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    Friday, September 12, 2014


    GHOST STORY -- The PHONDA GHAT(INDIA). _________________________________________________________

    Hi, I am Alex and I have a story to tell. I have experienced a number of strange things, but this one is the eeriest. During one of our Diwali holidays, my Brother, his wife, a few colleagues, and I were in Goa for the weekend. Goa is a beautiful place to visit. Unfortunately, our trip had to be cut short due to an urgent business my brother had to attend to. He was a Hero Honda sub-dealer in Pune, and had some important deliveries that had to be done urgently.

    That night was called Amavasya , or “A No Moon Night” when translated in English. Amavasya is believed to be a night when evil spirits are unleashed and allowed to roam free, and they can become very active. We started the journey from Goa to Pune via Kholapur. It was a dangerous drive because we were speeding down roads cut around hills; one slip and we would tumble to our deaths. We call this type of road construction, Ghat . This particular one, en route to Kholapur, is called Phonda Ghat. At the beginning of this ghat was a police check point. We stopped and waited for the sentry to approach us. He seemed busy with something in his sentry post, so we turned to one another to talk. While talking we realised that the road was unusually quiet; at this time of the night, normally, the road would be bustling with vehicles.

    Soon the cop came over to our vehicle and asked where we were travelling to. We said casually we were travelling to Pune. The cop's face suddenly went pale. There was a moment of silence as he stared at us, as if he was going to see us for the last time. It felt rather eerie. “I think it is better you take a pit stop and resume your journey in the morning.” He said. “Why?” One of us asked him. With his face slightly grimaced, he came closer to the driver-side window. “Friends, this terrain is haunted. On a night like this, it is not a good idea to travel through it. In the past, people have gone through it against my advice, and never came out alive.”

    His words sent a chilling wave through our spines, and I shuddered. I was a former MARCO (Marine Commando) and I didn't believe in all this supernatural stuff, so I could have laughed if not for his straight face. He wasn't just serious; there was true fear in his eyes. I thought to myself, “Maybe this cop is exaggerating, but in any case, should there be trouble I could always draw my Berretta 9mm; as an X-Marine, I was allowed to carry one. I had the license in my pocket.

    The cop persisted that we took a break and carry on with our journey in the morning. But, I being a hero, insisted that we proceeded with our drive to Kholapur. We passed through and I looked at the rear view mirror; the cop kept his eyes on our vehicle right till we hit a bend. As we drove along, we noticed a woman and a child waiting at another bend a couple of hundred meters in front. We thought it was strange, because it was nearly midnight and the road was deserted. I thought about what the cop had said, and turned to my brother.

    “So much for evil spirits; these two don't look scared at all. I'm sure they don't believe in the story the cop told us, or they wouldn't be out here alone in the dark.” I said, and laughed. My brother looked at me, then, at the woman and the child. I slowed the vehicle down and asked if we should give them a lift. Our Mahindra Scorpio could accommodate two more easily. Since the others were asleep, my brother and I decided we should. Before we stopped, I touched my Berretta in my holster, just for caution sake. You never know this could be a dacoits' trick. We stopped, and my brother lowered his window. On our dashboard was a bible, and I saw her staring at it. I didn't think anything of it at the time.

    “Can we give you a lift?” My brother asked. Instead of answering him, she took a step back and kept looking at the ground. Her hair was let loose and it hung untidily over her face. It was creepy. I was trying to get a better look at the child but I could only see the top of the child's head from my position. We looked at her, waiting for an answer, but she was just standing there and looking at the ground silently. I got a little annoyed. “Hey woman! We are asking you a question! We want to help you here!” I said in a loud commanding voice.

    She was still silent, and kept looking at the ground. My voice had awoken my sister-in- law, and she peered to look at what was going on.

    Suddenly, we heard a ‘thud', then, another ‘thud', and another. I turned and looked at the back seat. My sister-in-law was desperately gasping for air and kicking violently at the back of my brother's seat. My brother, for some reason, couldn't feel or hear the thuds. He was looking out at the woman, totally mesmerised.

    Meanwhile, my sister-in-law's was desperately trying to say something with her mouth wide open, but nothing seemed to come out of it. Then, gasping, she pointed outside at the woman and started to shiver uncontrollably. I tried to open my door so I could help my sister-in-law but the door wouldn't open. I pulled the liver and pushed the door, but it felt as if someone or some thing was pushing against it from the outside.

    “GET OUT OF HERE!” My brother who was frozen a moment ago suddenly yelled out. I stepped on the accelerator and the Scorpio screeched. Without realising, I was driving at 80 kilometers per hour on the curvy roads by the sides of the hill. At any moment we could have plunged off the road and into the dark abyss down the hill. Then, to my horror, I saw something by the side of the vehicle. IT WAS HER! She was following us at 80 kilometers per hour! How was that possible? My brother grabbed the bible from the dashboard and slapped it on my arm.

    “Press this against the window!” He screamed. One hand on the wheel, and the other, holding the bible against the window, I began to pray like never before. There was a sudden deafening shriek from the outside which seemed to penetrate into our skulls. Then, as suddenly as the woman appeared, she vanished.

    There was complete silence all of a sudden. No one spoke a word. I tried to keep calm but I was trembling. From the corner of my eyes, I looked warily for anything that could surprise us. Luckily, nothing else happened, and we reached the police checkpoint at the foothill safely. Spontaneously, we crawled out of the vehicle and crashed to the ground. We were all gasping for air, as if we were starved of oxygen.

    We told the guard there what we experienced, and he said we were extremely lucky. Most people who drive through the ghat during this season never come out alive. They almost always meet with a fatal accident. Sometimes, the bodies of the victims could never even be found. Of course, we stopped driving and stayed at a nearby lodge. I was a none-believer before this incident, but now

    By -- Alex, 29. SEM, Maharashtra Pune, India

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