One of the joys of being a child in Turkey, at least in the 90s, was to entertain and scare yourself with ghost stories.
What was more thrilling than this, for sure, was to actually be involved in a ghost story yourself.
As a group of friends, you'd have a session: you'd gather around a table, possibly in the evening, turn off the lights, and hold hands to call a soul who was long dead. You'd say some prayers in Arabic that you were taught before but would have no idea what they mean; which possibly had nothing to do with ghosts; and end this with a line that went as now we'd like to request a ghost to visit us.
Then a silent, yet restless, wait would start for a sound that the empty Turkish coffee cup might make, which would sit upside down in the middle of the table. After what feels a long time, this silence would be pierced by one of the children suddenly screaming that she heard something, which would be followed with all the rest screaming and running out of the room in terror.
Your self imposed terror wouldn't be soothed by a grown up who might say, ghosts do not exist; but rather, you'd be warned against getting involved with a ghost, and especially, with a Cin* as they are known to be nasty and wouldn't leave you alone once they're called. This was because there are parts in the Quran dedicated to Cin; so a good portion of the people in Turkey believe that such creatures exist.
These days I am travelling through California and the Halloween is near. Now, I am witnessing first hand the preparations being made: fake cemetery stones in gardens, real-like human size zombies that stare at you creepily, giant spiders stuck on the roof of houses. The atmosphere is captivating. I felt the same old thrill that I'd feel as a child when we talked about ghosts, death, inexplicable events that were rumored to had happened in the past. There is something so attractive about the unknown, or cannot be known. Even though scary, it'd seduce you to cross a line in the hope of shifting a gear in your mind forever.
Keeping the creepiness intact for the holiday season, as last year in this post, here is an actual dream, from a long time ago, that had presented itself upon falling asleep after feeling terrible due to an emotional situation.
Maybe it has already been brewing in the back of my mind for years and finally broke through to the consciousness at the right time; maybe got formed as a result of the mythic stories I've listened so far. In any case, I woke up feeling that I just had been helped, not maybe by the spirits, but by a burried part of my psyche, the existence of which I'd long forgotten.
Outside. The sky is cloudless, it's daylight. Two or three steps away from me stands a small blond girl; around 10 years old. Her hair is straight, around her shoulders. She is doing something with her arms raised, and looking towards my direction. Something is strange with her, I think to myself; strange with her stomach. I move a step forward and I realize that there is another head sitting inside her stomach, with a face exactly as hers. This second head does not have a neck though, it is fixed there. I think of them as Siamese twins and say to myself that it must be really hard to live like this. But they seem to be fine with this situation; almost enjoying it. Then she approaches me and touches me with her arm. I lean on it. She says, 'trust'. And I suddenly melt into her arms. Then she transfers; almost channels some sort of an energy to me, to then remove 'this thing' from my body with her hands, the existence of which I wasn't even aware: a tree branch which was immersed under my skin for such a long time. I feel the separation intensely, starting from one end reaching to the other, like the motion of an old, rusty zipper.
*Jinn in Arabic, roughly corresponds to Genie in English.
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