Have you ever encountered something that you find difficult to explain? I am sure all of us have our share of experiences from varied situations which are beyond explanation. Ghost stories and paranormal tales are quite common, but every once in a while we come across an anecdote that defies explanation.
The experience that I am going to share, is from Dec’10. I was working on a CSR project to set up an inbound call center in a village called Babrala in Badaun district in U.P. The only employment source in that village was a Chemicals plant, they had set up a complete township for the employees with all the benefits like grocery and vegetable shops, medical stores, dispensary, etc. Stay arrangements for the people involved in that project, were made at the guesthouse located inside the Township.
6th Dec 2010
I started from Dehradun at around 1:30 pm and the scheduled time to reach Babrala station was around 9 pm, and in winters by 9 pm, especially at small stations, it feels almost like midnight. Incidentally, when my train reached there, there was no electricity and the entire station was in a state of “black-out”. I got down from the train, and it took me good 5 minutes to adjust my eyes to that darkness. The only light I could see was from the station master’s office and a few blinking lights from across the station exit. After the train left, the station fell completely silent, which was very unusual from what I had experienced so far at railway stations.
I somehow managed to come out of the station. There was just one vendor selling boiled eggs and beside him, there was a Mahindra Bolero parked. It all looked like a scene from some horror movie. While my eyes were trying to explore things around, my gaze stopped at a silhouette by the car. I tried but I couldn’t take my eyes away from that dark figure. Though I couldn’t see its eyes, I was quite sure it was looking at me only. A few seconds later I found that figure approaching towards me. Before, I could even prepare myself for the dialog with that figure, I heard a husky voice pronouncing my name, “Amit Sir?” to which I responded in affirmative. He seemed engulfed inside a dark shawl, which appeared more like a blanket. I am not sure whether the colour of his shawl was dark or it just appeared dark because of all the darkness around. He told me that he has come to pick me up. He took my luggage and put it in the car.
It took us about 20-25 minutes to reach to the guest house, not because of the distance but primarily because of poor roads. Although there were proper roads inside the township, it felt like crossing through a jungle, because of the thick trees all around. Out of curiosity, I asked him if there were animals around, to which he told me there are few animals like wolves, porcupines, and few exotic birds like peacock. While he was still telling me about the animals that can be seen there, he abruptly stopped the car and told me that we have reached. I had an early lunch that day and had thought of picking up some snacks, but couldn’t get anything to eat on the way. So, by the time I reached the guest house, I was starving.
The person at the reception asked me to fill up my details and while I was writing, he murmured, “Don’t open the door, if somebody knocks at night” Though he said that in the faintest of the voice, I was quite sure about what he spoke. I got terrified to hear that, and asked him, “who comes here at night?” to which his supervisor immediately interjected, “nobody, just ignore him”. He instantly changed the topic and asked me, if I would like to have dinner? Since I was hungry, I immediately responded in a yes.
While I was trying to adjust myself in that forest like township, I found my relief in two of my colleagues, Sandeep and Imran, who have been staying there for the past three days and had already started training the identified candidates. I was supposed to take over the batch from 8th Dec for their further training on the software. To get familiar with the location and for a smooth handover, I reached the location a day in advance.
7th Dec 2010
I woke up to the chirping sound of birds, glanced out of my window to see if I could see any birds, but couldn’t see anything except for thick trees outside. I got ready and headed for my breakfast. While walking towards the cafeteria I found a few peacock quills lying right outside my door and I immediately remembered the driver telling me about the animals and the peacocks in the vicinity. I had my breakfast with my colleagues and then headed straight towards the call-centre. Sandeep had brought his car, as there was no direct transport available from his location to that village, and since we didn’t have anything interesting to do after work, we thought of exploring the location at night.
While we were having lunch, I overheard the trainees discussing about a haunted place in the township. I couldn’t control my curiosity and therefore asked them about it, but they were not interested in divulging the details. The topic kept running in the back of my head and the moment I got the opportunity, I brought the subject again with one of the team-leaders. He told that there is a place in the township which is haunted. He mentioned, “There is a road which leads to a dead-end. On that road, right before the dead-end there is a streetlight, which keeps blinking, but the moment you cross, it will switch-off and after you take a U-turn and cross it again, it will start blinking again.” While he was sharing the story about the light, I and my friends shared the looks. We were quite sure that he was just making it up. My friends told me that they had also heard about it a day before, but didn’t believe so just ignored it.
After work, we all went back to the guest house and ate our dinner. After dinner we went back to our rooms to pick-up our jackets and caps, as it was freezing outside. I picked up my muffler and while I was about to wear my jacket, the doorbell rang and believe me it had the sharpest of the sounds that I had ever heard. I am sure faint-hearted can’t bear that kind of penetrating sound. I opened the door and told my friend not to ring the bell next time, instead he can call me on my mobile and I will open the door.
