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The Old Man On The Road


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.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, sds, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Dip1904 (115 posts)
10 years ago (2014-12-21)
Thanks for the info sds. You are quite a good person with a sense of responsibility. Take care, god speed
sds (14 stories) (1436 posts)
10 years ago (2014-12-21)
Hello Dip, this took place about 12 years ago. And for the information of you and others, I came across a person, who did study in Noorul Islam College and completed his studies about 4 years ago. We were just discussing various things and when the topic came to paranormal, he informed me that some of his friends, who stayed in hostel with him, did see an old man on the road on a few occasions during late nights, but these guys were travelling in motorbikes and his explanation about the area/locality where his friends have seen nearly coincides with my encounter.

Regards and respects to you.

Dip1904 (115 posts)
10 years ago (2014-11-16)
This seems a legit piece of information. Yes, I guess you guys did have some solid experience. Trust me - this is true. Good info [at] sds...
sds (14 stories) (1436 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-19)
Hi Ell_Annabelle, thanks for your nice comments. We were in a group and so, even though, we were perturbed, there was no panicky. And we managed to go to the nearby village to enquire about it. The paranormal activities are quite common in that area where we sighted that old man. Many people have had different paranormal experiences in and around that area.

Regards and respects to you.

Ell_Annabelle (2 stories) (20 posts)
11 years ago (2013-11-13)
Great read!:) Enjoyed it, and liked the fact the man actually spoke to you, but he didn't actually speak to any of you did he... He just asked the time, it was as if he repeats it each night. So it seems more like a repetition rather than an intelligent phantom!
Must have been cool to find out it's well known that a man appears and asks for time in that area:) confirms that you are not going insane LOL (as sometimes paranormal activity can make you feel)

zombie_killer_of_india (35 posts)
11 years ago (2013-02-10)
another great story from you sds.
I'm also from india-orissa.
I have noticed the same thing in a place near to my house. It was previously a graveyard but then these nails were put up when a school was constructed to keep those souls in their place.
ragini (12 posts)
11 years ago (2013-02-01)
creepy... Interesting one... Would love to hear more from you.
augustine (1 posts)
12 years ago (2012-10-21)
Hei! Narrated well... Still wonder where was he heading to during the wee hours...
billyak18 (5 stories) (41 posts)
12 years ago (2012-09-13)
Hii sds... Thanks for sharing your experience.

I had a similar experience in trivandrum. When I went for a cricket tournament during school days, myself and my friend were sitting in the stadium at 1.30 and I saw something which was not human. So we fled back to our room and slept off even though we were scared.

Next day when I enquired to locals I came to know that, that place was used by Britishers to punish and kill prisoners during old days. So as per them there were sightings of spirits in that area. Luckily we were not harmed.

I feel the person who asked time did not have any intend to harm you. He was just confused. Any ways good story mate.

Cheers and respect.
NiNiNogginHead (33 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-22)
This is a really interesting story. The research that you did afterwards and what they said about the spirit that asks for the time is really creepy.
sds (14 stories) (1436 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-21)
Thanks guys for your comments. Geetha50 is right. The place was a British stronghold and there was a lot of bloodshed in that place and this was also brought out in our queries with older generation people, when we went to the village the next day. But since it was not related to the narrative, I didn't mention it.
stephyw2001 (guest)
12 years ago (2012-08-17)
What an interesting place. I don't really have anything to contribute other than thanks for sharing. It is an intriguing story.
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-17)
I wasn't born in India but in my recent visit there, I made some friends who were from that area and they said that there was a lot of paranormal sightings in the area because of the history it holds. I'm not sure but I was told that the area was a strong British holding back then and lot of people were fighting back.

It was a good thing that you and your friends went as a group and not alone.
ucantseeme (9 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-16)
I think the old man (ghost) asked time to check if his wandering time of 12. 00 - 3.00 is over, and get back to RIP.
sds (14 stories) (1436 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-16)
No. The old man never looked like the Britisher who was killed. He was like a native. I only explained about the tomb because I enquired about it and thought it was of that old man, whom we saw on the road. But, I don't think it was the Britisher. Probably it was somebody else's spirit.

I thank every one for the comments.


Unexplained (2 stories) (122 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-15)
Excellent account! Very atmospheric. Also, loved the research you did following the incident.

Did the ghost look like an Englishman to you? When he asked for the time, what language did he speak?
ashville (3 stories) (42 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-15)
An interesting account. Great that you guys went and found out some of the history to the matter. I hope the englishman is at rest... Or will be soon. Perhaps it could be that he was asking for the time before he was murderded and never got an answer yet...
Hunter_11 (16 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-15)
Well, really creepy story! I don't understand why the old man asked time? The fact about the tree give me chills. 😐

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