Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Attack of the sex goblins

It strikes me as kind of curious that paranormal creatures always seem to show up amongst people who already believe in them.

Odd, isn't it?  And I'm not talking about cryptids, per se -- creatures that, if they exist, might be expected to have a native range just like any other animal.  I'm talking about real supernatural entities like the Jinn (who, strangely enough, are never seen outside of the Middle East), Trolls (more or less limited to Scandinavia), and the Tokoloshe (ditto South Africa).

It's a funny thing.  I mean, if they really are powerful, and can appear wherever they want to, I would think that on the whole it would be more effective for some of these creatures to show up in front of complete non-believers.  Like, at a stockholder's meeting, or something.  Can you imagine?  Especially if it was the Tokoloshe, a grotesque being that is supposed to run around naked, and to have an enormous penis and only one buttock?

I don't know about you, but I would love to see the look on Donald Trump's face.

But it never happens that way.  The big, dramatic appearances are always around people who already are convinced such things exist.  Usually while they're alone.

I wonder why that is.

The question comes up because of an incident at a school in Zimbabwe last week, wherein Headmaster Peter Moyo has been accused of terrorizing his students with goblins that are under his command.  Why Mr. Moyo would do such a thing isn't clear; and the specific accusations are peculiar, to say the least:
Villagers in Dongamuzi area under Chief Gumede in Lupane are demanding the transfer of Ekuphakameni Secondary School headmaster Mr Peter Moyo, whom they accuse of owning goblins that have been terrorising pupils and teaching staff at the school.  Last term lessons at the school were disrupted for almost two weeks after teachers abandoned the school following several nights of sexual abuse by the alleged goblins...

Female teachers at the school claimed that during the night they would dream making love to someone and woke up the next morning with signs that they would have actually had sex during the night.

Some male teachers also claimed that they woke up every morning wearing female panties whose origin they did not know.

Villagers have called for the transfer of the school head whom they say was fingered during a recent cleansing ceremony held at the school.
Notwithstanding the fact that given the nature of the accusations, they could have chosen their wording better than to say that Mr. Moyo was "fingered" at the cleansing ceremony.

Be that as it may, the ceremony appears to have helped:
A cleansing ceremony dubbed Wafawafa, was held at the school on 5 March this year by the International Healers’ Association, during which the villagers say Mr Moyo was exposed after an assortment of paraphernalia associated with witchcraft was recovered from his bedroom.

A village head from the area, Mr Emmanuel Chasokela Maseko, said normalcy had returned to the school since the cleansing ceremony was held but insisted that Mr Moyo should be transferred from the school as he was a risk to the community.
So... Mr. Moyo was exposed, was he?  Okay, that's it; you need to repeat the journalism class in "Avoiding Double Entendres."

But anyway, what strikes me about all of this is that (1) the appearance of panties and the "signs of having had sex" could both be accounted for by the people in question actually having had sex, and then not wanting to admit it; and (2) the goblins seem like a convenient way to get rid of the headmaster, especially if he knew about the nighttime shenanigans and was trying to put a stop to it.  Only a supposition, but this seems more likely to me than there being a real Pack of Sex Goblins under Mr. Moyo's command.

But since the authorities obviously believe in goblins who visit at night to have their wicked way with you, it appears that poor Mr. Moyo is out of a job.

[The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli, 1781: image courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons]

So that's our excursion into the regional nature of supernatural entities.  It's a pity, really.  I'd love it if a Frost Giant showed up up at my school.  We've had the right kind of winter for it; and it might cut down on misbehavior.  "Okay, that's the third homework assignment you've missed this week.  Into the cave with the Frost Giant."

But you never get that kind of break when you need it.


  1. Poor Dr. Moyo! Common sense can be such a rare commodity in the world. It's nice to read from someone who still has a grasp of it, with a healthy dollop of humour. :)

  2. Personally I'm a "love me, love my goblin" kinda guy.