I belong to a small village in the north-eastern area of Pakistan, adjacent to Indian border. Before Partition of Subcontinent, many Hindus used to live in our area. They continued to live side by side with Muslims for centuries without any strife. But after Partition, Hindu families opted to migrate to India. My grandfather was in British Army during British Raj and he was quartered in Hyderabad State that is now in India (that is one reason why we all brothers and sisters know English though our native language is Punjabi). He migrated to Pakistan in 1950, three years after the freedom. He built a house at the very place where, before migration, Hindus used to do cremation. People of village forbade him to build house there, but he, being an ex-soldier, knew no fear.
Our most of the life remained peaceful and tranquil. But when I was in my teens, I began to see weird things. I often saw a crawling skull in our garden and backyard. We had planted so many trees and flowery bushes there, and the place had become a tiny grove. Often in the small hours, when thick darkness prevailed on the atmosphere (as there was no electricity in our village then), midst dead silence, I felt myself awake... Awake and fully conscious. I felt the presence of something crawling on the floor in my room. In spite of darkness, I could see, or I was made to see, a skull moving. I could hear scraping sound that chilled the marrow of my bones. Its upper teeth were visible but lower jaw was deformed and its hollow eyes seemed to look at me. I couldn't shriek. My whole body became numb. I felt chill, very chill. The skull moved towards a Vachellia nilotica tree which we locally call 'keekar'. It disappeared beside it somewhere, as I couldn't chase it due to fear and darkness. I witnessed this ghastly sight randomly, but mostly on moonless nights.
After a while my condition used to become normal. I was terribly afraid, but I couldn't recount these events to anyone. But I couldn't go near that keekar tree even during the day.
I can't call these events hallucination because I felt I was awaking and undergoing that terrible experience. I remained afraid during my high school time. Later, my father cut down some trees, including that keekar tree to build new rooms. When the earth was dug for foundations, some bones and a skull were discovered. I was stunned to see that it was the same skull that I used to see at night.
We buried them at some other place. Now I am fifty year old. But still I can't explain these events. This memory terrifies me still.