Black magicians, demons, spirits, jinn, afreet — the supernatural pantheon continues to haunt the human psyche. Take an artist like Lady Gaga — the paranoid songstress invested thousands of dollars in specter-sensing technology and employed a team of Ghostbusters from New York to scan all hotels and concert venues before she checks in. For those of us who can’t afford such frivolous expenditures, paranormal activity is accepted as a regular part of daily life.
However, the same cannot be said about the Rawalpindi-Islamabad residents. Believe it or not, a team of specialists operate between the twin cities, desi-ghostbuster style, performing exorcisms in person, online and via phone by appointment only. Calling themselves ‘The Nightwalkers’, they remove black magic and conduct banishings free of charge, as a gesture of goodwill.
The two co-founders, Farrukh Naik and Hasan Kazmi, are IT men by day and purveyors of the paranormal by night. They’ve been taking hundreds of cases since January 2011 and launched their online forum a month later, replete with pictures and videos of their field investigations.
Regarding the use of technology, Naik says, “Hassan and I are mostly interested in the scientific side of things; we use high-tech equipment to collect our field data like change in temperature, voice recordings and visuals, while our resident spiritual adviser Ahmed Raza Qadri performs the exorcisms and casts out troublesome spirits or demons.”
It’s important to note that these guys use the latest gear to supplement their investigations — the sort of Electro Magnetic Fields metres and thermal imaging cameras are usually seen on late night international reality TV shows like “Ghost Hunters”.
Naik recounts his more memorable cases with vivid and macabre detail. For instance, in one particular haunted apartment in Rawalpindi, he felt, “an intense pressure in the ears and ear drums, which proceeded to get worse until the spirit left.” But Naik’s most startling investigation involved an Emily Rose-style possession of a young girl from Lalazar who had a weird voice and was yelling and spitting.
He makes another observation, which bears strong implications for the realm of jinnat. The beings possessing the girl were Christian, implying that jinn, in human fashion, obey certain spiritual mores and come from a variety of faiths.
In the curious case of the Lalazar girl, Naik’s crew actually healed one of the jinns inhabiting the girl, who helped them find the taweez that bound the jinn to the girl. “You have to understand that in most of the cases, the jinn are bound to their victim against their will through black magic,” explains Naik. With supernatural assistance, the team was able to locate the charm buried deep in the girl’s pillow — a picture of it can be found on the Nightwalkers’ website.
Naik stresses that jinn and their like are all creatures of God and most don’t interact with human beings unless they’re compelled to through black magic or if they fall in love with humans. “We’ve actually dealt with cases of supernatural sexual abuse, mostly with women who come under the jinn’s sway,” he says.
Naik leaves us with a public message and a warning, “People need to know that some things come only from God. We’re tired of dealing with cases in which people are worried that they’re not getting married or having children because of black magic.” He adds, “I want to warn everyone that they should never seek help from people who charge money, no matter how credible they might seem. They end up sending their own jinn to the client in order to squeeze out more money.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2012.