A rare chilling ghost story that a friend had experienced.
This is one of those tales that often get confounded within the dreamy layer of our imagination. It is hard to tell what’s what until it is too late. The tangibility of it is so real that it almost makes you want to question the person entailed for hours.
The time of this ghost story is when I used to pay regular visits to one of my friend’s house during my college days. I enjoyed his rib-tickling company so much that I would inadvertently find myself strolling around on his roof. There was so much to unspool over a cup of coffee that we wouldn’t know how time passed.
His house was on the top floor of a two-storied apartment. Since he lived in government quarters, every apartment around the corner looked rather dilapidated. His building was no different. I had heard they were planning on shifting very soon.
One fine day I remember him telling me with a stark straight face,
“Dude! I think my house is haunted.”
I was intrigued,
“Whoa Man! Where did that come from?”
He told me about this ghost story then, an incident that had stopped him from sleeping in one of his rooms. The room had a huge window that overlooked a tree which made a poor attempt to embellish the abandoned house below. So, if you are looking at the tree you would notice it was quite close to his window. Also gawking at it, you would be spooked out by its sheer looks if you knew about the story that lurked around on its branches. I had seen the tree a hundred times before but it always looked the same to me. Probably because I hadn’t experienced what my friend had. But the image of the tree, as we used to chat and fool around in his room, talking about high school shenanigans, is still holed up somewhere in the back of my head.
THE GHOST STORY
So he began:
He was fast asleep one night, probably holed up hard in a dream. The window was wide open the way he preferred it during relentless summer days. That’s how everybody liked it whenever the night breeze would contrast the day punishments. Also, because a cool sway of the natural wind promised to make a kip tighter and better.
His bed was next to the window which allowed anyone a better access sleeping. Since it was the first floor there was no question of burglars or stray cats getting in from it. So, joining the bed next to the window seemed feasible.
The leaves rustled owing to sudden infrequent gusts. Suddenly, a voice rang from the deepest alcove of his brain.
“Help! Sir! Help!”
He woke up with a start only to find someone calling him from the window. It seemed he was falling, asking for help. In a flash of reflex, that’s how we humans are wired to react, he put out his arm towards to grab him before the mishap happened.
When he did, the stranger grabbed his hand tight and to his surprise started pulling him out towards him. In a fraction of seconds as he realized what sham it was, my friend tried to release him from the grip.
Keeping one hand on the parapet, he tried to pull himself back. But the clutch was taut. The night-stranger wouldn’t let go. Then suddenly, my friend with all his might jerked his way back into the bed. As that happened he switched on the lights to check what was all that about. He tried to look through the window, but surprisingly there was no one there. Weirdest thing, it wasn’t possible for anyone to linger mid-air.
Too scared to sleep in that room, he headed straight for where his parents were. That’s where he moved his regular bed ever since until they shifted.
As he narrated the account to me, it clogged up my head with numerous questions. Questions I might have asked him then trying to wrap my head around. But he was adamant that it happened. All of it. That it wasn’t a dream, and that he was pulled by that man asking for help.
THE PALPABLE VERDICT
The sheer horror hidden in this ghost story has failed to dislodge to this date. I think and rethink of possibilities that might have triggered it in the first place. I think of someone playing a trick on him via that tree seems too far fetched. Primarily because the tree stood far away from the window.
The only logic I am able to come up with is the fact that it could be a case of hypnagogia. Or it could be the opposite of lucid dreaming. The fact that the brain projects hallucinations once you are dreaming too profusely about something could end up creating it with a hypnic jerk.
I remember myself studying one night and was really tired and sleepy. I stopped to look at my book for a second and stared blankly at the bottom of the bed, and in that rare five seconds of an improbable shuteye, I found a cat’s image looking back at me. I dilated my eyes to see but there was nothing there. I came to believe that my mind had created an image of a cat as I skimmed the surface of drowsiness.
Whatever the case might have been, I believe it would be much cooler to brand it a ghost story which I believe is one of its kind.