Category Archives: Duppy

The Duppy and The Jumbee 

In the islands of the Lesser Antilles, ghosts and spirits are called the Jumbee. The Jumbee  are usually regarded as being malevolent and are also called Mendo. They are mythological spirits or demons originating in Caribbean  folklore. It is believed that people who have been evil during their lifetime are also destined to be evil (Jumbee) in death.


While I was visiting the West Indies this past September, I was able to spend time with many of the locals. Of course we discussed spiritual beliefs and I was able to participate in a few spiritual experiences.

The locals explained to me that they use the word Duppy to describe a ghost or spirit. Most of the folklore in the Caribbean involves Duppies. Duppies are generally considered to be malevolent or restless spirits and can be very harmful. They can also be sent to others by using Obeah.

Good Duppies usually appear to you in a dream as a deceased family member or friend and generally give you advice or information.

The general consensus was that Duppies speak in high pitched, nasal voices and may make you feel like your head is expanding.  You also may become unexpectedly hot.
A Duppy can be chased away by eating salt, wearing your clothes inside out, or by cursing and exposing your private parts.
Many of the locals say they have seen them at night. Three of the most malicious spirits that were described to me were: the rolling calf, three footed horse, and the old higue. The Duppy originates in Bantu folklore. A Duppy is described as a manifestation of the soul of a dead person. They can manifest as a human or animal and are generally considered to be malevolent.


In Jamaica, the word Duppy comes from African folklore and the Ashanti people. The locals explained that in Obeah, a person is believed to possess a good soul and an earthly soul. When a person dies, the earthly spirit stays on earth for three days and the good soul goes to heaven to be judged by God.


During the three days after death, the earthly spirit remains with the body in the coffin, it can escape and appear as a duppy if the proper steps are not taken.

By: Cindie Harper