What Lies Beneath
What Lies Beneath6 mins 331 6 mins 331
As a child, I never understood as to what is the difference between fairy tales or ghost stories. The reason was that in both cases there used to be a character of a demon. But I always loved to read spooky horrifying ghost stories. You believe in ghost stories or not but it's tough not to get freaked out especially when you are alone and you hear mysterious sounds and feel goosebumps in dark night.
It all happened in 1960 when I was just 13 years old. I had gone to my grandmother's house for spending my summer vacations. My grandparents had occupied the house after they returned to India during the partition of India in 1947. The house was recently built by a Muslim family and it was a huge and spacious fortress type of house. There were small windows at a good height for ventilation purposes only. The attics were dark and damp from inside but beautifully decorated with floral drawings and colorful window panes. The house was at a high mound, hence never suffered from rainwater during rainy season like other houses in low line areas of the village.
During vacation, my cousins also used to come there from Delhi and we had a great time playing hide and seek in the house. There were two Neem trees that grew jointly in the veranda. In those days there was no electricity supply in our village. We used to enjoy swing put on the neem tree.
One day we were playing and I hid in the attic of the corner room which was then used as a storeroom for grains. Rarely one used to go there. I was there for fifteen minutes but no one came there to find me. While I was in the attic I felt terribly cold there even in summer and above it, I heard hissing sounds. I thought its just nothing. I didn't pay any attention. I came out of the attic and found my cousins enjoying the evening snacks. I also joined them and forgot about the attic.
Around 7 p.m. My mother asked me to light all the oil lamps as it was getting dark and to keep each lamp in every room. When I went to the same storeroom to keep the lamp, I felt as if somebody was staring at me. But there was no one. I came back after leaving the lamp there. The next day when I went to pick up the lamp from that room I found one rupee coin of 1947 engraved on it. During those days one rupee was equivalent to ten rupees. I kept that in my pocket and I was too happy. I didn't tell anyone. This continued for a week.
Every morning I collected one rupee coin. Now I got alerted and started thinking as to who keeps the coin there. I told my mother about it and showed her the coins. I told her about the hissing sound coming from the store room. She immediately asked me to throw the coins and told me that it is a sign of paranormal activity. Now it was my turn of shock. That night I did not go to the attic to keep the oil lamp. I kept on sitting with my cousins and tried to be engrossed in their jokes but inside my mind, something crazy was going on. At night my mother asked me to keep something on the cot near the neem tree. As I went near I saw two red eyes staring at me in anger. I got freeze and could not shout for help. I felt as if someone had hypnotized me to stand still. After a few minutes, I came back to my senses and returned towards the drawing-room where all the members were chatting.
My mother was trying to read my face but by the time she could understand, we heard the loud noises of the falling of plates and glasses from the kitchen. We all ran towards it thinking a cat had entered the kitchen. To our dismay, we saw something scary. We all saw the plates, glasses, spoons, etc..flying in the air. We all ran out of the kitchen. We started praying. Since then we could not sleep at night. My grandmother advised us to return to our house in Delhi. The next morning we came back to our house and took a deep sigh of respite. That night we all slept nicely. After two days around midnight, I heard some sounds coming from my suitcase lying under my bed. The voice was "Let me be free".
I gathered all my strength and opened my suitcase. A strong bad smell filled in the room. There emerged a girl of 16 to 17 years old with a slit throat. The blood was oozing out as if she was killed just a few hours ago. She was pale and looked in great pain. She requested me to help in freeing her. She told me that she was the one in the attic of my grandmother's house living there for the past thirteen years. It was her house where she lived with her parents. Hers was a joint family. She was a Muslim girl. She got in love with a Hindu boy. Her parents were conservative and wanted her to get married to the boy of their choice. But she refused and eloped with that boy. As it was the time of partition and a lot of communal tensions were rising, the parents wanted to go to Pakistan. They searched the whole night and caught her with that boy.
She refused to leave the boy, so the father slit her throat with a sharp knife with the help of her uncle. After leaving her dead body in the attic they left for Pakistan. Since then she is suffering from pain. As no one used to come to that room, she suffered in the attic. When she had seen me she was after me to help her. I courageously told her to give me a few hours to make my parents understand the gravity of this event. She told me that her body is still there beneath the cemented bed in the attic. She simply wanted me to perform the last rites as per the Islamic religion. I told my parents about this. They immediately left for my grandmother's house without any delay. On having reached there they called two laborers for digging the cemented bed.
Her body was found. My grandmother called some people from the Muslim community for performing the last rites as per the Islamic religion. We fulfilled her last wish and she appeared for the last time looking calm and happy, ready to embark on her world. She made her appearance in front of everyone on my request so that they could believe me. She thanked me and disappeared forever. After that nothing happened. Even today whenever I think about that incident I feel goosebumps and get freaked out.