While were walking towards the car, I asked Sandeep, “do you think, there any reality in the story of that blinking light?”
Sandeep – I don’t know but we can always go and check.
Imran – No, it’s not a very good idea
I also seconded Imran’s thought and told not to go there as the location anyway appeared quite spooky and it felt like we were in the middle of the jungle.
Sandeep – I am sure, it is nowhere close to reality. We anyway were planning to go out, why don’t we go there and check that out.
Imran, reluctantly agreed to Sandeep and I also kind of said yes to the idea.
We sat in the car and started towards that mysterious street light. Now, we were on the way to so-called haunted road. In about 10 minutes, we reached, and as that team-leader had mentioned, the light was blinking. We went ahead and crossed the light and to our surprise it got switched-off. All three of us looked at each other in shock. We took the U-turn and crossed the light again, and the moment we crossed it, it started blinking again. We all were shaken because everything was happening as he told. We went back and thought of doing the entire thing again, as it could be a coincidence also. We started again, crossed the blinking light, and this time also it got switched-off. We all got terrified. Now, we had to take the U-turn and cross the light again. Though the distance from the point of U-turn to that light was just around 30-40 metres, it felt almost like a km. We didn’t have any option, but to cross that light again. And to our disbelief, the moment we crossed it, you know what happened, it STARTED BLINKING AGAIN. We were so frightened that we couldn’t move our eyes, not even to look at each other. Sandeep drove his car on top-speed and we reached back to the guest house in the shortest possible time. We were so scared that although we had separate rooms, we all slept in the same room.
8th Dec 2010
The assignment of Sandeep and Imran had got over the last evening (7th Dec), so they went back to their respective locations, leaving me all alone in that haunted land. The day passed normally, however what happened in the evening is something that gives me shivers till date. After all those things going on, my eyes and ears were on high-alert. I was so scared that I didn’t feel like going out alone, because it was quite a walk from my room to the dining hall and that too through those unending parks with dimmest possible lights. I called one of my trainees, who would usually come to the guest house in the evening. But, as the fate would have it, he didn’t pick up my call.
Everything was so silent that I could hear myself breathing. Suddenly I craved for noise. I wanted all the noise that I always hated, be it from cars or people or whatever. I picked up a book to divert my mind. Though I was not able to focus, I kept reading. While I was struggling to concentrate on the book, some dripping sound caught my ear’s attention. I agree I wanted that silence to break, but that was not what I had desired. The sound was coming at a gap of 2-3 seconds which made me very uncomfortable as it sounded quite eerie. Somehow, I gathered courage to get up and check the source of that sound. I entered the bathroom and to my surprise the sound completely stopped, but I noticed that there was some water right below the tap. I turned the tap tightly to ensure there is no further dripping.
I came out and while there was nothing to worry about, I felt quite frightened. I tried calling my wife but couldn’t get through her number. I felt very uneasy, something was not right, I could feel that. I thought of finding my rescue in reading, so I picked my book again. I bent to sit, however before my bottom could even touch the bed, the doorbell rang. My body immediately got straightened up. The sound of that doorbell was always sharp, but this time it literally felt like it pierced my heart. The video of that receptionist telling me not to open the door at night, played instantly in front of my eyes, hence, I decided not to open the door, come what may.
I was so restless that I couldn’t even sit. I kept taking impatient rounds in the room. I was not able to think of anything, my mind went completely blank. Even before I could come out of the shock of the previous bell, it rang again, but I was determined NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR.
My heart was pounding so hard that I felt it will burst out of my chest. While taking those restless rounds in the room, I thought of calling a friend. I went towards the bed-side stool where my phone was kept. I bent forward, lifted my phone and before even I could come back to my posture, the phone rang. I immediately threw it on the bed. Now, things were getting too much. So many things were happening, one after the other. I felt nauseous, my mind went completely blank, and it felt that my heart is going to come out of my mouth.
After waiting for a minute or so, I headed towards the phone to check who was calling. I picked up the phone, to see there was a missed call from the trainee I had called earlier. I immediately called him back.
Trainee – What happened sir?
I felt relieved on hearing his voice, but couldn’t speak.
Trainee – Is everything ok?
Me – Yes, Anuj
Anuj – But you don’t sound fine.
Me – I will tell you everything my friend, can you come over for some time?
Anuj – I am right outside your room. I rang your doorbell twice, I even tried calling you.
I felt as if God had sent somebody to help me out. Without saying anything further, I disconnected the call and rushed towards the door. He was right there. I invited him in and shared my entire experience. He empathised with me but then he couldn’t control his laughter. I also joined him and we both laughed together.
I still do not know why that light used to blink. Was it really haunted? or some technical issue was there, however what I am now quite sure about is, my mind was playing games with me that night.
P.S. – The names mentioned above are changed, for privacy reasons.