Ole Higue

Ole Higues are also known as “Fire Rass” or Angeli. The ole higue is always a woman. It is said that she sucks the blood of unsuspecting victims as they sleep. Her favourite victims are young children and babies.

The ole higue’s distinguishing feature is the fact that, during the day, she lives among other Guyanese as a somewhat introverted and quiet old lady. At night, this seemingly harmless old woman removes her skin, places it gently in a calabash, and travels across the sky as a ball of fire heading to the home of her intended victim.

To enter the home she shrinks herself and enters through the keyhole. There have been countless sightings of these balls of fire all over the country, and many people still have a staunch belief in the reality of the ole higue.

There are three ways to dispose of an ole higue. The first is to turn the key while she is trying to get through the keyhole. Even today many people still lock their doors and then turn their key to a horizontal position to allow an ole higue to make it partway into the hole.

The rustling of the key should wake the tenant, who can then turn the key fully and crush the ole higue. It is said that the next morning a pile of bones should be seen on the doorstep. The second way is to find its skin in the calabash where it is stored and put hot peppers in the skin. An ole higue who tries to wear this skin will be burned by the pepper. The ole higue is very miserly, and the last way to catch the ole higue is to spill rice grains on the floor in front of the front door to the house. As the ole higue enters your house, she will be forced to count every rice grain before she can pass. It is better to make sure there is a large helping of rice on the floor and no bags in sight.

This is because the ole higue will have to pick up the grains with her right hand and place counted grains in her left hand. Her hands can only hold so many rice grains, and it is only a matter of time before the grains begin to fall back to the ground and the process begins again. When the homeowners awake the next morning, they should find a very tired and incredibly distressed ole higue counting rice. This is when the homeowners will beat the woman to death with a broom.

There are many more jumbies in Guyanese folklore and history.

Adapted from R. Seegopaul (2008) , KNews
Link: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2008/06/08/a-study-into-jumbies/

Image Credit: Bravo Arts
Link Source: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2016/01/31/ole-higue-takes-to-natl-cultural-centre-next-sunday/bravo-arts/