Mizoram ghost hunters help bust real murder after paranormal quest unearths hidden body
Over the past three years, the YouTube channel they ran, the Angaiha Five Brothers, had accumulated close to 33,000 followers.
On the night of June 30, 2023, Lalhmangaihzuala, also known as Angaiha, and his elder brother Lalhminghlua, aka Sena, both in their late twenties, went hunting for ghosts in the darkness on the outskirts of Aizawl, near the Tlawng river. The adventure was far from unusual for the duo. Over the past three years, the YouTube channel they ran, the Angaiha Five Brothers, had accumulated close to 33,000 followers for their videos of the paranormal.
So on that dark night, Angaiha and Sena, set off, their cellphones switched on, recording live. At around midnight, they opened the creaky door of a jhum, a hut made of wooden logs, typically built as shelter next to agricultural fields. The day before, they had done the same thing. “At that point, there was nothing inside,” Lalhmangaihzuala said.
On the night of June 30, though, there was something inside. It was the body of a man. The brothers ran.
Growing up, the two brothers, both of whom work in the private sector in Aizawl, had been fascinated by online videos online on “ghost hunting” and the paranormal. “We were so interested that we decided to start our own channel. We don’t earn anything from it, but it has become so popular that some subscribers now donate money for the petrol for our travels to spooky locations,” Lalhmangaihzuala said.
The hut the brothers visited on Friday night was in a dark forested patch near the Tlawng river. “We often go back to the same place if our subscribers love the area. We have often gone back to the same spot a third time,” Lalhmangaihzuala said. At midnight, Lalhminghlua was walking ahead of his brother when he heard a sound. “I heard voices in the dark and thought there must be some people hanging out at night. When I walked towards the jhum , two stones were thrown in front of me.”
The brothers pushed on. In the next few breathless minutes, they went inside the hut, and discovered the body. It was streamed live.
The two ran the 8.6km to the Aizawl police station where they raised the alarm with bleary police personnel. The police team, guided by the two ghost hunters, then arrived at the hut and began investigations. The man’s face, police officials said, was bathed in blood, emanating from the wound in the back of his head where he had been hit with force.
Investigations revealed that the man was Vanlallawma, 55 , a resident of Lunglei town, 170km away from the murder spot, and a driver with the public health department. They launched an investigation, and after a massive manhunt, arrested Lalroliana, 43, and his partner Lalsiampuii, 40, on July 1, from Seling village, 45km away from Aizawl.
Prima facie investigations by the police revealed that Lalroliana killed Vanlallawma after hitting him with a wooden club, jealous that the victim was talking to his partner. The police said they were still investigating if the murder took place at another spot, after which the body was dumped in the jhum, or whether the murder happened in the hut itself.
On Sunday, Lalroliana and Lalsiampuii were taken to the Aizawl district court, which gave the police their custody for two days. “The court on Sunday granted us another 48 hours for investigation and to interrogate the persons. After completion of the 48 hours, we shall take them to court again,” inspector Albert Lalbiakmawia of the Aizawl police station said.
On Saturday, the corpse was taken back to Lunglei, where it was cremated.
In Aizawl, undeterred, the two brothers are now preparing for more such episodes. The last three days has seen them gain three thousand new followers. But their first port of call will be the same hut.
“There is a belief among Mizos that if someone dies unnaturally, their spirit does not rest until justice is done. That is why, after discussions with our subscribers, we are going to go back to that same spot, to find the dead man’s spirit,” Lalhmangaihzuala said.
Dead men tell no tales, but if Vanlallawma does, Angaiha Five Brothers will be listening.
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