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Ghosts of Olive’s Cottage

About Aparna Mondal

Aparna Mondal was born and brought up in Kolkata. Presently she lives in Mumbai with her family. She always loved nature and that prompted her to study Biological Sciences. She loves to paint landscape and nature. Her other hobbies are reading, photography, travelling, making costume jewellery, acting, swimming. She has recently developed a special interest in putting her thoughts into writing. Making new friends and interacting with them make her feel loved.

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In today’s world where we look for scientific explanations for everything, we can’t accept any ghostly experience as true and keep thinking of them as imagination originating from the subconscious mind. But sometimes many people have come across experiences which defy all logic and scientific reasoning.

I have never come across any ghostly experiences in my life but I have heard about one from my son which really gave me goose bumps. My son Jeetu didn’t believe in ghosts or supernatural powers and I don’t think that it was a made up story – and I have no reason to disbelieve him.

This happened when he was studying in a residential school in South India. It was a renowned school established more than hundred years ago and is situated in a hill station. The lovely school building along with beautiful stone cottages which served as hostels for the students were spread over a vast area in the lap of nature. Each cottage had a dorm parent or warden who used to live with his family with the students and were responsible for looking after the students.

Many residential schools have their own ghost stories and more so when it comes to hostels built during the British era. When we were introduced to the school campus during our sons’ admission to the eleventh standard, the senior school guide also jokingly mentioned some incidences of strange noises of running tap water being heard by the students coming from the empty bathrooms in the dead of night and a feeling of a spooky ambiance in the narrow corridor leading to the staircases. But my brave boy took them all as jokes designed to scare the junior students.

My son Jeetu with two other boys were shifted to a room with six beds when he got promoted to standard twelve. The other three beds were not occupied. That room was kept vacant and locked up for few years as the previous occupants felt uncomfortable staying there. Even, the occupants of the adjacent room could often hear strange sounds at night though it was kept locked. Complaining about this issue to their dorm parent always fell on deaf ears as he dismissed those complaints and passed them off as noises made by rats. However, he always avoided allotting that room to the students.

But, on that particular year the adjacent cottage needed renovation as a result of which a few junior boys were accommodated to “Olive’s Cottage”, the residence where Jeetu lived. So, my boy with two of his classmates, Kanishk and Nitish, were put up in that six bedded room.

Being in Standard XII of IBDP curriculum, the boys were required to burn the midnight oil, toiling over their given group assignments to meet deadlines and thus were given permission to stay awake long after bedtime. On one such night Jeetu and his friend Kanishk were working together on their Economics assignment. Both were sitting on the bed, side by side with the laptop placed on Kanishk’s lap. Jeetu was providing him with the inputs which Kanishk was documenting.

“Aah Aah Aah! Kanishk suddenly screamed his lungs out and Jeetu turned his head to find that a thick tuft of Kanishk’s hair was standing erect on his head as if an invisible hand was pulling it upwards with a great force and the next moment they saw that even the laptop was also pulled up from Kanishk’s lap and was floating a foot above their lap in the air. He was shocked and speechless.

Bachao bachao! Help! Jesus! Help! They howled and screamed for help, but they were in such a trance that they could not even move and run to safety. All the boys from the other rooms, who were busy doing their assignments with their respective groups came rushing. But at that very moment the gripping pull of the hair disengaged and the laptop was also released. So, nobody could witness that bone chilling incident. The dorm parent came and spent that night with the boys and no frightening incident happened again.

Listening to Jeetu, I was visualizing what I could have done in a situation like that. Hearing his story, I too felt scared and wondered whether I would have fainted in his place. The dorm parent however readjusted and changed their room and this room was kept locked once again like before and never was allotted to anyone else during my son’s remaining tenure as a student.

My brave boy and Kanishk who did not believe in ghosts or supernatural happenings were left with a question in their minds for ever – “was that incident a true one or the imagination of a subconscious mind generated from the stories heard from the previous boarders?”

Who can answer that? Many senior students in the past have mentioned seeing a shadowy lady dressed in a white gown going in and out through the closed door and disappearing in the dark of the night. Did those boys also imagine those supernatural happenings or there is really something which is yet to be discovered?

“The desk clock used to float in the air when I stayed in Jenny’s cottage; then my roommate relocated herself to another room leaving me alone”, said my daughter on hearing this story which Jeetu narrated. She too did her high school graduation from the same school four years before my son.

“You never told us this, how could you be so brave?!” I asked her, surprised.

“The ghosts of our school are harmless and they find happiness in scaring the students and they stop harassing you if you are not scared. I got used to living with them” came her casual reply! I was really surprised and was puzzled. Indeed, science is yet to unravel many such mysteries.

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13 Response Comments

  • Bishakham21/05/2019 at 8:13 AM

    Lovely thrilling story. All ingredients of a good short story. The icing on the cake was revelation by the daughter in the end. Both the kids are so brave. Old hostels, hotels, bungalows have so many tales attached with. Its all about what we believe and how we deal with it. Another good read from the author.

  • Kheya Baidya21/05/2019 at 10:12 AM

    Liked the spooky incident. Even NP of Darjeeling and Kalimpong have their sets of ghost stories

    • Aparna Mondal25/05/2019 at 9:51 AM

      Thank you for the appreciation. Yes, I guess all hostels have their set of ghost stories. I am glad that you liked it .

  • Nidhi Jangid21/05/2019 at 2:42 PM

    A story which made me rethink my belief!! It was an interesting read too with fine narration!! ✌

    • Aparna Mondal25/05/2019 at 9:53 AM

      Thanks Nidhi for the encouragement . Glad that you liked it. This is the greatest reward any writer would like to have.

  • Divyanshi24/05/2019 at 8:18 PM

    A very spooky one. Extremely thrilling and threatening .
    A wonderful narration, loved reading it.

    • Aparna Mondal25/05/2019 at 9:56 AM

      Thanks Divyanshi for the kind words. I am glad to know that you liked it .😊

  • Nidhi Jangid25/05/2019 at 6:31 AM

    This story makes me rethink to find out the truth! Its has fine narration as well as articulation!

    • Aparna Mondal25/05/2019 at 10:09 AM

      Thanks Nidhi for your kind words. Your appreciation made my day.
      The story was told to me by my son when he can on vacation . My daughter who used to to study in Canada then was also back for summer vacation . We three were having a leisurely chat one day , when my son narrated the story and the same reaction happened as told in the story. I had my doubts then and still now I am unable to
      believe in the story. But my children said that I can ask any other student about it . It is scary and unbelievable but it is true.

  • Aparna Mondal25/05/2019 at 9:48 AM

    Thanks Bishakha for your kind words. I am happy know that you liked the story.
    It is hard to believe in this story and I too expressed my doubts to my children but they stuck to their story. I just wonder I they could continue staying in those dorms. On asking they kept on saying, mostly all cottages have their own stories.

  • NANDANA DASGUPTA30/06/2019 at 1:58 PM

    Ghost or spooky stories are something that we all love to read or listen irrespective of our age! Maybe some incidents do happen which can not be explained by science itself. I loved the way you narrated the entire incident that your son had experienced & i must say your daughter is indeed very brave! keep up the good work.

    • Aparna Mondal03/07/2019 at 10:06 AM

      Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that you liked the story. I was indeed surprised to hear what my daughter told that she loved with the ghost for two years. Thus it was a pleasure to speak about that unusual experience of her life which really defies logic. Thanks once again for your feedback.

  • Aparna Mondal03/07/2019 at 10:09 AM

    Excuse my typing error . Correcting it
    *I was surprised to hear that my daughter lived with a ghost for two years.

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