Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.
Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.

Arvind Sharma



Arvind Sharma


The Hostel Room

The Hostel Room

5 mins

The hostel was about ten minutes’ walk from the academic block of the university, but this involved walking on a steep uphill climbing road. The university was situated in a hill-station, so Ameya was used to such walks. Of course, while going back for attending the classes, the road went downhill. It was only dusk time, but the lack of lighting on the way made it dark.

The weather was clear when he started, but the sky was overcast with dark clouds. He was confident that the rain won’t come in another ten minutes. But when he was just half-way through, it started pouring. The trees swayed with the breeze giving an eerie appearance in the darkness. It appeared as if they were some spirits lining up on each side of the path. For a while, he felt some strange fear. However, he was more focussed on reaching the hostel at the earliest.

He increased his pace but by the time he reached the hostel, he was fully drenched. From here, he had to walk up a few stairs to reach his room. In fact, his room was on fifth floor. He was keen to change into dry clothes at the earliest.

He felt a great sense of relief after reaching the fifth floor. His room was on the right side of the corridor, with eight rooms on either side of the corridor. His room was the third to his left as he turned to the right side of the corridor.

As he reached at the door of his room, he was surprised to find that the room was not locked. Perhaps he had forgotten to lock it. It did not matter much as thefts were rare in this place. In any case, not many would be willing to spend physical effort of climbing five sets of stairs to sneak into a boy’s room. Standing at the door before entering, he heard some soft voices coming from the room. Perhaps some of his friends had made themselves at home in his room.

He pushed the door open. He noticed five strange men sitting in his room. One was sitting on the lone chair in the room, others were sprawled on his bed. He wanted to ask them what were they doing in his room, but when he tried to open his mouth, no sound came out of it.

They also ignored him, pretending as if he wasn’t there. He could speak with a great effort of will. Without addressing the question to any specific person, he addressed all of them, “What are you all doing in my room and who allowed you to enter into the hostel?”

The query did not elicit any response, instead all of them looked at him in a menacing manner. For a while, he was afraid but then he remembered it was his room. He had all the right to ask them to leave.

Just then, the man sitting on the chair touched him. It was only a touch but he felt as if he had been touched by a taser gun. Before he lost his conscience, he realised that he had fallen on the floor.


He regained consciousness and when he looked at his watch, he realised that he had been unconscious for more than an hour. He got up from the floor half expecting those five men to be there. But no one was there. He was alone in the room.

He wondered who were those five men and what were they doing in his room. For now, they had left him alone but whether they will visit his room again. He may not be that lucky next time.

Just then, he saw something jumping in the room. He almost got a heart attack. When he looked up, he saw that it was a flying fox which had entered from the open window. The uninvited visitors had probably left the window open. Seeing him in the room, it jumped back into the window and was gone.


Later on, he recounted his experience to the some of the boys who had stayed in the hostel much longer than him. They told him that they had heard of stories from their seniors that his room was haunted and there were no takers for that room till the time he had opted for that room. Of course, he had opted for that room unknowingly.

When he investigated further and talked to some locals, he came to know that it was a forest land a long time ago. Five friends who were drinking in the forest got caught in the forest fire. None of them could escape the fire. The hostel was constructed on the same land. That could be the reason that many people have encountered them near or the hostel or in some of the rooms of the hostel.

He had spent two years in the same room after that. For sometime he lived in mortal fear that will return. He used to always check the room from outside carefully before entering into it. But none of those people ever visited him during daytime. He was grateful that he was spared the agony and scare of further encounters.

However, he used to hear some strange voices during the night. He woke up many a time and tried to locate the origin of voices but was never successful.

He was sure of only one thing that those people were not figment of his imagination.

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