The Curse Of The Black Serpent.



Two stories from The Unexplained Plus. A collection of first-hand accounts.

This story was sent to me by mail. Although it isn’t first-hand, and I don’t know the author, I found it fascinating enough to include.

My grandmother was the daughter of a wealthy businessman who owned large houses in Pieta. People used to marry much earlier than today, at 15 years old or 16; my grandmother was not fair-skinned, but she was still her father’s “blue-eyed baby.”

Her mother tried to minimize the loss of her only child but encouraged (not to mention forced) her to live in one of their large homes, some of them vacant.

The young couple chose a large house that had a yard, even if it was not the biggest, and they were married in no time. The couple lived happily in the house for 12 to 15 months before their first child was born.

He was a happy, healthy boy with fair hair and blue eyes. Grandma was very particular about the “baby with blue eyes” when she spoke to anyone she met.

Two other young mothers had experienced the same thing in that house.

Even the elderly milkman heard the daily bulletin about the baby, along with his 20-goat herd, as early as 6.30 am.

Grandma was frightened by a giant, black snake that crawled into her yard. She was terrified and didn’t know what to do. Grandpa had just walked to Grand Harbour to get to work. In those days, there were no cars or buses. The first person to call was the milkman. The daily greeting was quite different from the usual. She told the milkman, excitedly and in her highest voice, what she had just seen.

The milkman replied in a low tone: “Madam. Yesterday you said that your healthy boy was about three months old.” He quietly walked off, not knowing what would happen in the three days following the snake’s appearance …”.

Three days later, the healthy young boy’s baby was dead. Unbelievable.

Grandma was insistent on attending the funeral, and that was the last time she ever walked down the large doors of her house.

She discovered that two other young mothers had experienced the same thing in the house years before. It is unknown if the black snake ever returned.

This incident took place in 1870. My grandma told me about it before her death in 1932.

Ghostly parade of souls

Gina was a Roman Catholic devout. Before she fell asleep, Gina prayed a litany of prayers every night. It had been a busy day, and her eyes were heavier than usual. She gave up on her prayers for the dead and began to feel tired.

Her room was brightly lit after she had been awake for a while. She checked her watch, but it was midnight.

Then she heard it. It was the sound of people praying.

The prayer would begin with a man’s voice and be followed by crowd murmurs. It seemed that the sound was getting closer.

She got up from her bed and pulled a scarf around her shoulders. He walked to the window and surveyed the view.

A ghostly procession of spirits, each carrying candles, filled the road. The parade traveled to Addolorata Cemetery and was slowly moving down her street.

She was terrified by the chanting spirits and ran back to her bed, pulling the covers over her head. She pleaded with her breathless, “Give them eternal rest!”

It was suddenly dark and quiet again.

They had received another night of peace.

These stories are the 47th and 48th of a series of short stories. The Sunday Times of Malta runs every Sunday. This is an excerpt from The Unexplained Plus (Allied Publications) by Vanessa Macdonald. The original edition was published in 2001. It has been reprinted twice. The Unexplained Plus was issued a second time. Ta’ Barra Minn Hawn, the Maltese version (Klabb Kotba Maltin), is the Maltese edition of this book.


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