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Indian Ghost Stories by S. Mukerji


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Indian Ghost Stories

After the incident of that night Jogesh's wife had an attack of brain fever and for some time her life was despaired of, and we were all so sorry. But, thank God, she came round after a long and protracted illness, and then we sent her the necklace.

Jogesh told us subsequently that his wife had given him an Indian charm-case with instructions to put it on with a chain round the neck whenever he required her. Immediately he put on the chain, to which this charm-case was attached, round his neck, he felt as if he was in a trance and then his wife came. Whether she came in the flesh or only in spirit Jogesh could not say as he never had the opportunity of touching her so long as she was there, for he could not get up from the bed or the chair or wherever he happened to be. On the last occasion she had entreated him not to press her to tell the questions. He had, however, insisted and so she had dictated to him the examination paper as if from memory. The theatre programme was the only thing within his reach and he had taken down all the questions on that, as he thought he could not rely upon his own memory. Then she had gone away; but before going she had walked up to him, unbuttoned his _kurta_ (native shirt) at the chin, and removed the charm-case from the chain to which it was attached. Then she had vanished and the charm case had vanished too. The chain had, of course, remained on Jogesh's neck. Since that eventful night Jogesh had had no mystic communion with his wife during his stay in Calcutta.

She refused to discuss the subject when Jogesh afterwards met her at Dacca. So the mystery remains unsolved.

* * * * *

Talking of questions and answers reminds me of an incident that took place on one occasion in my presence.

A certain Mohammedan hypnotist once visited us when I was at College.

There was a number of us, all students, in the hostel common-room or library when this man came and introduced himself to us as a professional hypnotist. On being asked whether he could show us anything wonderful and convincing he said he could. He asked us to procure a teapoy with 3 strong legs. This we did. Then he asked two of us to sit round that small table and he also sat down. He asked us to put our hands flat on the table and think of some dead person. We thought of a dead friend of ours. After we had thus been seated for about five minutes there was a rap on the leg of the teapoy. We thought that the hypnotist had kicked the leg on his side.

"The spirit has come" said the hypnotist.

"How should we ascertain?" I asked.

"Ask him some question and he will answer" said the hypnotist.

Then we asked how many from our class would obtain the university degree that year.

"Spirit", said the hypnotist "as the names are mentioned one rap means pass, two mean plucked"; then he addressed the others sitting around "see that I am not kicking at the leg of the teapoy."

Half a dozen of the boys sat down on the floor to watch.

As each name was mentioned there came one rap or two raps as the case might be till the whole list was exhausted.

"We can't ascertain the truth of this until 3 months are over" said I.

"How many rupees have I in my pocket" asked one of the lookers-on.

There came three distinct raps and on examining the purse of the person we found that he had exactly 3 rupees and nothing more.

Then we asked a few more questions and the answers came promptly in. "_Yes_" and "_No_" by means of raps.

Then according to the hypnotist's suggestion one student wrote a line from Shakespeare and the ghost was asked what that line was.

"As the plays are named rap once at the name of the play from which the passage has been taken" said the hypnotist, solemnly addressing the Spirit.


No reply

"King Lear"

No reply

"Merchant of Venice"

No reply


One loud rap.

"Macbeth" said the hypnotist "now which Act."

"Act I"

No reply

"Act II"

No reply

"Act III"

No reply

"Act IV"

No reply

"Act V"

One loud rap.

"Scene I"

No reply.

"Scene II"

No reply.

"Scene III"

One loud rap.

"Now what about the lines" said the hypnotist.

"Line one--Two--Three ... Thirty nine"

No reply.


One loud rap

"Forty one"

One loud rap

"Forty two"

One loud rap

"Forty three"

One loud rap

"Forty four"

One loud rap

"Forty five"

One loud rap

"Forty six"

No reply

A copy of Shakespeare's Macbeth was at once procured and opened at Act V, Sec. III, line 40.

"Can'st thou not minister to a mind diseased, Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, Raze out the written troubles of the brain, And with some sweet oblivious antidote, Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff, Which weighs upon the heart?"

This was what we read.

The student was then asked to produce his paper and on it was the identical quotation.

Then the hypnotist asked us to remove our hands from the top of the teapoy. The hypnotist did the same thing and said "The Spirit has gone."

We all stared at each other in mute surprise.

Afterwards we organized a big show for the benefit of the hypnotist, and that was a grand success.

Lots of strange phenomena were shown to us which are too numerous to mention. The fellows who had sat on the floor watching whether or not it was the hypnotist who was kicking at the teapoy-leg assured us that he was not.

The strange feats of this man, (hypnotist astrologer and thought-reader all rolled into one) have ever since remained an insoluble mystery.