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‘House of Horror’: Truth Behind the Corpse & the 'Ceiling Man'

Chitungwiza – Ghetto news spread fast and furious. Add to that, the rise of social media, internet access and smart phones, everyone now pos...

Chitungwiza – Ghetto news spread fast and furious. Add to that, the rise of social media, internet access and smart phones, everyone now possesses rights to being a community journalist.

The unravelling case of Grant Mashasha, 39, a man discovered confined to a ceiling, a decade after his last sighting, alongside a decomposing body, cannot fault the social media addicts.

In no time, the news of the story had spread, not only around Chitungwiza, but as far as neighbouring nations, again thanks to the advent of social media.

As the story developed, many concepts were touted. Soon, the world was abuzz with the ‘breaking news’. After days of probing, this article will finally address some of the lingering questions and possibly offer closure to the ‘house of horror’ story.


At the core of the saga is Plaxedes Mashaha, Grant’s mother and the late husband, 80, whose decomposing body was retrieved from the room. The man was last seen a ‘decade’ ago, after he suffered a stroke in 1992. The two were reportedly married in the 70’s and together, they had four children.

Like most in her community, Plaxedes was a regular church member, belonging to a white garment sect, known for congregating in open spaces dotted around the area. 
‘House of Horror’: Truth Behind the Corpse & the 'Ceiling Man'
In her spiritual sojourns, she tried to entice the family, especially the husband, to accompany her to church for “prayers to deliver Grant from evil spirits.” But despite her Christian background, her relations with neighbours and relatives remained sour

Grant is the third, while the last born, Craig, passed on. According to one Facebook account, Grant attended Zengeza High 1, a kilometer away from their home. Around 2000, he completed his Ordinary Level studies. Again, a former neighbour said, “Grant was a cool kid in the street,” although he last saw him around 2011. Another added that Grant was a fashionista.

In an online audio, a woman claimed to be a relative. “My grandfather and the late Grant’s father were brothers,” making her a close relative. In the background, a woman she referred to as granny, also contributed to the audio. Again, the relatives say they visited Grant at the police holding cells and upon seeing them, he positively identified them by their names.


Due to the unclear events of the story, the exact dates remain uncertain, except for estimates. From the findings, the story started to unfold in the late 90’s, when the Mashasha siblings relocated to the UK. Then, their lifestyle started to transform and it was also the time that Grant was completing school and later reportedly joined the UK trek.

While all this happened, the father was confined to a wheelchair, however, a recording by the female relative reveals that the antagonistic relationship between the relatives and wife had already started. During one visit, the relative claims that the late Mashaha said, “If you don’t regularly check on me, I will die and my wife will bury me on her own, without my relatives around.”

Due to the limited movements within the ‘house of horror,’ except for Plaxedes’ regular forays, mainly on church escapades, few kept a tag on the house in question. However, of all the dates, the day when the body was discovered helps understand what transpired inside the home.


After Plaxedes left for her usual church prayers, she returned to a locked home. Locked out by her ‘mentally disturbed child,’ she sought assistance from a local locksmith, who automatically becomes a silent, yet reliable actor in the whole story.

“The lady came to my workplace, saying she could not gain access to her house because the door was locked from the inside,” the locksmith said. “We left for the home, together with a glazer who was supposed to fix the broken door glasses, while they tried in vain to gain entrance to the house.”

After gaining access to the house, Plaxedes reportedly requested the two artisans to accompany her inside, because “she was afraid to get inside alone.” Ungrudgingly, the two accepted the request to get inside. Together, they assisted the owner to remove the cupboards blocking the way, as they moved towards the passage.


When she reached the bedroom, which was slightly opened, she backtracked in clear panic, prompting her colleagues to panic as well. They did not wait to check what had made her retreat. “When the door opened, I could breath an unpleasant smell,” the locksmith told a YouTube channel.

Outside, the woman later revealed that her husband was dead and her body was now decomposing inside the house. Shocked by the revelation, the pair departed, advising her to report the case to the police.

Later on, when the police pitched, the body was retrieved, together with Grant, who was holed inside the ceiling, Grant, whom neighbours believed was in the UK. Not many knew of his return, except an interviewee who said he had last seen Grant in 2010 driving a car.


In the spiritual realm, to get rich quickly, one can acquire a goblin spirit that will enhance one’s wealth. “The spirit works spiritually and mysteriously to ensure that its owner becomes prosperous,” according to a book, How to Overcome Spiritual Spouses, a book by Bishop Pride Sibiya. “However, to fully function, the spirit will ask for two major things: animal or human blood at a stipulated time and a husband, or a wife.”

To satisfy these spirits, the book explains that, “The owner therefore selects a person, usually a relative, calls out their (victim’s) totem and name, then dedicates the person as spouse to the spirits. From this point on, the spirit claims that the victim is their spouse.”

The result means that the dedicated person usually leaves a troubled life. In Grant’s case, it seems that a close relative could have dedicated him to the goblin spirit for financial gain at the expense of his life, which resulted in him leading a miserable life, under lock and key.

Additionally, Grant was reportedly married, however, his mother allegedly ‘chased’ his wife. This act, if true, helps cement the goblin spirit theory, which protects jealously its spouse form any other potential suitor.

To fuel the witchcraft theory, during a court appearance, a police officer allegedly retrieved ‘fingernails’ from Plaxedes that she said belonged to her son, Grant. Another possibility could be a mental illness and this was confirmed by his mother. “His father refused to go to church for deliverance to seek help for Grant, who was being troubled by evil spirits.”

Cut off from the world, he could have developed a fear of the outside world, afraid that he could be harmed, shamed, or even hurt. 

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