Jinn Hunters International

Saudi ghost-hunters raid “haunted” hospital

The dingy corridors and gloomy wards of a long-abandoned Saudi Arabian hospital have drawn hundreds of amateur ghost hunters who believe it to be haunted by jinn, the malevolent spirits of the Koran and Arabian mythology.

The macabre fascination with Riyadh’s Irqa Hospital, which treated Gulf War combatants in 1991, began with tweeted rumors and escalated to the point where hundreds of youths broke into the grounds, smashing windows and starting fires.

“Teenagers sent text messages calling for an operation against some of the jinn who live in the hospital, and they broke into the hospital and smashed its facilities and burned 60 percent of it,” Okaz newspaper reported last week.

Several films have since been posted on YouTube showing grinning young men exploring the building’s deserted rooms in search of evidence of spectral activity.

Tip: @weirdNews on Twitter

Not unlike the U.S. where thrill seekers disregard private property rights and safety concerns to venture into popular “haunted” sites. This is dangerous and stupid. Guess what kids? You won’t find ghosts. But you mess up someone else’s property, you cause trouble for the locals and law enforcement and you can get seriously injured or die in unsafe buildings. And, when you get older, you wonder how you could have done such dumb things.

Switching gears from that aspect, it is interesting how the Saudi culture assumes jinn haunt the hospital. Ghosts and haunts have a definite cultural aspect to them. Jinn are not like ghosts, but entities that can be evil. Belief in jinn is apparently very strong, enshrined by the Koran.

A columnist in the English-language Saudi Gazette daily on Tuesday recommended that authorities form “a committee for the jinn” to help the owners of possessed houses. “It would be no understatement to say we are sick and tired of evil sorcerers,” said the article.

I’ll say belief is strong. Yikes! A committee!

  2 comments for “Jinn Hunters International

  1. Massachusetts
    May 31, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    I don’t understand the sorcery-jinn connection. I think it would be dangerous to be a skeptic on these issues in Saudi Arabia. You would be accused of disregarding the Koran, hence blasphemy, which would lead to serious and legally sanctioned punishment, In the middle ages in Europe denying that witch craft exists was a similar crime.

  2. Bob Jase
    May 31, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    I wonder if jinn have been updated as ghosts & other European supernatural ‘beings’ have been.

    Used to be ghosts & such were full apparitions that clearly spoke and physically interacted with the world – now they’re just orbs, background noise called evps and old building syndrome (that warped wooden floor creaked – must be a ghost).

    Today’s supernatural ‘beings’ are just pathetic excuses to keep up old superstitions and reject reality.

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