Saturday, June 28, 2008

The evil spirit of Zozubona-Fato

One of a Missionary’s duties is to convert others to whatever faith group they are commissioned from. With some groups that is the standard by which their success is measured- how many converts they made during the year. However every once in a while a Missionary will see one from their own flock convert to animism or fetishism. This is one such case from the country of Burkina Faso in which the end results were both startling and terrifying.

Mamadu was the grandson of a local Shaman who had converted to Christianity in the late 1950’s. His father was raised as a Christian and had become a church leader, helping with famine relief efforts in parts of the country plagued by drought. Mamadu was brought up in the church also but was very defiant and bullied peers that could not defend themselves. He amused himself by torturing stray dogs that would wander into the village looking for food.

As a young teenager he left his fathers house and went to the city of Bobo-Dioulasso. While there it is said he became friends with a Shaman of great power, a sorcerer who served gods that were malevolent and violent. This Shaman-Sorcerer had a group of young disciples whose goal it was to gather power by blood sacrifice and fearless acts of cruelty. These ancient gods of wrath demanded sacrifices of animals and it was rumored of humans as well. There is a small grove of trees that edge the southern road exiting Bobo-Dioulasso where travelers occasionally disappeared. Sometimes body parts would be found in a local field, but never whole bodies. It was common knowledge that the cultists which Mamadu had joined were the ones perpetrating these acts for the favor of their gods of power. But the ones who went missing were travelers from other villages and the police were too afraid to pursue any investigation. Evil would befall anyone who dared to challenge the will of the sorcerer Shaman and his followers. Mamadu’s father and many of the church elders tried to visit him, but he shunned them off shouting curses and profanities. Later strange things began to happen to those who visited him at the Shaman’s camp in Bobo. Their flocks would be attacked by strange animals during the night, slaughtering them all. Pots and other utensils would fly off tables and hit the people of the household who had dared to come to the camp. Evil spirits would frequently attack Mamadu’s father and mother in their sleep.

The local residents and police learned by experience to never cross the Shaman and his followers. But the mysterious deaths did not go unnoticed by the military government of Burkina Faso.

So one evening the compound of the Shaman was surrounded by heavily armed soldiers, and in the fighting many cultists were killed, including the leader. They found human remains mixed with vile ingredients in pots throughout the main building. Gnawed bones with human flesh still attached were found on ritualistic plates surrounding a large wooden idol covered with mud and cloth that dominated the center of the camp. Two of the cultists were wounded but still alive and taken prisoner, one of which was Mamadu. They were chained and taken to a government prison in the capitol of Ouagadougou.

During the trial, Mamadu’s own father had to testify against him, telling of his fall from grace and his increasing erratic and violent behavior. He screamed curses at his father as he testified, and this only reinforced the courts decision to find him guilty and put him to death.

In the time between the trial and execution date strange things began to happen in the Christian community of Mamadu’s former village.

Jenny, a single female missionary nurse who cared for the sick and elderly of the village awoke one night to see a naked man standing at the doorway to her bedroom. He was covered in blood and held a long knife in his right hand. She knew him. It was Mamadu.

Quickly she sat up in her bed and in a stuttering half scream she prayed aloud.

The figure darkened and faded away with a deep growling sound.

They had wondered if he had escaped and in the excitement of the moment Jenny had hallucinated. But a call to the prison from the mission let them know that he had never left his cell. In fact he was still bound in chains since he had made every attempt to either harm others or himself since the end of the trial.

But the paranormal visitation of Mamadu did not just limit itself to the Missionaries. Herdsman in the field claimed to have encountered a wild man drenched in blood who screamed at them as they came upon him while crouching in a field. This “Zozubona-Fato” (or blood crazy man in English) ran after them in the broad daylight only to fade and disappear in a smoke as it ran across a small stream. A young woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by the same apparition one night as she slept alone in her mud brick hut.

Within 7 days of his conviction Mamadu was drug out into the courtyard of the prison. He was fastened to the wall and shot by firing squad. Witnesses say he laughed as the bullets ripped through his body. But after a few well placed shots, the laughter ceased forever.

But the apparitions did not.

