The discovery inside a foreign pirogue ashore at Clarke Bay, Belle Garden, last Friday, after it was adrift in the ocean, is not sitting well with villagers in Tobago East.
The common view is that the fifteen people all found dead and decomposing onboard were evil, troubled spirits that will seek revenge by taking lives on the beach.
Residents are now calling for an exorcism at the site.
Spiritual leader Archdeacon of the Tobago Anglican Church, the Venerable Father Philip Isaac said a denominational spiritual ritual to remove the spirits is possible if it will bring comfort to residents.
One villager’s voice note, warning of imminent danger because the vessel is on the beach, went viral on Sunday.
The voice note was posted on a Progressive Democratic Patriots’ (PDP) members WhatsApp chat group. The villager claims to have the first-hand experience of seeing “bad spirits” and “jumbie” at the bay, having worked there as a security guard for years.
He said last week’s attempts by fishermen, police, coast guard, and the Tobago Emergency Management Agency, to drag the boat on the shore, confirmed his beliefs that bad things will occur at the beach.
“While they trying to pull the boat with a rope, a strong, strong rope with a backhoe, the first time I ever see that in my whole life, the rope buss. That is spirit. That is vibes,” he said on the voice note.
The villager gave a dire prediction.
“ Next thing all you go find, when the beach and sea open, Belle Garden bay has a set of drownings,” he warned.
Archdeacon Isaac said we should not discount the villager’s beliefs.
“I would not cast it aside 100 per cent because if you look at Scripture, you will see that there were situations where people who were sent by God were challenged by magicians and so forth. There is evidence of another layer that we do not know anything about.”
He said the ritual should include different spiritual and religious leaders.
“Before Jesus left the earth, he gave authority to the disciples and believers in certain areas, and if these areas are considered, well it is quite appropriate to perform a ritual in the area.”
Guardian Media reached out to PDP for comment on the issue.
Deputy political leader Dr Faith B Yisrael said the villager has a “genuine” concern but urged the villager and others to allow the police to conduct their investigations.
Police are investigating the boat’s origin and how the men, all dressed in tracksuits and raincoats, may have died.