Hello Dear Readers,

I have been away from the Blogosphere for a few days now as I was busy with another project. Something I picked up after almost five years. I will share the outcome in my next post (Excited!). Till then stay tuned.

Today’s post, however, is intended to bring out a different kind of excitement and adrenaline rush.

“Tell me a ghost story” was my constant chant when I was a child and had sleepovers with my older cousins. Reading/ Listening to the tales of lurking spirits, haunted houses and women in white sarees was an all-time favourite cheap thrill. Narrating them to a friend/younger cousin and scaring the living daylights out of them became a hobby as I grew up.

It was in 2016, during my final year of post-graduation. My friends and I took a trip to Bellary to attend another close friend’s wedding. It was an eleven-hour long night journey from Bengaluru. The five of us were meeting after a gap of several months as all of us were interning at different organizations that year. No one wanted to sleep that night, so we did the next best thing.

Five of us huddled in an upper double berth of the bus with a single dim-lit mobile torchlight in the centre (covered in a thin red scarf for the effect), we started narrating haunted tales from far and near. Many of these tales we shared were true life encounters that had happened to one of our cousin’s maternal/paternal, grandmother/grandfather’s third cousin’s neighbour. In short, stories that had travelled via the word of mouth, growing bigger and scarier as they did. Authenticity aside, it served the purpose. We even managed to get a couple of screams out of our ‘extra-sensitive’ friend.

Here are the five best stories we heard that night. Names of the narrators are changed to divert the spirits. 

The Lullaby

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“When my cousin’s daughter, Jia – the first child of our family’s Gen-Z started speaking, she became the centre of our world. Every weekend all of us assembled in her house and took turns to play with her. But that weekend, something seemed amiss. My cousin and her husband looked worried. On pressing the issue, they told us that the three-year-old was found speaking to herself on several occasions. When they enquired, Jia promptly replied that she was talking to the pretty woman in the photo in the living room (Jia’s grandmother, my maternal aunt, Sunita Masi, who had passed away five years ago). At first, we laughed it off, saying kids tend to make imaginary friends and create stories about them. Our laughter was short-lived when that afternoon Jia was found in the other room, putting her doll to sleep. She had a knowing smile, crooning a lullaby that Sunita Masi had created and used to sing to us when we were little. A lullaby we had silently sworn to never repeat after her sudden death. We watched Jia sing with the same emotion, the enunciations and expressions too mature for her tender baby-like features.” – Rashmi.

The Cursed Cupboard

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“My mother always told me that her grandmother was known for her green thumb. Their bungalow was known as much for its beautiful garden as for the tall marble pillars. Rumours had it that the British officers stationed in the town too admired her neatly trimmed, manicured garden. Sadly, one could not say the same about my grandmother. She was known to be cursed when it came to keeping even a cactus alive. Some called her the ‘plant-killer’. Many in the town wondered if it was just the hands or if she was barren as a whole. That doubt was cleared when she gave birth to not one but seven beautiful children. After several tries at keeping the garden alive, she gave up. It did not seem coincidental that the plants started blooming once she stopped tending to it. She was politely asked to not touch any of the plants thereafter. It did not bother her much. For her passion, unlike her mother’s, was not in growing rare species of plants in the front yard, but to collect antiques made of porcelain and choicest of wood.
The most sort after piece in her collection was an antique wooden cupboard that she had designed and got made. She never let anyone near it, especially children. After her passing away, the cupboard landed in our house. But for some reason, it was kept in the far end of the living room, locked. My brother and I were warned not to touch it. One night, when I was feeling bold, I picked the lock and placed my almost-immortal cactus (It had managed to stay alive without being watered for weeks) inside the cupboard and retired to my room in anticipation of proving my parents wrong the next morning. I woke up the next morning to my mother’s blood-curdling screams. I rushed to the living room only to find everyone staring at the corpse of my plant, grey as smoke.” – Pooja.

The Hostel

“In my hometown, there is a medical college known for a horrendous incident that took place in one of the hostel rooms, decades ago. The room till date is kept locked and students often rush past it if they ever have to cross the hallway. It was not until my brother joined the college, did we know the truth behind the haunted room. Decades ago, a group of students had locked a lady warden inside the room out of spite before going home for vacation. They had assumed someone would come by and unlock the door. But it never happened. When the college reopened a month later, the woman was found dead in the room with pieces of her arms missing. It was later made known that she had eaten her arms out of hunger and eventually succumbed to death. The students too died a few years later – all untimely deaths disguised as accidents” – Aditi

Photo by Erkan Utu from Pexels

The Weight

Photo by Tamas Marton from Pexels

“My uncle and his family recently decided to sell their newly purchased villa. They said the energy in the house did not feel right. Uncle’s older sister who also lived with them often complained of sleeplessness due to the feeling of something heavy on her chest. Even after multiple medical examinations, the doctors could not treat her condition. She claimed that it felt like someone was sitting on her chest and breathing down her face. My uncle initially called it the effect fo her old age but later decided to move out for the sake of his family. During the last week of their stay, I decided to spend a night there. Brought up on an appetite of horror movies and haunted tales, I saw this as an opportunity to showcase my courage. I slept in Bua’s (Uncle’s older sister) room and spent time chatting with my friends on my phone. Bua was sound asleep next to me. I too fell asleep sometime later.

Sometime after midnight, I woke up feeling my throat parched. The room felt colder than earlier and there was an unsettling silence lurking around. It took me a few seconds to realise that I had woken up to Bua’s soft whispers. I turned to her side, hoping to soothe her from her sleep talk. My hand stopped mid-air when I saw Bua’s eyes wide open, staring into the void in front of her. Although I could not see anyone in the dark, it was evident from her struggle that there was something heavy on her that was not letting her sit up. I could feel the presence of another being around. I could feel its eyes. Fear mixed with a parched throat turned my scream into a soft squeak. After multiple tries, I finally managed to scream loud enough for Uncle and other family members to come rushing to our rescue.

It is safe to say that my thirst for haunted adventures ended that night. Uncle and his family moved out the very next day.  The villa till date remains unoccupied” – Raksha.

PS: This blog or its owner does not guarantee the authenticity of these stories. These are meant for entertainment purpose only.


Featured Image by Elina Krima from Pexels

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Love,

Ashwini


You can connect with me on:

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You can buy my books here:

  1. Shikhandini – Warrior Princess of the Mahabharata (ebook and paperback)
  2. Those Girls – A Tale of Perspectives (ebook)