Maru

 

 

This experience happened to my grandmother and is often retold at family gatherings.

My family is originally from Puerto Rico which is where this story takes place.
My grandparents' house is located in a very rural area of Puerto Rico; it sits on a hill in a small valley surrounded by mountains. To get to their house (one of only two on the hill) you have to cross a river that runs at the bottom of her hill.

Back in the day (circa 1940s-50s), the whole town was very rustic and there was no bridge to cross the river and, since it was not very deep or turbulent, people crossed it by jumping on the rocks protruding from the water.
Well, my grandmother was very well known as a caretaker (she had TWELVE children) and so people from town would often come to her for advice, polite conversation, or even a hot meal. One of these people was a neighbor lady who lived a few miles down the road. Let’s call her Maru.

Maru often came to my grandmother for advice since her husband was an abusive alcoholic. My grandmother would provide a shoulder to cry on and a cup of coffee. Back in those days, the mentality was that the wife was sort of a martyr and this, along with childbirth, was just one of the sacrifices of the gender. Backwards, I know, but it was a different time.

Maru soon became very ill from some internal disease (Maru didn’t know what disease since she didn’t go to the doctor), but the sickness did not stop her husband from continuing his attacks on her. On one such occasion, the woman ran several miles barefoot to my grandmother's house seeking shelter from her husband. The lady was exhausted and in pain—pain from her bloody feet, pain from her disease, and pain from the injuries her husband had caused. Maru was screaming for help—she wanted my grandmother to hide her from her husband, whom she believed was chasing her.
My grandmother put her in a room that belonged to a couple of my aunts. This was very brave since my grandfather was not home at the time and my mother and her siblings were small children. There was a very real danger of Maru’s husband hurting or killing them all.

Hours passed and it became apparent that Maru was on her deathbed. She began coughing up blood that spattered on the walls and the bed. The disease and the prolonged abuse had taken their toll on her body and she passed away on my aunt’s bed. The strange things began soon after.

The next morning, my grandmother was woken by noises from the valley. As I mentioned before, their house is in the middle of a valley on top of a hill surrounded by mountains; so any noise that came from the valley echoed loudly. She walked out onto the balcony and looked down towards the river. The noises she had heard came from cows that were mooing in a strange, high-pitched way—a frightened way. They were all facing the opposite bank of the river as they did this. Now, these cows were old milking cows that were used to being around humans and were not easily spooked. So it really surprised my grandmother when they abruptly stopped mooing and ran for their lives! My grandmother looked in the direction of the far bank and she saw mist—mist that began swirling, rising, and collecting itself into the form of a woman! The mist woman proceeded to cross the river, "stepping" on the very rocks that Maru used when visiting my grandmother! My grandmother was so in awe that she didn’t feel afraid—yet when the mist reached the other side of the river, my grandmother said she heard a loud sigh of relief echo through the valley. Then the form disappeared.
My grandmother remembers thinking that Maru must have felt like she reached a place of safety (from her husband) and could finally rest. She quickly realized that although Maru might have felt safe, she was definitely not resting! For some reason the blood Maru spattered on the walls of the room kept coming back. What I mean is, my grandmother would clean the spots on the wall and a day or two after, they would mysteriously reappear. She did this for a while until she got tired of "fighting" Maru. The wall was later torn down during some renovations.

Another thing that would happen was that the children (my aunts) who slept in that room would report having their sheets pulled by an unseen force. When one of them woke up to accuse the other, they each found their sibling to be sound asleep!

Finally, footsteps could be heard throughout the house making their way from the kitchen to the girls’ bedroom and abruptly stopping when they reached the door.

I have never had any experiences personally, but I always get chills when my grandmother tells this story. Thanks for letting me share!

 

Submitted by Gianna, TN, USA