written by OGUNWUMI ABIMBOLA
I grew up in Lagos. There was never a lack of spooky legends and myths to keep us in shape; most likely, they scarred us into behaving properly, but who cares? As long as we behaved well, right? 😉
I’m older now. I can laugh at the audacity of how they tricked and traumatized us with these tales. Back then, when I was within the ages of 5-12, these stories had me cowering under my blanket, checking every corner twice in case those mystical creatures decided to pay me a visit.
MADAM KOI KOI – THE GHOST OF THE BOARDING SCHOOLS
Madam Koi Koi was a young beautiful teacher in a boarding school in Lagos. She was pretty, but at the same time, mean and nasty. She wore red glossy heels that sounded “koi koi” when she walked, so all the students knew when she was coming. One day she injured a student while delivering one of her dreadful punishments. As a result, she was fired. On her way home, Madam Koi Koi had an accident and died. Her bitter ghost made a promise to get back at all the students. Now she prowls the hallways of boarding schools and walks around the corridors in front of children’s rooms.
When you hear “koi koi,” – you know, The Teacher is around, and if for any reason you take a peep or open your door when you hear that sound, the last things you would see are those red shoes walking, without anyone wearing them.
THE BUSH BABY
I still remember the starry nights in our cozy house in Lagos. My father was a soldier and would be out late on duty. To put us to sleep (more like scare us to sleep), my mother told us the story of the bush baby. This legend is quite widespread in Lagos…
The bush baby was believed to be an ugly, mystical, demonic creature that would cry at odd night hours. The weirdest thing was that its cries sounded like that of a real baby. Still, when any unsuspecting person went out to check who had abandoned a baby, the wicked creature would kill and consume them (I know right, definitely not bedtime-material-for-small-kids. Ah, I’ll never know what our Lagos-parents were thinking by giving us such nightmares!). This had us shivering in our beds, too frightened even to get up and use the bathroom because we feared that we would encounter the bush baby.
THE BUNK SHAKER
The bunk shaker is believed to be a ghost who shakes the top bunks in boarding schools. This ghost aims to wake you up. This ghost would shake the students’ bed till they opened their eyes, and the minute they did, the ghost would attack them, take them away from their dorm, and vanish into thin air, never to be seen again. 😮🤔
Hm, I believe this story was mostly made up by students who’d like to have the top bunk… but it definitely scared a lot of shit out of sleepy kids.
What do you think of these stories?
By the way, as I write this, I see a shadow 😱 coming from under my door, and I’m taken back to my horror-filled nights as a child, where I hid from Mrs. Koi Koi, closed my ears against the bush baby, and shut my eyes tight against the bunk shaker. 😬
In Russia, kids are scared of Babay. It means “old man” in Tatar. Children are told that “babay” is an old man with a bag, or a monster, usually hiding under the bed, and that it will take them away if they misbehave or refuse to sleep. I believe, in English, he is called The Sack Man. And… attention! 😉 I’m still checking under my bed every evening. Sometimes, I’m checking under each bed in my house. Not so Ray-ish, I know… I know 😂😂
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