5 July-2014, PAUL DONNELLEY/Dailymail: The churches in Scurtesti in souteastern Romania have been packed after a local woman claimed that her dead grandmother’s ghost had taken over her mobile and used it to send a ‘selfie’ from the other side.
‘When I switched the phone on I was horrified to see my dead grandmother’s face,’ said Gina Mihai, 34. ‘She had what looked like a snake around her neck, and the whole image looked as if it had been taken through a hole, like it was shot through a tear in the fabric that separates the living from the dead.
‘I took it to a fortune-teller who told me that my grandmother was sending me a message from the other side, the snake around her neck was a symbol of the fact that she was being punished in the other life for some sin.
‘By contacting us she was telling us that if we were to pray for her, we would still be able to save her soul.’
Miss Mihai and her family have been spending much of their time since praying in church along with dozens of other families terrified about the implications of a snake wrapped ghost sending a message from the other side.
Once a year there is a feast, the service of alms, in which Romanians travel to the local graveyard and hand over food as a gesture to the spirits in the afterlife.
The food itself is in reality handed over to the poor at the end of the day, but the gesture is seen as regarding nourishment for those who have died and are now in the afterlife.
‘My grandmother died three years ago and I haven’t taken any food for her to the graveyard. I was making doughnuts at the time and didn’t want to get the phone dirty so I put it in my pocket, and when I took it out there was the image on the phone,’ said Miss Mihai.
‘The fortuneteller told me that was a mistake not to have paid tribute to her with an offering of food, and it was significant that she contacted me while I was cooking. I have taken doughnuts to the cemetery every day since then.’
Florica Mihai, another relative, said: ‘The village priest told me that we need to do 40 days of alms to make up for those that we missed and we are doing it now. We want to help her soul to be saved.’