Indian Ghost Stories by S. Mukerji
THE BOY POSSESSED.
At about 5 o'clock in the evening on 26th June, 1913, when Mr. Mitra was out in office, it was suddenly noticed that the southern portion of the privy was on fire. People ran for rescue and by their timely assistance it was possible to completely extinguish the fire by means of water which they managed to get at the moment, before the fire could do any real damage. On learning of the fire, the ladies and children, all bewildered, collected in a room, ready to quit the building in case the fire was not checked or took a serious turn. About a square foot of the thatch was burnt. Shortly after this another corner of the house was seen burning. This was in the kitchen. It was not a continuation of the former fire as the latter had been completely extinguished. Not even smoke or a spark was left to kindle. The two places are completely separated from each other being divided by an open court-yard of 30 yards in length and there is no connection between them at all.
There was no fire at the time in the kitchen even, and there were no outsiders besides the ladies and children who were shut up in a room. This too was extinguished without any damage having been done. By this time Mr. Mitra and his several friends turned up on getting the news of the fire in his house. I was one of them. In short the fire broke out in the house at seven different places within an hour or an hour and a half; all these places situated so apart from one another that one was astonished to find how it broke out one after the other without any visible sign of the possibility of a fire from outside. We were all at a loss to account for the breaking out of the fire. To all appearance it broke out each time spontaneously and mysteriously. The fact that fire broke out so often as seven times within the short space of about an hour and a half, each time at a different place without doing any perceptible damage to the thatching of the bungalow or to any other article of the occupant of the house, is a mystery which remains to be solved. After the last breaking out, it was decided that the house must be vacated at once. Mr. Mitra and his family consequently removed to another house of Padri Ahmad Shah about 200 yards distant therefrom. To the great astonishment of all nothing happened after the 'vacation' of the house for the whole night. Next morning Mr. Mitra came with his sister to have his morning meals prepared there, thinking that there was no fire during the night. To his great curiosity he found that the house was ablaze within 10 or 15 minutes of his arrival. They removed at once and everything was again all right. A day or two after he removed to a pucca house within the town, not easy to catch fire. After settling his family in the new house Mr. Mitra went to a town (Moudha) some 21 miles from the head quarters. During the night following his departure, a daughter of Mr. Mitra aged about 10 years saw in dream a boy who called himself Shahid Baba. The girl enquired of him about the reason of the fire breaking in her last residence and was told by him that she would witness curious scenes next morning, after which she would be told the remedy. Morning came and it was not long before fire broke out in the second storey of the new house. This was extinguished as easily as the previous ones and it did not cause any damage. Next came the turn of a dhoti of the girl mentioned above which was hanging in the house. Half of it was completely burnt down before the fire could be extinguished. In succession, the pillow wrapped in a bedding, a sheet of another bedding and lastly the dhoti which the girl was wearing caught fire and were extinguished after they were nearly half destroyed. Mr. Mitra's son aged about 4 months was lying on a cot: as soon as he was lifted up--a portion of the bed on which he was lying was seen burning. Although the pillow was burnt down there was no mark of fire on the bedding. Neither the girl nor the boy received any injury. Most curious of all, the papers enclosed in a box were burnt although the box remained closed. B. Ganesh Prasad, munsif, and the post master hearing of this, went to the house and in their presence a mirzai of the girl which was spread over a cot in the court-yard caught fire spontaneously and was seen burning.
Now the girl went to sleep again. It was now about noon. She again saw the same boy in the dream. She was told this time that if the tomb was whitewashed and a promise to repair it within three months made, the trouble would cease. They were also ordained to return to the house which they had left. This command was soon obeyed by the troubled family which removed immediately after the tomb was whitewashed to the bungalow in which they are now peacefully living without the least disturbance or annoyance of any sort. I leave to your readers to draw their own conclusions according to their own experience of life and to form such opinion as they like.
PERMESHWAR DAYAL AMIST, B.A., _July 9._ _Vakil, High Court_