The Forest Ghost
Hi all, I am Sameer, and I have a very interesting TRUE story to share.
I don't really believe in ghosts, vampires or anything supernatural but this incident has me somewhat hanging in mid-believe.
I was at a friend's wedding in Delhi when I was pleasantly reacquainted with two of my buddies from my younger days at Delhi Police Public School . We were so excited to see each other after so many years that we went outside the reception hall and talked.
Meeth, the tough one of us three, had joined the Indian army and was now a captain. I remember he was a daredevil in school, and nothing seemed to have changed. He went on talking about the risks he had taken as a soldier, and he had the scars to prove it.
Whilst we talked about our past escapades, Amir, who had been the timid one of us three, brought up the topic of the supernatural. He had had some brave encounters in the past, and thought if he talked about them, would somehow put him in our machismo league.
When Meeth heard about Amir's small encounters, he wasn't impressed, but it still bugged him. Meeth then started talking about a dare, just like school days. Meeth said that there was a forest nearby, and that we should all go there and look for ghosts if we were ‘ballsy' enough.
I could not immediately swallow the lump in my throat, fearing they would notice my anxiety. I looked at Amir. He kept a straight face but I knew he was afraid too.
“So, yaar,(friend) how about it if we go to the forest at twelve midnight?” Meeth said, twitching his eyebrows up twice, mocking us.
I swallowed the lump in my throat. “Eherm, sure.” I said. Inside my ribcage, my heart protested with powerful thumps.
Amir, of course, didn't seem too enthusiastic. “It's not nice, you know, to leave a friend's wedding just to do that.” He said.
“Oh, you are afraid, Amir?” Meeth said, grinning away as if he had won over the dare already.
Amir suddenly stood straight and protested. “NO! I have met many ghosts. They don't scare me!”
“Okay, it's agreed then. We will leave at 11.45.” Meeth said, heartily. He then wrapped his strong arms around our shoulders and we walked back into the reception hall. We ate and drank merrily.
Before we knew it, it was 11:40 p.m. Meeth looked at me and tilted his head in a snap. That meant it was time to go. We said our goodbyes to the groom's and bride's parents and wished the newly weds ‘all the best.'
The path which we walked through was dark; the moonlight could not reach us through the trees. Amir groped about until he touched something slithery. He let out a yelp, which made me jump.
“Oh you girls, haven't you wandered in the jungle before?” Meeth said, laughing.
We didn't speak a word; we were scared, but more so of embarrassment than nightly creatures.
“Er...it was just a reflex action.” Said Amir, covering his shame.
Suddenly, Meeth stop. Ahead, in the open field, stretching widely across, was a barb wire fence.
“Huh! It must be someone's farm. We shouldn't enter into someone's property. It's an offence.” Amir said, seeing an opportunity to back out.
“Rubbish! Meeth said. “You are scared, huh Amir?” He turned to look at Amir, then at me. “What about you Sameer, are you scared too?”
I looked at him, then at Amir. Amir was indeed scared; his entire body was covered in sweat. I didn't speak a word. I took a step forward and walked on, ahead of Meeth himself.
“Ha ha!” Meeth expressed. “Shabas Sameer.” He said, and followed me, leaving Amir to stand alone.
With Meeth behind me, I walked towards the barbwire fence. The open grassland behind the fence looked as if it was glowing under the full moon light. I could see trees and other shapes of ‘farm things' ahead through the mist. When I came close enough to be able to see the spikes of the barbwire, I stopped and took in a breath of the fresh farm air.
“Hmm yaar, this is beautiful isn't it: the fresh cold air, the mist, the glowing grass, and the full moon.” I said as I let out the air from my lungs.
“Who's that?” Meeth whispered from behind.
I looked to my right. I saw a figure of a man. I wondered at that instance if it was a scarecrow. Then, it moved! I looked over my shoulder to Meeth. His eyes were fixated to the figure. I turned back and looked at the figure.
“Do you notice something strange about the figure?” Meeth whispered from behind.
“Look closely. It has no legs!”
The hair on my body stood up instantly. Then we heard brushing sounds from behind us. We turned in a start. It was Amir, dragging his feet over the wet grass. I quickly turned to look at the figure again. It was still there. It's head began to move and its arms swung a little.
“Who's that?” I heard Amir whispering to Meeth.
“Don't know, but it has no legs. Do you see it?” Meeth whispered to Amir.
