For years, the residents of Ayobo who live beside the cemetery, have encountered strange occurrences involving ghosts.
One of the residents, Oguntuase James, 15, told Punch of his scary encounters living in the area. This has made everyone dread the sight of burials in the environment, as they already know what might follow.
James said, “It is not easy living near a cemetery,” he said, as he closed the door behind him, dragged a sofa and settled into the chair.”
“Once it’s about late evening, we don’t open the door for strangers here unless we know the person, to avoid receiving an unwanted visitor and this is evening time when all kinds of things happen”.
The evidently worried James, told a Punch reporter to halt their conversation just as an ambulance approached a cemetery during the course of their chat.
“I’m tired of living here”,
“Bros no vex o, I just don’t want to see another corpse again today. I’ll talk to you when they leave, please”, he said.
Still petrified, James opened up about the experiences of one of his old neighbours with ghosts from the cemetery.
He said, “Someone once lived close to us here. He was working in Ikeja, so he used to come back late. But there was one night he came back very late and he was fetching water outside around 1am, when he suddenly ran inside, saying he saw a dead person beckoning to him to come.”
“Initially, people thought he was imagining things in his mind, but he couldn’t sleep throughout that night and since he left the following morning, he never came back. People had to help him pack his things and took them to him.”
“And since that day, I have been noticing some strange things anytime I’m home alone, like someone opening the door, gentle wind blowing across my room occasionally and some things I can’t really explain. These days, I don’t sleep alone unless my parents are there.”
Despite enjoying some peace and quiet, which is rare for people living in the hustling and bustling town of Lagos, James somehow still wishes he wasn’t living in the area.
“Anytime I set my eyes on that place, there is a way my head swells and I want to run away but we are stuck here because my parents don’t have money to relocate."
"I don’t have friends who come here to visit me because of where I live and there is no other way one can describe this house without mentioning cemetery; it’s like the landmark here. In fact, a friend once told me I live among the dead.”
Concerning how they things got so bad for him and his family, he said, “I was told that when we moved here in 2000, there was no burial site here. There were a few graves but they were scanty and covered with bush.”
“It was after some time that the site started expanding, to what we have today. If not for the bush we deliberately left between us and the graveyard, we used to see them from the comfort of our room without stretching our neck.”
“I’m sure if my parents and other people on this street had known that there would be a cemetery here, nobody would have agreed to live here. And that is why once it is 8pm, we all go in and we would never come out again, until the following morning. We all have fears at night.
“My mum does tell us that after death, judgement is next but that does not mean any of us, including herself, would come out of the house after 8pm. If we have any reason to come home late, we don’t take this route (pointing at the hole-ridden pathway beside the cemetery), we would take the alternative route, even though it is much longer. And I would be looking behind me until I enter the house. But we all try not to come back late.”