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A Sisters Story

Alberta, Canada
May 1998

This is a story that has been passed around in our family for over 25 years. It did not directly involve me, but I take the story very seriously considering the source.

The person it happened to is my aunt, who has been a Catholic nun in the Order of the Sisters of St. Joseph for over forty years now. This story is taken very seriously in our family, and for about five years after it happened it affected my aunt to such a degree that she had what is called a "conflict of faith", in other words, she began to question her beliefs to such a degree the she was contemplating whether or not she should leave the Church. Here is her story.

After about 16 years after my aunt had taken her vows, she was sent "on mission" to Guatemala with others of her order to a convent belonging to the Sisters of St. Joseph. Their task would be to educate the poor, and help provide medical treatment, as well as help restore faith in God.

She was en route to the convent in a bus with the other sisters, along a dusty road when they decided to pull over to a roadside stand for some refreshments. The woman at the stand was a very old, sick looking woman, a native of the country who spoke very little English, so she spoke through the translator who was travelling with my aunt's group. When the sisters turned down her request that they buy some of the charms she was selling, she was very angry and relayed a message through the translator to the effect that she placed a curse on them and they would be visited very soon and be sorry. The translator was upset and they left immediately and continued on their way. He later told the group that she was a well known spirit-conjurer in the area and feared by all the locals for her use of black magic.

They reached the convent and were very busy for the whole day and the incident was almost entirely forgotten by the sisters who after all, came to the country with their mission in mind. They were housed at the convent, and that night they turned in earlier than usual. My aunt was assigned a room in a short hallway, across the hall was the door to another room, and up the hall there were two more rooms on either side. My aunt had one of the rooms at the very end of the hallway. The hall stopped right next to her doorway (a wall). There was another sister across the hall, and two others in that particular hallway, and they all had very small, modest private rooms. My aunt said goodnight, closed her door, prepared for bed and said her rosary. She climbed into bed exhausted from the day of hard travel and fell asleep. She hung her rosary next to her, on the post of her headboard, as she had always done where ever she went. When she woke up it was dark in her room. She woke suddenly, and heard footsteps outside, coming down the hall towards her room. She thought it was the sister across the hall coming from the bathroom. She listened as the footsteps went past her door, right through the wall at the end of the hallway. She lay in bed, amazed, until morning. She was shaken and did not fall back asleep. The next morning, she didn't mention the incident to any of the others, but the sister who had her room across the hall from her did. She asked my aunt if she had heard anything unusual the past night. My aunt told her what she'd heard. The two of them learned from the other two sisters up the hallway that they too had heard the footsteps. They decided to keep quiet about it, and agreed to keep their ears open that night for as long as they could. That night, and the night after, the sisters heard the same thing, only on the second night the steps were much louder and were not walking but running. They ran fast down the hall, right through the wall. The third night were walking steps, very very heavy. My aunt said her rosary every night, and talked to Jesus to watch over them all, by the third night she was very frightened, and the other sisters in the convent were wary, as the group had told them all of the incidents on the second night after the disturbances. On the fourth night, the steps began down the hallway at a fast pace, and very loudly, as if someone were in a hurry. My aunt froze in her bed, as stiff as a board, as the door to her bedroom flew open. She says she saw nothing at all because the room was nearly completely dark, but suddenly the hot, tropical temperature dropped in the room she she felt icy cold. She suddenly felt the air moving around the room shifting, and she quickly realized that all the air was being sucked out the door, and she still heard nor saw anything. She became very panicked and tried to sit up but could not. She tried gasping for breath to breathe, to scream out, but could not. It was as if something was clutching her throat very hard, and sucking the air from her lungs. She struggled to lift her right hand, and finally was able to grasp her rosary. She says the second she touched it, the feeling of terror left her, and everything returned to normal. At the same instant she touched her rosary, she heard a loud crack and when she turned her eyes to the open door, she saw that a large crack had suddenly appeared on the wall outside her door, at the very end of the hallway. This sound was what brought the other sisters running from their rooms to my aunt's. None of them had had the same experience as my aunt had, although they had heard the steps coming down the hallway, they had (as usual) not left their rooms, but chose to stay put until they heard the loud bang from the crack in the wall. My aunt was so frightened that she could not speak for a day and a half, and when the sisters came running down the hall to her room, they found she had fallen from her bed to the floor with her rosary in her hand, and was coughing spasmodically. She had a bruise on her throat for over a week and a half. My aunt thought that this incident was directly related to the old woman's curse at the roadside stand.

Alberta, Canada
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