Tala Abdulhadi,

Back in the day, the people of Amman were a lot more superstitious than they are now (if you can believe that).This has led to the exaggeration, rumors, and over-all “spicing up” of certain tales, places and people. So check out these classical Amman horror stories that were the delight of the town gossips:


The Haunted Mansion of Jabal Amman

According to urban legend, the old mansion at the Second Circle which once had green shutters had a dark history. Apparently the former residents of this house heard and experienced more than what is commonly regarded as “bumps in the night.” As far as the rumor goes, the previous occupants of the house suffered many hauntings before finally moving out. It’s said that once the house was empty, the owners hired a night guard to keep watch until further arrangements were made. After a brief stay, the night guard quit, mumbling something about faucets that open and close by themselves, doors that slam shut in the middle of the night, and shutters that swing open without the help of the lightest summer breeze. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, after years of attempting to sell the house, the land has been bought by a company which knocked down the house. The fate of this company and the poor souls who will inhabit it is yet to be determined.


The Hospital of Horrors

Around that same area, what was once a flourishing and highly esteemed hospital came to be the stuff of horror, after its abandonment almost a decade ago. Surely it’s not difficult to imagine what sort of creeping horrors happen in hospitals and how many patients must have perished behind its walls. One or two stories include attempted suicides, and a few others include successful suicides. After which, bars were installed to cover the windows. Nevertheless, what now surrounds this hospital is a shroud of mystery, where it is said that spirits roam the deserted corridors 


The Old Lady and her Ghostly Guests

As I mentioned before, people were a lot more superstitious back in the day. And since downtown is the heart of old Amman, many stories have surfaced of strange activity. To begin with, there once lived a woman near Sabil Il-Hooriyyat (Roman ruins once dedicated to nymphs) who had certain forces living in her home. As the story goes, her neighbors would see her cooking large amounts of food throughout the day, and they would hear very loud noises coming from her house at night. When the neighbors decided to investigate, the woman would tell them to wait as she is currently “entertaining.” The woman would then proceed to carry the food that she prepared into the dining room, and later emerge with empty trays. When the neighbors were curious enough to sneak a look at who these “guests” were, the dining room would appear completely empty!


The Cursed Roman Gold

Amman has a rich history dating back to Roman rule, when it was named Philadelphia and added to the Roman Decapolis. As legend has it, Romans left gold beneath the city.  As centuries passed and Philadelphia became Amman, the present population came to find this gold underneath their own homes.  News spread and more and more people began digging in order to find their own share of this ancient treasure. Soon enough, however, unpleasant surprises were met by the gold diggers. One of the most common unpleasant surprises was a huge snake which people called a “Rasad.” It is said that these snakes were curses left as guardians of the treasure, and that they can only be dismissed by religious rituals. However, people also say that these curses came in other different forms. As one story goes, a treasure hunter was digging in a very deserted and empty area. He was completely alone and in the middle of nowhere, he knew that he was about to find what he was looking for. However, the man ran for his life when he heard the very clear sound of a baby crying, but no humans were anywhere in sight.


The Hyena’s Spell

Since Amman was practically surrounded by desert in the early days, it’s only natural for stories out of nature to emerge. One common desert dwelling mammal was the striped hyena; an animal which contributed to legend and folklore in many countries. There are different legends based on hyenas, and of course each tale depends on the people who are telling it. The version told in our country and part of the world, however, is one of the most frightening. It is said that if a person should find himself face to face with a hyena, getting mesmerized by its eyes or pheromones was a huge possibility. Scientifically speaking, this is untrue; nevertheless this didn’t stop people from believing that there was always a risk of falling under a hyena’s spell, and being lured into its lair.


Safout Church

Just on the outskirts of Amman, towards Buqa’a, lies a small church with a bell that residents claim rings itself. Other stories include car accidents and accidents in general occurring in front of the church for no known explanation. The church has now been torn down and a new one stands in its place.


Abu Shakoosh

Many cities take pride in stories of serial killers who terrorized their streets. Ours however, have decided that perhaps it would be best if we leave these stories to disappear over time and maybe evolve into the sort of thing parents warn their children of when they’re misbehaving. Nevertheless, this is an absolutely true and confirmed story that happened almost twenty years ago. Apparently, one serial killer who carried a hammer would roam the streets, searching for pharmacies open at night. He would then strike the pharmacists with this hammer. His method consisted of distracting them with a request and then hammering the back of their heads. Why were pharmacies targeted? The police only explained them as gruesome drug robberies.