Most Government boarding schools in Nigeria have one supernatural story or the other attached to them. These stories range from the creepy to ghostly to the outright outlandish and such stories pass from old students to new students with morbid relish. As a new student you don’t know if it’s true but you discuss it with all your friends till it becomes established fact.
Some Schools had stories of “bush baby” apparently bush baby was part baby, part animal and it made sounds.
“Lady Koi Koi” was a lady who roamed at midnight and whose shoes ( you guessed it ? makes sounds of koi-koi) etc but we at Federal Government Girls College Akure had Mr Man. Yeah! Mr Man!. Unremarkable name for a man that had plagued my school for years and from the stories we heard he was both spirit and man in one and no one had ever caught him. His identity was mysterious as physical descriptions always changed with each encounter. He was never seen during the day, only at night. Sometimes in the bathrooms and toilets, early in the morning or in the dark hours of the night and sometimes in the room. There were no stories of physical molestation and I have wondered what his deal was. Just to peek at girls sleeping?
The odd thing was that he always found a way in no matter how much we locked and double locked gates and rooms. He cut through window nets and bent burglary proof like a pro and rubbed Vaseline on his body so as to make his body slippery if you attempted to grab him. That man was no spirit.
I remember that my Jss2 Dormitory ceiling was then broken and open. We met it like that and left it like that. You could see the roof in some places. Apparently, this was done at some unknown time before our set after Mr Man was sighted and he ran inside the ceiling so they cut it open so as to catch him.They never did.
You can therefore imagine that Mr Man caused no small dismay to both students, parents and staff alike. The staff did not live in the dormitories so of course they didn’t see any Mr Man, and at one time they punished any body who claimed to see Mr Man. Lol. Seeing Mr Man had become an offence. One thing always puzzled me though. And that was if Mr Man was the same person. To me it seemed more likely that randy men who worked in the school or who lived close by had ideas at different times to enter into the female dormitories. After a while, it began to seem like the girls who saw him were imagining things.
That is, until I saw him. Yep! Live and direct. We had a Midterm break and normally I travel home but that particular break I told my mum I would stay behind. This midterm breaks were always short and it seemed too much trouble to travel down to Ibadan on Thursday and come back on Sunday. I was feeling like a “bigs girl”. Lol. And it was fun. The school was mostly deserted, most of the girls had gone home for midterm except for few so food in the dining hall was plentiful, water from the borehole flowed freely, the dormitory wasn’t congested as usual. There was no reason to regret staying behind.
I can’t remember if it was the first night or the second night of the midterm, but night came, and we must have slept off. I remember that I sleep on the top bunk.
A strange touch woke me, I opened my eyes and sighted Mr Man in our room, right beside me. He was big and dark and grinning. Hian! You can imagine my fear. I screamed. Boy! did I scream . Next thing, he ran towards the door he apparently entered through and he disappeared. The other girls started asking me questions. I had the doubtful honour of having seen Mr Man. Msheew!
None of us slept in that room that night. We went to sleep in another dormitory which must have been empty since it was a mid term. I have no idea why we thought that dorm was safe. It probably had no adjoining door like ours had. Apparently he entered through an adjoining dormitory to ours.
That was my encounter with Mr Man. Let’s just say I never doubted any story or sighting I heard about him again. And I have never forgotten that sighting. I probably didn’t mention it to my parents or if I did, I probably glossed over it .Years later, the school organised a prayer session targeted against Mr Man. I think they were beginning to smell the coffee and stopped blaming the students for seeing Mr Man.
I left the School years later after my Ss2 and have no idea whatever happened next to ” Mr Man”.
When it happened it didn’t seem like a big deal. I don’t think we told the School authorities sef. Funny enough it creeps me out now when I remember though. I am now lily livered. Lol. It’s a wonder I didn’t pack my bags and baggages after the incident and run from the school screaming.
This is the second post in the Boarding House series. Read the first one here.