Tag Archives: ghost

A Poltergeist who Loves the Toilet

It has been my secret fantasy to encounter a ghost. Not the scary ones that haunt, possess and kill their victims, but the cute and cuddly Casper the friendly ghost types. My grandma met her fair share of ghosts in her lifetime and I thought it only fair that I should too.

We moved into our apartment in North Carolina last month. One morning I woke up and my husband announced that the toilet had flushed by itself. I laughed when I saw his expression, intent on giving me a scare. He insisted that he wasn’t making it up. But I didn’t believe him for a second. He tried the same thing with my daughter and I shook my head and continued pottering around the kitchen. He tried the same ploy with my son as well. But we all openly dismissed the idea of a ghost that flushes.

A few days later I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, owing to jet lag. I used the bathroom and sat down quietly on the spiral stairs that went up to the loft. I didn’t want to wake anyone. After a few minutes, I heard the toilet flush. I dismissed it thinking that it was probably the tank filling. But I did mention it to my husband. Over the next couple of days all of us heard the toilet flushing. One time however no one had used the toilet and I actually went in to check and there was water flowing into the toilet! Yup we had ourselves a poltergeist.

We alerted the property manager and she sent a maintenance guy to fix it. Well, he did a bad job fixing it because then the toilet didn’t flush with enough force. So my husband who is handy around the house, fixed the flush. The anonymous flushing started all over again. And as if to confirm that I was right about the poltergeist, this happened.

So I was in the kitchen cutting veggies for lunch. The rice cooker was sitting on the counter right next to me. It was on and the water was barely bubbling when it switched to warm with a loud click. I turned around to see that the rice was not cooked and the water wasn’t even boiling. So I pushed the switch back to cook. It switched back to warm again! I switched it back to cook and it stayed. The same thing happened a couple of weeks later.

Now we’ve made peace with our harmless poltergeist. The kids have even given him a name. He seems to like the toilet and I’m ok with that. He sometimes likes to make the bathroom door creak open slowly. Just as long as he knows that my kitchen is off-limits I’m fine! On several occasions I did ask him to leave in the name of God. But he has ignored my pleas. I was a little concerned about the water bills though and he seems to have read my mind. The number of flushings per day has gone down considerably. And I am thankful for that. Happy Halloween everyone.

 

Short Story 1 – Ghosts from the Past

“Daddyma,  do  you  know  of  any  ghosts?”  asked  Nina

Nina’s  grandma  propped  herself  on  her  cottony  white  pillow  and  turned  around  to  look  at  Nina.

“Have  met  a  couple  of  them  in  my days,” she  said  rolling  her  eyes.

“Really?”

Nina   sat  up  excitedly,   her  eyes  wide.  She  cuddled  up  next  to  her  daddyma.

“Tell   me! Tell  me!” Nina  pressed.

Daddyma  cleared  her  throat.

“When  your  father  was  around  10,  that’s  your  age,  every  summer  we  used  to  drive  down  from  Bombay  to  Madras…”

“Was  grandpa  also  there  then?”  Nina  interrupted.

“Yes  dear.  Your  grandpa  passed  away  when  your  Papa  was  in  college.  This  happened  a  number  of  years  before  that.  Now  where  was  I?”

“You  used  to  drive  down  from  Bombay  to  Madras.  Every summer.”

“Yes.  Yes.  Your  papa,  Grandpa,  the  driver,  the  nanny  and  I .  It  was  a  long  drive,  nearly  three  to  four  days  and   we  had  to  stop  at  this  motel  for the  night.”

“That’s  where  you  met  the  ghost?”

“Yes  sweetie.”

“It  haunted  your  room?”

“Not  exactly.  Grandpa  and  I  didn’t  sleep  in  our  room.  I  spotted  a   cockroach  under  the  bed  and  you  know  how  terrified  I’m  of  those creatures.”

Nina  giggled.

Daddyma  shuddered  and  then  continued, “I  insisted  that  we  sleep  in  the  hallway.  So  we  pulled  out  all  the  bedding  and  camped  outside  our  room.”

“All  of  you  fit  there?  Must  have  been  a  big  place”

“No, no, no.  Only  grandpa  and  I  slept  there.  Your  papa  and  the  nanny  were  in  a  different  room  and  the  driver  slept  in  the  car.  I  couldn’t  get  any sleep  wondering  if  there  were  cockroaches  crawling  around  in  the  hallway.  That’s  when  I  heard  it.”

“What?  The  ghost?” asked  Nina,  her  grip  on  her  grandma’s  hand  tightened.

“Hmm.  But  I  didn’t  know  it  was  a  ghost.  I  heard  footsteps  coming  up  the  wooden  stairs  and  thought  it  was  some  other  guest  at  the  motel.  Then my  toes  felt  wet.  I  opened  my  eyes  and  I  saw  a  man  standing  over  me,  clad  in  a  swimsuit,  his  wet  towel  hanging  from  his  arm  and  the  water  was dripping   on  my  feet.  I  jumped  up  to  my  feet  wondering  what  it  was  he  wanted  with  us.”

“ ‘I  think  you’re  occupying  my  room,’ he said  in  a  heavy  British  accent.”

“ ‘I  think  you’re  mistaken.  This  room  was  vacant  when  we  moved  in.  Perhaps,  it’s  another  room  you  are  looking  for.’  I  offered.”

“ ‘Is  this  room  number  301?,’ he  said  gruffly”

“ ‘Yes,’ I  said.”

“ ‘Then  it’s  my  room,’  he  growled.”

“ ‘I  think  there  has  been  some  mix- up  mister…?’”

“ ‘Harris.  George  Harris.’”

“ ‘Mrs. Menon,’ I  said  and  stuck  out  my  hand.”

“Mr. Harris  shirked  away  and  said  menacingly, ‘ I  don’t  shake  hands  with  dirty  Indians’.”

“My  blood  boiled  and  if  he  weren’t  taller  than  I  and  not  half  as  well  built  I  would  have  punched  him  in  the  face.”

“Daddyma!”  said  Nina  disbelievingly.  She  couldn’t  imagine  her  frail  little  grandma  smacking  an  Englishman.

“ Anyway,  he  kept  insisting  that  it  was  his  room  and  I  insisted  that  it  was  not  and  told  him  to  take  it  up  with  the  manager- if  he  was  awake.  I then  heard  him  muttering  and  thumping  his  way  down  the  steps.  That  was  the  last  I  saw  of  him.”

“How  did  you  know  he  was  a  ghost?” asked  Nina.

“ The  next  morning  we  asked  the  manager  about  it   and  he  said  there  was  no  one  by  that  name staying  at  the  motel.  Grandpa  said  I  must  have dreamt  about  it  but  I  was  pretty  sure  I  didn’t.  I  asked  the  staff  to  look  up  their  guest  books  and  later  that  day  they  found  his  name  in  a  very  old guest book.  He  stayed  there  during  the  Indian  freedom  struggle  and  was  shot  by  an  Indian  in  room  number  301.”