“Dear God! What the @$%@ is it?” Amir expressed in shock.
“HOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIII! WHO ARE YOU? YOU THINK I'M AFRAID OF YOU? YOU #$$%%$# CREATURE OF THE NIGHT!” Came a deafening shout from Meeth.
Jolted out of our scared state, Amir and I backed away from the fence.
“Hey Meeth! Let's go yaar, don't mess with things you don't know!” Amir shouted as we retreated.
Soon, Meeth too backed away, and we left the farm and forest. The more time away from the incident, the more it seemed like a dream.
“Hey, did you see what I saw?” I asked Amir suddenly.
“You saw it too? The man with no legs?” Amir replied with a deep frown.
“Meeth, did you scream earlier?” I asked.
“What? I thought it was in my head that I saw a figure with no legs and shouted at it.” Meeth said, surprised.
“It really happened, then!” I said out loud. But in my head, it slowly retreated away like a forgotten dream.
That was the first time we had such a strange experience in our lives. But what was to come was a testament of something truly WAS out there.
Since that night, I had had many dreams. In my dreams, I would fall through a black hole. There seemed to be no ending to my fall. I would become desperate and start to scream, but nothing would come out of my mouth. Then I would wake up and find myself wet in sweat.
Some nights, when I dreamt, I would know it was only a dream and tried to break out of it. Sometimes I was able to wake up, but found myself paralysed. I could feel something sitting on my chest and choking me. I could see the things in my room; I could see my legs but could not move them. When I struggled, I could see two pairs of legs—one pair that was paralysed, and the other, struggling to get free as if my spirit and my body were two separate entities. When I did finally move and wake up, I'd find myself covered in sweat and suffering from bad body and head aches.
The dreams, or rather, nightmares, carried on for many months. I had become weak and depressed most of the time. Yet, I refuse to believe the ‘thing' I saw in the farm had anything to do with it. I believe the whole incident happened in my head, like a dream.
Two summers passed, and I met Meeth again. He had just returned from his hometown in Gharwal, a beautiful hilly area some five hundred kilometers north of Delhi .
I saw, around Meeth's upper arm, he wore a Tabeez (a small band made with cotton string to ward off evil spirits).
“Why are you wearing a Tabeez, yaar?” I asked, boggled, as Meeth was such a fearless daredevil.
Meeth looked embarrassed and gave me a slight reluctant smile. “Oh, it's nothing.”
“No, yaar, tell me.”
“When we were in Gharwal, visiting my grandparents, my mother insisted I saw a Tantrik (witch doctor). He made me this Tabeez and told me to wear it for protection.” Meeth said, sheepishly.
“Protection? From what?” I laughed. Then, seeing Meeth quiet, I asked in a more serious note, “Why did your mother make you see a Tantrik ?”
Meeth told me about his nightmares: the choking, the paralysis, and all the other things I had been experiencing myself. I was shocked at the similarity of our dreams but still refused to believe the ‘thing' behind the barb wire had anything to do with it.
I didn't tell Meeth about my dreams. I laughed at Meeth. “What? In this day and age you still believe in the Tantrik 's magic?”
Meeth wasn't the audacious guy I used to know anymore. This new Meeth was humble and more religious. He did not get angry at me for laughing at him; neither did he throw new dares at me. Meeth had changed, and that scared me.
“I never believed in those things. You know me, yaar.” Meeth said in a grimace and throwing his hands about. “But when I was there at the Tantrik's place, he looked at me, then over my shoulder, and he said something that made my blood curd.”
“What did he say?” I said softly, with hair rising at the back of my neck.
“He said there was a male spirit with no legs following me around. He was angry because I called him ‘#$$%%$# CREATURE OF THE NIGHT'.”
My jaw dropped when I heard what Meeth said. I was confused because I truly believed that that night's incident happened only in my head, and in mine alone. How the hell can Meeth, or a Tantrik who lives five hundred miles away, know anything about it. I guess I had been in denial all this time—the incident must have been REAL!
Meeth continued. “After the Tantrik said that, I realise this Tantrik was for real; how could he have known about that night when only the three of us were there?”
Meeth looked at me with eyes that I didn't recognise. This Meeth was truly a different Meeth, he was at peace with himself. (I envy him.)
Somehow, after talking to Meeth, my dreams stopped. Now I live in peace, and my health has also improved. I wonder how Amir is doing. We haven't spoken or met since the wedding.