Brush with the paranormal
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us are fascinated by the existence of paranormal entities. Every religion mentions there being a higher power and in some, the existence of demons, demigods and spirits are acknowledged. Rafee Tamjid is one such person, who not only believes in such entities, but also seeks to find and make contact with them.
“My interest in paranormal entities began at the young age of 12, when I was in Hawaii,” says Rafee, “I was fascinated by reality shows on TV that showed paranormal detection. I grew up in Hawaii which is a very spiritual place, where people believed every element on the islands had a separate god, and that they walked the Earth, from time to time,” he relates. While this excited his interest a great deal, but it was not till High School, that he had an experience of his own that turned him into a true believer.
“A group of my friends and I were hanging out at a skate park, around one or two in the morning,” he recalls. “Now there were roads around us and a playground, but to one side of the park there was a ditch, which was fenced with barbed wire. At one point, we all saw a woman, in an Elizabethan dress, climb out of the ditch, which was extremely strange. Thinking she may need help, we called out to her, but it was as though she didn't hear us, and she started walking very fast toward the playground. When we followed her, she disappeared in front of our eyes.”
Rafee attended the Community College Branch of the University of Hawaii, and hearing that his dorm may be haunted, he wanted to learn more about the paranormal. Fortunately, a fellow student told him about a few courses his college was offering on paranormal science and he decided to enroll. “The course taught us interesting things such as how our bodies should respond to elements we are not used to, how to use EMF readers, different cameras (eg thermal camera). They also taught us the etiquette of communicating with paranormal entities,” Rafee tells us.
“After college I returned to Bangladesh after ten years, and since I studied film making and I loved paranormal shows, I decided I could make one of my own,” he relates. “That is when I founded the Dhaka Paranormal Society (DPS) in 2012. I decided to register DPS as a company and get started. I made a facebook page, and received hundreds of requests to join our crew.” His core team now consists of Rafee himself, Sohan Ahmed Ami, Ifraz Chowdhury and Iftekhar and at times they have guest investigators.
“For our investigations we use night vision infrared cameras, audio recorders, a K2 meter, Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) readers, laptops etc,” says Rafee. “What we do is, we set up stationary cameras and monitor them from a different room/area. We also usually take a medic in case someone has a panic attack or gets injured in anyway.”
The DPS usually gets at least two requests for help a week and follow up on most of them. “About 25 percent of the time, the places are haunted,” he says. “Our scariest experience was in Comilla at a farm house, where we saw an entity with our own eyes and heard through our audio tapes an indiscernible language,” he remembers. “In one incident at a construction site, Ami's face was severely scratched and in another incident in Ghorashal, I myself was scratched on the back right after our EMF meters picked up high readings. Usually, when a place is haunted we know by the readings, cold spots in certain areas and by the fact that our batteries drain out very quickly.”
According to Rafee, there are usually two types of haunting, residual, where spirits come back to haunt places they once resided and demonic, which is the more dangerous type. “Once we discern what type of haunting it is, we give advice on how to deal with it. Usually, we will help the haunted get in touch with a religious figure to help cleanse their place,” he tells us.
“I enjoy my work and I don't charge money for it,” says Rafee when asked about his plans for DPS's future, “I would like to have my own show, if I can find a TV Channel and a producer who will do away with the theatrics and represent the facts, because that is what is important.”