Indian Ghost | Platitude of a White Saree Widow with a Candle

Fear is a painted picture. A frame that people carry for their posterity to see. The most common Indian ghost epitomizes it.

Mostly humans have a tendency to treat lore as the written word, and create a run of the mill image of a story that was told. We accept it and let it thrive in our brains. We like that idea because we are unoriginal, and then there are instances, thousands of them created by tremulous minds each one skimming the surface of the folklore that was told.

So, when someone showed me a video of a girl draped in white, who hobbled growling towards a car, I dismissed it at once saying that it was a beautiful effort but deliberately created. Like all those bazillion UFO videos that show up every now and then in a desperate urge to prove alien existence, that video too was no different.


I believe it is very easy to scare someone off in India. All you have to do is drape a white saree of convention. Ice it with a candle, maybe.

I saw a video where a girl in a white saree would appear out of nowhere in a street, and that’s all it would take. People left their vehicles unattended and ran for their lives, without questioning the tangibility that stared at them. They absconded, even when there were more than 3 to 4 hefty hooligans. Nobody dares face the traditional ghost.

animation of a white saree and a candle

That’s the “unusual” for an average Indian mentality. That’s the Indian ghost for sure, because our ascendants reeked of tales that would strictly stay on those mental lines. More like a stereotype our forefathers had painted.


To justify the above, I was narrated a story of a widow trapped in an Indian societal conundrum. Of course, she didn’t know that. All she knew was her grief.

When the clock would read 12, she would appear on one of those far-off roofs. Clad in a white saree, which is nothing but a dress code invented by some wicked Indian brain to easily identify widows (Who would have thought a color could justify pain?), she would ramble across her ceiling aloof from the world.

Some dumbstruck children awed, giggled and screamed in horror at the unperturbed soul. Amidst all that, her candle flame, unfazed by those gawking eyes yonder, danced in the rhythm of her quiet steps.

It had become a regular affair, and so children flocked to see the horror show every night, in hushed voices. When it got a little air, adults joined the children bandwagon too. Soon everyone was talking about it. They stood up to check at 12 PM every night if their ghost lady showed up. And she would, every single day, primarily because that was her hour. The time when she felt away from scornful expletives of the world. It was her time. So, she showed up every single day.

One day, someone burst the bubble and decided to check the house for real. To everyone’s relief she was real. A real widow who preferred strolling at the dead of the night. Candle, because it was dark out there.

Can you believe that? All it took was a white saree and a candle!

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