The thought of this haunted lane intrigued me once many a time and then after I dared to search for the ‘haunting ones’ , haunted me for a night and two.
We used to live in Besant Nagar , a posh suburb of Chennai and had to drive through this lane called the Blue Cross lane to reach our home , tucked away in the interiors. It truly is a long , beautiful quiet lane , canopied by trees , but the quietness of it is ascribed by many to the eerie happenings of the night there. Stories abound about some ‘fortunate people’ having seen forms hanging by the trees or walking along the lane. Why , there are one or two spots where lamps are lit , flowers are given in offerings and occasionally I have noticed traces of blood , which I suspect are the remains of a poor unfortunate animal sacrificed nocturnally to appease the ‘whoever’ ! My guess is also that the rest of the remains are expunged from the site for fear of retribution by the cops for defacing public areas. Small mercies !
I have used the word ‘fortunate’ in my earlier paragraph to describe people who have been privy to these sightings. I am a curious and a questioning one by nature and hence was inquisitive , nay , eager to experience it for myself. My husband , my son and yours truly , we have driven on that lane on several nights , late past midnight , but the lane was as it should be. Just a lane !
That night , again well past midnight , after a dinner , as we drove on that lane , I lowered my side of the windows , put my head out and literally looked for any sign of it being haunted. The whole place seemed in order.
We reached home in the next few minutes , changed into our night clothes and went to bed. I am a light sleeper and one to crash the moment my head hits the pillow. But sleep evaded me that night. I had quite forgotten my train of thoughts of just a few minutes earlier. I tossed about for a bit and started becoming aware of a third person in the room , but could see nothing. I sensed someone moving around and come close to me at one point. I froze , yet my pride stopped me from waking up my husband , for fear of being laughed at in the morning. All I could do was pray and take cover under the quilt. I was trying to shut that someone out , but spirits can see you through barriers , I remembered having read somewhere and broke into a cold sweat. More prayers and some more as I lay still while the night was slipping by. I don’t remember when the eeriness left and slumber came. I woke up a bit bleary eyed and narrated my experience of the night nevertheless , and yes , my family was amused !
My day caught on , I drove back on that lane to reach my work place , my nightmare had been pushed to the deeper recesses of my mind. Evening became night soon and the thoughts came back ! I asked my husband to wait in the room till I showered , dressed and came out. I was unusually quiet at dinner and apprehensive as I tucked myself into bed with a book and some music. I insisted on leaving the bedside lamp on and he grumbled no end. No one came that night and I slept peacefully. The next night was uneventful too and soon I forgot about it all.
Another time , another story. My lower back had given way and I needed physiotherapy to relieve me of the pain. The clinic happened to be adjacent to another so-called haunted place , De Monte colony in another suburb of Chennai , Abhiramapuram. Now it is common knowledge in the city about the this place being haunted , but I was blissfully unaware of it. Parked my car in a convenient spot , got the treatment and in a casual conversation that evening mentioned the location to my husband. Oops , he said , I was in a haunted area again and went on to tell me the story.
Apparently, there was a man named John D’monte who lived in one of the houses with his family. He was one of the directors of Arbuthnot bank, a leading mercantile bank in Chennai that went down in 1906. It is said that his son died mysteriously , disappeared from on board a ship while returning to India after his studies abroad and soon after the couple died too. Since then, the house seems haunted and people who have passed by the road have shared experiences of the paranormal kind , like hearing voices, seeing doors open, seen specters wandering the streets. Nobody really knows what happened to the family, but the entire area is haunted is the belief. However , there are a few houses that people have taken up in the colony and they rubbish these accounts.
I continued to park my car in almost the same spot in the next 3 days and wondered at my luck at getting free parking space in such a busy area , till it dawned upon me that the spot was probably being avoided !!! I decided to park somewhere else the next day. That afternoon , during my power nap of sharp 10 minutes , I dreamt I was swept away by some weird force on to the terrace of a multi-storied building and even as I stood there , the building swayed precariously as if it were a tree caught in a tempest. I clutched hard the parapet wall with all hopes of surviving the upheaval dashed ! Even as my heart was in my mouth , I woke up and was thankful to be in the comfort of my home.
So , what was all this about ? My mind playing games with me ? A note of caution not to dare too much ? Or are there really spirits that don’t like to be challenged on their existence ? Why do only some people get to see these apparitions and why not others like me ?
Please share your views or experiences if you have had any. My mind is not at rest on this subject , I am still curious !