Maghrib time, clean sheets and petrified aunties are the perfect inspiration for author Ayesha Muzaffar’s horror stories. Being the daughter of an exorcist doesn’t hurt either.
Ayesha Muzaffar, a young writer from Lahore, has dedicated her Instagram account @abusjinns to stories of exorcisms and supernatural beings.
“My abu exorcises jinns for a living,” she told SAMAA Digital. “He has spent his years freeing houses and people of paranormal activities. If you ever visit us, we will tell you tales of women with crooked feet and demons that possess people.”
For instance, two of her most favorite stories from childhood are of the demons that possessed Minhal bhabi and the man who hangs himself every year in Akbar Chacha’s farm.
Muzaffar’s Instagram account, which has a following of more than 45,000, tells supernatural stories that are both fiction and based on true events. Her first book, Abu’s Jinns, came out last year after which her following grew.
“Frightened people inspire me to write. Maghrib time inspires me to write. Clean sheets and petrified aunties inspire me to write,” she said. “But, abu sitting near the fireplace and speaking of wondrous worlds is what inspires me the most.”
Muzaffar started writing as a child. “My first complete story was written on the back of my Urdu literature copy in Convent,” she said. “The story was called Wou Aurat.”
She went on to business school, but never stopped writing. “One day I quit my job at a multi-national IT firm and made an Instagram page.”
Shaadi Ever After is one of her stories inspired by true events. The story is about possession, black magic, heartbreak and a haunted Pakistani household. It is spread over 10 chapters and has a sequel as well.
Muzaffar has posted nearly 50 stories on Instagram.
“The Freaky Friday series on my Instagram page is my only incomplete work,” Muzaffar said. “I wrote 33 chapters of the series and stopped because it started taking a toll on me. A lot of eerie things started happening with me that I don’t know if were true or just a fragment of my imagination, but they left me traumatised.”
“People ask me if I will complete the series and I answer in affirmative. But the truth is that the story is sitting there incomplete and I would never pick it up again. I don’t want to go back to that place ever again.”
Muzaffar said, “I don’t want people to believe me. I want them to read what I’m creating and I want to position my entities in the farthest corner of their mind so they know what fear is like.”
She, however, has a small remedy for fear that she claims she used all her life, “a bismillah a day keep the jinns at bay.”
Last week, the writer signed a new book with Liberty Books. The book is expected to come out in February 2020.
“My new book has been written in a unique style,” she said. “It has a hint of South Asian culture and of course is based on paranormal activities, thrilling experiences and unexplainable mysteries.”
While Abu’s Jinns was a compilation of the experiences of an exorcist in Pakistan, Muzaffar remarked that her second book is on the tales of ordinary people.