Indian Ghost Stories by S. Mukerji
THE BRIDAL PARTY.
In about 20 minutes the serving was over and we were asked to begin. As a matter of fact I was nearly half through at that time. And then the trouble began.
With a click all the lights went out and the whole house was in total darkness.
Of course, the reader can guess what followed.
"Who has put out the lights?" shouted Jagat, who was sitting next but one to me on the left.
"The ghost" shouted another in reply.
"I shall kill him if I can catch him" shouted Jagat.
The whole place was in darkness, we could not see anything but we could hear that Jagat was trying to get up.
Then he received what was a stunning blow on his back. We could hear the thump.
"Oh" shouted Jagat "who is that?"
He sat down again and gave the man on his right a blow like the one he had received. The man on the right protested. Then Jagat turned to the man on his left. The man on Jagat's left evidently resisted and Jagat had the worst of it.
Then Narain, another one of us shouted out.
"What is the matter with you?" asked his neighbour.
"Why did you pull my hair" shouted Narain.
"I did not pull" shouted the neighbour.
Then a servant was seen approaching with a lamp and things became quiet.
But the servant did not reach the hall. He stumbled against something and fell headlong on the ground, the lamp went out, and our trouble began again.
One of the party received a slap on the back of his head which sent his cap rolling and in his attempt to recover it he upset a glass of water that was near his right hand.
Matters went on in this fashion till a lamp came. The whole thing must have taken about 4 minutes. When the lamp came we found that all the dishes were clean.
The eatables had mysteriously disappeared.
The sons of _mine host_ looked stupidly at us and we looked stupidly at them and at each other. But there it was, there was not a particle of solid food left.
We had therefore no alternative but to adjourn to the nearest confectioner's shop and eat some sweets there. That the night would not pass in peace we were sure; but nobody dared suggest that we should not pass the night in the haunted house. Once having defied the Ghost we had to stand to our guns for one night at least.
It was well after 11 o'clock at night when we came back and went to bed. We went to bed but not to sleep.
The room in which we all slept was a big one as I have said already, and there were two wall lamps in it. We lowered the lamps and--
Then the lamps went out, and we began to anticipate trouble. Our hosts had all gone home leaving us to the tender mercies of the Ghost.
Shortly afterwards we began to feel as if we were lying on a public road and horses passing along the road within a yard of us. We also imagined we could hear men passing close to us whispering. Sleeping was impossible. We all remained awake talking about different things, till a horse came very near. And thus the night passed away. At about four in the morning one of us got up and wanted to go out.
We shouted for the servant called Kallu and within a minute Kallu came with a lantern. One of our fellow guests got up and went out of the room followed by Kallu.
We could hear him going along the dining hall to the head of the stairs. Then we heard him shriek. We all rushed out. The lighted lantern was there at the head of the stairs and our fellow guest at the bottom. Kallu had vanished.
We rushed down, picked up our friend and carried him upstairs. He said that Kallu had given him a push and he had fallen down. Fortunately he was not hurt. We called the servants and they all came, Kallu among them. He denied having come with a lantern or having pushed our friend down the stairs. The other servants corroborated his statement. They assured us that Kallu had never left the room in which they all were.
We were satisfied that this was also a ghostly trick.
At about seven in the morning when our hosts came we were glad to bid good-bye to the haunted house with our bones whole.
The funniest thing was that only those of my fellow guests had the worst of it who had denied the existence of Ghosts. Those of us who had kept respectfully silent had not been touched.