Indian Ghost Stories by S. Mukerji
THE BOY POSSESSED.
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I think it was in 1906 that in one of the principle cities in India the son of a rich man became ill. He had high fever and delirium and in his insensible state he was constantly talking in a language which was some kind of English but which the relatives could not understand.
This boy was reading in one of the lower classes of a school and hardly knew the English language.
When the fever would not abate for 24 hours a doctor was sent for.
The doctor arrived, and went in to see the patient in the sick-room.
The boy was lying on the bed with his eyes closed. It was nearly evening.
As soon as the doctor entered the sick-room the boy shouted "Doctor--I am very hungry, order some food for me."
Of course, the doctor thought that the boy was in his senses. He did not know that the boy had not sufficient knowledge of the English language to express his ideas in that tongue. So the doctor asked his relations when he had taken food last. He was informed that the patient had had nothing to eat for the last 8 or 10 hours.
"What will you like to have?" asked the doctor.
"Roast mutton and plenty of vegetables" said the boy.
By this time the doctor had approached the bed-side, but it was too dark to see whether the eyes of the patient were open or not.
"But you are ill--roast mutton will do you harm" said the doctor.
"No it won't--I know what is good for me" said the patient. At this stage the doctor was informed that the patient did not really know much English and that he was probably in delirium. A suggestion was also made that probably he was possessed by a ghost.
The doctor who had been educated at the Calcutta Medical College did not quite believe the ghost theory. He, however, asked the patient who he was.
In India, I do not know whether this is so in European countries too, lots of people are possessed by ghosts and the ghost speaks through his victim. So generally a question like this is asked by the exorcist "Who are you and why are you troubling the poor patient?" The answer, I am told, is at once given and the ghost says what he wants. Of course, I personally, have never heard a ghost talk. I know a case in which a report was made to me that the wife of a groom of mine had become possessed by a ghost. On being asked what ghost it was the woman was reported to have said "the big ghost of the house across the drain." I ran to the out-houses to find out how much was true but when I reached the stables the woman I was told was not talking. I found her in convulsions.
To return to our story; the doctor asked the patient who he was.
"I am General ----" said the boy.
"Why are you here" asked the doctor.
"I shall tell you that after I have had my roast mutton and the vegetables--" said the boy or rather the ghost.
"But how can we be convinced that you are General ----" asked the doctor.
"Call Captain X---- of the XI Brahmans and he will know," said the ghost, "in the meantime get me the food or I shall kill the patient."
The father of the patient at once began to shout that he would get the mutton and the vegetables. The Doctor in the meantime rushed out to procure some more medical assistance as well as to fetch Captain X of the XI Brahmans.
The few big European officers of the station were also informed and within a couple of hours the sick-room was full of sensible educated gentle men. The mutton was in the meantime ready.
"The mutton is ready" said the doctor.
"Lower it into the well in the compound" said the ghost.
A basket was procured and the mutton and the vegetables were lowered into the well.
But scarcely had the basket gone down 5 yards (the well was 40 feet deep) when somebody from inside the well shouted.
"Take it away--take it away--there is no salt in it."
Those that were responsible for the preparation had to admit their mistake.
The basket was pulled out, some salt was put in, and the basket was lowered down again.
But as the basket went in about 5 or 6 yards somebody from inside the well pulled it down with such force that the man who was lowering it narrowly escaped being dragged in; fortunately he let the rope slip through his hands with the result that though he did not fall into the well his hands were bleeding profusely.