Three days after his death, he once again appeared to Jenny the nurse. It was dusk and she was looking out the window as the sun set in the west. A black shape appeared to come from behind a tree and started coming toward her house. It was the naked form of Mamadu, this time his skin was ashen and the blood that drenched his body came from the bullet holes made by his executioner’s guns. Once again she prayed but the figure did not disappear as before. Instead she saw it grimace and made an attempt to reach out from where it stood, as if held back by some invisible force. After a few vain attempts, it turned and walked back into the oncoming darkness.

Later that night, Mamadu’s father was walking back from a church meeting with an elder of the church. In the darkness ahead of them they saw the figure of his son walking toward them in the path. They screamed and prayed that God would take the demon away from them. It stood there for a second and attempted to say something, but all they heard was a garbled muttering as if someone was trying to speak with a mouth full of water. This seemed to frustrate it. Enraged, it ran away from them back down the path from whence it came.

The next day the church leaders gathered together in prayer in order to rid themselves of this frightful vision from beyond. As they prayed one old woman told them that God had given her a vision. They were to go into a field beyond the home of the missionary compound where Jenny had seen the specter the night before. There God would show them how to get rid of the evil that plagued them.

So as a group they traveled the few miles to the edge of the compound following the woman who said she was directed by God.

And in the middle of the field by the nurse’s home there was a tiny fetish pressed into the rock hard earth. It was a tiny wodden idol covered in mud and cloth. A miniature version of the fetish the police had found in the sorcerer’s compound. She told them they had to burn it and pray over it to release the soul of Mamadu, and God can make His final judgment of him on the last day.

They poured petrol over the fetish and praying in unison, set it ablaze. They say they heard an unearthly screaming as it went up in smoke. And many there said they thought the smoke itself attempted to take the form of a human body.

But the wind blew it into nothingness.

I was told the basics of this story from Missionaries that I visited with in Africa. I do not know how accurate all the facts are, I never witnessed any of this. But when I asked others if they had heard the story of Mamadu and the apparitions, they always gave me either a frightened look and walked away or refused to talk about it. Some younger Missionaries who were not there at the time just say it was an old folk tale.

I have no idea. But I see a lot of the fetishes stuck in the ground like the tale described when I visit Burkina Faso.

I give them a wide berth.

Until next time,

Pastor Swope


cryptidsrus said...

Spooky tale, Pastor, thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

You say "I was told the basics of this story from Missionaries that I visited with in Africa."

So other than the basics you made the rest up?

In court such a tale would be labeled "hearsay" and hence have NO value at all.

Pastor Swope said...

I relate the story as told without changing any details.

I do use more descriptive words to elicit mood. Other than that, take me to court. I have a Bible to put my hand on your 'honor'...

Or should I say, "With bent brow I hovered over the computer to respond to the obvious hater who would challenge the veracity of my statements. A being who casts such poison tipped words but yet has neither the courage nor fortitude to reveal his identity to the rest of the world so they may be the judge."

Or is that too flourished as well?

Alan Dryfter said...

Well spoken Pastor. I for one understand the need of mood to set a story, and I will be honest, this one is so well told, I may not sleep too well tonight. Eh, I can always sleep at work tomorrow.

Chiff said...

Touche' Pastor Swope! I love your blogs, so keep them coming!!

DryWind said...

1. Respectfully, I feel you are presenting stories that do not jive with the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest that spirits of dead people are trapped in an earthly limbo and praying over talismans will release them for judgement.

2. In my experience these sprits are familiar demonic entities; they act like the living (or dead) person they where attached to. They are not human spirits, but they can certainly mimic them.

3. Please mention that only accepting and to the power of Jesus Christ can overcome this evil. It seems like you are emphasizing evil, not Christ. Praying to a generic "God" is not going to cut it here. See Mark 9, Ephesians 6.
Do you believe that the only way to true spiritual victory is through Jesus?

Jeff McDonald said...

Isn't it amazing how people feel free to leave disparaging remarks but somehow have a reluctance to leave their name? It's a great story, well told, and you're not claiming it's fact, just relating an interesting story you heard.

Andrew said...


the story was very interesting i thought. i came from an area of the US that is heavily known for practice of the black arts and i can say first hand that certain relics or idols are no joke and people messing with this stuff are very scary indeed. as to the other guy you need to chill man. he was obviously found guilty of breaking the law and got what he deserved.

Jeremy said...

I think Anonymous just got 'took to church!'

Great story Pastor, very cool.

Pastor Swope said...


