Saturday, September 20, 2008


I am not a ghost-story-fan. The pleasure of reading or listening to ghost stories has a distinctly masochistic edge which gives me no joy.

But as a newbie in the hostel (Lady Brabourne College Hostel, where I spent two rocking-and rollicking years in the new-born nineties) my friends and I were the spellbound and open-mouthed listeners to the traditional resident ghost story, part of the myth-making integral to any institution, which is passed down through generations.

The story was about the next door Medical College Hostel, where the would-be doctors and surgeons had access to corpses and corpse-parts. In a fantastic regulation-flouting (and completely fabricated, I guess) incident, a plan was supposedly hatched to scare the wits out of a rather belligerent, 'over-smart' girl. Her irate seniors put a human arm (detached from the body, or so we were told) under her pillow. The poor girl was literally frightened to death when she fumbled under her pillow in the dark and found the nasty surprise.

In hindsight, the story seems ludicrous. But told in the dimly lit staircase of our hostel, with suitably suspenseful exaggerations and pauses, it scared us to immobility and irrationality . This effect was accentuated by the additional information that the room under the staircase where we were sitting had once witnessed a suicide (which is why it had no ceiling fans - this was the logical grounding to this gothic rumour).

All of us were scared. There is a shivery thrill in getting scared if you are in group which is completely lacking if you are alone. Round-eyed and goose-pimpled, we sheltered each other as we crept up the stairs to our (thankfully) two-seater rooms, but I at least had a nasty night tossing and turning, imagining the decaying slimy-grey coldness of the no-longer-human dismembered arm under the poor girl's pillow (in my nightmare, of course, it was transferred to my pillow and, supernaturally, it creeped out to clammily and gruesomely touch me).



Anonymous said...

I during my childhood days saw a movie Jaani Dushman.
Yes, I was first scared but other than that NO.

Koel said...

sounds familiar....we all have heard such stories from medical college hostels....but under the circumstances - must have been really really scary...thankfully me being in an engineering college hostel, and no neighbouring medical college have been spared of such scary nights :)

Lazyani said...

Have heard that before from my wife (A Brabourne ex-student). Though have heard that the hapless tormented girl emerged out of the room with all hair turned white , overnight.

Aleta said...

I can't stand ghost stories! Even the simple one that you wrote about on your blog gave me chills. Greg laughs at me when he wants to watch a scary movie, because half the time I have my hands over my eyes. I can only watch a scary movie when I've heard a LOT about it and know the plot (so I know what's coming). Lol. Otherwise, nooooo scary movies for me or ghost stories either!

sukku said...

I did when I saw my first ghost movie in a theatre. I remember how I was awake the whole night and hiding under the blanket thinking that if I hide myself the ghost can't see me. Anyway I grew out of it and most of my working days outstation and overseas usually I stay alone, sometimes in a bungalow and I guess the ghost has to be afraid of me.

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Mina Jade said...

Too bad that you do not enjoy dark stories!
I'm fond of them, the creepier the better :-)
They have their own special atmosphere, especially the gothic novels of the last centuries. Those stories's authors were idols for me to follow with their classic language.

Paul Bernard said...

I have to Echo Mina's sentiments. Love the gothic horror tale, from Walpole to Shelley, Stoker, Poe and Lovecraft. What a treat to frighten...
There was a story in the British news just this week about a millionaire Asian businessman who bought a stately home in England. On the first night he and his family moved in, they heard a knock on the wall and a man asked who was there.
They later heard screams in the corridors and saw their children wandering around the house at the same time that they were tucked up in bed.
When they found strange bloodstains on the sheets of their baby's bed they decided this was a real threat. Enough was enough and they fled the house.
Spooky eh? You can read the full story at:

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks for the spooky memories everyone, and I'm glad I'm not bloggin past-midnight right now.

Satya- The story teller said...

you can post your ghost stories here to get them into a book with your name :