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Ghost Story

I remember part of that famous story though I cannot recollect of which it is a part or where exactly I read it, that on a full moon night in a particular month of the year that scene would be repeated: The train running in full speed under the illumined railway tracks at a particular hour, exactly at the same moment, when there would be a shrill cry of a woman which would reverberate the whole track and surrounding areas unpopulated by any human beings, full of thorny bushes and fallow lands around. A woman almost naked running for life chased by a man would jump before the train as it comes near and is run over. Not many but a few knew it and would come to the spot even from distant places to which they migrated, to witness the scene. Just after the train passes the whole scene is merged into ever more darkness. No more train, no cry, no suicide.

     Strange that reporting to the police or other authorities could not trace a link, that no one ever after the incident lived there or tried to make any room or any construction nearby, no one tried to clear the area of all undesirable waste and weeds. Trains pass all along every day and night but that scene is repeated only on a particular night of the year. After so many years the survivors still come who once lived in the vicinity or still live there, some of them come from distant places they settled as a ritual to be performed must for they cannot do without, if not impossible. Gradually due to death or other unavoidable reasons the numbers of persons gathering have been reduced.

     And that story I still remember told by my late uncle and my cousins who still live. They once visited a house and stayed at night under compulsion. They were told by the people in the neighborhood not to indulge in staying the night there. Few inquisitive brave tom boys only visited that haunted house rarely but none stayed at night. It was once full of residents, full of wealth and reputation. But after the riotous incident of being robbed of all wealth and all residents killed, that house remains in the middle of the suburban town; no more hospitable, no more adored by the neighbors, no more appreciated for its architecture and beauty for its garden, all of which have become a jungle.

     It was evening when the parents with three of their children entered the house. A lantern was still burning in the hall. As they entered it was going to be extinguished. As one of them advanced to touch it to revive, it went off and instantly all lights in the hall were on. It was a nice hall adorned with cushioned sofas and couches. As they approached to sit the light was off. They lighted a torch and one of them proceeded to the switch board. There was a puff of air on his face as if some one very near restricted him to proceed. He could not but tried in vain to come back. He fell down. Others came and lifted him. No one was found in the torch light as they searched the hall. Leaving it they tried to climb up the stair but again it seemed that someone or more people ran before them. Still they tried but with them it seemed some ones climbing. Two big torches illumined the path. Suddenly one torch fell on the step and was vanished.

     They quickly climbed to the first floor to find that a table fan was moving in full speed and in a cot as if some one was sleeping. As they tried to enter the room the doors were shut with jerk. The passage to the room was dark and the room giving out some light was darkened too. Now there was sound of a book falling on the ground. Suddenly they found another room ahead with full light inside. They quickly entered it and put the ceiling fan on. It was moving in full speed. They sat on the cot but somehow felt uneasy. The whole family was very courageous and did not believe in ghostly things so they came in and after some fifteen minutes felt comfortable as there was no more of any problem.

     Now they opened their boxes full of eatables. The lady served them the foods and even opened the tea flask. They started partaking of the food when suddenly the light went off but the fan was moving. Lighting the torch one of them tried to approach the switch board but the fan went off and there was suppressed laughter outside. They were still eating in the dark. As they almost finished eating light was on and they found that the flask containing tea was not there. Searching for it here and there, below the cot and behind the almirah, they felt tired and again sat on the cot. Then there were showers of rain outside, shouts and sound of running of men and women being chased. They felt very uncomfortable and with much efforts came out of the room and climbed down as if chased, when all turmoil outside seemed to be over.

     There was no rain. Full moon illumined the pathways inside the garden. Finding no way to come out as they forgot how they, from where they entered the house, they entered the bushy ways of the garden and then what happened they did not remember.      

     The next morning all of them were found sleeping in the gate way at 11 am in the morning when the world was abuzz with activities. Very tried and almost unable to move, they tried to remember what happened when one of the men they saw who warned them to try to enter the house in the afternoon hours at the approach of evening, came near to ask how they felt. Two of them were still sleeping and the three were awake but could not speak much. Helped by some of them who gathered one after the other, they got into their car and drove away.

     I do not know if I knew the stories as above or few words of them or I have just woven them for the Red Room as I did not want to be absent in such a gathering. I could perhaps go on weaving more and more such things for I do not have an iota of doubt that such things could happen. But it is true that such things do not happen to all. It depends on the person to see or witness such things. It depends on the circumstances.

     The yogis and saints in India and elsewhere are aware of the presence of non-physical beings and their affairs in the subtle physical world though all of them may not be ghostly affairs. I can name among many, a work which is known among large numbers of people throughout the world which contains such mentions of mysterious presence and unbelievable happenings aplenty, related in a very tell tale fashion; “The Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramhansa Yogananda who had his Self-Realization Fellowship Ashram in Encinitas, California, USA and the society Head Quarter in Ranchi, Bihar though he hailed from Calcutta (Kolkata), India.