I of course believe in the power of Jesus Christ, and in the context of the story the nurse Jenny did invoke the power of the Blood of Christ. As did the group who burned the fetish.

However, it is my intension for this blog to not be "preachy", it is viewed by many who do not hold to our beliefs and it would be at the least in ill form and at the most alienating to put forth Christian beliefs that would turn away others. That is for church. Please read my introduction. I do not believe in hitting people over the head with the Bible, I believe in loving them and if the Spirit of God moves them to look deeper at our beliefs then it is their choice, not mine superimposed over them. If a blog entry has a lot of scripture quoting and Christian Theology in it's content I always put up the warning, Beware Christian Dogma. Jesus never hurled scripture and condemned the wandering soul or the broken hearted. He did that to the Pharisees who thought they were better than anyone else and were self righteous elitists.

And I agree with point 1 and 2. First of I am relating a story told to me by a number of people, all of them Evangelical Missionaries. Secondly if the events did transpire, who is to say that it was not a demonic spirit? In my personal experiences with the demonic and possessed, their personalities change and they become obsessed with evil just as Mamadou was. If you read carefuly I do not say that it was Mamadou per say, but that it took his form by a connection to the fetish. I also mention the statement that his father did not think it was his son, but a demonic entity as well. Read closer in the narrative.

Thank you for the comment, and I hope I am not too harsh. However it is not my job for this blog to be a pulpit. Already got one.

Jeremy said...

After reading your response, I have to say that it's incredibly refreshing to find a Pastor who's viewpoints so closely mirror my own. I discovered your blog by way of Coast to coast am, but I am now going to become a regular reader. You rock Pastor Swope. God Bless you brother.

Mojo Mom said...

Wow, looks like I have a new page to add under favorites. I enjoyed this story because I believe that evil, in all forms, is still a very real and powerful presence in this world. I have seen it, I have felt it, and I am happy to see a Man of Faith talking about it. I look forward to getting to know you, Pastor.

cctheory said...

As a fellow enjoyer of the Paranormal, Pastor, I enjoy all of your posts, and encourage you to continue to do them Your Way. You are doing just fine. Best, cctheory.

Anonymous said...

In response to Drywind, I don't know if I could do or say anything that Pastor Swope allready said. People that sit there and apply absolutes to a thing called "faith" bother me. The defining aspect of faith is belief in the unknown. What you posted Drywind may have been true to you, but to apply to everyone else who reads this post is just wrong. Thank you Pastor Swope for your open mindedness.

Anonymous said...

That's a very interisting story, true or not it is a great read. perhaps some of the people unwilling to leave a name need a visit from "the otherside." Keep up the good work.

Uncle Weezel said...

Why do people think their gods are the only gods, or in the Christians sake Jesus Christ is the only one who can save us? The history of christianity has been a borrower of much older practices, stories, and beliefs dating back to Summer. There is enough research being done now that tells a completely different story than what we have been taught for the last 1000 years. People who wrote the bible interpreted it the way they wanted it to be interpreted. Religion isnt going to save us. We can only save ourselves. There are powers out there that have been around billions of years before we were ever put on this earth. It goes beyond Christianity. The church has enough experience and time passing to have come up with methods of fighting off evil, but this can be interpreted and the rituals can be interpreted in a universal manner.

I think people like drywind should pull their head out of their asses and realize the bible isnt the end all and be all and in fact the bible is an extension of much older knowledge.

I really enjoyed this blog and I dont understand people who waste their time reading this when all they wanna do is put down someone for it.
The pastor never claimed it was 100% fact. He was telling a story. A great story. Even the biggest story of the Christians religion isnt fact but yet u dont dismiss that.

The human race is soo closed minded. We think we are soo smart, and soo intelligent, but yet most of us are too afraid to open our minds to the possibilities of the enormous scope of our reality and the potential it brings.

I really loved this blog! keep up the good work pastor! ill be sure to read more!!

Burton Argonsy said...

Fascinating tale! Thanks to the Coast to Coast AM website, I have unearthed a jewel buried within the vast realm of cyberspace. And thank you, Pastor Swope, for encouraging us to open our minds and explore - to grow! The philosophy you put forth in your response to Drywind is refreshing and stimulating. Your path in spirituality and faith tells me that I am not alone in my conceptions. Thank you. I look forward to your next post!

Barry said...

Well, what have I stumbled on here? I'm not sure, but it was a fascinating post.

