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Indian Ghost Stories by S. Mukerji

THE BRIDAL PARTY.

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Indian Ghost Stories

"When I recovered consciousness it was broad day-light, and I was lying on the floor, with the revolver by my side. I picked it up and slowly walked out of the house with as much dignity as I could command. At the door I met one of my friends to whom I told a lie that I had seen nothing.--It is the first time that I have told you what I saw at the place.

"The Ghostly woman spoke the language of the part of the country in which the Ghostly house is situate."

The friend who told me this story is a responsible Government official and will not make a wrong statement. What has been written above has been confirmed by others--who had passed nights in that Ghostly house; but they had generally shouted for help and fainted at the sight of the ghost, and so they had not heard her story from her lips as reproduced here.

The house still exists, but it is now a dilapidated old affair, and the roof and the doors and windows are so bad that people don't care to go and pass a night there.

There is also a haunted house in Assam. In this house a certain gentleman committed suicide by cutting his own throat with a razor.

You often see him sitting on a cot in the verandah heaving deep sighs.

Mention of this house has been made in a book called "Tales from the Tiger Land" published in England. The Author says he has passed a night in the house in question and testifies to the accuracy of all the rumours that are current.

* * * * *

Talking about haunted houses reminds me of a haunted tank. I was visiting a friend of mine in the interior of Bengal during our annual summer holidays when I was yet a student. This friend of mine was the son of a rich man and in the village had a large ancestral house where his people usually resided. It was the first week of June when I reached my friend's house. I was informed that among other things of interest, which were, however, very few in that particular part of the country, there was a large Pukka tank belonging to my friend's people which was haunted.

What kind of Ghost lived in the tank or near it nobody could say, but what everybody knew was this, that on _Jaistha Shukla Ekadashi_ (that is on the eleventh day after the new moon in the month of Jaistha) that occurs about the middle of June, the Ghost comes to bathe in the tank at about midnight.

Of course, Jaistha Shukla Ekadashi was only 3 days off, and I decided to prolong my stay at my friend's place, so that I too might have a look at the Ghost's bath.

On the eventful day I resolved to pass the night with my friend and two other intrepid souls, near the tank.

After a rather late dinner, we started with a bedding and a Hookah and a pack of cards and a big lamp. We made the bed (a mattress and a sheet) on a platform on the bank. There were six steps, with risers about 9" each, leading from the platform to the water. Thus we were about 4 feet from the water level; and from this coign of vantage we could command a full view of the tank, which covered an area of about four acres. Then we began our game of cards. There was a servant with us who was preparing our Hookah.

At midnight we felt we could play no longer.

The strain was too great; the interest too intense.

We sat smoking and chatting and asked the servant to remove the lamp as a lot of insects was coming near attracted by the light. As a matter of fact we did not require any light because there was a brilliant moon. At one o'clock in the morning there was a noise as of rushing wind--we looked round and found that not a leaf was moving but still the whizzing noise as of a strong wind continued. Then we found something advancing towards the tank from the opposite bank. There was a number of cocoanut trees on the bank on the other side, and in the moonlight we could not see clearly what it really was. It looked like a huge white elephant. It approached the tank at a rapid pace--say the pace of a fast trotting horse. From the bank it took a long leap and with a tremendous splash fell into the water. The plunge made the water rise on our side and it rose as high as 4 feet because we got wet through and through.

The mattress and the sheet and all our clothes were wet. In the confusion we forgot to keep our eyes on the Ghost or white elephant or whatever it was and when we again looked in that direction everything was quiet. The apparition had vanished.

The most wonderful thing was the rise in the water level. For the water to rise 4 feet would have been impossible under ordinary circumstances even if a thousand elephants had got into the water.

We were all wide awake--We went home immediately because we required a change of clothes.

The old man (my friend's father) was waiting for us. "Well you are wet" he said.

"Yes" said we.

"Rightly served" said the old man.

He did not ask what had happened. We were told subsequently that he had got wet like us a number of times when he was a youngster himself.

FOOTNOTE:

[2] Since the publication of the first edition "Hasting House" has been converted into an Indian Rugby for the benefit of the cadets of the rich families in Bengal.

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