Mumbai, August 12: Several prisoners in different jails in Maharashtra have claimed they saw ghost or supernatural activities in their cells. A prisoner reportedly claimed to have seen a three-eyed, long-haired woman in white dress inside the jail. To bust such spooky claims, Maharashtra’s jail authorities have taken help from rationalist ghostbusters.
Bernadette Pimenta of Sevadham with the help of 72-year-old Vandana Shinde of the Maharashtra Andhshraddha Nirmoolan Samiti have been removing the hysteria from the minds of prisoners through reasoning and counselling. They conducted workshops at Arthur Road, Byculla, Taloja, Kalyan, Thane, Pune, Alibaug and Nashik jails.
“At the Yerwada jail a few years ago I met a villager on life sentence for smashing his neighbour’s head because he believed the man had done black magic on his family. A lot of crimes are rooted in superstitious beliefs,” Pimenta was quoted as saying by Times of India.
During the workshop, Vandana Shinde performs magic tricks before prisoners and later explained the science behind it. “I demonstrate the science behind tricks on which mumbo jumbo specialists ply their trade,” she says. Shinde also explains how a person can easily fake to have possessed by some spirit to draw attention.
“They think gesticulating like God or the devil would fetch them attention, respect and cronies by their side,” Shinde says. However, she also believes that a person with mental disturbance may act as if he/she is possessed. “There’s a thin line between psychosomatic disorder and paranormal behaviour,” corrections counsellor Arti Kedia said in the report.