I'm going to have to look a little deeper.

Anonymous said...

Such tales are common from Whites who have either served missions in Africa or have lived there for any time.

To suggest that there is NOT a spirit world would be naive.

I was a great skeptic about voodoo for instance, until...

Materialists may scoff but there are things that go bump in the night.

grant (o\|/o) said...

hi everyone!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Swope,

I stumbled upon your blog by accident and love your interesting stories. Especially the story of Zozubona Fato. Reading your blog from the perspective that I have never had a near death experience, never died (obviously...) or experienced the spiritual realm first hand, I can only view your findings as confirmation that we are all of spirit. Nothing more and nothing less. Thus it puzzles me that Mr. Drywind and other "Know-it-alls" alike could possible know the behavior of so-called demonic entities, or whether spirits could be trapped in earhly limbo? Unless ofcourse Mister Drywind is a ghost himself and is contacting us from dead. (woooo...spooky.) But seriously though, what's your take on the "know it alls" of the world who seem to know for certain how demons and spirits, God, Good and Evil work? I really want to know.

Thank you.


desertchik said...

So anonymous or you such a crowd...??? Use your name racist man or woman.... Why do you say "Whites only make up these stories"???? Do tell crowd.......

Pastor Swope said...


I don't think anonymous is racist, he is just stating that we of Western Civilization are usually dumbfounded by the everyday paranormal activity that is so prevalent in countries that are not indoctrinated into a scientific-humanistic world view. It is very common for Missionaries to feel overwhelmed when faced with drastic paranormal phenomena even though they have the resources to triumphantly combat evil entities. In Africa, Asia, South America and elsewhere you come face to face with the supernatural every day. Where as here in the West many just dismiss the supernatural without so much as a thought and those who do pay attention to what is really going on are labeled negatively. It is just the opposite elsewhere in the world.

Pastor Swope said...

Dear Anonymous,

concerning "know it alls".

I have often said that to admit you know nothing is the beginning of wisdom. When you are an arrogant know it all you just prove to the world that you know nothing. It is part of my personality to confront know it alls and intellectual bullies, sometimes to my own detriment.

Once I served under a Pastor who preached a sermon on the sub servitude of Women to Men based on the scripture Ephesians 5:22-23. where it says wives should submit to their husbands. Using the verse like that is taking it entirely out of context. The verse before it shows the true meaning of how we are to interpret that volatile passage, it says, "Submitting to one another in the fear of God." The verses following show us the principles of looking out for the needs of other rather than putting our own needs paramount and gives examples of how to do that in the context of 1st century. But we are in the 21st century, not the 1st and so we need to take the principles and apply it to today. So the next time I was able to preach at that church, guess what I preached on? Yep, the true meaning of that passage. The pastor was not too happy, but there were MANY women who came up to thank me afterward.

When it comes to issues of faith I rely upon scripture and my education allows me to read the text in the original language where we see it is not so clear cut on many issues as some church leaders would like us to believe. Of course a lot of people want everything clear cut so they focus on their own interpretation of not only scripture but the world. It is safer that way, there is no ambiguity.

Myself, I love ambiguity. It gets you to think. I firmly believe in synthesizing faith with reason. Science need not be at odds with faith, no matter the issue. If it is, it is because of the reliance on preconceived notions instead of a rational insightful investigation of the matter at hand.

When it comes to the paranormal, you have to rely on faith and instinct. And then you rationally try to explain what you are encountering. Sometimes they are at odds because God's creation is vast, wonderful and often spooky as all get out. How can you differentiate between a demon and a spirit? Really, how? You can have some assumptions but a lot of entities do not fall into categories so we have made the categories up. The Bible does not categorize spirits. And it is the source and background of much of our knowledge of the spirit realm.

If you try to put God in a box, you will find your box is empty.

Those who think they arrogantly know everything usually are on power trips due to low self esteem and need their authority to make up for other deficits in their life. Church and Government are a haven for such types.

Proverbs 10:14a tells us though that, "Wise people store up knowledge."

It is healthier to have an open mind than a closed one.

Pastor Swope said...

I just want everyone to know I personally do not think Drywind is a know it all although the style of writing might seem to insinuate otherwise. From what the person writes it is obvious he/she is concerned about his/her faith beliefs and thinks that I could be distorting traditional Christian theology and leading others astray from those views just by the very guise of being a minister.I think he/she might have been overcome by the style of the story rather than the substance. He/she might be assertive but the person was polite and direct.

