This has happened during the year 2002. My friend, Augustin, was studying in Noorul Islam College on the outskirts of Trivandrum. The college is situated in the border of Kerala and Tamilnadu. He was staying in the college hostel. I visited him sometime during September of that year and was staying with him for some days.
Myself, Augustin and some of the friends went for some movie in the night and were coming back to the hostel. After the night show, we just freaked out and were coming back to the hostel by walk. It was a long walk and a pleasant one. There was plantations on the sides for quite a distance and after which there was barren land with no one to be seen or no houses on either side of the road. We were talking animatedly about the movie we have seen and commenting about the actors and actresses. The time was around 2.30 a.m.
We were about some 1.5 kilometres from the hostel when we saw an old man walking towards us. He was dressed in traditional Kerala style wearing a dhoti and a shirt, neatly dressed, and was quite old. He was walking with a stick in his hand and the tapping of the stick was quite audible to everyone since it was the night. All of us were wondering as to why such an elderly person should walk in the deserted road and that too around 2:30 am in the morning. While we were thinking and chatting in a very low voice among ourselves, the old man stopped and addressed us, towards no one in particular, and asked us time. We told him it was 2:30 am and he nodded his head, thanked and just walked past us. We thought that he might be some weird character coming on out in this unholy hour.
Within two minutes, we heard the yell from one of our friends, Victor, "What the hell". All of us turned and asked him what. Victor said that he was curious to know as to where this old guy was heading and was just looking back, he suddenly saw that the old man after making some 10 or 15 paces, just vanished in thin air. Initially, we all joked at him for a few seconds and suddenly we realised that there was no way anyone could have managed to go invisible in that place. Because on either side of the road, there was nothing except for one tree, in which some nails were hammered into and beside it was a tomb. Two of us in fact went and circled around the tree and glanced at even the tomb. But, there was no trace of this old man. Then we got really scared and we almost ran the next 1.5 kilometres.
Next day, out of curiosity, at my insistence, Augustin, Victor and another two of our friends went to the nearby village, which was situated about 2 kilometres from where the incident happened and started making some inquiries. We were informed that the particular stretch on the road is really creepy and spooky. The place around the tree, in which there were nails hammered, and where the tomb is situated is especially famous for sighting of spirits and of a particular old man asking for time. The nails on the tree, they said, were to control some hostile spirits from coming out and haunting the nearby village. We asked what the tomb was and it was said that it was a tomb of one Englishman, who was murdered in that place during British period in India.
Soon after, I stayed for two days and came back to Madras. But my friend, Augustin told me that from that day on, the group never ventured to go out in the night until their college education was over.