For as long as I can remember, horror myths have always been a common thing in Nigerian boarding schools. No one can tell the originator of these myths but they sure started as rumours and over the years, they have been used to torment boarding school students. These myths have been told in different versions and it seems like every boarding school has a spectacular narration of each one of them. As one who attended a boarding school in Nigeria myself, I can attest to some, if not all of the myths listed in this article.
1.) Miss Koi-Koi.
The famous “Miss Koi-Koi” was one myth that trended in every Nigerian boarding school. Back in the day, we were told that Miss Koi-Koi was a very beautiful teacher in a boarding secondary school, who was well-known for her favourite pair of red high heel shoes that would usually make the sound “koi koi koi”, whenever she walked around the school premises. As a result of this, the students nicknamed her “Miss Koi-Koi”. She was also notoriously known for her extreme aggression towards her students. She would punish them severely at the slightest provocation.
One faithful day, Miss Koi-Koi beat up a student and she was badly injured, this did not sit well with the student’s parents and later that day, Miss Koi-Koi was sacked from the school. On her way home, she had a fatal accident that eventually claimed her life but the story does not end there. Legend has it that she swore to take her revenge on all boarding school students, she appears in the dead of the night and kills anyone who sees her or hears her shoe sounds. This is why this myth is very popular in Nigerian boarding schools.
2.) Bush Baby.
Another popular myth that was often used to scare secondary school boarders was “Bush Baby”. It is believed that this creature cries out like an actual human baby to draw your attention to it, hence its name. Legend has it that once it gets your attention, it makes you freeze on the spot. It approaches you, makes you a mouth-watery offer you cannot refuse (usually a lot of money) and then hands you a scruffy looking mat, convincing you to keep it in your possession for 7 days and if successful, the bunch of money will be yours. However, what this creature doesn’t reveal to you is that during these 7 days, it’ll violently attempt to take the mat from you using its very dangerous magical powers, which in most cases, leads to the death of its victims.
3.) Baba Dudu (The man in black).
“Baba Dudu”, also known as “The man in black”, is a myth that was commonly told in the all-male Nigerian boarding schools. Amongst all other myths, this one has to be the most hilarious to me. I mean, of all the magical powers to have, you chose fantastic theft?
According to legend, Baba Dudu was an expert thief who went around the hostels, robbing students of their clothes and snacks from their lockers. He was mostly covered in black and only surfaced at night time. Students usually saw him when they came out to use the toilets at night and eventually, they stopped out of fear. Some Nigerians believe that Baba Dudu was a group of evil spirits and not just one. They were said to be amazing speedsters and silent thieves, you wouldn’t hear or see them coming. Peradventure you catch up to them while running, they always had a plan B in place. They coated their bare skin with grease so that even when you catch up to them, they could easily slip through your fingers. It was said that students who came in contact with Baba Dudu either disappeared suddenly or were left with injuries all over their bodies.
4.) The Headless Girl.
“The Headless Girl” was another famous myth that was told in Nigerian boarding schools to scare its students. Legend says that there was once a beautiful schoolgirl named “Oroma”, who always showed up with different hairstyles every single day at school. Her fellow female students wondered how she kept up with such a stressful lifestyle, each time they asked about her hairstylist, Oroma would always give an excuse as to why she couldn’t reveal the identity of her hairstylist. This made the other students dislike her, one female student, in particular, took it upon herself to expose Oroma to the whole school.
One night, this student tip-toed behind Oroma and followed her to the back of the hostel where she caught Oroma detaching her head from her neck, placing it on her thighs and plaiting it. Out of shock, she let out a scream and collapsed on the spot. Oroma on the other hand was believed to have disappeared into thin air and was never seen again. This was a very traumatic experience for the student and it is said that she never recovered from the shock and never spoke again.
The list is endless, I could go on and on but let’s continue this conversation in the comments section below. I would love to hear your version and experiences with your childhood horror myths.