I like that.

If anyone has a legitimate gripe or problem with what I write, feel free to call me out. We both may learn from the experience.

And that would be most excellent, would it not?

I have been quite touched and overwhelmed by the responses thus far from everyone. Not only are you all quite thoughtful and intellectual, you all show through your comments you are people of SOUL as well as SPIRIT.

I consider myself blessed.

Anonymous said...

Im responding to the person who said, this is not scriptural. I don't think the bible talks about where people go when they die without Christ. It seems to me there spirit could linger on the earth until the end of world, we don't really know, scripture does'nt say. It does say that when christains die they are in the presence of Christ.

Carol said...

Dear Pastor Swopes;
Hurray for you! You are the only pastor I know that gives an honest reporting on what is out there. I see a lot of ignorance promoted in the name of Christ. One commen misperception is that the Bible contains all wisdom and if it isn't mentioned there it doesnot exitst. The Bible(which in reality has many many versions) does not purport to be the ONLY source of wisdom. It covers the history of one culture(Hebrews)and it's tribes. It does not cover the history of other tribes or cultures that co-existed or preceeded them. It purports to cover the begining (creation) but does not really get into that much. Christ and his teachings date back 2,000 years. Man scienfically has been around 40,000 years. That leaves a lot of time missing in action, with the possibilites of strange people and things that existed once, and that we have NO IDEA ABOUT. Essentially the judeo-christian traditions are the story of a specific tribal group. No where does it suggest it is a cataloge of all that is or was. Modern day Christians have been led to believe in overly simplistic solutions to confrontations with otherworldly things and many simply think spiritual attacks "can't" happen, whilst one preacher, a self-proclaimed exorcist, thinks merely being Jew,German, Native American, Black et.cet. automatically causes you to be "demonized". His ignorance and racism is amazing but he has a big following.
As for me, I have traveled and studied with other cultures and been involved (targeted) in adeath-dealing attack with dark shamen. I survived it but was frustrated as many white Christians did not believe me. Isolating the victim was part of thier plan.
I pulled up every day to an empty building(divided into three apartments) and in broad daylight saw and heard the windows and doors of the apartment above me shake and be pounded by some invisible force. It was a demon sent to torment me. The demon was unable to come downstairs, where I lived due to heavy duty protective measures that I took, including contacting the good mojos, and sacred societies around the world.
Many people were praying for me. I danced and chanted and sang prayer songs for days on end and in my sleep and tried to drown out the sounds of the demon with praiseworship, which made it angry.
The demon was able to monitor me and often I would hear it's footsteps above me, following me if I got up in the night.
I also heard rats, racoons, big animals, then balls bouncing, heavy furniture being slammed to the floor, and doors opening and closing in a totally locked and empty apartment without furniture.
Eventually the attick apartment was rented and I informed the couple moving in that I was being stalked by a gang using witchcraft and that the middle apartment was involved. The couple and thier guest all on seperate occasions heard the noises, which was directly below them. They even called the landlord at 2a.m to report the extreme amount of noise coming from the apartment and to tell him "Carol is not being superstitiouse! You should hear what is going on down there! It can't be her. It sounds like stomping or square-dancing!"
Eventually after surviving a deadly attempt in what can only be described as a miracle (I ingested a deadly poison which a "freindly" shamen suggested for protection...he was really part of it;all attackers rapidly backed off and peace offerings were laid at my door. For those who think that I am not really a "Christian" as I honor the wisdom of other cultures, or because I critisize the church for the pedophiles and genocide they participated in, try your faith out on a deadly poison. I used the Lord's prayer as my shield as well as extemperaneous spirit filled prayer songs. I blessed those that persecuted me and I figured if I am going to die, I might as well try to rescue some of these folks from the darkness that has crept into thier ways and is trying to destroy them. Hence I prayed for thier release and sang blessings on them. The Heavenly Father spared me. Don't be so smug Missionaries. There is a lot you don't understand but it is real. My advice is get extremeley close to God and become a prayer warrior because Jesus is good medicine(but not the only medicine as many were sent powerful and good helpers in antiquity. Respect the good.They are on the same team.

sly said...

This is a great story. Nicely done.

Sly said...

This story is freaky. I Love it! I think it shows how we retain our personalities after death, good or evil.