Walking among the tombstones

Cemeteries, Crematoriums, graveyards are just different names, but they serve the same purpose- give a gateway to the dead. Incidents of paranormal activity in such places have flustered people all over the world. From the Jewish cemetery in Chendamangalam to Haunted Kolkata Cemetery called the South Park Cemetery- they all have such stories to tell.

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Haunted Kolkata Cemetery

It was a rainy evening and the sun was making its way home. The last rays of the day were simmering down in the befalling drops of rain, giving a orangish glow to the tombs of the cemetery. Misha walked past the tombs, that had names of people from the yore, with that little red umbrella in her right hand. Her timid steps spoke volumes about the fact that she had not told anyone at home where she was going. She simply could not as she would not be allowed to go there, especially after sunset in such a gruesome weather.

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It was, Buran, her cousin who had called her there- all part of a stupid game of truth or dare. Misha had chosen truth, but Buran wanted to dare. And now, as part of the dare, they were to spend an evening together at the Haunted Kolkata Cemetery. As she passed by the stretch of moss overgrowth, she started putting her hand inside the inner pocket of her raincoat, to pull out her phone. However, suddenly she felt a gush of air passing behind tickling the individual strands of her hair. She stopped and turned back. Just the rusty old tombs staring back at her. She pulled out the phone quickly and started dialing Buran’s number. She waited for the phone to connect when from behind, she felt her hair pulled from behind as if someone was trying to rip her hair out of her scalp. Misha gasped in pain, and turned around. There was no one. Far in the corner, on one of the tombstones, she saw a lone crow, perching on the granite, enjoying its melancholic solitude. She got back to the mobile screen and started dialing again, but this time the phone’s screen started flickering and then it got switched off, on its own.

Her heart thumped loudly, and the sound was audible even in that heavy downpour of rain. That was all she could hear- dhak dhak dhak… And then out of nowhere, she heard a growl from one of the old trees, or was it coming from the grave of Dickens’s son? Fear crumpled her courage, and she fell on her knee as she tried to run from there. Her knee bruised. She tried to get up when a pair of slender hands with pointed fingers draped her wrists from behind. As each finger pressed into her wet skin, she knew something terrible had caught hold of her. She did not have the courage to turn around anymore. She fainted there itself.

Image source : https://www.indiaheritagewalks.org/tombs-and-tales-christmas-past-walk-down-south-park-street-cemetery

The Following Day

Misha opened her eyes, at first everything was blurred, just the sound of birds chirping could be heard. She looked around. She was comfortably placed on her bed and calming rays of the morning sun greeted her from the open window. There was no sign of the rain anymore.

“Aah, you have finally woken up!” came Buran’s voice from the right side of her bed.
“What? What happened to me?” Misha inquired as she turned towards her cousin.
“Well, you were waiting for me at the cemetery. My scooter got ignition problem in the rain, so I had to come on foot. When I arrived in the cemetery, you were on your knees crying. I caught hold of you from behind, but then you simply fainted.” Buran revealed in his baritone.
“How long have I been gone?” Misha asked, still trying to fathom the fact that the hands that grabbed her was her cousin’s, and not of some dead man from the tomb.
“About 10 hours,” Buran got up from his chair,”I will inform Pishi about you. She has been crying and praying since last night”

As he got up, Misha looked at her wrist. The marks of those long slender fingers were still there.
“You could have been gentle, Buronda.” Misha accused her cousin.
“What?” Buron stopped at the door, looked towards Misha who was showing her wrist to him. He clarified, “Dear, I never touched your wrist. I had held you by the shoulder and back. You must have scratched your wrist with some twig or stone when you fell on the ground.”

A look of confusion appeared on Misha’s face. Buron left the room to call his aunt. Misha tried to recollect what exactly happened in that closing moment, when she heard a bird’s sound from the window. She looked towards the open window, and there on the wooden sill, sat a black bird. The bird looked straight into her eyes, lustily. She crumpled back on her bed, for it was the very same bird she saw on the tomb last evening. It was the crow, and then it cawed again!

I wrote this story after hearing rumors about hauntings in the place through a friend. The story is fiction but it is inspired from real incidents of horror in the region.

K Hari Kumar, horror writer of That Frequent Visitor & The Other Side Of Her

A bestselling horror novel set in the city of Kolkata and Kochi:

South Park Cemetery Kolkata Haunted
Walking Among the Tombstones, a story of a Haunted Kolkata Cemetery by K Hari Kumar

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