open space directly behind the house, so they set up a small shrine there and gave offerings. Before long my aunt’s fever rapidly dropped, and that night she was able to eat again.

My aunt says that she still remembers what happened when they were praying, although she didn’t know whether it was a dream or reality.

“When I heard him start praying, I saw a white mist float out of me. Slowly it took form and turned into an old man’s face. He floated around me, like he didn’t want to leave. Then, a short while later, he shot up into the air and slowly disappeared,” she said.

My grandparents weren’t native to the area, so they had no idea what the land their house stood on had been used for beforehand. But locals informed them that long ago it had been a graveyard, although that was all they knew of the matter. They didn’t even think that one of the angry spirits may have been trying to possess the girl.

They continued to offer things at the small shrine for a long time until they received a letter from the shaman saying, “You’ve been offering things for so long that it appears the spirit has moved on. It’s okay now.” After that the shrine was removed and it no longer exists.

“That old man’s spirit seemed angry, but not like ‘I’ll curse you!’,” my aunt said. “It was more like he wanted us to understand that he was beneath the house. As the shaman’s prayers continued, the old guy seemed sad, like, ‘I get it already, but I don’t want to be down here anymore so please do something about it.’ I’m glad he was able to move on.”

Being able to help a spirit with their troubles no doubt meant that shaman’s powers were no joke…

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